things to do isle of wight

Last Updated on: 21st June 2024, 07:15 am

In this article, I will guide you through the best things to do in the charming Isle of Wight, a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re interested in exploring stunning beaches, visiting historic sites, or enjoying family attractions, the Isle of Wight has a variety of activities to offer. With its unique character and natural beauty, it’s no wonder that it’s considered one of the top places to visit in the UK. Let me take you on a journey of discovery for things to do in Isle of Wight, the perfect destination for creating unforgettable memories.

Things to Do in Isle of Wight

1. Explore the Isle’s beautiful beaches

When it comes to things to do in Isle of Wight, exploring stunning beaches is a must. With a variety of options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the sunshine.

Start your journey on the sandy shores of Ryde and Shanklin, perfect for a family day out. Take a dip in the sea, play beach volleyball, or simply relax and soak up the stunning views.

If you’re looking for a more rugged beach experience, head to Freshwater Bay and Compton Bay, famous for their dramatic cliffs and fossil-rich sands. These beaches are ideal for surfers and water sports enthusiasts.

Insider Tip: Take a stroll to the nearby Tennyson Down and Freshwater Bay Golf Course for stunning views of the coastline.

No matter which beach you choose, you can spend a day sunbathing, building sandcastles, or exploring the rock pools. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at surfing or kayaking.

Beach Comparision Table

Beach Name Location Features
Ryde Beach Ryde Sandy beach, family-friendly, water sports
Shanklin Beach Shanklin Sandy beach, family-friendly, amusements
Freshwater Bay Freshwater Rocky beach, dramatic cliffs, fossils
Compton Bay Brook Sandy beach, surfers’ paradise, fossils

“Nothing beats the feeling of sand between my toes and the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. The beaches in Isle of Wight offer the perfect escape to relax and unwind.” – Emma, Travel Blogger

2. Discover the Isle of Wight’s Rich History

The Isle of Wight is a treasure trove of history, with significant historic sites that offer a glimpse into the island’s past. These sites offer a mix of stories, from the life of royalty to military history, and are open to the public throughout the year.

  • Carisbrooke Castle: This medieval fortress has played a vital role in the island’s history for over 1000 years. Learn about its use as a royal residence and later as a prison for notable figures.
  • The Needles: The iconic chalk stacks jutting out into the sea is nearly 20 million years old. Take a brisk walk to the cliff-top viewpoint or visit the multi-award-winning visitor attraction to learn more about the site’s history and geology.
  • Osborne House: The magnificent former residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert should be an attraction on your list. Explore Victorian fashion, visit the Swiss Cottage, and see the grand state rooms during your visit.

Besides these popular sites, other lesser-known historic landmarks found on the island provide exciting learning opportunities. The Battesford Court Bartizan, a curious little tower dating back to the 16th-century, is worth a visit. If you’re interested in Roman history, the Brading Villa, a restored villa, will satisfy your curiosity.

Historic sites in Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight’s history is multifaceted and engaging, dotted with interesting stories and characters. An exploration of the island’s notable historic sites provides insight into the past and an opportunity to make history come alive.

3. Enjoy Family-Friendly Attractions

If you’re travelling to the Isle of Wight with your family, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding fun activities to keep everyone entertained. The island is home to a range of exciting family attractions that guarantee to make your trip unforgettable.

Blackgang Chine

No trip to the Isle of Wight would be complete without a visit to Blackgang Chine, the UK’s oldest amusement park. Offering a wide range of rides, attractions and entertainment shows, there’s something for everyone at this family-friendly destination. Explore the theme park’s exciting theme worlds, including Cowboy Town and Pirate Cove, and don’t miss out on the spectacular ‘Cliffhanger’ rollercoaster ride for a thrilling experience.

Robin Hill Country Park

For animal lovers, a trip to Robin Hill Country Park is a must. Let your little ones get up close to a range of animals, including friendly wallabies and cheeky red squirrels, at this immersive park. Enjoy your walk through the leafy woodland, letting yourself adventure on the many play areas and resting places scattered around the park.

Dinosaur Isle Museum

If your family has a fondness for prehistoric creatures and history, head to the Dinosaur Isle Museum. Showcasing the rich paleontological history of the island, the museum features an impressive collection of dinosaur fossils, including a life-sized model of a T-Rex. Follow the museum’s interactive displays and get ready to embark on a fascinating journey back in time.

Whether you’re looking for thrilling rides or exploring the fascinating past of the Isle of Wight, the island offers a fantastic range of family-friendly attractions. After a day of excitement and adventure, relax and unwind with your loved ones, making memories to cherish forever.

4. Immerse in the Island’s Natural Beauty

The picturesque countryside of the Isle of Wight is a nature lover’s paradise. With numerous walking and cycling trails, exploring the natural beauty of the island has never been easier.

  • Wander through the famous Alum Bay to witness the stunning multi-colored sand cliffs that are a unique feature of the island.
  • Visit the Ventnor Botanic Garden, home to a wide variety of plants from around the world set within a unique microclimate.
  • Enjoy the breathtaking coastal views through Tennyson Down and relax in the peaceful atmosphere of Freshwater Bay.

Whether on foot or by bike, the island’s landscapes are sure to leave you in awe.

Natural Beauty Isle of Wight

5. Indulge in culinary delights

As a food lover’s paradise, the Isle of Wight boasts a thriving culinary scene that offers a wide variety of culinary experiences to enjoy. Indulge in locally sourced seafood and relish the taste of freshly caught crab, lobster, and prawns. Sample artisanal cheeses and savour the distinct flavours, textures, and aromas of Isle of Wight blue, Gallybagger, and Soft. Sit down for a traditional cream tea, served with scones, clotted cream, and jam.

One of the most famous culinary experiences on the island is the Garlic Farm, where visitors can delve into the world of garlic and learn about this fascinating ingredient. The farm offers an array of garlic-infused products, from chutneys and mustards to garlic beer and even ice cream. Don’t miss out on the farm’s restaurant, where you can savour delicious garlic-themed dishes and explore the unique versatility of this ingredient.

To truly experience the culinary delights of the Isle of Wight, visit one of the island’s local markets or food festivals such as the Ventnor Fringe Festival or the Garlic Festival, where you can sample a wide variety of local delicacies and meet the island’s producers, chefs, and foodies.

6. Engage in Outdoor Activities

As an outdoor enthusiast, the Isle of Wight offers a wide array of outdoor activities that will surely make your trip memorable. With its stunning coastal paths, you can go hiking or cycling while taking in the breathtaking views of the sea. For those who like fishing, try your luck at catching some fish. If you are fond of sailing, why not go around the island on a boat? The island’s rich natural resources provide not only excellent opportunities for the sports aforementioned but also for outdoor events and festivals held throughout the year, catering to various interests.

Outdoor Activities in Isle of Wight

Outdoor Activities on the Isle

Activity Description
Hiking/Cycling Enjoy the picturesque coastline of the Isle of Wight while cycling or hiking through the numerous trails available.
Fishing Try your hand at fishing off the coast of the Isle of Wight, and see what you can catch!
Sailing Sail around the island, and explore the stunning beaches and coves- a perfect idyllic getaway.

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” – Gary Snyder

Immerse yourself in nature and experience the raw beauty of the Isle of Wight. Explore the island’s stunning coastline, take part in outdoor activities, and enjoy the annual outdoor festivals. An experience like no other awaits you on this beautiful island.

  • Take a scenic cycling or hiking tour of the Isle’s beautiful coastal trails.
  • Enjoy a peaceful day fishing and take part in the Isle’s annual regatta.
  • Take a boat ride around the island and explore the coves and beaches that the isle has to offer.

7. Explore the charming towns and villages

When visiting the Isle of Wight, take some time to experience the unique charm and character of its picturesque towns and villages. From the quaint charm of Yarmouth to the bustling atmosphere of Ventnor, each place has its own allure.


Yarmouth is a small town with a big personality. It’s a great place to relax and soak up the island’s laid-back vibe. Walk along the harbour, take in the stunning views, and visit the historic castle. Yarmouth is also home to some great pubs and restaurants, serving up delicious local cuisine.


Cowes is a historic town with strong maritime heritage. Known for its sailing, it’s a great place to witness some of the most exciting yacht racing in the world. Stroll through the town’s charming streets and browse its unique shops and galleries. Don’t miss the Cowes Maritime Museum to learn about the town’s seafaring past.


Ventnor is a popular holiday destination for locals and tourists alike. Its Mediterranean-style climate makes it perfect for beachgoers and outdoor enthusiasts. Take a leisurely stroll along the esplanade and enjoy the sea views. Make sure to visit the Botanic Garden showcasing a range of flora and fauna.

With so much to see and do in these charming towns and villages, it’s easy to see why they’re among the top attractions when visiting the Isle of Wight.

8. Immerse in cultural events

The Isle of Wight has a thriving cultural scene and hosts a diverse range of events throughout the year.

Music Festivals

If you’re a music enthusiast, don’t miss the world-famous Isle of Wight Festival. This annual event attracts top names in the music industry and is a must-visit for any music lover. The Ventnor Fringe Festival is another popular event, showcasing a variety of music, comedy, theater, and film across multiple venues.

Art Exhibitions

The Isle of Wight is home to a number of galleries showcasing works by local and international artists. The Quay Arts Centre in Newport is a must-visit for art lovers, offering a range of exciting exhibitions throughout the year.

Theatrical Performances

The island has a rich theatrical heritage and offers a variety of performances throughout the year. From Shakespeare in the park to contemporary productions, there’s something for everyone. The Apollo Theatre in Ventnor and Medina Theatre in Newport are both popular venues for theatrical performances.

Carnivals and Parades

The Isle of Wight also hosts a range of colorful carnivals and parades, featuring vibrant costumes, live music, and family-friendly activities. The Ryde Carnival is the oldest carnival on the island and is not to be missed.

Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene on the Isle of Wight.

cultural events isle of wight

9. Discover the Isle of Wight’s hidden gems

Beyond the popular attractions, the Isle of Wight is full of hidden gems waiting to be explored. These lesser-known destinations provide a unique perspective on the island and are perfect for those looking for off-the-beaten-track experiences.

Steephill Cove

One of the Isle of Wight’s best-kept secrets, Steephill Cove is a picturesque, unspoiled fishing village tucked away on the south-west coast. With its sheltered beach, clear waters and abundant marine life, this hidden gem is a must-visit for those seeking a peaceful seaside spot.

The Needles Park

The Needles Park is a unique destination that combines stunning natural scenery with family-friendly attractions. Take a chairlift ride for panoramic views of the chalk cliffs and lighthouse or explore the park’s attractions, including the sweet factory and alpaca farm. The park is also home to the Isle of Wight’s famous coloured sands.


Tucked away in the island’s southeast, Brading is a charming village with a fascinating history. Explore the streets lined with thatched cottages, browse the independent shops and visit the local Roman villa. For a unique panoramic view of the village, climb up to the top of Brading Down.


After exploring the charming Isle of Wight, I can confidently say that it is a destination not to be missed. The island offers a diverse range of activities and attractions that cater to all interests, from stunning beaches and rich history to family-friendly attractions and natural beauty.

Whether you’re a foodie looking to indulge in culinary delights or an outdoor enthusiast looking to engage in activities, the Isle of Wight has something for everyone. Make sure to visit the island’s hidden gems, such as Steephill Cove and The Needles Park, to uncover the secrets of the island.

Plan your trip to the Isle of Wight today and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime. Trust me, you won’t regret it.


What are the best beaches to visit on the Isle of Wight?

Some of the best beaches to explore on the Isle of Wight include Ryde Beach, Shanklin Beach, Freshwater Bay, and Compton Bay.

What historic sites should I visit on the Isle of Wight?

Carisbrooke Castle, The Needles, and Osborne House are some significant historic sites to explore on the Isle of Wight.

What family-friendly attractions are there on the Isle of Wight?

Blackgang Chine, Robin Hill Country Park, and Dinosaur Isle Museum are popular family-friendly attractions on the Isle of Wight.

What outdoor activities can I engage in on the Isle of Wight?

Hiking, cycling, fishing, and sailing are some of the outdoor activities you can enjoy on the Isle of Wight.

What culinary experiences can I have on the Isle of Wight?

Indulge in locally sourced seafood, artisanal cheeses, traditional cream tea, and explore unique garlic-themed dishes at places like the Garlic Farm.

What are some charming towns and villages to visit on the Isle of Wight?

Yarmouth, Cowes, and Ventnor are charming towns and villages to experience the unique character of the Isle of Wight.

What cultural events can I attend on the Isle of Wight?

Music festivals like the Isle of Wight Festival, art exhibitions at Quay Arts Centre, theatrical performances, and colorful carnivals and parades are some of the cultural events you can enjoy on the Isle of Wight.