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Top Things To Do On The Isle of Wight – Ultimate Isle Of Wight Blog

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The Needles, Isle of Wight
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Long days on the beach, extreme sports, wine tasting and a top foodie scene, there are plenty of amazing things to do on the Isle Of Wight! Find out more in this Isle of Wight blog filled with fab tips for your time on the island. 

Shanklin Esplanade, Isle of Wight

Shanklin Esplanade, Isle of Wight

My relationship with the Isle of Wight began around 20 years ago. I was at primary school and about to embark on my biggest trip yet. Along with 25 other kids, I hopped on a coach, then a ferry and spent a few days on the seemingly exotic island.

I was 10, and for me, this was like the Caribbean. We played games on Shanklin beach, visited Osborne House, and spent a day at theme park Blackgang Chine. I have very happy memories from the trip. Flash forward 20 years and here I was boarding WightRider 2 (the ferry) from Portsmouth to Ryde. Over the next 3 days I’d be reliving some childhood memories and, fingers crossed, be creating a few new ones!

If you’re visiting the Isle of Wight soon I hope you find my guide helpful! Feel free to leave any questions or comments at the end. 

View of Shanklin Beach, Isle of Wight - one of the top places to visit on the Isle of Wight

View of Shanklin Beach, Isle of Wight – one of the top places to visit on the Isle of Wight

Things To Do On The Isle Of Wight For Water Sports and Adrenaline Lovers

From sailing, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding to segwaying, airwheeling and mountain biking, Tackt-Isle Adventures is THE place on the island for trying something new!

I spent a whole afternoon there and while I was pretty nervous as I hopped on a Segway for the first time, within a few minutes I was flying around the place and getting competitive in drills and races!

Tackt-Isle Adventures, Isle of Wight

Tackt-Isle Adventures, Isle of Wight

Segwaying at Tackt-Isle Adventures, Isle of Wight

Segwaying at Tackt-Isle Adventures, Isle of Wight

Segwaying at Tackt-Isle Adventures, Isle of Wight

Segwaying at Tackt-Isle Adventures, Isle of Wight

After that I took to the water for a few hours of relaxed kayaking, while my partner hopped on a stand up paddle board. It’s a beautiful area to explore on the water, and even when it bucketed it down, our spirits weren’t dampened! The instructors were young, fun, patient and super enthusiastic.

Kayaking at Tackt-Isle Adventures - one of the top things to do on the Isle of Wight

Kayaking at Tackt-Isle Adventures – one of the top things to do on the Isle of Wight

Things To Do On The Isle Of Wight For Wine Lovers

I spent February exploring vineyards in Chile and Argentina, then just a few weeks ago I enjoyed a day wine tasting  in California… but what’s this? There’s a top winery on the Isle of Wight?! Yep – this is one of my top things to do on the Isle of Wight.

Rosemary Vineyard is run by a dedicated team and happens to be one of the largest producers of English Wine in the country. Along with top wines, they also produce some of the most delicious apple juice you’ll ever taste (the flavour reminded me of apple pie!) along with fruit liqueurs and gin.

Whatever your tipple, you’ll find something you like! They’re located in a picturesque spot in the middle of the island where the climate is perfect for the grapes, and after taking a wine tour you can enjoy a casual wander through the lush vineyards.

Enjoying Rosemary Vineyard, Isle of Wight

Exploring Rosemary Vineyard – a great place for a day trip on the Isle of Wight

Things To Do On The Isle Of Wight For Vintage Lovers

During our visit, several locals referred to island life as ‘going back in time by 30 years’. In some ways, that’s true, and it’s part of what makes it such a charming place. 30 years is nothing though, so for a real vintage touch we stayed in a 1960s American Airstream.

Helen from Vintage Vacations bought her first Airstream in 2004, and fell in love with the quirky trailers. Since then, she and husband Fraser have expanded their fleet into an uber-cool glamping experience. With tonnes of vintage knick-knacks (from Coca Cola trays and Babycham, to retro curtains and bedding) staying here really did  give a flavour of the swinging 60s.

Vintage Vacations, Isle of Wight

Want to go glamping on the Isle of Wight? Vintage Vacations is a very cool place to stay

Things To Do On The Isle Of Wight For Foodies

Where to start?! It turns out there’s a buzzing foodie scene on the island. I’ll go into more detail in a future blog but whether you’re after fish and chips on the seafront, tapas, a restaurant with a view or high end fine dining, there’s something for everyone.

For the freshest seafood on the island, head to The Best Dressed Crab in Bembridge Harbour. You can watch the lobsters and crabs being delivered straight from the fishing boats.

Seafood platter at The Best Dressed Crab, Isle of Wight

Seafood platter at The Best Dressed Crab, Isle of Wight

The Best Dressed Crab, Isle of Wight

The Best Dressed Crab, Isle of Wight

The Shed in Bembridge offers international cuisine in tapas form – perfect for those who love to share! The Seaview Hotel is home to one of the best restaurants on the island, serving gourmet food at very reasonable prices. There are plenty of tearooms around the island, perfect for afternoon tea.

The Shed, Bembridge, Isle of Wight

The Shed, Bembridge, Isle of Wight

Pea fritters at The Shed, Bembridge, Isle of Wight

Pea fritters at The Shed, Bembridge, Isle of Wight

Tapas selection at The Shed, Bembridge, Isle of Wight

Tapas selection at The Shed, Bembridge, Isle of Wight

Looking for things to do in the evening on the Isle of Wight? It’s hard to beat the amazing view over Appley Beach in Ryde from Three Buoys, plus the restaurant has a delicious menu featuring fresh seafood and a great selection of cocktails. It’s also quite a romantic spot if you’re with your other half.

The Garlic Farm is another great spot to spend an afternoon. After checking out the beautiful gardens filled with garlic plants, head to their garlic-themed restaurant. I loved the mezze platter as it offered a chance to try plenty of their garlicky specialities, including delicious buttery mushrooms, a whole roasted garlic, and some of the best garlic bread I’ve tasted in a long time!

Three Buoys, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Three Buoys, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Sea bass with IOW heritage tomatoes, sweet potato and fennel at Three Buoys, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Sea bass with IOW heritage tomatoes, sweet potato and fennel at Three Buoys, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Courgette and Jerusalem artichoke at Three Buoys, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Courgette and Jerusalem artichoke at Three Buoys, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Things To Do On The Isle Of Wight For Beach Babes

You just can’t beat a great British beach holiday! We were based towards the north east of the island, and loved checking out Shanklin, Ryde and a few other beautiful sandy beaches. Even when the sun was hiding we had plenty of fun things to do including checking out the cute shops, cafes, amusement arcades and paying a few rounds crazy golf!

Classic British holiday on Shanklin Beach, Isle of Wight

Classic British holiday on Shanklin Beach, Isle of Wight

Classic British holiday on Shanklin Beach, Isle of Wight

Classic British holiday on Shanklin Beach, Isle of Wight

Shanklin Beach, Isle of Wight

Shanklin Beach, Isle of Wight

Playing crazy golf on the Isle of Wight

Playing crazy golf on the Isle of Wight (Photo: @BackpackerMacca)

Things To Do On The Isle Of Wight For History Lovers

From dinosaur remains and Norman Conquests, to Queen Victoria’s holidays – the island is packed full of history. Queen Victoria spent a lot of time on the island, and said of Osborne House, “it is impossible to imagine a prettier spot.”

She used the house as her holiday home and these days it’s open to the public. You can explore Victoria and Albert’s private apartments, their bathing beach and children’s play-cottage along with the beautiful gardens.

If you’re interested in history, you should also check out motte and bailey castle, Carisbrooke Castle. At this English heritage site you can find out all about the days of the Norman Conquest to why Charles I was imprisoned there in the run up to his trial.

Or for a fun experience for adults and kids alike, hop on board the Isle of Wight steam railway. You’ll feel like you’ve travelled back in time as you board one of the vintage locomotives! 

Things To Do On The Isle Of Wight For Nature Lovers

The island is a top destination for anyone with a love of walking, cycling and nature. 500 miles of footpaths, beautiful lush countryside, sweeping coastlines, sandy beaches and plenty of natural wonders will have you reaching for your camera over and over again. 

The Needles, Isle of Wight

The Needles, Isle of Wight

Voted as one of the top sights in the UK, The Needles are one of the must-sees. If you’re feeling brave, you can even take the chairlift – one of the most unusual things to do on the Isle of Wight!

The Needles, Isle of Wight (Photo: http://www.theneedles.co.uk)

The Needles, Isle of Wight (Photo: theneedles.co.uk)

The Needles Chairlift, Isle of Wight (Photo: http://www.theneedles.co.uk)

The Needles Chairlift, Isle of Wight (Photo: theneedles.co.uk)

Opened in 1817, the waterfall at Shanklin Chine is one of the island’s oldest tourist attractions. Not only is the waterfall beautiful, it’s set within a deep gorge covered in trees – a magical place to spend an afternoon. While we visited during the day, they also illuminate the waterfall at night over the summer months, just to add to the magic!

Shanklin Chine waterfall, Isle of Wight

Shanklin Chine waterfall, Isle of Wight

Chine Lumiere, Isle of Wight (Photo: http://www.shanklinchine.co.uk)

Chine Lumiere, Isle of Wight (Photo: http://www.shanklinchine.co.uk)

And for a great way to see the island, head to the top of the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth before or after your ferry. At 170m, the architectural wonder is designed to sway slightly in order to withstand high winds. Feeling brave? You can even abseil down the tower while taking in the incredible panoramic views of Portsmouth, the Solent and the Isle of Wight!

Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth

Views from the Spinnaker Tower cafe, Portsmouth

Views from the Spinnaker Tower cafe, Portsmouth


When Is The Best Time To Visit The Isle Of Wight?

England is a country obsessed with weather. Don’t know what to say? Comment on the weather! We talk about it a lot, but contrary to what you may have heard, we don’t have awful weather in England. It’s just a little unpredictable and varies from region to region.

You can expect average lows of around 5 °C on the island in January / February, and highs around 22°C in July / August.

The Needles, Isle of Wight

The Needles, Isle of Wight

If you’re wondering when is the best time to visit the Isle of Wight, I’d suggest planning a trip in May or June. The weather tends to be warm and sunny, rain is at a minimum and it’s out of peak season, so you shouldn’t be battling any big crowds either. The longest day is around 20th June every year, so it’s a time you can enjoy maximum daylight hours exploring!

I’ve never been a fan of November in England. It’s the wettest month of the year, and while December can be pretty cold, there’s a Christmas magic around the country which always puts a smile on my face!


I hope you’ve found this Isle of Wight blog helpful – there are plenty more amazing things to do on the Isle of Wight. No doubt I’ll head back soon to experience some more!

Thanks to Visit England and Visit Isle of Wight for inviting me to explore the island as part of the #OMGB campaign! Check out more amazing unique experiences across the country here. 

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Amazing Days Out On The Isle Of Wight


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30 comments

Charlie 20th July 2016 - 9:58 am

I hardly ever think about going on holiday in the UK but the Isle of Wight looks just as good as some of the places I’ve been abroad! How hot was it?

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Macca Sherifi 20th July 2016 - 10:13 am

This takes me right back! Genuinely the best British summer holiday I’ve ever had and I completely fell in love with the Isle of Wight – it’s such a cute place!

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Wanderlust Chloe 20th July 2016 - 10:46 am

Thanks Macca – it was a lovely summer holiday wasn’t it?! Not sure I’ll be AirWheeling anywhere soon but I’ll deffo return for the food! Cx

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Wanderlust Chloe 20th July 2016 - 10:45 am

Thanks Charlie – we had a real mix of weather last week – torrential rain and exciting storms but then incredible sunshine and warm temps (around 27!) Plenty to do whatever the weather! Cx

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Sea of Wanderlust 21st July 2016 - 1:05 am

Wow, this place looks amazing! I’ve only been to London but I’d have to visit sometime when in the UK next 🙂

Kelsey

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Wanderlust Chloe 22nd July 2016 - 9:08 am

Hey Kelsey, Thanks for your comment! Yes definitely get to the island if you get the chance! It’s a really stunning place.

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Emily Luxton 25th July 2016 - 10:39 am

Ah, I went to the Isle of White with school in year 6 and had the BEST time. It was really fun then, but I’d love to go back as an adult. Especially for that food – looks amazing 🙂

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Wanderlust Chloe 25th July 2016 - 10:43 am

Yeah the foodie scene was really impressive. Writing a blog just about that as we speak so watch this space! If you make it over there I’ll be sure to send over some top tips 🙂 Cx

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Emily Luxton 31st July 2016 - 7:34 am

Awesome! I’m finding really awesome food scenes on islands atm, I think it’s cos importing is so expensive. The local produce has to up its game to make up for it and the results are great! Xx

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Wanderlust Chloe 2nd August 2016 - 8:43 am

Yep so true Emily! I guess with the IOW it’s really easy to get produce from the mainland but they definitely put lots of effort into what they can grow on the island. The tomatoes and garlic were amazing!!

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MidnightBlueElephant 25th July 2016 - 11:49 am

Except for the Segway 😉 this looks like an amazing trip! I love the silver streamers. I stayed in one in Cape Town once and think they are so cute. Mind you, the tipis are also awesome.
I didn’t know they would have their own wine – was it good?

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Wanderlust Chloe 25th July 2016 - 12:39 pm

Some of the wine was excellent, quite a unique flavour! The segwaying was a lot of fun once I got used to it and I LOVED our trailer… 🙂

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Eulanda & Omo 25th July 2016 - 12:41 pm

Within 5 seconds of reading this post you had me going to look up prices of train tickets to Portsmouth for this weekend! Great suggestions for all interests! Tx for for sharing this!

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Wanderlust Chloe 25th July 2016 - 12:42 pm

That’s so great to hear Eulanda! Always love to share my fave places with my readers 🙂 Let me know if you make it there or if you need any more tips! Cx

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Abhinav Singh 25th July 2016 - 4:04 pm

I am a beach person and I think I am going to love this. Kayaking looks attractive so do the beautifully done interiors of this hotel. I like it if my room has lot of wood in it.

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Wanderlust Chloe 25th July 2016 - 5:14 pm

Yeah there are tonnes of great beaches on the island! I wished we had a car to get out and see even more, but hey, there’s a great reason to return! Cx

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Kathi Kamleitner 25th July 2016 - 4:23 pm

OMG this looks so beautiful! I love the landscapes and the option for kayaking – sounds like my kind of destination 😀

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Wanderlust Chloe 25th July 2016 - 5:14 pm

Thanks Kathi 🙂 If you love the great outdoors then it’s a great place to go! Cx

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Kemkem 26th July 2016 - 7:54 am

Wow! It looks absolutely gorgeous here. I had never considered visiting here, but now l see it’s a must. Love the food pics and wine too? Sounds good to me 🙂

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Wanderlust Chloe 26th July 2016 - 8:55 am

Yeah it’s a great holiday destination and so easy to travel to. I hope you get the chance to go one day! 🙂

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Kelly | A Pair of Passports 26th July 2016 - 8:44 am

As a self-proclaimed foodie and wine-o, and a lover of all things nautical, I think I need to get myself to Isle of Wight!

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Wanderlust Chloe 26th July 2016 - 8:55 am

Hey Kelly – thanks for your comment! And yes you definitely should if you’re a fellow foodie like me! Cx

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Parnashree Devi 26th July 2016 - 6:37 pm

Though I am not a beach person , But I loved this place. The best thing that I liked is the 1960s American Airstream. It looked classic. I would love to spend some night there. Stunning photos .

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Wanderlust Chloe 26th July 2016 - 10:40 pm

Yeah it was such a cool place to stay! Really homely inside too. Thanks for reading 🙂

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Prasad Np aka desi Traveler 26th July 2016 - 6:53 pm

Isle of Wight seems like such a perfect destination for a fun filled holiday, beautiful beach, perfect sunny locations and the food, looks so inviting…

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Wanderlust Chloe 26th July 2016 - 10:40 pm

Oh yes it really does tick every box! The only one you can’t rely on is the weather!

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Jenni Sheldon 26th July 2016 - 10:17 pm

Wow I didn’t realise there was so much to do on the Isle of Wight I’ve never been even though I’m not far from it. Now I know there is a vineyard I think I might be visiting very soon

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Wanderlust Chloe 26th July 2016 - 10:40 pm

Haha yes wine o’clock is calling! Hope you make it there soon and let me know if you need any more tips Jenni! 🙂

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Anne Slater-Brooks 28th July 2016 - 4:12 pm

it is not somewhere I have ever really considered going given I live in Yorkshire but it looks fab

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Wanderlust Chloe 28th July 2016 - 4:59 pm

Thanks for reading Anne! Yep it surprised me too! Loved it though 🙂

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