EUROPE TRAVEL UK

10 Things to do in the Isle of Wight

I’ve just returned from a weekend to the Isle of Wight. Here’s what we got up to on holiday in Isle of Wight…

Having never been to the Isle of Wight I wasn’t really sure what to expect from a staycation on the island, but within hours I fell madly in love with this wonderful island. We spent four days exploring the island, taking a ferry from Portsmouth to Fishbourne with Wightlink Ferries, which was super simple, quick and got our holiday off to a great start.

Whilst on the island, we got involved in an array of activities, from kayaking at Freshwater Bay with Adventure Activities and dining at The Cow Co, to zip-lining at Tapnell Farm and dressing up at cowboys at Blackgang Chine.

We had so much fun over the weekend and I really fell in love with this wonderful little island. More posts coming next week about our trip, as well as a video diary!

The Cow

One of the best places I’ve eaten in a while, The Cow Bar and Restaurant is one of the most unique places to eat on the Isle of Wight; set in a converted Swiss barn at the heart of Tapnell Farm. They are open 7 days a week for lunch, and every Friday and Saturday evening dinner (plus occasional Thursday evenings for special events). They serve an amazing selection of burgers, steaks and sides, including their famous Dirty Fries, with Melted Mozzarella, Red Leicester cheese, Mustard, Aioli, Shredded Lettuce & Jalapenos. YUM!

The Garlic Farm

The Garlic Farm is the perfect place to learn more about… yep you guessed it, Garlic! You can learn all about garlic, where it comes from, how to grow your own and how to cook with it. The farm offers unique and delicious products, from garlic chutneys to garlic beer and ice cream to try before you buy. You can also walk freely around the farm and see the highland cattle, pigs, horses, peacocks and red squirrels darting back and forth. They’ve also got a renowned restaurant on-site where you can savour some of the incredible creations from the kitchen.

Tapnell Farm

On our first day on the island we headed to the recommended Tapnell Farm, a former Dairy Farm where you will find loads of Indoor and Outdoor Play for children, along with lots of animals to meet – including Wallabies, Meerkats, and many more Farmyard Friends! We headed to Tapnell Farm after lunching at The Cow next door and loved the amount of activities to do here. Arabella was in her element, jumping off the pillows, crawling through the hay barn and driving a mini tractor around the farm track. A really fun afternoon!

Osbourne House

If you fancy some historic activities whilst on the island head to Osborne House. Former retreat for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (circa 1845) still retains a large collection of the royal couple’s possessions, art work and photographs. Also home to the Swiss Cottage for Victoria’s children, and the private beach and bathing machine. The house was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a summer home and rural retreat.

Adventure Activities

I love outdoor adventures, so when a friend recommend going kayaking on the Isle of Wight, we knew it was right up our street. On our last day on the island we headed down to Freshwater Bay for a morning kayaking with Adventure Activities. We opted for a Family Experience, which included paddling under cliffs, visiting some of the south coasts caves, and coasteering off rocks. It ended up being our favourite activity on the island, and it was fun for all three of us, Theo enjoyed visiting the caves, I enjoyed swimming in the water and Arabella found a new love for coasteering, jumping off rocks into the sea. The experience lasts two hours, and we were lucky to have our own guide who was lovely, and really engaged with Arabella!

The Needles

As soon as you think of the Isle of Wight the iconic image of the world famous chairlift taking you to see the needles rocks and coloured sands spring to mind. The Islands most famous landmark attraction has so much more to enjoy than the stunning views, it is a destination not to be missed. We headed here for an hour on our way back from Blackgang Chine, and stopped to look over towards the Needles from the attraction park. The range of attractions includes the spectacular chairlift ride to the beach and the sand cliffs.

Blackgang Chine

On our second day on the Isle of Wight, we drove down to the south of the island to visit Blackgang Chine, a park and gardens themed with a wide range of fantasy attractions as well as heritage exhibitions and adventure play. You can enjoy playing in Cowboy Town, Pirate Cove, Fairyland or Dinosaurland – fantasy play areas to encourage imaginative play, which was fun for all the family, not just Arabella.

Osbourne House

If you fancy some historic activities whilst on the island head to Osborne House. Former retreat for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (circa 1845) still retains a large collection of the royal couple’s possessions, artwork and photographs. Also home to the Swiss Cottage for Victoria’s children, and the private beach and bathing machine. The house was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a summer home and rural retreat.

Beach fun at Colwell Bay

After spending a few hours at Blackgang Chine we headed up the coast to Colwell Bay, located between the towns of Totland and Yarmouth. It’s a rather small beach, but was relaxed, but a few shops and cafes. We reserved a place on the beach, whilst Arabella went off to play in the sand, and dip her toes in the sea. They’ve also got some beautiful beach huts here, in all sorts of colours!

Isle of Wight Zoo

We didn’t have time to visit here, but had been told it was a really fun day out. The Isle of Wight Zoo is home to one of Britain’s largest collection of tigers, many of whom are rescue animals. With several superb new enclosures modeled on natural tiger habitats in India, the zoo is a fantastic place to see these wonderful animals relaxing. A number of other animals also live there, including lemurs, jaguars and lions.

Shanklin Chine Gorge

The gates to this historic gorge first opened back in 1817, making it the longest established attraction on Isle of Wight, enticing many millions of visitors to wander through and marvel at its natural beauty over a double century of seasonal openings. There are few locations on the Isle of Wight, let alone England, that can boast such a tranquil and picturesque location for visitors to enjoy.

Let me know on Twitter your favourite things to do in the Isle of Wight! Tweet me here

*I was hosted by Visit Isle of Wight whilst on the island.