Isle of Wight, Hampshire
The Isle of Wight is far from enormous, but it’s got plenty going on, that’s for sure. If you’re going for a day out when you’re on holiday in Hampshire, it’s difficult to know where to start, so to some extent it depends what you want to do.
If you want to go walking there are trails you can follow, or if you prefer to set off with your map in hand (or on your phone) you’ll have much to explore – rolling hills, fields and forests, chalk downs, cliff tops and coastal paths. Likewise cycling, and don’t forget your bike goes free on trains so you can cycle to the island from the mainland.
Tell you what’s nice; pootling along through the glorious countryside on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, but if that’s too sedate for you take the family to the Needles Landmark Attraction where you can see the needles rocks and coloured sands from a chairlift, and there are other attractions there of course – the IW Sweet Factory, Alum Bay Glass, and a fairground, amongst others. If you’re into your history and heritage maybe a trip to Yarmouth Castle or Carisbrooke Castle will appeal, and of course, you shouldn’t miss Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s holiday home.
If you’ve got budding paleontologists on board then they’ll probably have told you ten times over that the Isle of Wight is the Dinosaur Capital of Great Britain, so take them to the Dinosaur Experience at Blackgang Chine or to one of the museums like Dinosaur Isle, or on a Dinosaur Fossil Hunt. If they prefer living breathing creatures go instead to the Isle of Wight Zoo, Monkey Haven or Butterfly World.
If you just want to spend time beside the seaside you’re rather spoilt for choice on the Isle of Wight; the 57 miles coastline has several award winning beaches, like Shanklin, Sandown, and Ventnor where there are colourful vintage beach huts; Ryde is good for beach games, whilst Compton Bay and Colwell Bay are more rural beaches that make for a wonderful stroll along the shore.
Told you there was plenty going on, didn’t we? Plan it carefully, get the ferry from Portsmouth, Southampton or Lymington and have a great day!
All information correct at the time of writing