Visit the Isle of Wight
on your next UK holiday

Sandy beaches and wide, open waters. Lush rolling countryside and fossil-rich cliffs. All these await you on this picturesque island just off England’s south coast. Visit the Isle of Wight and take a holiday to remember in one of the UK’s sunniest destinations.

Things to do on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is a premier destination for historical, cultural, and archaeological sites in the UK. Home to Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s summer home, the residence was visited by famous faces including Charles Dickens and Berthe Morisot during her reign. The island also has a rich musical history, with Bestival and the Isle of Wight Festival running each year. The 1970 edition of the island’s eponymous festival was one of the last public performances by Jimi Hendrix, with a statue erected in his honour outside Dimbola Lodge. Teaming with local produce, from arts and crafts to food and drink, your visit to the Isle of Wight will be unlike any other. From boats trips and bike rides to unforgettable walks along miles of unspoilt coastline trails – the Isle of Wight is the perfect place to relax and explore. There’s always more places to visit, sites to discover, and activities to sink your teeth into, so we’ve put together our list of top attractions and activities for the Isle of Wight.

Top Days Out

Blackgang Chine Adventure Park 1

Blackgang Chine Adventure Park

Calling all fairies, pirates, sheriffs, and dinosaur hunters – a whole day of fun awaits at this much-loved theme park on the south of the island. You can choose to jump on a ride, fly down a water slide, or gather your posse for a Wild West showdown. Dare to enter Area 5 and discover moving dinosaurs in the undergrowth, or spot a pair of mischievous T-Rex babies roaming around the park. Catch a glimpse of tiny wings fluttering behind a toadstool in Fairyland, or bravely defend your ship in Pirate Cove. There’s so much to enjoy, climb, see, and discover, making this a top day out.

Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site 2

Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site

Walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs. Find fascinating fossils and ancient bones on one of the beaches that form an 11-mile stretch between Compton and Sandown, internationally renowned for its prehistoric treasures. Dip in the shallows, wander along the shore, and seek relics of twenty-five dinosaur species that inhabited the island millions of years ago. Join a fossil walk at Brook and allow an expert to introduce you to the footprints left at low tide. A window on the past, there’s so much for budding palaeontologists of all ages to explore.

Cowes Week Regatta 3

Cowes Week Regatta

Capture the spirit of the sea during Cowes Regatta Week in August. Sleek, ultra-modern craft share the waters with well-loved, wooden, vintage boats for a spectacular that’s as much fun on shore as it is out on the blue. With 40 races a day, the eight-day event is a top attraction, with 1,000 boats from all over the world taking part. Watch the dinghies, gigs, and carbon fibre yachts from a harbour side pub, or challenge your own nautical skills in a host of events for experienced sailors and novices alike. And the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. A celebratory fireworks display and live bands in the many bars mean the party spirit is alive and well.

Ready to book a holiday on the Isle of Wight?

We have a range of accommodation on the Isle of Wight, including pet friendly, treehouses and lodges with hot tubs

Activities on the Isle of Wight

Cycling in Isle of Wight 4

Pedal Power

Grab your bike and travel the gentle Red Squirrel Trail or take on the challenge of Chalk Ridge Extreme. You can even stop off for a hard-earned clifftop picnic or a quiet pub lunch once you’re done. With over five hundred miles of bike paths and bridleways winding their way through pretty countryside and stunning coastal trails, it’s no wonder Lonely Planet placed the Isle of Wight at the top of its list of favourite cycle locations. Perfect for families and serious cyclists alike, there are plenty of places to hire a set of wheels, giving you even more freedom to go as you please.

Surfing at Compton, Isle of Wight 5

Life on the Water

Being an island of just 147 square miles, you’re never far away from a fun-filled day of activities out on the water. The sandy shores and great waves of Compton are perfect for surfing, or you can learn to kayak with the kids in the safe sheltered shallows of Puckpool Park. For a more relaxing day on the water, nothing beats baiting a hook and casting a line, so whether you prefer freshwater, shore, or beach fishing – there are plenty of places to sit back and wait for a bite.

Gallery in Isle of Wight 6

Indulge Your Creative Side

With a rich heritage in arts and crafts, it’s no wonder the Isle of Wight is home to so many galleries. From smart airy spaces in Cowes, to tiny studios in quaint fishing village alleyways, there’s plenty to see, especially during Open Studio season in July. Book tickets to see local productions at the vibrant Ventnor Fringe Festival in August, catch some big names at the historical Shanklin Theatre, or watch plenty of performance art too. Inspired to join in the fun? Centres like Quay Arts in Newport let you dabble with paints and brushes yourself!

Isle of Wight Festival 7

Isle of Wight Festival

Nothing captures the spirit of summer fun like a music festival, and the Isle of Wight is home to one of the world’s most famous. A vibrant history of iconic acts and ground-breaking artists, it’s been headlined by some of the biggest names in music (including The Who, Jay-Z, and Paul Weller) and kicks off the UK festival season. If you can’t make the festival, check out the displays at the historic cultural hub, Dimbola, in Freshwater Bay, or take the kids along to Bestival later in the year, featuring some of the UK’s favourite acts for children.

Local Attractions on the Isle of Wight

Bembridge Windmill 8

Bembridge Windmill

Explore the Isle of Wight’s only remaining operational windmill. Climb the steep steps to the top, and wander through the floors imagining what miller life was like back in the 1700’s. Look up at the soaring sails, now lovingly cared for by the National Trust, which took their final turn in 1913. When you’ve finished exploring and dreaming, enjoy an ice cream or a cool drink from the kiosk and then wander off down the Culver Trail through the same stunning landscape that inspired J. M. W. Turner.

St Catherine’s Oratory 9

St Catherine’s Oratory

Discover the fascinating history of St Catherine’s Oratory, perched high on its rugged clifftop setting. A medieval tower built in penance by a landowner for plundering wine from a shipwreck, this octagonal building was home to a lighthouse and the monk who tended it. Look out over green hills rolling down to vast sea vistas and an endless horizon, with the Isle of Wight’s famous white cliffs in the distance. Take in some fresh sea air and the stunning views at the tower affectionately known as the Pepperpot.

The Needles and Alum Bay Chair Lift 10

The Needles and Alum Bay Chair Lift

Lift off high over the treetops, fly over the cliff edge and descend gently towards the beach far below. With The Needles landmark stretching out in front of you, and the endless blue sea beyond, you can take in the haze of purple heather and the unique rock formations while enjoying fresh sea air and breath-taking views. When you’re back on the ground, grab an ice cream and dip your toes in the water, or go on a pleasure cruise from the beach. An unforgettable day out, The Needles were recently voted one of the beautiful places in the UK and this has to be the best way to see them.

Experience luxury on the Isle of Wight

Treat yourself to the break you deserve with bubbly hot tubs and fantastic food all available at these secluded beachside locations.

My Perfect Stay

Alum Bay Lighthouse,
Isle of Wight
Alum Bay Lighthouse, Isle of Wight

I have a real soft spot for the Isle of Wight ever since my first trip over when I was 11. There is something so special about the island that starts with the journey, the excitement waiting for the ferry, waving goodbye to the mainland and looking ahead to adventures that await.

The scenery is fantastic since more than half of the island is designated and protected as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Rolling hills and dramatic cliffs lead to the numerous beaches, 17 of which have blue flag status. There are so many picturesque towns and villages just waiting to be explored, as well as endless places to eat from gastro pubs to good old fish and chips by the sea. And let’s not forget the sheer multitude of activities available across the whole island to indulge in.

One of my favourite spots on the island is “The Needles” on the far west tip. Take the chair lift down to the beach and soak up the incredible views, or walk the foot path to the new Battery for the most spectacular sunset.

Matt Alderton

Matt Alderton

Senior Brand Manager

Other Locations


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A selection of these images were sourced from Visit England / Visit Britain Images