Discover the Isle of Wight

Food and Drink, Activity, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Kate Atkin on 14th April 2021

Discover the Isle of Wight

Vibrant festivals, fantastic cycling, exhilarating outdoor activities and fascinating heritage, all within an area covering less than 150 square miles – we could only be talking about the Isle of Wight. Continuing our Great British Outdoors series, we’re giving you a taste of all the fun things you can look forward to on this beautiful isle, from adventures in the sea to thrilling experiences in the sky.

Holidays on the Isle of Wight are perfect for those who enjoy feeling gentle coastal breezes in their hair and soft, golden sand underfoot. Myriad scenic walking trails wind their way around the coast, revealing incredible views, an abundance of wildlife, and iconic beauty spots such as The Needles, Freshwater Bay, and St Catherine’s Oratory. Inland, there are exotic gardens, ancient forests and all manner of castles and historic houses to discover. For a small island, the Isle of Wight certainly has an outstanding variety of things to do! However you choose to spend your time, we have a superb collection of holiday cottages on the Isle of Wight where you can relax and create special memories with your loved ones after epic days enjoying the outdoors.

Where to stay

Isle of Wight


Begin your island adventure

Start your Isle of Wight holiday with some exciting animal-themed adventures at the Isle of Wight Zoo where you’ll come face to face with lions, tigers, leopards, lemurs, monkeys and more! Then, leave the animals behind to enjoy the island from another perspective at The Needle’s Park. One of the most iconic landmarks on the island, the row of three distinctive chalk stacks are best viewed from the chairlift down to Alum Bay beach. If that’s not enough excitement for one day, there’s also a sweet factory, 4D cinema, children’s rides, glass blowing, Jurassic golf course and a shopping emporium, so there’s plenty to fill your itinerary, whatever the weather!

With a coastline of over 65 miles, it’s unsurprising that water sports make up for some of the most popular activities to be enjoyed on the Isle of Wight. From coasteering and cliff jumping to cave swimming and stand-up paddleboarding, there’s a sea-based activity to suit everyone. However, if getting wet isn’t high on your list of priorities, then a little land-based adrenaline adventure may be more your thing. Zorbing, mountain boarding and archery are only a handful of the memorable experiences you can enjoy during your break. In fact, the possibilities are endless; you can even take to the skies paragliding, try extreme cycling on the scenic Chalk Ridge Route, glide across the beach in a sand yacht or hurtle around an all-weather go-kart track! Phew, we’re tired just thinking about it!

Understandably, some of us are less enthusiastic about testing our bodies with such thrilling pursuits! Thankfully, there is a wealth of attractions that require little more than a leisurely stroll to enjoy them. With a history which dates to the Iron Age, the island boasts many heritage attractions. Brading Roman Villa is one of the premier Roman sites in the UK and exhibits an extensive collection of archaeology. Garden aficionados should head for Ventnor Botanic Garden where a temperate microclimate allows subtropical plants to thrive outdoors. Or you can experience a taste of Victorian opulence at Osborne House, where you can explore the elegant interior of Queen Victoria’s family home and wander the extensive grounds, taking in the breathtaking views over the Solent. And if you are more interested in castles than stately homes, the examples at Carisbrooke and Yarmouth are sure to satisfy your fondness for fortifications.

Top days out

Activities on the Isle of Wight

Food and drink

Crab, cream teas, and garlic ice cream

Good food is one of the many indulgences which you can afford yourself on Isle of Wight holidays, with a bountiful array of quality restaurants, pubs, tearooms, cafés and eateries to enjoy.

Unsurprisingly, seafood is in abundance on the island, with the freshest and most delicious coming from the local waters. Crab is a speciality and can be sampled in a variety of interesting ways, from crab pasties to crab on chips. For the ultimate dining experience, try one of the several establishments which have been awarded AA rosettes, including The Royal Hotel in Ventnor, and Thompson’s in Newport.

A mention should be made too, of the distinctive local produce such as honey and ale from Quarr Abbey, delicious dairy products available from farmers’ markets, and wine from Adgestone, one of the oldest vineyards in Britain. There are even some spicier local delicacies from chillies grown on the island by The House of Chilli.

Did you know that the Isle of Wight is also famous for its garlic? This aromatic Mediterranean staple is celebrated on the island in a big way, there’s even an annual Garlic Festival! At The Garlic Farm in Newchurch, you can learn more about this wonderfully pungent allium and sample a host of garlicky wonders, including their famous garlic ice cream.

Best places to eat

Food and drink on the Isle of Wight

At the coast

Beachside cottages and coastal wonders

The Isle of Wight is home to 70 miles of coastline. That's a lot of beach and clifftop pathways to traverse during your holiday. Take in amazing views across The Solent to the south coast of England or southwards in the wide and blue English Channel. A choice of sandy and shingle beaches, warm and welcoming pubs, and tall chalk cliffs await you. 

There are many walking trails all around the island like the Sandown to Ryde Walk, Yarmouth to Brighstone Walk, the Sandown to Ventnor Walk, the walk to St Catherine's Point and lighthouse, and the daddy of them all The Tennyson Trail, where the writer Alfred Lord Tennyson was often found in his reverie. The best beaches are found at Freshwater, Compton Bay, Sandown, Ryde, Shanklin, and Ventnor. The beaches on the north side of the island are stolen by the sea twice a day with the rise and fall of the tide - so buy yourself a tide timetables book to optimise your beach visits.

Stay at one of our coastal cottages in the Isle of Wight, there's so much to see and do here. We have lots of interesting holiday properties that are sure to inspire and bewitch you. 

Coastal Isle of Wight

At the coast

Dog-friendly Isle of Wight

Get to know the island with your four-pawed pal

Bring your lovely dog to the Isle of Wight. Everybody enjoys a holiday by the coast and on the Isle of Wight you are never very far away from the beach or the coast path. There is a wide range of things to do and sights to see with your dog all across the island. enjoy long walks on the downs, on beaches, clifftops and country parks, many superb days out await you. The island is home to many dog-friendly places to eat and drink too, as well a playing host to a whole raft of visitor attractions. 

Dog-friendly Isle of Wight

Dog-friendly Isle of Wight

Where to stay

Country cottages and beachside bungalows

Whether you’re looking for an action-packed break or a relaxing escape, you’re sure to find the perfect place to experience the great outdoors within our collection of self-catering holiday cottages on the Isle of Wight.

Our range of coastal cottages are perfect for those who like to be near the sand, some boast sparkling sea views and others are only steps away from the water. Choose from chic apartments in Shanklin, Sandown and Cowes, or traditional fishermen’s cottages in Bembridge, Ventnor and Ryde.

Or perhaps you’re dreaming of a countryside getaway, where you can step out of your front door and enjoy relaxing walks through acres of rolling fields and woodland – our farm stays offer the perfect rural retreat. And if you’re visiting with your dog, your family or a large group, you can choose from our dog-friendly, family-friendly and group accommodation across the Isle of Wight, with features like roaring fires, thatched roofs and large gardens to look forward to.

All Isle of Wight cottages

Holiday cottages on the Isle of Wight

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.