Top 10 Things To Do on the Isle of Wight


June 15, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Top 10 Things to Do


With a magic all its own and reputed to be one of England’s sunniest and warmest locations, there’s so much to see and do whilst staying at one of the many luxury Isle of Wight cottages.

English Country Cottages have over 40 luxury Isle of Wight cottages with seven given a Gold Award. Hoseasons have three Isle of Wight cottages in their Ultimate range, two thatched cottages and the former gatehouse to Norris Castle. Cottages4You have 20 luxury Isle of Wight cottages with a Gold Award. Sykes Cottages have a few cottages with their 5 rating including Weirside Cottage.

1. Cycle the Troll Trail

The enticingly-named Troll Trail between Merstone and Shide, is a well-surfaced, traffic-free cycle route, perfect for magically-minded children who will love the troll carvings and other pathside artworks.

2. Be enchanted by Blackgang Chine

Blackgang Chine is a family-owned theme park of sorts. It is an eccentric mix of rides, goblins and fairies, dinosaurs, nursery rhyme characters, cowboys and Indians all set within rambling Victorian cliff-top gardens.

3. Get a close up view of the Needles

For a close up view of the dramatic Needles Rocks and Lighthouse take the pleasure boat from the jetty for a dramatic trip around the rocks and lighthouse and panoramic views of Alum Bay sand cliffs.

4. Glimpse at the private life of the royal family

Queen Victoria created Osborne House as a family palace of extreme opulence, filled with original furnishings and priceless artworks. It provides a real glimpse into what royal family life was like 200 years ago. The grounds offer stunning views of the Solent and children will love the Swiss Cottage, equipped with child-size furniture.

5. Enjoy the tranquillity of Shanklin Chine

Shanklin Chine is an historic coastal gorge of great natural beauty. It is a rich haven of rare plants, woodland, wildlife and an enchanting waterfall. A place to take time to just sit, look and listen.

6. Charter a yacht in Cowes

Take to the sea on a skippered yacht, and feel the exhilaration of skimming across the water. Failing that, why not just soak up the atmosphere in Cowes Week at one of the many national and international sailing events when the waterfront is a kaleidoscope of colourful sails, especially during Cowes Week in early August.

7. Soak up the Mediterranean climate at the Botanic Gardens in Ventnor

Brushed by the warmth of the Gulf Stream and nestled in the microclimate of Undercliff, Ventnor has long been recognised as having a unique climate, more akin to the Mediterranean. This enables a wide variety of plants considered too tender for much of mainland Britain to be grown. The garden is unrivalled for its collections of subtropical plants grown unprotected out of doors, and is a great place for the family to visit and experience the world famous foliage it provides.

8. Climb the ramparts of Carisbrooke Castle

There are all the ingredients here for a great value family day out in the Isle of Wight. Children will love dressing up as Norman soldiers or Civil War troopers, and meeting the castle’s famous donkeys, while for the grown-ups, the new Edwardian-style Princess Beatrice Garden is a joy to explore.

9. Tree-climbing in a secret location

All ages can enjoy safe tree climbing in beautiful surroundings. Hang out in the canopy, rest in a tree top hammock, hang upside down and see the countryside from a new perspective

10. Rock-pooling at Bonchurch

Bonchurch is a quintessentially English village nestling below St Boniface Down, the highest point on the island. The beach is a mix of sand and shingle, and low tide leaves rock pools which are just crying out to be explored.

My pick of luxury Isle of Wight cottages

Luxury Isle of Wight cottages choice

Offering spectacular sea views over Sandown Bay towards Culver Cliff, this magnificent seven bedroom villa (sleeps 20) was built in 1929, as a gentlemen’s residence. Noted local architect, Ernest Smith, was commissioned to take full advantage of the cliff-top location and exceptionally sunny climate to produce one of the Isle of Wight’s premium properties. He designed a grand detached house with decadently proportioned rooms; all main living and bedrooms have large windows topped by stained glass detail, framing the vistas. Art Deco influences include an upstairs sun room with huge sliding picture windows to enjoy the breathtaking sunrises and scenery by day and bay illuminations by night. Huge stained glass windows bring out the oak-panelled hallway, magnificent staircase and galleried landing. The house has an impressive triple aspect drawing room and large oak-panelled dining-room with doors into the sun room and garden for al-fresco dining. The architecture, proportions and landscaped gardens with palms over the sea are reminiscent of an elegant Mediterranean villa. Click here for more details.