What To Do On The Isle of Wight
The Island has many attractions to offer our Isle of Wight holiday cottage guests, most of which are open all year round – see here. Book your December Isle of Wight holiday cottage at great off peak prices and enjoy a selection of pre-Christmas treats including:
Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival – trees remain in St Mary’s Church & Isle of Wight Pearl until 2nd January, festive afternoon tea & tour of Osborne, Christmas Lights Tour, birdwatching walks at Newtown, Santa’s grotto – on tour in several locations (Freshwater Independent Lifeboat/Fire Station, The Needles, Arreton Barns), Santa Specials & Christmas carvery on Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Polar Experience at Robin Hill, Christmas Experience at Tapnell Farm.
With a spectacular coastline, rolling hills, green countryside, historic buildings & welcoming pubs, the island makes a great location to explore on foot. Visit the Slow Wight Travel Guide, Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership and Isle of Wight National Trust which have some great downloadable walks – as well as a map and full directions the trails include information on local history, nature or wildlife. You can also buy beautifully illustrated trail maps from Gift to Nature. Keep an eye on the National Trust Isle of Wight Facebook page for guided walks organised throughout the year.
Visit Isle of Wight and Wightlink have excellent downloadable cycle routes and cycle hire information. You can hire bicycles (including electric bikes) from Wight Cycle Hire who will deliver to our Isle of Wight holiday cottages (minimum hire fee applies). You can store bicycles in the garages, or outhouses of most of our Isle of Wight holiday cottages.
Visit Isle of Wight Green Star programme
We have been awarded Ambassador status by Visit Isle of Wight for promoting sustainable travel to our Isle of Wight holiday cottages and around the Island. All our cottages have achieved Gold Awards in the Visit Isle of Wight Green Star Scheme.
Have a look at all the useful information on Visit Isle of Wight’s dedicated Green Travel page and in the pack in each Isle of Wight holiday cottage. The pack includes a Sustainable Directory (providers of pedal and electric bikes, hire cars, taxis, water taxis, buses & trains) and ideas for fun days out where no car is required. Download or ask for a leaflet on how to get to the Isle of Wight by train, coach & bus – including a great map of the British rail network and guidance when you reach the ports. We offer incentives for Isle of Wight holiday cottage guests arriving by sustainable travel – from free maps, walking and cycling guides to free electric charging points, 5% off electric car rental and 5% off cottage rental – see each cottage for details. If you have an electric car you can download the list of Electric Vehicle Charging Points or use Zap Map. If you are travelling to the Newport area during your stay we recommend the use of e-taxi, the Island’s first electric taxi service.
Other “green” activities for our Isle of Wight holiday cottage guests include:
Join West Wight Alpacas and enjoy a range of walking experiences with alpacas and llamas.
If you have a head for heights and nature how about trying a bit of recreational tree climbing at Goodleaf.
If trees are not high enough for you then join Butterfly Paragliding, one of the longest established paragliding schools in the UK.
The Donkey Sanctuary provides donkeys a safe and permanent home – come and visit them and look out for the regular events.
Spot wildfowl and waders at RSPB reserve Brading Marshes – a haven for wildlife including buzzards, egrets, green woodpeckers, marsh harriers, butterflies, hobbies and red squirrels.
Isle of Wight Dark Skies
The Isle of Wight has some of the darkest skies in the UK, which helped the Island secure UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status. Visit Isle of Wight has just launched a brilliant dark skies page on the website showing best spots for an astronomical night out. The Island Planetarium & Vectis Astronomical Society are useful resources if you want to learn more. Our Isle of Wight holiday cottages are well placed to do stargazing from the garden – some of our regular guests already bring their telescopes!
Catch the bus
The Southern Vectis bus stops are in easy reach of most of our Isle of Wight holiday cottages so jump on board and have a car-free day out. Places which are easy to get to from our Isle of Wight holiday cottages include Carisbrooke Castle, The Needles, Alum Bay, Newport, Yarmouth, Farringford House / Dimbola Lodge / Freshwater Bay , Compton Bay, Colwell Bay, and Totland Bay. Visit Southern Vectis and FYT bus for more information – winter timetable out now.
Isle of Wight holiday cottage must dos!
Visit Isle of Wight to see what else is on offer including IOW Steam Railway (trains next operating on 30 Nov), Brading Roman Villa, Farringford House (gardens only open until 1 Apr), Ventnor Botanic Garden, Quarr Abbey, Shanklin Chine (closed for winter), Fort Victoria, theme parks for the children (Robin Hill – enjoy Polar 29 Nov – 21 Dec), and Blackgang Chine – closed for winter), The Needles Landmark Attraction, Tapnell Farm (don’t miss the magical Christmas Experience in December), Isle of Wight Zoo, Amazon World, Monkey Haven, Arreton Barns craft village, fishing trips, plus much much more.
Isle of Wight Festival 11-14 June 2020. Headliners: Lionel Richie & Lewis Capaldi (Friday), Snow Patrol & Chemical Brothers (Saturday), Duran Duran (Sunday). Other acts announced so far include Happy Mondays, James Arthur, Supergrass & Dido.
National Trust – The Needles Old & New Batteries (tea room open only Thu-Sun in winter), Newtown Old Town Hall (closed for winter), Bembridge Windmill (closed for winter), Mottistone Gardens (shop open only Thu- Sat in winter), Bembridge Fort (closed for winter). Newtown National Nature Reserve, St Helens Duver, Needles Headland & Tennyson Down, Compton Bay & Downs, Chillerton Down, St Catherine’s Down, Ventnor Down, Borthwood Copse open all year.
English Heritage – Osborne House (Victorian Christmas 30 Nov – 1 Dec), Carisbrooke Castle (open weekends in winter), Yarmouth Castle (closed Oct – Mar), Appuldurcombe House (closed Oct-Mar), St Catherine’s Oratory (open all year).
And finally! The Island has excellent pubs serving local beer and good food. Many of these also have live entertainment. Pubs close to our Isle of Wight holiday cottages include The Three Bishops at Brighstone, The Crown Inn at Shorwell, Wight Mouse Inn at Chale, The Sun Inn at Hulverstone, Blacksmiths Arms outside Carisbrooke and The Bugle Inn in Yarmouth.
Isle of Wight weather
For today’s weather see Isle of Wight Pearl webcam.
Isle of Wight holiday cottage “What’s On”
5th – 8th December Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival
For more information on the island, places to visit and the latest events for our Isle of Wight holiday cottage guests we recommend:
Isle of Wight area of outstanding natural beauty – winter programme