The Isle of Wight is one of the most popular UK island destinations and lies off of the south coast of England. Take a ferry from Portsmouth or Southampton and enjoy a real feeling of escape as you sail across the Solent and start your holiday in style. Head for Seaview or Bembridge if a holiday by the sea takes your fancy. These fishing villages are perfect bases from which to explore.
Start at the most westerly point, the iconic Needles, as you begin your exploration of this popular holiday spot. Famous as ‘the Needle that cannot be thread’, the lighthouse was integral to safeguarding the country from invasion during World War II. The Battery served as an armament stronghold, and you can still see the original anti-air guns in position today.
Follow the Military Road along the coast and enjoy spectacular views of the sea. For those that are looking for the best local beach from which to surf, try Compton Bay. From surfing to cycling, the Island enjoys several miles of traffic-free cycle routes that can accommodate all ability levels. Once at the centre of the Island we recommend a visit to Carisbrooke Castle. One of the many fabulous English Heritage sites, a visit in the height of summer will see the Castle come alive and play host to many knights enjoying falconry and jousting tournaments.
For family fun days out, the kids will love Robin Hill. Acres of unspoilt countryside house a treetop walk, miniature village and toboggan ride. For adventures of a more water-based nature there are many activity centres for surfing, windsailing and kayaking. Grab a double kayak and paddle from Bembridge lifeboat station around to the Duver at St Helens, stopping for a hearty lunch at the Baywatch Café.
You can combine a visit to the stunning Osborne House and grounds with a laze on the beach. The holiday home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert includes a winding path in the grounds that leads down to a private beach. Stop for an ice cream whilst you’re there, you won’t be disappointed with the view.