Top 10 best things to get up to on the Isle of Wight

12 August 2022

With so many uncertainties with flight travel and little time to make the most of the beautiful weather, the Isle of Wight provides the ideal destination for a holiday with all the family including your dog, if you have one.

Here are some of the Top Ten best things to do on the Isle of Wight...

Head down to the beaches

The island is abundant with beaches, each one with its own special charm. Some are sandy while others have shingle. Dogs are not allowed on all the beaches but there are plenty that do. Instead of spending your holiday on the same beach, you really should explore what’s on offer at the other ones. At Yaverland, you can see dinosaur remains while on the promenade at Ventor, the dog-friendly Smoking Lobster is renowned for its pan-Asian cooking. Fancy a dip on a Royal beach? Osborne House has its own private beach originally used by Queen Victoria and her family where you can still see her personal bathing machine and at the same time can swim in the sea.

Osborne House

The summer home of Queen Victoria and her family. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert created a private seaside retreat away from Court life. Its architecture, with an Italianate feel, has furnishings that reflect their taste with many of the rooms filled with original furniture. Peep into their private world in the family rooms and visit the Swiss Cottage to discover the interests of their nine children. Visit the ornate terrace gardens, the Victorian walled garden, and the parkland of the estate which includes two children’s playgrounds.

Love sports? You've come to the right place

The island is a mecca for those who enjoy sports.

Home to Cowes Week, the most famous sailing regatta is in the world which usually runs from late July to early August.

Cyclists can choose from quiet country lanes and scenic off-road tours to rural inclines with a view. On the 11thof September 2022, the Cycling Tour of Britain has its grand finale on the island.

Golf courses are sprinkled around the island catering for all abilities. There is a links course at Freshwater Bay, Westridge has a floodlit golf range with PGA qualified professionals providing tuition for all abilities from the beginner up to the most advanced.

The Needles

The iconic Needles, a row of three distinctive chalk stacks, is one of the seven Natural Wonders of the UK. Take a chairlift to the Needles rocks and coloured sands and get closer to the Needles on a pleasure cruise. Discover a variety of children’s attractions at the Needles Landmark Attraction that includes a Victorian carousel and a Jurassic 11-hole golf course.


Grade-I Farringford, the Gothic home of renowned Victorian poet, Alfred, Lord Tennyson; has been restored and decorated in late 19th-century style reflecting Tennyson’s’ tastes and lifestyle with many original pieces of furniture. The grounds, including a walled garden, have been restored to their authentic Tennyson era.

Ventnor Botanic Garden

Located in the South of the Island with its micro-climate, there are over 20,000 rare and subtropical plants. Plants are presented in communities matching the genetics of the plant to the climate and grow as they would in the wild. Gardens range from a herb and medicinal garden to a South African terrace and Japanese garden showing styles of gardening relevant to today’s environmental challenges.

Tapnell Farm Park

A fun day out for children with activities that can be enjoyed by all the family. Wander around the farm and come face to face with pigs, donkeys, alpacas and meerkats before you visit the pets’ corner in the farmyard barn. Bring a swimsuit to enjoy the aqua park where there are over 20 obstacles and giant free-fall slides (must book in advance). Stay on the farm where there is a choice of accommodation in a beautiful rural setting. A kid’s party is held every Thursday throughout the summer with party games, disco, party dances and more.

Shanklin Chime

If you happen to visit at night, you will be mesmerised by the tinkling lights of Shanklin Chine, a deep narrow ravine formed by water cutting through soft sandstone leads down to the sea. Shanklin Chine is unique for its flora and fauna and you can descend 105 ft to the beach alongside two waterfalls.

Quarr Abbey

Visitors are welcome to attend worship but you don’t have to be religious to visit the grounds of Quarr Abbey, a Catholic Benedictine Monastery. Built in 1365, it is still home to a small group of Benedictine monks. Situated in an area of outstanding beauty, there is also a farm shop with local and home-grown produce, an exhibition of works by local artists, and a visitor centre which explains the architecture of the Abbey. Dogs on leads are welcome in the grounds.

Mottistone Gardens

Mottistone Manor is tenanted but the six acres of gardens, entered through an original Tudor barn, are open to the public. Wander around discovering hidden pathways, the olive grove, rose garden and organic kitchen garden. Maintained by the National Trust, the gardens have been developed, introducing plants from subtropical climates with a no watering policy. Adjoining the gardens are a network of footpaths where it’s possible to discover stunning views, ancient monuments and a huge variety of wildlife.

Also, keep an eye out for these festivals

When visiting, it’s worth investigating what Festivals are taking place on the island.

The vibrant Ventnor Fringe occurs at the end of July.

Wight Proms occur in Late August. Held in the beautiful setting of Northwood House and Park the evenings are filled with comedy, opera, musical theatre with the Last Wight of the Proms!

Classic Car Extravaganza - Early weekend in September. Check out the hundreds of classic cars that line Ryde’s Esplanade providing an incredible sight and raising money for charity 

Ryde Carnival - Late August to early September. The UK’s oldest carnival, dating backing to 1887 Ryde Carnival, marking the end of summer, is a parade of colour and light. Three parades take place across the week, a Children’s Carnival Day in August which includes activities culminating in a Children’s Parade along Ryde’s high street, the Main Carnival in September, and an Illuminated Carnival that follows.

Isle of Wight Literary Festival - Early October. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, expect a varied programme providing something for everyone from politics and history to science, fiction and current affairs.