One position you won't find yourself in on the Isle Of Wight is struggling to find something to do. There is so much do on the island that you'll probably find yourself trying to decipher what it is you want to do... so much choice! So to give you a helping hand, here are our top 10 things to do on the Isle Of Wight...
The holiday home of Queen Victoria is an absolute must for all ages. The house itself is a marvellous insight to the personal life of this great monarch - it's fascinating to walk around and see for yourself the rooms you have heard so much about; especially the Durbar Room. Aside from the house, there are great grounds including of course the beach which is a beautiful walk where you'll see her bathing hut. Swiss Cottage, a wooden chalet with child size furniture, including a full working kitchen was built to educate the Queen's children on how to cook and garden - it's incredible!
It's the most iconic landmark on the Island and it is great to see it in person. There is an amusement park on Alum Bay where they are located which allows you to get up close to them. It is free to get into the park and once in, you buy tickets to take part in any of the seven attractions there; the most popular being the chair lift and the boat rides.
No visit to the Isle of Wight is complete without visiting this amusement park at least once. It's the UK's first amusement park and has all the trappings for a great day out with the kids. Expect lots of running around, big dinosaurs, sea life creatures and a cowboy town that takes you right back in time - it's fab. For more info, visit our blog post Blacking Chine Amusement Park | IOW
In terms of castles, this one is up there as a great one to go around. You get a very clear idea of what it would have been like in its day with lots of supporting information about the history. The keep is not for the faint hearted as it's a long way up with lots of steep stairs on the way - make sure if you have little kids with you that you have enough eyes and spare hands with you to keep a watchful eye. The views are certainly worth the effort once you are up there. There is a cafe on site and during the summer they have great re-enactment events including jousting etc.
This is not necessarily what you would expect from the Isle Of Wight, but it is absolutely worth visiting. The farm grows every conceivable type of garlic and its so interesting and impressive to see how many varieties of garlic there are - especially the giant ones! There are various ways to see how the farm works - either by foot or tractor and lots of interesting facts and info on how garlic came to the Isle Of Wight. There is a cafe and an amazing gift shop with so many garlic products you'll be hard pushed to leave there without having bought something. They run various workshops throughout the year e.g. bread making and there is a garlic festival held in August each year.
Here you'll a model village of Godshill, Shanklin and Chine - it is 1/10th of the real size of the village. Alongside this is an amazing selection of gift shops - offering all sorts of products from memorabilia to jewellery and fine china - a really good selection and a mix of prices, most of which is affordable. If you want somewhere to go and mooch on a rainy day, then here would be a good call especially with the cafes and tea shops near by so you can enjoy a refreshment on your way around.
My family live on the island and this is one place that they buy season tickets for and visit regularly. There is a huge range of activities on offer, including a play barn, jumping pillows, straw bales, zorbing, pedal go-karting and of course the the animals on the farm. You can meet some wallabies, meer cats, alpacas along with the usual farm suspects. There is also two eateries including a cafe for lighter bites for lunch and then a restaurant called The Cow Co which serves some amazing burgers and steaks!
If there is anyone in your group that is interested in the world of dinosaurs, then this is a must. The island is famous for its dinosaur remains and the museum has a fantastic selection of the fossils on show along with great displays of the dinosaurs themselves. Using special lighting, sounds and smell technology, all the senses are stimulated to give you a real sense of what it was like to be up close to these incredible creatures.
Obviously the island is famous for its beaches. Sandown is a great place to visit if you want the traditional seaside experience as it has lots going on on the promenade along with the long stretches of sandy beaches. Lots of watersports are on offer and play parks that are situated off the esplanade. Fish and chips and ice cream is a must here too!
The island is a great place to explore of two wheels. With over 200 established cycle routes on the island covering off-road bridleways, byways and purpose-made tracks on former railway lines. As most of the routes are off road, they make for great family friendly bike rides.