There really is so much to do on the Island. When the Island is in full swing you just can't do everything in one visit with all the shenanigans going on away from the 'attractions'. So good luck!
Things To Do With or Without Kids
Locally from Shanklin
- Cycling is a great way to see the Island and spend time together. You can hire bikes from Route Fifty7 at Lower Hyde or bring your own. Cycling from Shanklin and beyond is really easy. The old railway lines have been turned into cycle tracks giving a safer way to get about and enjoy beautiful countryside.
- Walking There are many, many walks to do all over the Island. Depending on Covid restrictions we will leave walking books available. There is a set of 'Favourite Walks' available from local shops each with 10 walks around the Island. There is lots of fabulous walking from the doorstep too for all abilities.
- Shanklin Theatre Best theatre on the Island. Now firmly on the comedy circuit, so be careful of your age group! They also have a fabulous summer show of West End Songs and more.
- Shanklin Chine the first tourist attraction opened on the Island, with it's entrance in the village, takes you on a walk through the gorge to the bottom of the cliff and the Fisherman's Cottage - a good excuse for a pint! It's also illuminated in August. There is a permanent exhibition of PLUTO (Pipeline Under The Ocean) as well as a changing exhibition yearly.
- Rylstone Gardens is home to the proper old fashioned crazy golf. It's sheltered, there's food and drink and the best crazy golf on the Island (and it won't break the bank)
- IOW Donkey Sanctuary home to many, many, many donkeys!
- IOW Steam Railway Fantastic for any age group. You can even dress up!!
- Godshill Possibly named for the church on the hill? Well worth the short climb. A charming village with tea rooms, excellent model village and The Olde Smithy and a fabulous gastro pub, The Taverners, or the more family orientated pub, The Griffin, with it's maze and play area.
- Quarr Abbey nr Binstead, a hidden gem with cafe, Monk's art gallery, farm shop and pigs to feed. Free tours on 1st Tuesday of the month & weekly during summer.
- Osborne House (ok the kids might moan, but they all love the summer house and the beach) Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's summer home, where the Queen lived her last days. Definitely a full day out! Architecture and history at it's best.
- Steephill Cove A secluded beach hidden away to the west of Ventnor, with a lovely little shingly cove, seafood shack and restaurant.
- Garlic Farm The UK's premier grower of garlic and source of all things garlicky with an exhibition centre, play area, peacocks, squirrels and of course a restaurant.
- Sandown Zoo home to many rescued lions, tigers and other animals. Everyone's favourite
- Amazon World exotic rescued animals and a huge soft play.
- Monkey Haven Guess what? Yes monkeys. Rescued ones. This is a really well kept family run rescue centre with many, many monkeys!
- Carisbrooke Castle Beautifully preserved castle where Charles I spent his last days of freedom (in actual fact he thought he was amongst friends, but was then imprisoned and later taken for execution in London). See the donkeys bring the water up from the well and find out why they are called names beginning with 'J'.
- The Needles Glass blowing, sand filling, but apart from the obvious there it is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Park in Freshwater and walk over Tennyson Down to the Needles. A well trodden path for most of the family. And don't miss...
- The Old Battery at the Needles. (National Trust) A fascinating look back at WWII secrets all conducted right here on the Island
Mainly For Kids
Beach, Beach, Beach. You seriously can't go wrong for beaches on the Island. For shells you need East Wight, Bembridge and Seaview direction. Bembridge Causeway for crabbing. For sand it's the Bay, Shanklin, Sandown. For surfing there's Compton Bay in the West. Freshwater Bay is also beautiful for swimming and beachiness. Ventnor has a beach, but parking can be a pain in the summer. Take the bus though and you can use the famous Isle of Wight paddling pool for free.
Just around the corner from the apartment in Shanklin is Big Mead Park with playground and lots of grass to run around and play games.
Blackgang Chine 'Land of Imagination'. We couldn't describe it better ourselves. Kids really can use their imagination. There are a few rides, but this is where kids can pretend to be a cowboy...to be surrounded by dinosaurs...to be under the sea...to be in a fairy tale.
Robin Hill An enourmous country park with treetop walks, areas from different continents, toboggan rides, adventure play and all those lovely things to wear the kids out!
Tapnell Farm Indoor and Outdoor play and animals and aqua park. Check their website for detailed info about the aqua park.
Without The Kids
Glory Art Tucked away in Melville Street, Sandown, is this lovely glass blowing studio. Well worth a peek.
Dimbola Freshwater home of Julia Margaret Cameron. Victorian photographer and friend of Lord Tennyson. Photographic exhibits change regularly, but the IOW Festival is permanent. And you can also have a nice cup of tea and cake!
Quay Arts host arts, crafts, cinema, live events and exhibitions.
The Mermaid Bar for The Isle of Wight Distillery Gin tasting