Some of our favourite places to eat on the island are shown on our Pinterest page, click the red button at the top right of this page to be taken there. Local walks and maps are shown as well.
Built between 1845 and 1851 as a summer retreat for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Osborne House is well worth a visit both for the house itself and also for the gardens and grounds which extend down to the beach at Osborne Bay where Victoria’s bathing machine is situated. Be sure to see the Swiss Cottage, brought from Switzerland in pieces and reassembled complete with a garden for the royal children to grow their own vegetables. Also in the grounds is the formal walled kitchen garden, recently restored by English Heritage. Probably best to make a day of it as, unless you are an English Heritage member, the entrance fees are – £17.20 per adult, children 5 – 17 years £10.30 or a family ticket for £44.70.
Farringford House at Freshwater Bay was the home of Alfred, Lord Tennyson for nearly forty years from 1853 – 1892. After Tennyson’s death the house was passed down through the family until in 1946 it became a Thomas Cook hotel and later in 1960 purchased by Sir Fred Pontin. Finally, in 2007 it changed hands again, bought by Rebecca Fitzgerald and has since undergone complete restoration. The old hotel golf course has now gone and the original landscape reinstated, the walled kitchen garden has been replanted with plants and flowers based on a description by Emily Tennyson. The house has been brought back to how it was at the time of Tennyson’s residence. There are tours of the house twice daily which are well worth joining. Farringford is open March – October on Wednesday – Saturday. Entrance fees are garden only £2.50 or house and garden £11.00.
Other places to visit ( check opening hours ):
Mottistone Manor ( NT ). Beautiful gardens, house rarely open.
Carisbrooke Castle ( EH ). An Elizabethan fortress complete with moat near Newport, a favourite with children.
Classic Boat Museum, East Cowes. Over 50 yachts, motor and life boats on display.
Sir Max Aitken Museum, West Cowes. Housed in an 18th century sailmakers loft, this small museum houses Sir Max’s personal collection of historic and nautical artefacts, a must when in Cowes.
Brading Roman Villa. One of the finest Roman sites in the UK
Places to visit with children in mind:
Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Havenstreet. A working steam railway with many restored locomotives and carriages.
Blackgang Chine. Blackgang has just celebrated its 175th anniversary making it the worlds oldest theme park. Ticket purchase includes 7 day free re entry.
Robin Hill Country Park. A mix of rides, falconry and adventure play set in 88 acres of island countryside.
Amazon World. Huge range of over 200 animals in this zoo park.
Isle of Wight Zoo. Many animals but the zoo specialise in tigers and lemurs.
Butterfly World. Hundreds of butterflies flying in a natural environment.
Goodleaf Tree Climbing. A two hour tree climbing experience.
Dinosaur Isle. Purpose built geological and fossil museum.
Most of the photographs on our site were taken by the very talented Holly Jolliffe. Holly is based on the island but works on the mainland too.