Out to Sea: What Does the Isle of Wight Have to Offer?

When you think of the Isle of Wight, what do you imagine? Well, if you’re picturing a sleepy little island, you couldn’t be more wrong…

The Isle of Wight is actually the largest and second-most populated island in England. Situated just four miles off the coast of Hampshire, it’s a bustling, vibrant and beautiful place, bursting at the seams with things to do and see. Here are just a handful of the things it has to offer—be sure to catch a ferry from the mainland and see it for yourself.

Family Days Out

The Isle of Wight has lots to offer families with children of all ages. For example, you could take your family to Dinosaur Isle—the first English museum dedicated to Dinosaurs. The museum is a fun-filled, hands-on learning experience for visitors young and old, and the interactive exhibits are bound to keep the whole family engaged.

If that goes down well, it’s worth booking a tour with a knowledgeable guide so you can go out fossil hunting for yourself: The Isle of Wight is famous for being home to many fossilised creatures, and places like Brook Bay are particularly likely to unearth a treasure or two.

However, there are plenty of live animals on the island, and the most exciting place to see them is at the Monkey Haven. The rescue centre is home to monkeys, birds, reptiles and other animals, and the ‘cheeky monkey play area’ in the café is ideal if you have little monkeys of your own that you’d like to take a break from, while you enjoy a peaceful cup of tea.

Food and Drink

Another thing that the Isle of Wight has going for it is its foodie scene. Thompsons (a fine dining restaurant in Newport) enjoys rave reviews from locals, tourists and those visiting the island on business, with this centrally-located restaurant earning five star ratings from happy diners. You can order an eight course tasting menu, sampling some of the best dishes on the menu, or you might prefer to treat yourself to dishes such as torched mackerel or fillet of hake with pickled walnuts. Just be sure to leave room for pudding.

As well as fine dining options like Thompsons (and The Oyster Store—a hidden gem just off the high-street in picture-perfect Cowes that serves superb seafood), there are a number of charming pubs and restaurants. You’ll find Mediterranean, vegetarian, vegan, Italian, Indian and Chinese cuisine on the island, and plenty of laid-back country pubs for a Sunday roast.

Music and Art

Finally, the island offers one of the best festivals in Europe with its Isle of Wight Festival, held every summer. Thousands of visitors flock here every year, so join them this year if you fancy an unforgettable few days of music, enjoying performances from the likes of David Guetta, Bastille, the Kooks, Arcade Fire and Rod Stewart. In addition to this festival, the Isle of Wight puts on a Jazz weekend in June, a Classical music festival in July, a VW festival in August, as well as garlic (yes—garlic, as well as other food) festival right at the end of summer.

So, as you can see, the Isle of Wight has a lot to offer. Book yourself into one of the island’s classic cottages so you have somewhere lovely to stay while you’re on the island, exploring all the fun things to see and do.

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