Isle of Wight holidays provide all the essentials of an island escape without having to leave the country. Read on for our island recommendations
Words Sabrina Nunez
Isle of Wight holidays have something for everyone. Outdoor activities, major music festivals, spa breaks and centuries of history await on this South England gem.
An Outdoor Oasis
Isle of Wight Holidays can be as full of outdoor activity as you like. You could take to the waters with sailing and swimming, or head back to land where you’ll find hiking, camping, horseriding, walking and cycling trails. The beautiful scenery, slower pace and wildlife make the Isle of Wight one of the best destinations to experience the outdoors. Coastal walks along the beach are extremely inviting, while cycling paths offer an opportunity for more rigorous activity.
Rich in History
The island has become known for its fossils and dinosaurs, with Dinosaur Isle in Sandown providing visitors with glimpses into the past and guided fossil walks. The Needles is a formation that is not only picturesque but provides historical context for the area. The island is also full of castles, manors, forts, abbeys and towers that demonstrate strong royal and military presence over several centuries. Queen Victoria even had her summer home on the Isle at Osborne House, signalling the island as a popular holiday destination.
Bestival and the Isle of Wight Festival are two of the UK’s most popular music festivals. The Isle of Wight Festival kicks off the major music festival season and the eclectic Bestival is a favourite for many looking to experience a totally different type of music festival. Catering to a wider range of musical tastes, the island also hosts the Isle of Wight International Jazz Festival and the Folk Festival.
The serenity of spending a day at the beach is highly accessible by spending a day along the coasts. Spas and resorts are found across the island for those looking to decompress during Isle of Wight holidays. Wellness retreats complete with spa treatments are the perfect way to relax and are easily accessible to Londoners as the island is only two hours away by train.
5 OF THE BEST PLACES TO STAY
Formerly a guest house for members of Queen Victoria’s court, the Nightingale is a relic of the past. This Victorian-era lodging has maintained its character through its grand decor but provides a food menu that is contemporary and exciting. The clifftop garden offers stunning views and is beautifully landscaped.
Rooms from about £53 per night, nightingale-hotel.co.uk
This country house in Shanklin sits atop a cliff, offering far-reaching views of the clear, blue waters. On-site gardens provide guests with the opportunity to take in the scenery on a leisurely stroll, while a pool and hot tub enable the opportunity to enjoy the sunny skies. Food is served all day, along with options for afternoon tea and a bar lounge.
Rooms from £85 per night, luccombemanor.co.uk
All the charms of a bed and breakfast reside at this retreat in Ventnor. Seaside views, balconies and walk-in closets are features of most rooms, many of which can also be turned into family rooms. Options for a more private stay are also available through the Hambrough Apartments.
Rooms from around £110 per night, thehambrough.com
This hotel oozes charm with a Scandi flair. Food for the Hillside’s restaurant comes from an on-site greenhouse, providing fresh, locally-sourced produce to accommodate the seasonal menus. The hotel also keeps a rotating collection of contemporary art, holding events with the artists to discuss and purchase their works.
Rooms from around £78 per night, hillsideventnor.co.uk
The George Hotel
Island dining is the focus of the restaurants at the George Hotel on the harbour. Menu items include seafood, cheese and vegetables, with dishes as beautiful as the views. There are three types of rooms available for guests: classic, deluxe and prestige. Each offers an elegant space to relax, escape and enjoy the serenity of Yarmouth.
Rooms from around £125 per night, thegeorge.co.uk