Isle of Wight
Often called England in Miniature, the Isle of Wight may be just 25 miles (40km) long, but there are plenty of attractions for visitors of all ages. Explore the island’s countryside on foot, by bike, or steam train; take a dip in the Solent; or explore the many historical locations on the island, such as the 15th century Carisbrooke Castle, Osborne House, and the Ventnor Botanical Gardens.
You can save time at many of the Isle of Wight’s attractions with prebooked admission tickets. Alternatively, guided one-day, overnight, and multi-day excursions—which sometimes include other stops along the south coast—are available from London.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Isle of Wight’s small size means it can be explored in just a few days.
Many Isle of Wight attractions close in winter.
The Isle of Wight is connected to the mainland by the world’s only commercial hovercraft service.
Most points of interest on the Isle of Wight are wheelchair and stroller accessible, but more rural attractions may not be.
How to Get There
The Isle of Wight is situated just 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) off the southeast coast of England, directly below Southampton. Regular vehicle ferries and catamarans run daily from Lymington, Southampton, and Portsmouth, although you can also reach the island via hovercraft from Southsea. Most Isle of Wight excursions from the mainland include round-trip transportation.
When to Get There
The island is at its best, busiest, and most expensive in summer, especially for the music festivals on the Bestival and Isle of Wight Festival weekends. To avoid the biggest crowds and still enjoy good weather, visit in spring and fall. Many attractions close for winter.
What to Do on the Isle of Wight
You have a lot of activities to choose from on Isle of Wight, an island perhaps best known for festivals and fossils. Enjoy a spot of birdwatching, horseback riding, or sailing, before riding the chairlift up to the Needles Landmark and marveling over the multicolored sand of Alum Bay. Meanwhile, Robin Hill Country Park is the ideal spot for a family-friendly day out.
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