Our beautiful Island is an idyllic place to be at any time of the year, but during the festive season, it becomes truly magical. Where better to experience the time of year when celebrations are in the air than on the traditional, quaint Isle of Wight?
Whether it’s a ‘tinsel and turkey’ weekend, an extended family holiday or a trip away with friends, the Isle of Wight will welcome all this winter season. You’ll experience streets lit with Christmas fairy lights and decorations, pubs offering local festive ales and restaurants all over the Island providing Christmas dinners.
Here comes Santa Claus…
If you’re bringing the children over, a visit to see Father Christmas is a must. Luckily, he makes a number of stops across the Isle of Wight, taking in some of the best attractions. For a unique experience, visit the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Here the kids can watch him and his presents arrive by traditional steam train, take a stroll through the magical Winter Wonderland and of course meet the man himself, coming away with a quality present and loads of memories.
The Needles Landmark Attraction will be opening their grotto for Father Christmas too, meaning the children can not only pay him a visit but also enjoy a wealth of other rides, entertainment and games. Why not fill a glass ornament with the famous coloured sands of Alum Bay while you’re there for that extra special gift, or just a treat for yourself?
Deck the halls with boughs of holly
When it comes to Christmas experiences, it’s hard to top the Victorian Christmas event offered at Queen Victoria’s former home, Osborne, situated on the north coast of the Island. The palatial house and grounds are dressed with traditional Victorian ornaments, decorations and an impressive tree that stands proud in the hallway. Take a guided tour around the house, stroll through the grounds, watch the kids ride on the carousel, smell the roasted chestnuts in the snow covered courtyard, and meet Father Christmas and even Queen Victoria herself.
O’ Christmas tree, O’ Christmas tree…
If you’re looking for something a little quirky this Christmas, be sure to visit the Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival in the West Wight. Celebrating its 20th year, the famous Festival sees thousands of visitors flock to view over 160 festive-themed and decorated Christmas trees, exhibited in various locations in Brighstone village and the surrounding area. Pay a visit and see if you can decide on your favourite.
My true love gave to me…
Alongside the array of attractions offering a special festive experience for the whole family, the Island’s independent shops and retail destinations make it impossible not to get imbued with the Christmas spirit. If you’re looking for a unique or bespoke gift for that special someone this year, look no further than Arreton Barns. The Island’s largest centre for arts and crafts, you have the opportunity to meet an array of local craftspeople and artisans, watch them at work and have a truly unique gift commissioned. There’s so much opportunity to shop locally on the Isle of Wight with most towns boasting an array of independent shops and boutiques, all a hive of activity during the festive season.
If home interiors are your thing, Oasis, based just outside of Ryde, is a treasure trove of unusual and interesting pieces for your home. Whether it’s a large piece of furniture which they will ship back to your home, a simple vase or a bed linen set, you’ll just love wandering around.
Jewellery is a must at any Christmas and Isle of Wight Pearl offer an extensive range of beautiful, hand crafted pearl and semi-precious jewellery to suit any special lady in your life. Other opportunities to purchase the perfect gift include the wealth of Christmas and craft markets that are held over the festive season. Try Open Studios at Christmas, the, I Love Wight Christmas Market at The Garlic Farm or pay a visit to Tapnell Farm and browse their gift shop.
Thanks for reading! I hope this article put you in a festive mood, the Isle of Wight really is a very magical place at Christmas, so come and join the fun.
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