A well known holiday destination for the British Monarchy, the Isle of Wight has the royal seal of approval, making it the perfect place to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. A favourite of Queen Victoria, Osborne is a beautiful part of the Island and a wonderful place to discover the Island’s place in history. Visitors are able to explore the grounds of the Royal’s historical holiday home discovering pristine gardens, expansive views across the Solent and The Royal Collection of furnishings and artefacts from the ruler of the British Empire.
Taking over Seaclose Park from 16 to 19 June, the legendary Isle of Wight Festival returns with a phenomenal line-up including Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi and Rudimental. In 2022, the festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary since returning to the Island in 2002, meaning it’s guaranteed to be the biggest yet and a truly unmissable weekend for music lovers. The festival is famed for its welcoming environment for music lovers of all ages with plenty of exciting attractions to explore with the little ones.
The team behind the acclaimed Terrace restaurant will open The Terrace Rooms, a six bed boutique guest house & wine cave in a restored 150-year old Victorian villa perched on Ventnor Cascades. All of the rooms will have sea-views and look out over Ventnor Bay, Ventnor Haven and the waterfalls of The Cascades. Tastings and events will be on offer in the 300-bottle wine room with bottles available to take away or enjoy on the pergola and terraces looking out over the English Channel. Guests can be assured they will see the same high standards of service, décor, food, wine and coffee as at the hotel’s namesake restaurant.
We are proud to offer greener ferry crossings between the Isle of Wight and the mainland. After the introduction of Victoria of Wight, our hybrid ship that runs partly on electricity, we are now drawing up specifications for England’s first all-electric ferry. The Isle of Wight is also the sixth area in the UK to be awarded a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, meaning it’s now recognised as one of the best places in the world to explore the sustainable way people interact with their natural environment. Ferry travel offers the opportunity to explore the world in a way that is less damaging to the environment than air travel and appreciate the beauty which can be found right on people’s doorstep.
Tom’s Eco Lodge features Safari Tents, Wood Cabins, Modulogs, Eco Pods, and luxury Geodesic Domes, all nestled away in the surroundings of Tapnell Farm situated in the West of the Island. Stunning sea views, a variety of walking/cycling trails, and sandy beaches nearby create the perfect farm stay for a family holiday, group get together, or a romantic hideaway. As one of the Isle of Wight’s leading eco-tourism businesses, sustainability is at the heart of all operations at the family-run farm, from taking water from the bore hole to supply the farm and accommodation, to producing electricity from solar panels and heating from a biomass boiler, as well as planting more than 30 acres of new woodland and hedgerows to support local conservation and rewilding. Guests can enjoy the ultimate glamping experience of their choice, while doing their bit to help protect the surrounding environment.
The 18th edition of the UK’s biggest bike race finishes on the Isle of Wight in September 2022. It will mark the first time that the Tour of Britain has visited the Isle of Wight, providing a unique opportunity for visitors to watch the world’s top teams and riders racing in front of a worldwide live television audience. It will be the biggest sporting event ever to take place on our roads.
Tucked away in the Isle of Wight’s beautiful Arreton Valley, The Garlic Farm’s luxury yurts make for the perfect family escape to the countryside. Fire up the BBQ and indulge in the delicious products straight from the farm shop or visit the restaurant to sample the best of local produce in garlic inspired meals. Create delicious garlic bread, get crafty with the bulbs or learn how to grow your own garlic garden in the farm’s collection of wonderful workshops. Designed with transparent dome ceilings, these luxury yurts are the ideal place to watch stunning sunsets or see a shooting star at the end of a long day of garlicky fun.
Swimmers are sure to get adrenaline pumping through their veins, while enjoying the stunning views of the Island’s coastline. Cold water swimming has multiple health benefits such as boosting the immune system, improving circulation and speeding up metabolisms. Compton Beach boasts a two mile stretch of dark golden sand and rolling seas, making it a wonderful destination for a dip. It is also an ever popular trip for surfers of all abilities… if a distraction from the low temperature of the water is needed.
New for 2022, Robin Hill County Park has announced their plans to open a brand-new Falconry Centre. The initiative reflects the park’s ongoing dedication to the preservation and reinvigoration of UK falconry, as well as providing fun educational opportunities to all families visiting.
Blackgang Chine, the UK’s oldest amusement park, has been helping families create memories for over 175 years with nostalgic attractions such as a hall of mirrors and a crooked fun house. The park also features an eclectic mixture of magical themed worlds, from the Wild West and Fairy Castles, to a Dinosaur enclosure featuring the largest animatronic T-Rex in the country, found in the mysterious Restricted Area 5.
Plus, during the school holidays kids go free with Wightlink!
At Godshill Park Barn, each weekend a new inspirational leader offers guests a new itinerary designed to help them relax and reconnect with nature. As a result, no one weekend is the same at the farm which offers everything from yoga to energy medicine and sewing weekends to activities designed to aid those suffering with Dementia.
At The Jewellery Cabin, visitors can express their creativity as they make their own accessories to take home. During this bespoke experience, visitors are guided by a local jewellery-making artisan as they are taught new techniques for designing beloved trinkets.
Tiny Homes offer regular workshops and you have the the chance to make it into a ‘studycation’ with a stay in their eco-friendly houses. Their studio hosts everything from writers talks and craft workshops to cooking demos and yoga with an emphasis on well-being in all its different forms.
From the juiciest tomatoes from The Tomato Stall and most flavourful garlic from The Garlic Farm, to perfectly pasteurised cheeses from The Isle of White Cheese Company and finely milled flour from the Calbourne Water Mill, visitors can expect to find only the highest quality ingredients on the Island, which is home to some of the UK’s best producers. A farm to table philosophy is evident across the Island’s many restaurants, eateries and cafés, which delight in using products from Island experts.
As a preview, why not join chef and restaurateur James Tanner on his tour of the Island and virtually ‘visit’ many of these great producers?
You can enjoy a taste of the Island as soon as you arrive at Wightlink’s ports. Our Wight Taste cafes on shore and onboard offer a wide selection of Isle of Wight produce.
Anyone who enjoys a refreshing drink must visit The Mermaid Bar to sample the range of smooth, elegant and complex spirits. The first and only distillery on the Island aims to minimise waste, use ethically sourced and often local ingredients to create their signature Mermaid Gin.
Visitors can also explore the ten acre rows of growing grapes at Adgestone Vineyard before heading down to the subterranean cellars and enjoying a personal wine tasting session. Live musicians perform every weekend as guests graze on local produce straight from the farm shop or relax with a glass of expertly crafted wine.
The Taverners is a traditional pub ever popular with locals, visitors, walkers and dogs. Roaring fireplaces, original oak features and flagstone flooring create a cosy environment for visitors to enjoy a variety of award-winning cask conditioned draught beer.
In December 2021, two of the Island’s top restaurants were awarded a place in the prestigious Michelin Guide, reaffirming the Isle of Wight’s reputation for culinary excellence.
The Terrace, a harbour-side restaurant with views across Yarmouth Harbour, Yarmouth Castle and across the Solent, quickly became one the the Island’s most popular destinations. The Dining Room, Shelters and Harbour Terrace offer a daily changing menu, showcasing the best of the Island’s quality produce. Outside on the Castle Terrace, a seafood-bar style menu of small plates offer a casual dining experience.
Since joining the team at The Hambrough, Executive Chef Matthew Tomkinson has elevated the restaurant’s already stellar reputation. Tomkinson applied his 14 years of experience working in Michelin-starred restaurants when creating The Hambrough’s menu which offers classic dishes featuring the Island’s award-winning produce. Diners enjoy exceptional plates as they take in far-reaching views of Ventnor Bay from every window.
The Isle of Wight’s many walking trails are a fantastic way to explore the Island. Inspiring palaeontologists will love hunting for fossils and footprints of the prehistoric giants on the Island’s ‘Dinosaur Coast’, stretching for 20 miles from Yaverland to Compton Bay, on the Island where over 20 species of dinosaurs have been discovered. Quarr Abbey Woodland and Monastery is home to a community of monks who have dedicated their life to God and spend their days tending to the grounds. While strolling the beautiful grounds of this old Catholic Benedictine Monastery, visitors will find orchards with over 200 trees of apples, pears and stone fruits.
The Isle of Wight has historically been a place of inspiration for writers, with John Keates and Lewis Carroll both penning some of their best work on the Island. Visitors can follow in the footsteps of literature heroes with an easy walking route around the Island, discovering the spots where famous writers spent their summers, played out their childhood days and found inspiration for some of the most celebrated works in history.
Every year, the Isle of Wight hosts it’s own Walking Festival. The walks are led by volunteers, many from the local Ramblers group. All are experienced walkers with a great deal of knowledge about the Island and its stunning landscape and scenery. This year you get to choose from two: The Isle of Wight Spring Walking Festival (from 7 to 15 May 2022 and The Isle of Wight Autumn Walking Festival (from 8 to 16 Oct 2022.)
Catching the world famous chairlift lifting to view the Needles rocks and coloured sands has long been a must-do activity when visiting the Island. An exhilarating ride across the waves from Needles’ Pleasure Cruises offers an up-close look at the Island’s most iconic attraction. Visitors are welcomed into the sand shop, where they are able to make their own coloured souvenir made from sand collected from the cliffs of The Needles or watch in awe as expert craftsmen create bespoke glassware.
Tackt Isle Adventures’ expertly trained instructors, who use first rate equipment, make dinghy sailing sessions an incredible adventure for all starter sailors. For two hours over five days, beginners and those looking for a refresher course are welcomed to take advantage of the best of the UK’s sailing scene. No experience is necessary to get out on the water and make a splash while learning an exciting new skill.
Also on offer is canoeing with the added bonus of exploring the beauty of the Isle of Wight’s shores. Visitors jump into the spacious three-person canoes to find hidden bays, sweeping shores or the treasures of the harbour. Longer sessions are available to teach paddlers technique or take them to unique locations such as secluded beaches
Famed as the UK’s first ever paragliding school, the expert instructors at High Adventure Paragliding have been helping thrill seekers fly since the 1980’s. The Isle of Wight benefits from more flyable days than anywhere else in the UK, meaning adventurers are able to take in the incredible landscapes of the island from the best seat in the sky. High Adventure offers a day paragliding course and transfer to the flying site from Wightlink’s Yarmouth port for just £140 per person to help all adrenaline junkies master this new skill.
Your four-legged friends are more than welcome to travel on our ferries before running along miles of walking trails, sniffing out hidden treasures on the beaches or swimming in the shores.
Dogs travel free on all our car ferry routes, as well as on our FastCat catamaran. The Isle of Wight is home to over 100 accommodation options, many pubs and plenty of restaurants who are happy to accommodate canine companions, making the Island the ultimate dog-friendly destination without compromise for the owners.
Take a look at our page dedicated to dog-friendly visits to the Isle of Wight.
Ventnor Botanic Garden lies in the remarkable microclimate at the heart of the famous ‘Undercliff’, which makes visitors feel as though they are in the Mediterranean. The Garden aims to transport visitors into different landscapes from around the world with an unrivalled collection of subtropical plants.
Or visit the National Trust’s Mottistone Gardens and Estate (open from 5 March 2022). These enchanting gardens are set in a sheltered valley surrounded by rolling downland.
The Island is full of opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts who are hoping to spot creatures they may not otherwise see on the mainland. Despite being native to Britain, the Red Squirrel is an endangered species. However, the Isle of Wight is home to a thriving population of 3,500 of the adorable animals making it one of the best places for an otherwise rare sighting.
Over 40 of the UK’s butterfly species reside in the Island’s many varied habitats. Visitors can follow a five mile “Paradise on the Isle of Wight” trail over Compton Down or stroll through the Newtown National Nature Reserve to take in the colours of their wings.
Since 2019, the Forestry England has released the endangered sea-eagle in an ongoing conservation project. These majestic birds can be spotted soaring over the Island’s coastlines.
Cowes Week is the oldest and largest annual sailing regatta in the world. Whether visitors choose to watch from the shore or take to water for themselves, there is plenty of opportunity to get involved in the fun between 30 July and 6 August 2022. The whole town takes on a festival atmosphere and you’ll find live music, pop up bars and market stalls.
From 8 to 10 July 2022, the Island’s most colourful, family friendly festival, Rhythm Tree, returns. Held in a tree surrounded farmland, children and parents alike will be wowed by music acts from across the country, gaze at live performers in creative costumes and belly laugh at hilarious comedians.
The Ventnor Fringe is a unique celebration of the arts, showcasing emerging and established talent. From 22 to 31 July 2022 a wonderland of pop-up bars and boutique venues, featuring more than 300 artists from across the world, comes to Ventnor – the Isle of Wight’s southernmost town.
For more events, check out our handy Wightlink Explorer map tool.
Visitors can spice up their stay on the Island as they enjoy a girl power-themed night on board the original Spice Girls’ bus – which was featured in the 1997 film Spice World. The bus features bold interiors with plenty of nods to the UK’s most iconic girl band, a dressing room area for Spice Girl-inspired makeovers and is situated with views spanning the Island Harbour Marina.
Or book a stay at Windmill Campersite and you could be sleeping in a 1965 Falklands “Rescue” Helicopter, a Shepherd’s Hut or a Bollywood-themed VW camper! There’s even a cinema on site, a laundrette made from an old Robin Reliant and a pirate ship for children to play in.
The Awakening Festival of wellbeing, self care & connection, taking place 24-25 September 2022, offers the ultimate breathing space away from your everyday routines & responsibilities. Enjoy over 50 different wellbeing workshops on the Saturday, including inspiring talks, yoga and movement, meditation and mindfulness, conscious living conversations, holistic therapies and so much more to help you fill up your wellbeing cup and reinvigorate mind, body and soul.
Forest Bathing has swept through the wellness world in the last year, helping bathers to digitally detox, gain perspective and forge a connection with nature. Forest Bathing Isle of Wight is run by a local specialist, utilising the Island’s abundant forests as a natural setting for wellness therapies, such as sound-healing sessions, guided meditations, creativity exercises and simple silence. These are paired with mindful walking routes to create an immersive experience in the Island’s forests.