If you’re not able to spare enough time for an overnight stay (although after a day here, you’ll wish you did!), you’ll find that the Isle of Wight has plenty do with the family during day trip.
The soaring coastline at Compton Bay can be a fossil-finders delight, with dinosaur footprints visible at low tide. Hailed as ‘the richest source of dinosaur remains in Europe’ means you automatically up your chances of getting lucky with a find.
And, if your young fossil hunters don’t strike lucky, whisk them along west to Hanover Point where they can ‘discover’ huge fossilised foot casts preserved in the rocks on the beach.
Being an island means we’ve got more than our fair share of coast – from sunny, sandy, traditional family beaches to wild cliffs and secluded coves.
Choose the wide sandy beaches of Ryde, Sandown, Shanklin or Yaverland for a traditional British seaside experience – perfect for buckets and spades, paddling and picnics.
Ventnor beach on the island’s southernmost tip is just as lovely and if your little ones are nervous of the briny, why not let them splash in the town’s iconic paddling pool? It’s a giant replica of the island surrounded by shallow, clean water and perfect for tinies to play in.
Fancy a bit of rock-pooling? Steephill Cove, nestling at the foot of the Ventnor Undercliff area is your best bet.
Whether you’re a family that cycles together at home or your kids are just starting out, the Isle of Wight is the perfect place for a family bike ride.
From riverside pedals with stops for takeaway coffee and cake (the Medina Greenway Breeze) to a flat seafront route with plenty of opportunities for ice cream (Sandown to Shanklin), you can enjoy time as a family in the great outdoors.
On the Isle of Wight you can go hunting for red squirrels (although shh! They can be shy and easily disturbed by noise). Borthwood Copse is one of the best places to spot them. They can also be seen at Alverstone Mead Nature Reserve near Sandown, in the woodland around Newtown, across the Mottistone Estate and in the Forestry Commission’s Parkhurst Forest.
Newtown Creek is the Island’s own National Trust Reserve, offering stunning views and ultimate peace and quiet. Home to a wide variety of birds year-round, Newtown Creek is a haven for walkers, bird watchers and those looking for time to themselves. Take a stroll around the creek looking out for visiting birds, waders and waterfowl, as well as summer orchids and wildflowers.