A background image of the coastline and sea around the Isle of Wight overlaid with 'Isle of Wight, Jewel of the South'

Isle of Wight – Jewel of the South

Have you watched Channel 5’s TV programme, Isle of Wight: Jewel of the South, narrated by Alan Titchmarsh? The series showcases our beautiful Island and the people that live there, following their journey over a busy summer season. Here we show you how to explore the places shown on screen, how to get to the Isle of Wight and how to watch the series.

Gardener and presenter Alan Titchmarsh wearing a blue suit

Alan Titchmarsh and the Isle of Wight

National treasure Alan Titchmarsh is the perfect narrator for the series, having spent a great deal of time on the Isle of Wight himself. Alan, presenter of shows including Love Your Garden, Ground Force, Gardeners’ World and The Alan Titchmarsh Show, spends around a third of his time on the Island with a home in Cowes. He was previously High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight and is an active campaigner to protect one of the Island’s most endangered species – the Red Squirrel.

Boats and water at Bembridge Harbour Isle of Wight

Visit the places from Isle of Wight: Jewel of the South

Over the course of the series, we’ll meet wonderful locals, see amazing sights and experience vibrant events.

Jewel of the South is back for a second series on Thursdays on Channel 5 at 8pm. We’ll be updating our blog to show you how to experience the newly featured areas and events for yourself.

Jamie Marsh reserves manager for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust beside his work van

Seaview - a seagrass hotspot

Jamie Marsh and the team from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust are restoring environmentally important seagrass beds in the Solent – the stretch of water between the mainland and the Isle of Wight. The episode showed them collecting Zostera marina seeds by snorkelling and wading from the beach at Seaview on the Isle of Wight. The seeds were harvested and placed in an aquarium tank at the University of Portsmouth to be nurtured and monitored.

Wightlink is a proud partner of the Trust and we’re working together for a Wilder Wight.  The Trust has 10 nature reserves across the Isle of Wight where you can get closer to wildlife in the countryside, wetlands and forests.

Isle of Wight County Show

The Isle of Wight County Show has been a fixture in the Island’s event calendar since 1833. Even Queen Victoria exhibited her sheep!  Visit the show this coming July for a great day out for the whole family.

The Main Ring offers falconry displays, vintage tractors, obstacle courses and a parade of prize winners – everything you’d expect from a country show.  You can also wander around the Village Green, Show Farm and take part in activities like Wellie Wanging. Try some samples in the Food and Drink Festival marquee – it showcases some of the Island’s best home-grown produce. Or pick up a unique gift at the makers market.

Alpacas at West Wight Alpacas, Isle of Wight

West Wight Alpacas

Established in 2010 by Neil and Michelle Payne, West Wight Alpacas began as a simple hobby but evolved into a thriving family business and visitor destination. It’s one of the country’s leading Suri Alpaca and Llama stud farms and it offers you the chance to engage with these captivating creatures.

Take part in a walking experience that provides breathtaking views from the top of the farm. You’ll forge a personal connection with the alpacas and llamas under the guidance of knowledgeable staff. On your walk you’ll pass by the birthing field, where you might just get lucky and witness an alpaca birth, just like on the show!

A man holding a wine bottle and wine glass with a vineyard in the background

Adgestone Vineyard

In series 1, Russ and Philippa showed us behind the scenes of the oldest continuously operating commercial vineyard in England – Adgestone. Visit for yourselves and enjoy a bite to eat at the cafe, overlooking the beautiful landscape. Or book a tour – the Grape to Glass experience takes you around 10 acres of vines. Learn all about viticulture, the growing season and the history of modern English wines.

And don’t forget to pick up a bottle of the only blue sparkling wine in England: Something Blue.

Aerial shot of Isle of Wight Sandown Airport field.

Sandown Isle of Wight Airport

Even if you don’t have your own aircraft, you can still take a trip to Dan Subhani’s Sandown Airport. Visit the Wight Aviation Museum, attend one of the events there or grab a bite to eat at The Island Bistro – it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the surroundings. In the summer they have additional BBQs and wood-fired ovens on the go, with an extensive menu all year round. You might even spot a celebrity…

Or perhaps you’d like to take to the sky? You can enjoy a helicopter or microlight pleasure flight, take flying lessons in a light aircraft or feel the rush of a skydive.

Briddlesford Lodge Farm Dairy on the Isle of Wight

Briddlesford Lodge Farm

We met Paul Griffin at Briddlesford Farm Dairy in series one, who was making the special celebratory Briddlesford Red Cheese.  The modern farm has been in the hands of the Griffin family – spanning three generations – since 1923, making this their centenary year.

We’re proud to serve Briddlesford milk from their Guernsey Cows at all of our Wight Taste cafes – on shore and onboard our ferries. You can also visit the farm yourself. There’s a well-stocked farm shop, full of local produce (including their own, of course!), and Bluebells Cafe serving breakfast, lunch & supper at the heart of the farm. Families can enjoy tours during August on ‘Welly Wednesdays’.

Bembridge Fish Store

Fishmongers Ruth and Mike Curtis from Captain Stan’s Bembridge Fish Store, a well-loved institution of Bembridge High Street, were the first personalities of season 1. Spend some time in Bembridge village – it won ‘Village of the Year’ in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards in 2019! There’s a long pier with a lifeboat station, plenty of independent shops and three beaches.

Then visit the Fish Store to pick up some freshly caught day-boat fish for dinner – perfect if you’re staying in self-catering accommodation. Responsibly fished by the family from their boat Shooting Star, you’re likely to find local lobster, bass, bream, plaice, Dover sole, ray wing, mackerel, red mullet, grey mullet, pollack, cod, whiting, turbot and brill on the counter.

Hear Britain's Got Talent's Derek Sandy

Legend reggae singer Derek Sandy has lived on the Isle of Wight for 20 years now – and he was only planning to stay for a short while! His music brings Caribbean vibes to the sandy beaches of the Island. Hailing from Trinidad and Tobago, you can find Derek at the Love Mondays beach gigs throughout the summer, by Appley Beach Cafe in Ryde.

The exterior of a sandstone coloured mansion, Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, framed by foliage

Osborne House and Gardens

In the first series, gardener twins Nigel and Phil Brown gave us an insight into the maintenance of the flower-filled gardens at Osborne. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought the estate in 1845 and created a private retreat for over 50 years. Now managed by English Heritage, you can visit the former Royal estate while on the Isle of Wight.

Many of the rooms are still filled with original furniture and works of art, while the planting in the grounds is to Albert’s designs. See the fruits of Phil and Nigel’s hard work at this palatial home – including the original magnolia from 1851.

The golden sands of Sandown Bay stretching under Culver Cliff in the distance

Sandown Seafront and Regatta

We also met the Sandown Green Town Volunteers who were doing their bit to spruce up the esplanade ahead of Sandown Bay Regatta. Sandown is one of the Island’s most recognised beaches, with miles of soft golden sand and fun family attractions, and the volunteers are doing a great job of keeping it clean.

If you want to experience the Sandown Bay Regatta for yourselves, it takes place every August.  You can enjoy fun beach sports (tug of war, anyone?), a vibrant market and family entertainment on the esplanade. It’s a great place for families to visit any time of year, though, with a pleasure pier, arcades, SkyNets, karting and crazy golf.  Plus plenty of cafes and restaurants for refueling.

Rockstar accommodation at Away Resorts

Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park

At this seaside resort we saw the Edwards family enjoying life in their holiday home. You can experience it for yourself by renting a caravan, lodge or chalet of your own through Away Resorts. And if you decide you love it, you might want buy a holiday home for yourself! There’s regular entertainment and families can try archery, crafts or superhero school. Water babies are in luck; as well access to a beach and coastal walks from the park, you can enjoy indoor and outdoor pools on site.

Diving on the Isle of Wight

Bembridge diver Martin Woodward has loved the sea from an early age and has been diving all over the world.  Now living on the Isle of Wight, he’s regularly found diving off the Island’s shores. You can see some of his finds at the Shipwreck Centre and Maritime Museum at Arreton Barns, which is open from April to October.

There are more than 4,000 shipwreck sites around the coast of the Isle of Wight making it a great place to dive. Experienced divers might want to get in touch with a local club for tips or to join one of their dives – like the Wight Dolphins. And if you don’t know where to begin, try Island Divers – a PADI 5 star and TecRec instructor centre on the Isle of Wight – who offer courses for anyone aged 8 and upwards.

Red Squirrel - courtesy of Connor Corbett

See Red Squirrels

Want to spot some red squirrels like local expert Helen Butler? She’s been helping the Island’s red squirrel population since the 90s and you can visit a squirrel hide to observe these magnificent creatures too. You can even help with the Wight Squirrel Project’s conservation efforts by reporting your sightings.

Special hides can be found at Parkhurst Forest and Alverstone Mead, so pack a flask and spend some time in nature. Or if you’re out and about you should keep your eyes peeled in the following locations: Shanklin Chine and village, The Garlic Farm, Borthwood, Quarr Abbey, the Newport to Cowes cycletrack, Binstead Wood and Firestone Copse. But shhhh! Squirrels are sensitive to noise, so don’t scare them away.

The George Hotel Yarmouth

The George Hotel in Yarmouth

Visit Yarmouth where you can spend time at The George. Located right next to our ferry port, you can be there seconds after leaving the boat.  Whether you fancy a glass of Champagne in the sunny beachfront garden, a full meal with friends or an overnight stay, The George offers a number of options.

Don’t miss the “George Wall” inside the hotel which pays homage to a litany of famous Georges.

A family on a platform of the Isle of Wight Steam railway next to a steam train

Isle of Wight Steam Fair

The Island Steam Fair has been running for almost 48 years at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Here you’ll see  mighty steam traction engines including road rollers, showman’s engines and miniatures. Enjoy a collection of vintage transport, traditional fairground, live entertainment and steam trains running along the line too.

If you’re not on the Isle of Wight for the steam fair event in August, you don’t have to miss out. The beautifully preserved Steam Railway is generally open at the weekend from March to October, with special events and extra school holiday openings in between. Take a ride in a restored period carriage pulled by a steam engine and visit charming rural stations.

Wightlink's ferry Victoria of Wight approaches Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight

Getting to the Isle of Wight

Our ferries are featured throughout the Channel 5 programme, making Wightlink the natural choice to get to the Isle of Wight.

We have three convenient routes linking mainland Hampshire with the Island so wherever you’re planning to go and whenever you’re planning to travel, there’s a Wightlink ferry going your way.

Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde Pier Head

Our FastCat passenger service has a journey time of just 22 minutes – taking you to the end of Ryde Pier; a stunning way to arrive on the Island. The FastCat departs from inside Portsmouth Harbour railway station.

Portsmouth Gunwharf to Fishbourne

Wightlink’s vehicle ferry takes around 45 minutes to reach Fishbourne which is conveniently located on the doorstep of East and Central Wight.

Lymington to Yarmouth

This is the shortest and fastest car ferry journey between the Isle of Wight and Hampshire. It’s super scenic; so sit back, relax and enjoy the 40 minute crossing.

Get planning your visit today!

And, as Alan Titchmarsh said, “Crossing the water from the mainland symbolizes more than just a journey, it’s a moment to leave the outside world behind and immerse in the privacy and solitude that only a small island can offer.” So make the most of your trip and leave your troubles on the shore.

A family walking across Sandown beach on the Isle of Wight

How to watch Isle of Wight: Jewel of the South

The programme is made for Channel 5 and the first series has six episodes. You can watch it on My5, Channel 5’s online streaming service.

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