A group of people walking in the Springtime on the Isle of Wight

Things to do on the Isle of Wight in May

May is a great time to visit the Isle of Wight. Not only are we lucky enough to have two bank holidays here in the UK, there’s plenty family fun to be had during half term too.

The countryside is in bloom and the weather is mild, making the perfect time to get outdoors. Each day brings new adventures and opportunities to immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty and rich heritage. Just make sure you book your visit early to get your chosen dates – accommodation and ferries tend to get booked up in advance, especially over peak holiday weekends.

A family playing ball and having a picnic on the Isle of Wight

Picnic in the countryside

When the weather is fine, there’s nothing better than a picnic in the open air. Immerse yourself fully with the Isle of Wight’s natural environment and head to a farm shop to pick up your ingredients! Shops at Briddlesford Farm, The Isle of Wight Farm Shop and Harvey Browns Food Hall have a cornucopia of local produce.

Head to Culver Down, Blackgang Viewpoint or Brading Down for the best views; Compton Bay or Red Cliff in Yaverland if you like a bit of sea to go with your sandwich; or St Helens Duver for a mix of coast and countryside.

A female cyclist off road over Freshwater Bay

Challenge Yourself

Up to 2,000 adventurers will walk, jog or run the Isle of Wight Ultra Challenge over the weekend of 4-5 May 2024. There are half & quarter Island options available, meaning you can choose a distance that suits you. It tales you along the spectacular southern cliffs, past the iconic Needles, and up to historic Cowes at the halfway stop. For Full Island challengers it’s on to historic Ventnor, and back to base camp in Chale after an epic 106km journey.

The annual Isle of Wight Randonee (5 May 2024) is a relaxed, family-friendly cycling event taking in the stunning coastal scenery of the Island. The course follows the permanently sign-posted Round The Island (RTI) cycle routes in a clockwise direction with a choice of 100km and 55km rides, so even if you can’t make the event date, you can follow the route yourselves at anytime.

Crowds of people at a music event in Ryde, Isle of Wight

Enjoy Bank Holiday Music

Free ‘Ticket to Ryde‘ events will be taking place on the late May Spring Bank Holiday this year.  You’ll be able to enjoy a laid-back family vibe with feel-good live music, activities for the children, a real ale bar, freshly cooked local food plus artisanal teas and coffees. The events take place on 25-26 May 2024 on Ryde Esplanade, just minutes from our FastCat port.

The events support Island charities and traders – so you can feel good about helping the local community, too!

Tree climbers stood next to a tree in Appley, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Try Tree climbing

Visit Goodleaf Tree Climbing and they’ll help you climb a beautiful, mature oak tree in the historic Appley Park in Ryde. With experienced staff on hand to help, Goodleaf offers families a fantastic day out in stunning, natural surroundings with panoramic views. There are even some treetop hammocks to stop and admire the views!

The tree is about 15 metres high and you’ll use rope and harness to climb it – meaning this experiences is suitable for children aged eight and above. Make sure you book your experience in advance.

Lemurs at Amazon World Zoo Park, Isle of Wight

Explore Amazon World

Derek Curtis, an expert on exotic mammals, started building Amazon World 32 years ago from scratch, assembling an unrivalled collection of rare and endangered creatures – some you won’t see anywhere else in the UK!

Today, a trip around the site will bring you face to face with everything from armadillos and anteaters to red ruffed lemurs, many of which are part of important breeding programmes to help protect their species from extinction. Look out for their Meet the Animals talks, happening daily, where you can learn about the creatures direct from the keepers themselves.

Walkers walking a countryside path, the Tennyson Trail on the Isle of Wight

Strap on your walking boots

Step off the beaten path and explore the Island on foot this May o The Isle of Wight Spring Walking Festival works with the Isle of Wight Ramblers Association, the National Trust and a number of volunteer ‘Walk Leaders’ to host a range of gentle, moderate and strenuous walks during festival week (11-19 May in 2024). It’s the 25th anniversary of the festival and there will be more than 100 walks, across 18 days, for all ages and abilities. It’s a great way to connect with like-minded people and discover lesser-known areas of this beautiful island.

Inside a vintage bus, view from the back looking forward to the driver

Hop on a vintage bus

If classic transport is your vibe, then the Rydabus event in Ryde, is just the ticket. On Sat 18 and Sun 19 May 2024 you can hop aboard buses from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Organised by the Isle of Wight Bus and Coach Museum, some are from the museum itself, others are from bus companies and there are even buses brought across by private enthusiasts!

Buy a programme online to get ahead of the crowds – inside you’ll find timetables, route maps and offers and discounts, so you can plan your visit.

ℹ️ Visiting at a different time of year? Find out what else you can do during your time on the Isle of Wight on our Things to Do web pages.

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