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 extra time off for the bank holidays, but 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. Just make sure you book your visit early to get your chosen dates – accommodation and ferries tend to get booked up in advance, especially at peak bank holiday times.

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

Picnic in the countryside

When the weather is dry, 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 the newly opened Harvey Browns Food Hall all 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.

UKSA sailing courses on the Isle of Wight

Learn to sail

Learn to sail in one of the world’s most famous and challenging areas; The Solent. Tuition is available on the Isle of Wight for everyone – from absolute beginners to those who need a refresher before getting back on the ocean wave.

Try UKSA, a leading maritime training provider based in Cowes that takes full advantage of having one of the world’s most challenging stretches of water right on its doorstep. At one end of the spectrum they run courses for the casual sailor brushing up on their skills and children trying watersports for the first time. At the other they offer dinghy and keelboat sailing, to yachting in which you can take skippering, yachtmaster and cruising qualifications.

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

Celebrate 30 years of Amazon World

Derek Curtis, an expert on exotic mammals, started building Amazon World 30 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.

Runners running along a coastal path near the Needles, Isle of Wight

Get sporty!

May is a very active month on the Island – and it’s up to you whether you take part or observe the fun! First up is the annual Isle of Wight Randonee (1 May in 2022), a relaxed, family-friendly cycling event taking in the stunning coastal scenery. 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.

The Isle of Wight Walking Festival works with the Isle of Wight Ramblers Association, the National Trust and a number of volunteer ‘Walk Leaders’ to put on a range of gentle, moderate and strenuous walks during festival week (7-15 May in 2022).

The Isle of Wight Festival of Running takes place at the end of the month (29 May to 5 June in 2022) and features a Half Marathon, a children’s fun run, the Freshwater 5K, the 5k Duver Dash and the Junior Duver Dash.

Nighttime scene at the Isle of Wight Balloon Festival, Robin Hill

Marvel at Hot Air Balloons

The sky is the limit at this exciting weekend of balloon tethering, talks from award-winning pilots and Night Glow performances. The Official Isle of Wight Balloon Festival takes place from 28 – 30 May 2022 at Robin Hill Country Park.

Indulge in the sights and sounds of this utterly unique festival-scape with a range of special-shaped hot air balloons, LIVE music, street performers and delicious street food.

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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