A man walking a dog across a moor overlooking the sea and the Needles on the Isle of Wight

Things to do on the Isle of Wight in October

As the crisp winds of autumn start to paint the leaves shades of amber and gold, there’s no better time to set sail to the enchanting Isle of Wight with Wightlink. In October, this picturesque island transforms into a realm of breathtaking beauty and unique experiences that are sure to warm your heart.

Here’s our round up of the hidden gems and vibrant events that make October on the Isle of Wight a must-visit. Whether you’re a walking enthusiast, love spooky stuff or are simply seeking a tranquil escape, the Isle of Wight has something in store for you.

And don’t forget, kids travel for free to the island during the school holidays with Wightlink.

The Isle of Fright

Family at Halloween celebrating at Blackgang Chine's Frights and Sprites

This month you’ll see a darker side of Wight, typically known for its sandy beaches, beautiful landscapes and fresh sea air. The Isle of Wight has a long, spooky history and is world-renowned for its paranormal activity, earning the title of the UK’s most haunted island. Head over to the Ghost Island website to learn more.

The Island is also teeming with special events during half term. To really get into the ‘spirit’, check out the Hallowe’en events at various attractions. There’s a range of events for everyone; from spooky fun for toddlers and small children, to downright scary festivals for older kids and adults.

Autumn flavours at Harvey Browns

Outside Harvey Browns Food Hall, Isle of Wight

This destination farm shop, food hall, butchery and lakeside café bar opened on the Isle of Wight last year and has gathered a solid following from locals.

Set in stunning surroundings in the heart of the Arreton Valley, overlooking lakes dug by the Brown family’s great grandfather, it’s a beautiful place to visit for a few hours and to enjoy the freshest local produce in the café or explore the grounds. Pick up a few foodie souvenirs (and a pumpkin!) to take home with you, or to enjoy during your visit if you’re staying in self-catering accommodation.

Isle of Wight Walking Festival

A group of walkers walking between Yarmouth and Brighstone on the Isle of Wight with the coastline in the background

Lace up your walking boots ready for the Isle of Wight Autumn Walking Festival, taking place from 7 to 15 October 2023. The Island is great for walking all year round, but in Spring and Autumn you can enjoy a festival of walks guided by experienced, passionate walkers with a great deal of knowledge about the Island and its stunning landscape and scenery.

More walks have been added to this autumn’s programme in the last few weeks – there are now over 70 walks on the roster. Perhaps you’d like to take a walk at Nettlecombe Farm and meet Edna the Emu (along with other animals?). Or how about a walk in the footsteps (or lyrics) of Isle of Wight punk band Grade 2?  Planet Aware are also hosting a walk with the opportunity to learn more about the pollution that reaches the shores of the UK, while collecting microplastics from the beach.

Autumn colours in the woodlands

A person in a red coat and hat throwing autumn leaves in the air in a forest of the Isle of Wight

Autumn is the perfect time to explore the Isle of Wight’s wonderful woodlands. Trees turn from green to gold and when the sun shines through the canopy it bathes the woodland in an invitingly warm light.

Parkhurst Forest and Brighstone Forest are two particularly good spots to see the autumn leaves, and with trails winding through the whole forest you can easily while away a couple of hours. You might even want to try a spot of forest bathing while you’re there. To relax, practice being calm and quiet amongst the trees; listen to the sounds of the forest, observe nature around you and notice the small things – colours, shapes and shadows – while breathing deeply.

Steam through the countryside

A steam train locomotive on tracks on the Isle of Wight

For an unforgettable day out, book yourselves onto the Isle of Wight Steam Railway which is based at Havenstreet, just three miles from Ryde. The locomotives and carriages have been restored to an immaculate condition and it’s a thoroughly immersive experience.

Climb aboard and create a new Golden Age of Steam as you puff through the countryside. Operating on various dates throughout October, you can watch out for deer and red squirrels as you pass through the autumnal woodland. It’s easy to do without a car; just cross on Wightlink’s FastCat from Portsmouth Harbour and jump on the electric train to Smallbrook Junction. Here you can board one of the steam trains (check ahead for winter timetables).

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.

profile image for Wightlink


Get the latest updates on social