A male and female in winter clothes walking a dog along a hillside overlooking the sea

Things to do on the Isle of Wight in January

Beat the gloom this January with the perfect antidote to the post-Christmas blues: a trip to the idyllic Isle of Wight with Wightlink. While January 15th has been named the most depressing day of the year, you can change that by having a trip to look forward to – January could be the happiest month of all! Escape from everyday stresses by planning a trip to the Isle of Wight with Wightlink; there’s plenty to lift the spirits during the winter.

At one with nature

You don’t even have to wait to reach the shore to enter the designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which encompasses the entire Island and the waters around it. The Isle of Wight is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the UK, making it a unique location to break away and experience nature.

To spot some of the Isle of Wight’s rarest wildlife, you can walk along the cliff tops from the heather-topped Headon Warren down to Freshwater Bay. There’s the opportunity to see Short Eared Owls and Dartford Warblers, or just watch the sunset over the water- both are sights that are sure to remedy even the bluest of days.

Blow away the cobwebs with a spot of beachcombing. The windier weather and stormy seas mean that fossil hunting and glass foraging are better in the colder months. Compton and Brook beach in the west with Yaverland in the east are favourites for finds.

Vegan burger in a bun and bowl of chips from Peach, Isle of Wight

Vegan Heaven

January is a great time to give veganism a chance. Whether you’re curious to try new things, want to make a permanent change for the planet’s sake or are hoping to complete the 31-day Veganuary challenge, the Isle of Wight is a good place to start.

Peach Vegan Kitchen in Newport has an enticing menu of comforting food that’s 100% vegan. Favourites include the Tricken Maple Bacon Burger, Katsu Curry Loaded Chips and gluten free Mac & Cheeze. Just a short walk from Ryde pier where our FastCats arrive, at Craft Vegan Pizza all plant based ‘meats’ and ‘cheeses’ are handcrafted in-house and the sourdough is made 24 hours in advance. Diners can enjoy a selection of micro brewery craft vegan beers and ciders to wash down stone baked sourdough crusts and vegan toppings.

Or book in at one of the Island’s cosy pubs for home-made food, fireside chats and seaside views. Many of them offer a range of vegan dishes.

Dog-friendly trips

All the Island’s beaches welcome dogs between October and April, so winter’s the perfect time to plan a break with your pup. While few two-legged visitors may be brave enough to paddle in the water at Appley Beach, their canine companions can splash away happily, before drying off in the warmth of one of the Island’s many dog-friendly pubs.

Lemurs at Amazon World Zoo Park, Isle of Wight

Get tropical

Winter is the perfect time to visit the animals at Monkey Haven, Amazon World Zoo Park or Wildheart Animal Sanctuary for some wild fun. With fewer tourists, you’ll be able to spend more time adoring each species.

Or visit Ventnor Botanic Garden for a walk through tropical plants. The garden has a rich heritage of health and wellbeing. A Victorian chest & respiratory disease hospital once stood on the site where patients would come to be treated in the pleasant coastal climate, away from smog-filled London. The history of healing continues at Ventnor Botanic Garden today combining the tranquillity of the Garden, healing foods, and a range of yoga and wellbeing classes.

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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