While high street chain stores have their place, there is nothing like finding a hidden gem, and the Isle of Wight is full of them. Tiny independent boutiques and one-off emporiums are a treasure trove of unexpected gifts and gorgeousness. With its thriving community of artists, infusion of nautical chic and pockets of designer style, the Island offers an array of delights for both the seasoned − and seasonal − shopper.

Yarmouth Chic …

If you are looking for homeware and antiques or a unique gift for a loved one, Yarmouth is a good place to start. Elegantly perched on the north-west coast of the Isle of Wight, this pretty harbour town is the perfect gateway to the rest of the Island. Infused with an air of sailing chic, you can spend hours meandering the square, exploring designer boutiques, light-hearted lifestyle stores selling patterned teapots and stencilled journals, toys, gifts and homeware, as well as a peppering of sea-themed art galleries.

Designer Newport …

Alternatively head inland to Newport and make your way to St Thomas’ Square. Here you can pick up gorgeous leather accessories, hip clothing for the design-junkies in your life, handmade silver jewellery and lots more. Look out for Watchbell Lane, a Harry Potter-style alley and haven for designer label lovers, gamers and those with kitsch lifestyle leanings.After a drink at one of the welcoming coffee shops or delis, stroll down to the Quay Arts Centre, where you can purchase the work of local painters, potters and textile artisans.

Magical Godshill …

For those with magpie tendencies, Godshill is a must-visit. A stone’s throw from Newport, this ancient village is home to the Old Smithy, an emporium of personalised items, quality homeware, ornaments and art. Alongside unusual gifts, you’ll also find designer clothes, dresses and stunning accessories for any upcoming parties. Tucked into a cobbled lane behind the Old Smithy, experience Interiors; an elves and the shoemaker style outlet where trinkets, quirky clocks, textiles and homeware will bring warmth and character to any home. Nearby, the rustic and traditional pub The Taveners provides a free ‘Husband Crèche’ to relieve shoppers of any forlorn followers.

Watchbell Lane, a Harry Potter-style alley and haven for designer label lovers

Bohemian Ryde …

If it is books, vinyl and chocolate that call to your inner-shopaholic, make your way to Ryde. The steep high street leads down to the seafront, edged with an array of shops that offer everything from candles to imaginative children’s gifts, Italian clothing, sweet treats and modern collectables. The Royal Victoria Arcade is a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, with fourteen shops on the first floor and an “underground market” that is an antique lover’s, bibliophile and record-hunter’s dream.

Following the road out of Ryde towards Brading, you’ll discover the ‘must visit’ exotic Oasis. Offering an eclectic mix of reclaimed and teak furniture, handicrafts, gorgeous seasonal decorations, beautiful scented candles and ethnic gifts, this is the perfect place to find presents for couples and those who love to bring an essence of the East into their home. And if it is all too much to get in the back of your car … they will even arrange to ship your purchases home.

Corn Exchange
A surprising range of designer handbags at the Corn Exchange

Artisan Arreton …

Known locally, and by visitors, as a craft centre, Arreton Barns is also perhaps the Island’s best kept shopping secret. This labyrinth of flourishing shops and artisan studios offers something for all tastes and ages. Browse sumptuous textiles, scarves and wooden decorations in the Corn Exchange; watch working glassblowers create stunning pieces and warm yourself in the pottery as fairy lamps and bespoke house-name plates are tucked into the kiln. In one shop you can even have a message such as “Will you marry me?” inscribed on a grain of rice then turned into a unique piece of jewellery for someone special. When you are ready for a well-earned rest, head across to the Dairyman’s Daughter and refresh yourself with a traditional Island pub lunch.

Exquisite Pearl …

For jewellery lovers, the Isle of Wight Pearl is a place of pilgrimage. Located on the Military Road, the Pearl is as calm and serene as its neighbouring coast is wild and rugged. Strolling through the shop, you’ll find a breath-taking array of jewellery with prices to suit every budget; exquisite freshwater, Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea pearls crafted into necklaces, earrings, cuffs, brooches and bracelets. Listen to a pearl masterclass or even select your own pearl to be made into a unique, individual piece for yourself or as a gift. The Pearl is also host to Chocolate Island, a grotto of delicious delights for the children and sweet toothed adults in your life. There is also the wonderfully warm and welcoming, Pearl Café, a place of respite and refreshment for elated shoppers and their exhausted companions.

Corn Exchange
Bespoke pieces of jewellery available at Isle of Wight Pearl


If you’re looking for the perfect present to take home (or even a present for yourself) from your visit to the Island we hope you found this article useful! We’d love to hear about your favourite shops – let us know on Twitter @wightlinkferry

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