The Isle of Wight is a godsend for couples — it’s got everything you could want for a weekend away, from immersive history and jaw-droppingly beautiful cycle paths to adrenaline-pumping adventures, good food and drink, and relaxing dusk boat rides.
Even sailing to the island aboard a Wightlink ferry is an experience tinged with charm. And when you arrive, there are endless memories to make. Here are some highlights to get your plans rolling.
While you mightn’t typically lump Queen Victoria and dinosaurs together, prehistory and Victorian history are two key cornerstones of the Isle of Wight’s story. There’s a lot of fascinating history for couples to discover together across the Island.
Head to Osborne in East Cowes, which was once the monarch’s holiday home, where she’d retreat with Prince Albert and their nine children. The English Heritage attraction now makes for a fascinating stroll through history, and has its own beach which is yours to enjoy. Victoria herself said that it’s “impossible to imagine a prettier spot.” A prime location for couples to enjoy.
Then make tracks to Appley Beach — there’s a car park if you’re driving — and climb Appley Tower, a distinctive gothic landmark doubling up as a fantastic vantage point for broad Solent views. The lonesome tower is a remnant of an 1800s country house.
Now, onto dinosaurs — for this you’ll want to travel to Sandown. When you arrive, head into Dinosaur Isle; this purpose-built dinosaur museum serves as the ultimate starting point for exploring the Isle of Wight’s exciting prehistory, and will have you hunting for fossils in no time!
Glamping it up and getting closer to nature
Get closer to the great outdoors with a stay at Tom’s Eco Lodge on Tapnell Farm, where you can choose between five beautiful safari tents, two wood cabins, and two pods. There are stunning sea views, sandy beaches, loads of space to roam, and an all-round sense of adventure.
It’s a quirky, unique place for a stopover, and the staff at Tapnell Farm are always excited to share their knowledge of and passion for the countryside. The creatively-designed pods, pictured above, offer stunning landscape views from the front deck.
They face west, so you’ll be in the prime spot to witness breathtaking red-sky sunsets — very romantic!
When you’ve settled in for your stay, start exploring. Cycling is the perfect way to get closer to the Isle of Wight’s nature and culture. The Red Squirrel Trail comprises 23 miles of mostly traffic-free cycling between patchwork fields and covers all landscapes.
Woodlands, farmlands, coastlines, estuaries — you’ll see it all. The Isle of Wight is one of the few places where the red squirrel still thrives. This is the route to take if you want to see them — it’s teeming with the Island’s wildlife.
Out to sea…
Alternatively, leave your bikes at home and try some other fun, relaxing and sporty adventures that are perfect for a couple’s weekend away.
Isle of Wight yoga instructor Emma leads stand-up paddle board yoga classes around the island, often at dawn or dusk when the water is at its most still. It’s a truly life-affirming experience. No previous practice of either paddle boarding or yoga is required. Emma also runs a number of other indoor and outdoor yoga workshops — everywhere from the studio to the beach.
Fancy keeping things chilled and still want to head out onto the water, but not sure about yoga paddleboarding? Take a calming boat ride around the Needles from Alum Bay. Absorb the sea air and enjoy the remarkable formations.
…and to the sky
You can also have a treetop adventure thanks to Goodleaf Tree Climbing, a recreational climbing experience promising an exciting thrill. You only need to bring yourself — instructors will provide equipment and, well, show you the ropes!
Take things even further — or higher! — with a one-or-two-day paragliding course at High Adventure Paragliding. Use a simulator to get accustomed to the paraglider controls, slip on your helmet and harness, and learn how to take off, land, and fly!
If you enjoy the experience, the two of you can make it your ultimate aim to obtain Club Pilot status — that means you’ll be able to fly properly, without instructor supervision! It’s an exhilaratingly unique goal to achieve together.
For the foodies
Mile after mile of arable rural landscape meet a coastal Island climate to make the Isle of Wight one of the best places for food and produce in the whole of the UK — it’s a must-visit place for food-loving couples.
For meat, go to The Cow Co on Tapnell Farm, a restaurant with a focus on the best local beef, cheeses, and dairy products. The Cow Co offers a wide choice of meat dishes and vegetarian options for lunch and evening meals, and have a beautifully rustic bar serving coffee, cake, and cocktails.
For more plant-based flavours, explore places like The Tomato Stall or The Garlic Farm, two foodie paradises which both make full use of the island’s richly fertile land. The latter has Garlic chutneys, garlic pickles, garlic hampers, garlic purée — even garlic beer!
Chef Robert Thompson is firmly putting the Isle of Wight on the map — as the youngest Chef to be awarded a Michelin Star in the UK, the accolade has given him the platform to promote his own style, ideas and talent amongst the culinary world. Visit his contemporary British restaurant, Thompson’s, in Newport for seasonal flavours using local produce.
Polish the culinary journeying off with a visit to The Chocolate Apothecary in Ryde, which draws you in with an interior of antique shelves stacked with all manner of eclectic trinkets, glass tables filled with coffee beans, and wide sunlight-luring windows.
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