First thing’s first, sign up to The Price is Wight. They send you weekly deals and have loads of offers that you’ll love, such as cut-price meals and afternoon teas, special stay packages, amazingly priced beauty treatments and tickets to attractions. You can even buy specially priced tickets to events such as the IW Festival, including their new day tickets. It is well worth a look so do sign up in advance if you’re coming to visit us. If nothing else, it will give you some great ideas on cheaper things to do on the Isle of Wight.
Ferry price packages are on offer through the websites of the ferry companies, and Red Funnel has some great deals if you want to buy your whole holiday; including accommodation, ferry and attraction tickets. Book a place to stay through the website and you get 25% off your ferry travel. You also save up to 20% if you apply for a Travel Card, and you get 25% off all on-board food and drink with your Travel Card too. Join the ‘My Red Funnel Rewards’ scheme and add points to your card with every purchase, then redeem the points on later ferry journeys or food and drink on board and at the Steam cafes at the terminals.
We also recommend you check a website called Isle of Wight Guru, as it has all the deals and information on any new ways of getting discounts, including codes to use for cheaper tickets when booking ferries. Founded by former BBC journalist Robbie Lane, who has “an unwavering passion for the Isle of Wight, and for saving money,” it’s a great source of money saving ways to visit the Island.
Don’t forget that some attractions are free too, which goes a long way toward a cheap day out on the Isle of Wight! For the price of parking at The Needles Landmark Attraction (£5) you can walk down to the beach completely free. It’s a long way down and there are over 200 steps (and remember you have to walk back up!), but the climb is well worth the reward of seeing the beautiful multi-coloured sands of Alum Bay. Of course, you could get the chair lift back up, but you need to purchase your tickets/tokens at the top before you walk down.
Another free activity is the Donkey Sanctuary in Wroxall, which is also free to enter. You don’t have to pay for parking either which is a bonus, but you may find yourself adopting one of their mega cute donkeys before you leave!
Drop up to Tapnell Farm for a coffee, lunch or a snack in their bovine-themed Cow Co Restaurant and you get to see their gaily painted life-size model cows outside on the grass for free – and there’s a really good giftshop and a gallery. Spoiler alert: if you have kids, they are going to want to visit the Farm Park – prices from £7 for kids, £5 for adults.
Visit either of our top two attractions, Blackgang Chine and Robin Hill and you can return for free within a seven-day period. Owned by the same company, you can also buy a combined park ticket, allowing unlimited entry to both of these favourite parks for a seven-day period.
Brading Downs is a fabulous place to stop off and take in the far-reaching views across the Bay area, Merstone Valley and Culver Down. Roam across the downs and find the ideal place for your picnic, finishing off with an ice-cream from the van that parks there every day. No parking charges and absolutely free. This goes for many lovely walks on the Island, and visits to our beaches, although some coastal car parks have parking ticket machines.
Another thing to bear in mind for a cheap day out of the Isle of Wight is that a few Island-based restaurants have really amazing in-house deals, such as Nomad in Newport and in Cowes whose well-travelled owners/chefs create fusion ‘street food’ from Asia and Mexico. Their Shut Up and Feed Me menus are a blind tasting menu of the very best the kitchen has to offer that day, lunch is only £15 per person for 3 courses and in the evening, you get 5 surprise courses to £25pp.
If you want to take solace in a former nunnery and a snack style lunch of soup, quiches and salads, then you can make your way to Carisbrooke Priory on any Thursday lunchtime. For a suggested minimum donation of £5 you get lunch, cake and coffee and can wander around the gothic building and the pretty walled garden at your leisure. Arrive at 12 noon and you can attend the short church service in the pretty little chapel too. Parking is in the driveway or in the car park opposite that faces Carisbrooke Castle.