Dreaming of Summer

The Isle of Wight has literally loads of things to do this summer and a lot of them, not surprisingly, revolve around our beautiful beaches. 

Whether you want to park your family on one of our traditional family beaches and eat chips out of a cone, play amusement machines and make sandcastles; or prefer to hunt for fossils, windsurf or paddleboard on the wilder, undeveloped coastal locations, there is a beach for everyone here.

Plus we have acres of rolling countryside, with picturesque villages and small towns in which to find fabulous eateries and country pubs, some of which are thatched and many with wonderful views. The Blacksmith’s Arms on the Calbourne Road has views across the north of the Island to the Solent, The Sun Inn has views to the South West Coast, The Crab and Lobster in Bembridge stands sentinel across the famous Bembridge Ledges at low tide and The Spyglass in Ventnor guards the pretty beach and bay.

There’s a perfect short holiday break for your family, or couples, that can bring you over to explore our fabulous coastline and undulating interior. You might even find a fabulous cheap weekend break for under £100 if you do your research – there are some brilliant deals to be had. Search ‘Isle of Wight accommodation’ and the various booking groups will come up with all of the current deals for you to peruse, and don’t forget to check Trip Advisor too for reviews of those you are thinking of booking.

If you want a traditional family beach then the endless sands at Ryde, the sheltered Bay area that encompasses Sandown and Shanklin beaches, the traditional Victorian Ventnor Bay and Steephill Cove, Colwell Bay in the West and Gurnard next to Cowes all fall into this category.

There are large and small hotels in all of these seaside towns, but there are also lots of B&Bs, often ‘boutique’ and many camping and glamping options too.

On the other hand if you want a DIY beach where you can roll up with your surf board opt for Freshwater, Compton or Yaverland. For kitesurfing then it’s Yaverland again, Brook or the Appley end of Ryde beach, depending on the wind conditions and your level of expertise. 

Windstalkers Island Kitesports can get you started with Kitesurfing and for all watersports Wight Waters on Hope Beach, between Sandown and Shanklin, can provide lessons and kit. Isle of Wight Adventure Activities can teach you canoeing and kayaking and even take you coasteering around the wild white chalk cliffs to the west in Freshwater.

The wild set coast has less hotels and more self-catering options such as cottages and campsites. Again it is Google or another search engine that could be your first port of call. The National Trust owns quite a few interesting holiday properties in this area so try them too. Compton Farm campsite is very central for the west coast beaches and Brook House has several self-catering apartments in an idyllic village.

Latest attraction on the Island is Tapnell Farm, encompassing a top notch restaurant The Cow Co with a cow themed menu and interior. Next door the Farm Park has a whole days’ worth of activities for kids from a huge tennis court sized bouncy cushion and a climbing wall to petting the growing farm zoo of cute animals. You can stay here too in a safari tent, an eco pod or a wooden cabin and they have brand new Modulogs this season for stylish glamping.

If you’re bringing a young family then Blackgang Chine is a must-see attraction – everyone has to visit it as a child. It’s the oldest theme park in the country and yet it has some of the newest additions to its repertoire – new for this year is Underwater Kingdom and the recently installed Restricted Area 5 is full of life size moving dinosaurs! Wednesdays are Big Nights Out with a finale of fireworks.

The Needles Landmark Attraction is another must-see for adults and children alike. Take the chairlift to the beach and see the famous Alum Bay coloured sand cliffs and then board a boat to see the chalk stacks of the Needles and the famous lighthouse. Back up on top of the cliff there’s a mini fairground and sweet factory and you can fill glass ornaments with layers of the famous sands. Plus you can see glassware being blown in at Alum Bay Glass and there are fun nights with fireworks on Thursday evenings throughout the school summer holidays.

These are just a taster of what the Island has to offer this summer. Just search for ‘things to do summer’, ‘short breaks uk family’, ‘uk breaks for couples’ and, if you’re on a budget ‘cheap weekend breaks uk under £100’ and don’t forget to add ‘ISLE OF WIGHT’ to your search!

Jo Macaulay

22 May 2017

By Jo Macaulay in Articles

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