The Definitive Guide to Camping on the Isle of Wight

There's nothing more liberating in the summer months than to escape with nothing but you, your tent and the bare essentials, to feel closer to nature and marvel at the simpler things in life. For others camping is like a military operation involving specialist kit - that folds away into nothing - and all manner of creature comforts including the kitchen sink.

Whatever type of happy camper you are there is a campsite to suit here on the Isle of Wight, so we've pulled together our definitive guide to camping grounds on the Island. To help you find the perfect campsite for you, we've put them under handy headings, but some sites tick more than one box – and many tick them all!

Near the Beach

Along the west coast of the Island are some of the most beautiful beaches. Chine Farm campsite above Atherfield Beach is on top of the cliff and the beach is pebbly but breath-taking, but there’s a steep walk down and watch out for the undertow offshore. Grange Farm on the top of the cliff at Brighstone has a sand/pebble mix and another steep slope and has a good kids’ playground. Brighstone Holiday Centre shares this beach and has a great indoor pool and cute vintage chalets. Just a little further along the coast and sheltered below the downs is Compton Farm where there are many steps down to the beach but this is one of the best beaches on the Island.

Whitecliff Bay Holiday Centre sits above Whitecliff Bay with an access road down to the shore. The beach is public but there is no public parking, meaning it tends to be used more or less exclusively by locals and those at the nearby holiday centres.

Great Activities

Thorness Bay Holiday Centre has loads going on for both kids and adults with a full evening entertainment programme, kids clubs, a big heated indoor pool, which has arranged activities, large adventure playground and sports and water resorts activities.

Lower Hyde Holiday Park and Languard Holiday Park, which are nextdoor to each other in Shanklin are both Park Resorts like Thorness Bay (and Whitecliff Bay in our beach section) and because of this they have an amazing entertainment schedule. Languard has an indoor pool complex and heated outdoor pool and Lower Hyde has an outdoor pool, all weather courts and access to Languard’s facilities.

Nodes Point Holiday Park at St Helen’s is again a Park Resort with similar full entertainment programme and they are only a very short walk from the Duver beach below the park.

Out in the Wilds

Stoats Farm is close to the westernmost point of the Isle of Wight beneath Tennyson Downs and is a great base for touring this undeveloped end of the Island by car, bike or on foot; with colour coded walks from the site. Heathfield Farm Camping Park is also to the west, on the outskirts of Freshwater village, and has been the winner of the prestigious David Bellamy Gold Award for conservation and has also achieved Green Island Gold Award status. The Orchards is further inland, in the pretty village of Newbridge, and has a fantastic facilities centre and heated indoor and outdoor pools and far reaching views across the AONB countryside.

Southland Camping Park is a well laid out flat and tree-filled campsite in the Arreton Valley near to the pretty village of Newchurch, which has the good local pub The Pointer’s Inn and the lovely Garlic Farm just up the road. Further on towards Sandown is Adgestone Family Camping - which has rave reviews for its amenities and family friendly facilities.

Pondwell Campsite on the outskirts of Ryde is also close to the pretty village of Seaview and boasts its own pub, the Wishing Well and is within walking distance of the beach. Roebuck Camping and Caravan Park is also on the outskirts of Ryde down a quiet country lane and has a fishing lake. Whitefield Forest Touring Park to the south of Ryde has had rave reviews and is a quiet park that sits right in the middle of woods, with visiting red squirrels. Further towards the easternmost end of the Island, Carpenters Farm Campsite is in open countryside only half a mile from village of St. Helens.

Appuldurcombe Gardens Holiday Park is set on the former Appulducombe House estate in Wroxall with great walks from here and a good spot from which to discover Ventnor, the Undercliff and the south of the Wight. Check Availability

Welcoming Dogs

Kite Hill Farm is above Wootton Creek and there are great dog walks from here around the nearby woods or down to the shore of the nearby Mill Pond. Waverley Park Holiday Centre is above East Cowes seafront with walks along the promenade and free running in the copse that fringes the beach.

Beaper Farm is deep in the countryside to the south of Ryde with woods and walks to explore with your pooch. Dogs on leads are welcome at Old Barn Touring Park at Apse Heath near Sandown and from your spacious pitch you can venture into the countryside on many walks surrounding the park. There are two camping areas at Ninham Country Holidays on either side of a wooded valley and miles of footpaths accessible directly from the site with your faithful friend.

Adults Only

Rosemary Vineyard only have a small camping area on a raised plot overlooking their vines and right next to the shop (with free wine tasting tours!) and café, but they do not allow any children under 14.

Camping & Caravanning Club Sites

There are further campsites across the Island that are members of the Camping & Caravanning Club. Some are open to non members, but many are for CCC members only. Checkout their website for more details.

Jo Macaulay

29 April 2016

By Jo Macaulay in Articles