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!

Close to Culture

The Windmill Campersite, is behind Carisbrooke Castle, and has several quirky and unique self-catering units, including a Westland helicopter, a shack made from a vintage lorry and several shepherd’s huts. But you can also pitch your tent or hook up your caravan. The communal area includes an antique oven converted into a spud baker and a wrought iron pizza oven; the ‘shower shack’ plays music; and the washing machine is in an ‘Omo’ painted van.

Waverley Park Holiday Centre is above East Cowes seafront and is the closest campsite to Osborne House, which is only a ten minute walk away. This well-established campsite has many caravans for rent, but also a large camping field that stretches down to the seafront and is bordered by open fields. There’s a clubhouse with bar and restaurant and an outdoor heated swimming pool.

 

Near the Beach

Along the west coast of the Island are some of the most beautiful beaches. Chine Farm campsite above Atherfield Beach is in fields on top of the very high cliff. There’s a steep walk down to the beach, which is pebbly but breath-taking, and you need to watch out for the undertow offshore. 

Grange Farm on the top of the cliff at Brighstone has another steep slope to the shore, which has sand/pebble mix and a good kids’ playground. Brighstone Holiday Centre shares this beach and has a great indoor pool and cute vintage chalets, along with large camping field.  Just a little further along the coast and sheltered below the downs is Compton Farm, with caravans and camping fields.  There are many steps down to the wild and unspoilt beach, which is one of the best on the Island.

Bank End Farm in St Lawrence has only ten camping pitches and you have your own, somewhat rocky, cove, and within easy reach of Steephill Cove and Ventnor bay, but no toilet or shower facilities.

 

Great Activities

The best places to camp if you want entertainment are those owned by Parkdean Resorts: Thorness Bay, Lower Hyde, Languard Manor, Whitecliff Bay (above) and Nodes Point; and Whitecliff Bay, which is owned by Away Resorts.

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 Manor Holiday Park, which are nextdoor to each other in Shanklin, both have have an amazing entertainment schedule and a five minute drive from the beach. 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 has a similar full entertainment programme and sits above the picturesque Duver beach.

Whitecliff Bay Holiday Centre sits above the bay, and has various caravan and tent hiring options along with a camping field. Towering above the beach are the white chalk cliffs of Culver and the sandstone cliffs that echo Alum Chine in the west with many different colours. 

 

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. There are two camping areas at Ninham Country Holidays on either side of a wooded valley and miles of accessible footpaths.

Roebuck Camping and Caravan Park is 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, Carpenter’s 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.  

 

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 – on August Bank Holiday it is the preferred campsite for scooterists.  Dogs are welcome at Old Barn Farm Touring Park at Apse Heath near Sandown and from your spacious pitch you can venture into the countryside on many walks surrounding the park. Comforts Farm welcomes dogs to its 9 acres of unspoilt tree lined meadows, full of wild flowers, and is close to the bustling sailing town of Cowes.

 

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

24 May 2018

By Jo Macaulay in Articles

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