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Bank Holidays on the Isle of Wight

With each bank holiday comes the gift of an additional 24 hours away from your desk… but what to do with this free time? 

Rather than let your extra day pass you by like any other, why not use the time for something that makes you happy – like a trip to the Isle of Wight! From invigorating sea dips to long walks with your pooch, to bougie stays and indulgent dinners – make sure your extra day off is time well spent. 

Here are a few ideas for cashing in your bank holiday on the beautiful Isle of Wight.

Deku at Brook Beach
Cowes High Street
Family at Osborne
Red Osprey


Cast off your inhibitions, break down those barriers and use your bank holiday for something you’ve always wanted to do, but have been putting off for one reason or another. Whether you’ve always fancied your hand at water sports, running or cycling round the Island, riding a pony on the beach, or maybe dipping your toe into the world of wild swimming – go for it! 

Just 1 hour across from Southampton or 28 minutes by Red Jet, the Isle of Wight provides an abundance of opportunity for shaking off those reservations and getting stuck into something you’ve been thinking about for far too long. 

From the hire of surfboards, bikes, or paddleboards needed to make your daydream a reality, to experienced instructors there to show you the ropes – the Island has everything you need to turn “one day” into today! 



Those puppy eyes as you leave for the office, or tell them you can’t play as you have to work… How often do we wish we had more time for fun with our pooches, instead of sitting at a laptop and promising them later? It’s true that dogs have no real concept of time, but every minute spent with you is their favourite time and whether you’re gone 30 mins or 3 hours, they miss you just the same. So why not dedicate your bank holiday to spending time with your best friend, and get those tails wagging. 

With beaches for digging and swims, forests for sniffing and plenty of countryside for long walks and fetch, the Isle of Wight is the pawfect destination for a day out with your dog. The majority of places to eat and drink are dog-friendly on the Isle, some even offering a doggie menu. There’s so much outdoor space for them to run and play, and a selection of beaches that allow dogs to scamper on the sand year-round. Check out Deku the Golden Retriever's recommendations here!

Treat your best friend to the day out of their dreams on the "Isle of Woof" and make happy memories you’ll cherish forever. 

Deku at Brook Beach


Is there a better time to treat yourself and do something indulgent than over a long bank holiday weekend? Break free of the norm and get a little bougie with a luxurious stay at the real estate of your dreams. From elegant hotels and grand country piles to modern beachfront apartments and cosy country cottages, retreat to a dreamy home from home and indulge in the Island’s fine hospitality. 

Whether you’re coming alone, with a partner or with friends, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to dining out. Whether you’re after trendy restaurants or charming pubs, there’s plenty of places to while away the hours over great food and a bottle of wine…or two. You’ll find a host of great independent shops across the Island, high streets lined with places to browse fashion, art, jewellery, antiques and more - we recommend Cowes for a little retail therapy. 

Book your swanky stay with Red Funnel holidays and save 25% on ferry travel. 

Cowes High Street


With so many great things to do, see, and experience right on your doorstep, why not use the bank holiday to be a tourist closer to home. Just across the water is a diamond shaped Island you’ve probably heard of but not visited. Just 23 miles across and 14 miles top to bottom, it’s a place not far away, but with a totally different vibe to mainland cities and towns. You won’t find motorways, shopping centres, night clubs or a Nandos, but we do have a royal palace by the sea, a vintage chair lift, the UK’s first theme park, castles, red squirrels, elephant garlic, a steam train, our own cheese, botanic gardens and more hours of sunlight than anywhere else in the UK! 

There are so many great attractions and new experiences to bank, you’re spoiled for choice with things to do. Over half of the Isle of Wight is classed as a National Landscape – meaning it’s very beautiful. And there’s over 500 miles of trails to walk and cycle, arguably the best way to see the Island. The landscape is dotted with interesting landmarks and pretty villages, with a rich local history to unearth along the way. Although just 1 hour from the mainland, you’ll feel a million miles away when you arrive. 

Family at Osborne


Our vehicle ferry fares include a car and up to 7 people as standard (plus pets!), with a dedicated pet lounge onboard, or the opportunity to upgrade to our Signature Lounge and sail in style. If travelling on foot with a dog or a bike, pay just £12.90pp with our Super Off-Peak day return, available when two or more people travel together after 11am on either our hi-speed Red Jet service to Cowes, or 1 hour vehicle ferry to East Cowes. You’ll find bus stops just minutes from both our Island terminals, with a regular service connecting the Island –  until the end of June, fares are just £2 for a single trip, or you can buy a 24 hour or 48 hour Bus Rover for a single person on the bus. Dogs are very welcome on the buses too! 

Red Osprey

For more Island inspiration, see our Explore section. 

Book your ferry travel to the Isle of Wight today!