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west wight fields in the sunshine

Discover the West Wight

The West Wight region of the Isle of Wight is an unspoiled haven for lovers of nature and the great outdoors. 

Over 50% of the Island is classed as ‘National Landscape’ - an area of outstanding natural beauty and distinctive character - and much of this protected area falls within the West Wight. The landscape itself is characterised by breathtaking views, rolling downs, dramatic coastal cliffs, rugged sandy beaches, and unique landmarks, making it a great place for walkers, cyclists, and adventurers to explore. 

You’ll also find a network of charming towns and rural villages to stop off for a bite to eat or an ice cream, and miles of beaches and bays ideal for relaxing, fossil hunting, swimming, surfing, coasteering and more. Whether your idea of heaven is a thrilling outdoor adventure or relaxing with nothing but the sound of the birds and a book – the West Wight is the place to be.

aerial view of freshwater beach, rock stacks in the sea
a group of people paddle boarding in front of the needles lighthouse
hay bales in a field with the sun setting behind
bicycles leaning against railings with freshwater rocks in the background
the needles chairlift
a female alpaca and her cria
outside seating by the sea
needles breezer bus with alum bay in the background
a surfer on the beach in a black wetsuit, holding a red surfboard


Probably the most famous landmark on the Isle of Wight is The Needles, a towering white chalk stack with working lighthouse off the most westerly point of the Island. The Needles and Alum Bay are two of the Isle of Wight’s most visited areas, with walking trails towards Freshwater and Colwell Bay, and spectacular views across the Island and out to sea from atop the battery – it’s also a popular spot with cyclists. Other places of interest to discover in the West Wight include The Headon Warren viewpoint, Fort Victoria Country Park, The Longstone, Tennyson Monument, Yarmouth Castle, Mottistone Gardens, Farringford Estate, Newtown Creek, Brightstone Forest and The Dragon Tree. The West Wight is also home to some of the most instagrammable spots on the Island!


The West Wight coastline is a mixture of rugged beaches that are great for watersports and outdoor activities, and idyllic bays sheltered from the elements with clear waters for dipping your toes. For keen (or wannabe) surfers, kite/foil boarders, or wind surfers, Brook and Compton Bay are a must visit, both are also great beaches for fossil hunting – look out for fossilised dino footprints between the two at Hanover Point. For something a little more relaxing, Freshwater Bay is a pretty spot for sunbathing, reading and picnics, which at the height of summer looks more like a beach in Greece than the UK. The tide here can be strong so take caution, but for those with a snorkel, kayak or paddle board, there are plenty of rocks, caves, and hidden bays to seek out and explore. Colwell Bay is another beautiful beach for strolls along the promenade and sunbathing at low tide, the water here is mainly calm and is wonderfully clear, with a striking turquoise blue hue inviting you for a dip and spectacular views at sunset. 


There are plenty of places to visit in the West Wight, from beloved family attractions like Tapnell Farm and West Wight Alpacas, to Isle of Wight Pearl and Dimbola Lodge – once the home of portrait photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. There are historic homes aplenty on the Isle of Wight, like Farringford Estate in Freshwater, once home to esteemed poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. You can find several ways to view the Needles, with the Needles Old and New Battery offering viewpoints of the landmark, a museum, and a tearoom. At the Needles Landmark Attraction, you’ll find family amusements like glass blowing, a sweet shop, sand ornament making and the iconic Needles chairlift – a working 1920s ski lift to take you down the cliff to Alum Bay below. The cliffs at Alum Bay are made from 21 naturally coloured sands, which have been used to make sand ornament souvenirs since Victorian times. There’s also the “Needles Breezer” open top bus, running between Yarmouth, Freshwater and the Needles in the summer months, a great way to see and learn more about the area. 


You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to dining out in the West Wight, with traditional country pubs in every village and beautiful waterfront restaurants for a meal with a difference. Great West Wight pubs for food and a tipple include The Highdown at Alum Bay, The Red Lion at Freshwater, The Three Bishops in Brightstone, The Crown Inn in Shorwell, or The Bugle Coaching Inn and The Kings Head - both in Yarmouth. For a special meal by the sea, we recommend a visit to The Waterfront at Totland, The Terrace at Yarmouth, The Hut at Colwell Bay or The Bay at Totland. There are some brilliant places for fresh seafood, and great cafes to stop for a quick bite too, like Off the Rails, PO41, and Gossips Café in Yarmouth, Piano Café and Dimbola Tea Rooms in Freshwater, Verdi’s at Fort Victoria and Captain’s Cabin at Colwell Bay. Eating your way around the Island is a fine way to spend a weekend!


When you book your rural Island retreat with Red Funnel, you’ll save 25% on your ferry travel to the Isle of Wight whatever the time of year. Red Funnel Holidays is a one stop shop for booking your Isle of Wight escape, with a great range of accommodation to choose from, as well as great savings on ferry travel and attraction tickets to be had when booked all together.

To help take your Island break from a dream to reality, here are just a few of the accommodation options available in the West Wight. 

2 The Granary | sleeps 4

2 The Granary

A beautiful country cottage situated in the village of Brighstone, 2 The Granary was once part of Brighstone Mill and dates back to 1700. The Grade II listed cottage was converted in 1990, now a wonderful holiday retreat just half a mile from the sea. Nearby you’ll find a newsagents and grocery store, a pub and Brighstone Forest. 2 The Granary sleeps up to four people in two bedrooms. 

The Orchards Holiday Park | sleeps up to 6

The Orchards

Award winning facilities block and indoor and outdoor pools, games room and play areas to satisfy the kids. Orchards Holiday Park is family owned, with friendly staff and high-quality facilities. Located on the west of the Isle of Wight, Newbridge, is a small rural village on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with amazing countryside views from all over the park. A static caravan sleeps up to six people, or bring your own tent, motorhome, camper, or caravan with you. See our Camping & Touring offer for more details.

Three Gables | sleeps up to 10

Three Gables

Nestled in the centre of the small rural village of Newbridge is Three Gables, a secluded house at the end of its own drive. Sleeping up to 10 people, the house is the perfect base for family and friends wishing to spend time together and enjoy a relaxing break at any time of the year. Newbridge is in the West Wight, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Dogs are welcome.

Shepherds Cottage | sleeps up to 4

Shepherds Cottage

Located on the edge of Stoats Farm in the scenic West Wight countryside, Shepherds Cottage is a newly renovated two-bedroom property. A short drive or a pleasant 25-minute walk leads to the famous Needles Landmark Attraction, while the villages of Totland, Freshwater, and Yarmouth are nearby. Shepherds Cottage sleeps up to three adults or two adults and two small children across two bedrooms, consisting of the master bedroom with king-size bed and a small double bedroom. Two small or one medium sized dog are welcome.

Spring Hill | sleeps up to 6

Spring Hill

Located in the stunning West Wight in the village of Freshwater, Spring Hill is a beautifully renovated three-bedroom house, overlooking the countryside, and the Solent beyond with views of Hurst Castle, just a short walk to the popular beaches of Colwell Bay and Totland Bay. The stylish house sleeps up to six people across three bedrooms, the large master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom and a balcony, and there are a further two spacious double bedrooms.

The Bay Colwell | sleeps up to 6

The Bay, Colwell

The beautifully designed holiday cottages at The Bay are a stone's throw away from the picturesque Colwell beach and provide the perfect base for exploring. Take a dip in the indoor swimming pool or enjoy a beverage in the coffee house, there is even a soft play area where the kids can have a ball! The Bay Colwell is a luxurious and peaceful complex, perfect for active families, groups and couples seeking high quality accommodation for a relaxing coastal escape, or a base to explore the Island. Each cottage sleeps up to six people, dogs are welcome.

Wight Classic Camping | sleeps up to 7

Wight Classic Camping

This campsite offers two identical safari tents, Hedgehog's Den and Squirrel's Drey – both sleeping up to 7 people. Located in the serene woodlands of Three Gates Farm, the site is just a short walk from the picturesque Newtown Creek and a mere five-mile drive from both Cowes and Yarmouth. The safari tents comprise of 1 double bedroom, 1 bunk bedroom with an additional trundle bed and 1 double sofa bed in the living area. It has a spacious open plan living area, a well-equipped kitchen and a large dining table, bathroom with shower, veranda, and a log burner. Up to two dogs per tent are accepted free of charge but must be kept on a lead due to being situated on a working farm.

Sunny View | sleeps 4

Sunny View

Sunny View is a modern and stylish self-catering chalet set in a secluded hideaway in Freshwater along the coast of the Isle of Wight. The chalet is well presented and large enough to accommodate a family of four for a comfortable and relaxing holiday. Surrounded by adventure opportunities you could take a short walk to the beautiful sandy beach and see the amazing views of The Needles and Hurst Castle or take advantage of the many walks around Freshwater boasting spectacular views.