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a smiling couple walking through the downs with a picnic basket

Great Island Picnic Spots

The biggest problem you’ll have planning your picnic on the Isle of Wight is deciding where to have it! 

From country to coast, the Island offers stunning backdrops for the perfect picnic, as well as tasty local produce to fill up your picnic basket. Keep reading for some of the most scenic spots to roll out your blanket and soak up your surroundings. 

a picnic setup with locally produced food and drink
brading down
tennyson monument
gurnard beach huts
yaverland beach
borthwood copse
cowes seafront with pebble beach
steephill cove

1. Borthwood Copse

Borthwood Copse

Vibe: Storybook woodlands

For: Feeling at one with nature, with the tree canopies forming an ideal shelter from sun, wind or rain - plus a pre/post walk to burn off those picnic calories. Keep an eye out for red squirrels!

2. Gurnard


Vibe: Beach picnic and dreamy sunsets

For: A beachside setting, minus the sandy lunch. Pitch up on the green for all of the views, and hang around until dusk when the sun sets over the iconic beach huts. 

3. Tennyson Down

Tennyson Down

Vibe: Quintessential Isle of Wight

For: Iconic backdrops, chalk cliffs, sea views, coastal flowers, bird watching, and watersports people watching. Named after former resident and esteemed poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, with the Tennyson Monument at the very top. 

4. Yaverland Beach


Vibe: Sun, sea and sand.

For: Perfect for a pooch-friendly picnic, as Yaverland (to the left of the car park) welcomes four-legged friends year-round. Combine your picnic with a splash in the surf. 

5. Steephill Cove

Steephill Cove

Vibe: Good old-fashioned beach-side fun

For:  A picturesque natural cove with rockpools to keep the kids entertained. Do be warned however, there’s no road down to the cove - just steep steps.

6. Brading Down

Brading Down

Vibe: Something for everyone

For: Fantastic views of Sandown bay and wide-open green spaces leading down to a nature reserve. This spot is widely considered a local favourite, so try to keep it a secret. Oh, wait…

7. Cowes Seafront

Cowes Seafront

Vibe: Sail boats and seagulls

For: Day trippers (just 25 minutes away by Red Jet!), with some incredible places on Cowes High Street to stock up on tasty picnic treats. A superb spot to take in the racing during Cowes Week.  

Island Picnic Tips:

  • Most major attractions offer picnic areas, so pack your lunch and make the most of your admission cost. Especially great attractions with picnic-perfect grounds include Osborne, Carisbrooke Castle, Yarmouth Castle, the IOW Steam Railway, and Godshill Model Village.
  • Brace for wind. Setting up near the sea or in a wide-open space? Consider what you need to weigh your picnic bits down. Bring a bin bag so rubbish doesn’t fly away.
  • If you're planning to BBQ, be mindful of the rules and check before you light up.
  • If it’s sunny, consider bringing an umbrella or pop-up shelter for shade. Just remember that wind.
  • Bring a light blanket to cover up when that breeze hits.
  • Don’t forget to bring a small cutting board and a good knife for all those farm shop nibbles.

National Trust Member?

Check out the Needles Battery, Mottistone Gardens and Bembridge Windmill.

English Heritage Member?

Check out Osborne, Carisbrooke Castle, and St Catherine's Oratory.

For more Island inspiration, see our Explore section. 

Book your ferry travel to the Isle of Wight today!