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Pack up and Picnic

The biggest problem you’ll have choosing your picnic site on the Isle of Wight is deciding which of the countless beauty spots is best for you!  Here are just six of the really (really) good ones.

1. Chillerton Down (Gatcombe)

Vibe: Open air rural country

For: A beautiful area of downland with wooded valleys and seriously panoramic views.


2. Brighstone Forest 

Vibe: Storybook woodlands

For: The Island’s largest forest, ideal shelter from wind and rain, a pre/post walk to burn off those picnic calories.


3. Totland Bay

Vibe: Beachy Sunset / You sure this isn’t the Med?

For: Gorgeous beachfronts, great swimming and stunning sunsets. Just be sure to use caution – the beach disappears at high tide.


4. Tennyson Down (Freshwater)

Vibe: Quintessential Isle of Wight

For: Iconic backdrops, chalk cliffs, sea views, coastal flowers, bird watching, and watersports people watching. Named after former resident Alfred, Lord Tennyson.


5. Steephill Cove (Ventnor)

Vibe: Good old-fashioned beach-side fun

For:  A picturesque natural cove with natural activities for kids to stay entertained. Tip: grab a fresh crab pasty from the Crab Shed. Careful: there’s no road down to the cove - just steep steps.


6. Brading Down (Brading)

Vibe: Something for everyone

For: Fantastic views of the 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…

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 picture perfect-picnic grounds include Osborne, Carisbrooke Castle, Yarmouth Castle, the IOW Steam Railway, Robin Hill, Godshill Model Village and Calbourne Watermill.
  • 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.
  • Planning to BBQ (or Braai)? 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.