WINTER WELLNESS ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT
January on the Isle of Wight offers a whole host of exhilarating experiences to help reset the mind and rediscover yourself. From a brisk walk in the fresh salty air, to an icy dip in the sea… You’ll find a range of mind, body and soul benefitting activities to kick start your best year yet in 2024. And of course, there are plenty of cosy cafes, traditional pubs, and interesting landmarks to discover along the way.
Did you know sea air offers a multitude of health benefits? Due to a mineral-laden composition and absence of allergens and pollution, you can expect a boost in respiratory health and immune response – perfect for keeping the sniffles at bay! Plus, just sitting or strolling beside any of the Island’s beaches can promote restful sleep, thanks to the combination of invigorating fresh air and exposure to daylight. It’s also believed sea air has a positive impact on skin, with salt acting as a natural exfoliant, and negative ions believed to work as powerful antioxidants by neutralising free radicals (the waste product of toxins) in the body. Say hello to a radiant glow!
Take the plunge
One of the UK’s fastest growing fitness trends, cold water swimming can see you reap a range of health rewards such as enhanced circulation, cardiovascular health and immune response, as well as increased energy and endorphin levels. Many of the Island’s beaches have gently lapping waters and a gradual incline, perfect for beginners – try Gurnard or St Helen’s for a calm but chilly winter dip! Further inland, try the Slow Motion Sauna Winter Warmer Experience which includes a lakeside firepit, an invigorating pine scrub, a relaxing sauna session, and incredible views of the west wight. Wherever you choose to swim, make sure to swim safely and check out this RNLI guide.
Good food is a good mood
A foodie’s paradise, the Isle of Wight is the perfect place to nourish yourself with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, brought fresh from the farm to your table. Cosy pubs await to warm your cockles with home-cooked dishes and a crackling fire, such as The Blacksmiths or The Red Lion- while if Veganuary is your goal, you’ll find mouthwatering meat-free menus at the likes of PEACH Vegan Kitchen or The Bay Vegan Coffee House. If you’d rather cook up a storm in your own kitchen, Harvey Browns is a one-stop-shop for local ingredients, condiments, and tempting treats. Discover the flavours of the Island whilst supporting sustainable agriculture and minimising food miles – good for your body, and for your conscience!
Take a hike
Everyone knows the benefits of regular exercise, and if you’re struggling to get those steps in, why not explore some of the Island’s popular walking trails? With some of the most scenic routes in the UK, you’ll barely notice the distance covered when you’re taking in spectacular seascapes, with the gentle crashing of waves forming a soothing soundtrack to your stroll. Whether you prefer the golden hues of woodland walks, or the frosty blues of shoreline surf, you’ll find a route for all interests and abilities. We recommend checking out this guide.
With significantly lower levels of light pollution than the rest of the UK, the Isle of Wight is a superb spot for taking in the ethereal beauty of the cosmos. Crisp, clear, winter nights are ideal for observing the annual Quadrantid meteor shower, which peaks between 3 & 4 January with an average of 40 meteors an hour! Top stargazing spots include Fort Victoria Country Park, Compton Bay, Culver Down, and Freshwater Bay – where you can find convenient car parks nearby. Every Thursday from 8pm, you can even visit the observatory at Vectis Astronomical Society – admission is free of charge, though donations are welcomed. A wonderful way to unwind, just don’t forget to fill your Thermos and bring a blanket or two!