Your one-day Island Getaway
With beaches and activities in abundance, you’d be forgiven for thinking you'd need longer to experience everything that the Isle of Wight has to offer. However, it’s perfectly possible to sample a slice of Island life in just one day when you set sail from Southampton. With the journey taking just one hour, there’s enough time to stretch your legs on the sunny outer decks or tuck into a tasty breakfast from our onboard Refuel café.
On arrival to the Island, head to Havenstreet to start your adventure with a trip back in time at Isle of Wight Steam Railway. The perfectly preserved 1940s railway station and museum has a wealth of original features and artefacts that will amaze all ages. The stars of the show (of course) are their lovingly restored locomotives, which date all the way back to the 1800s! Book tickets for a relaxing ride through the wildflower-flanked countryside, powered entirely by a billowing steam engine, and get a feel for days gone by.
Turn lunch into a unique foodie experience, with Harvey Browns championing the best of farm-to-table treats. Although the family run farm has existed on the Arreton site for decades, the spacious food hall is a new addition and a shrine to farm fare, pulling in produce from all corners of the Island. As for the café, the kitchen menu can change up to 2-3 times a week, which is testament to the chefs’ expertise in working with delicious ingredients as they come in and out of season.
Next up is the magical Monkey Haven – nestled in the rolling green fields of the centre of the Island is a peaceful utopia for over 13 types of rescued primates. The non-profit sanctuary is also home to owls, reptiles, meerkats, and more. Make sure to hang around for the keeper talks - at 2.15pm you can ‘Have a hoot with the owls!’ while 3.00pm is time for Monkey Supper - your chance to get up close and learn more about these fascinating creatures. You can also find refreshments in Xhabu’s Tea Room, named after their very own cute, cross-eyed siamang gibbon!
As you return to East Cowes, make a stop on the Esplanade (PO32 6AD) and spend a while on the seafront, knowing you’re now just a stones throw away from your ferry home. Make the most of free parking and incredible views while little ones can let off steam in the playground, or those feeling more adventurous can take a dip and sink their feet in the sand beneath the cooling turquoise waters of the Solent.
Bring a car and up to 7 people from £25.50 each way and find a whole new world of activities just 1 hour away when you sail from Southampton.