West Wight Cottages

High quality Isle of Wight Cottages

What To Do On The Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight holiday cottagesThe diamond shaped Isle of Wight is only 22.5 miles from west to east and 13.5 miles from north to south. It’s therefore very easy to explore our coastline, countryside and attractions (some of which are free!) during your stay. You might want to book a fortnight to fit it all in though. Amble along our spectacular coastline and look out for White-tailed Eagles. Enjoy magnificent views from The Duver in the east all the way to the famous Needles in the west and delight in our unspoilt beaches. Around half of the Island is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – sandstone and chalk cliffs cut by wooded “chines”, sandy bays, chalk downland, arable farmland, heathland, saltmarsh, mud flats and creeks. What a perfect way to holiday overseas but within easy reach of home. Your holiday starts the moment you board your ferry!

Walking

West Wight Cottages

With a spectacular coastline, rolling hills, green countryside, historic buildings & welcoming pubs, the island makes a great location to explore on foot. Try the West Wight Heritage Trail (leaflets available in the cottages and tourism centres). You can also visit the Slow Wight Travel Guide and Isle of Wight National Trust which have some great downloadable walks – as well as a map and full directions the trails include information on local history, nature or wildlife. Beautifully illustrated trail maps are also available from Gift to NaturePlease take care and follow the Countryside Code.

Cycling

Holidays on Isle of Wight

Visit Isle of Wight and Wightlink have excellent downloadable cycle routes and cycle hire information. You can hire bicycles (including electric bikes) from Wight Cycle Hire (will deliver free to our Isle of Wight holiday cottages, pre-booking only out of main season). You can store bicycles in our garage – please ask in advance if you want to do this.

West Wight holiday attractions

Isle of Wight holiday cottages

The Needles headland is a top spot for views and walking. Start at Freshwater Bay and climb up Tennyson Down or take the easier route from the Needles Landmark Attraction walking alongside beautiful Alum Bay (or catch The Needles Breezer). Admire the magnificent views of the iconic chalk stacks from the National Trust Old BatteryBack at the Landmark Attraction don’t miss the iconic chairlift down to Alum Bay where you can take a boat trip out to the Needles. 

Isle of Wight holiday cottages
Farringford House

Fort Victoria is a country park by the sea on the extreme north west of the Island. This is a great location for country walks and to watch the ships out on the Solent whilst sitting in Cafe Verdi. You can also visit the museum and shop, Imaginarium, Reptilarium and Planetarium. On to Yarmouth to stroll around the delightful shops. Explore Henry VIII’s Yarmouth castle fortress and have a picnic with glorious Solent views. 

Freshwater Bay is a glorious pebble beach backed by white cliffs – perfect for swimming and relaxing in the sun. Just down the road is Dimbola, the home of the Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. The museum and galleries now celebrate her work and showcase contemporary exhibitions from photographers worldwide. And it has a great tearoom. Further along you will find Farringford, former home of Alfred Lord Tennyson. The rooms in the house have been splendidly restored and the walled gardens are a delight.

Isle of Wight is a great choice for animal lovers

Wildheart Animal Sanctuary

If, like us, you love animals then you will be spoilt for choice. Close to our cottages is West Wight Alpacas – meet all the farm residents and take an alpaca for a walk. Or visit Tapnell Farm Park to meet the wallabies, meerkats, alpacas and goats. The award winning Monkey Haven has to be on your list with its characterful residents. Cat lovers shouldn’t miss the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary where you can meet lions, tigers and servals in their forever home. Birds of prey fanatics will enjoy Haven Falconry (at IW Steam Railway) – this has a White-tailed Eagle so you can appreciate the size of these beautiful birds. And you can meet more unusual animals such as a tapir and armadillo at Amazon World.

Isle of Wight family holiday attractions

Isle of Wight holidays

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway is a must for all visitors to the Isle of Wight where you can board a vintage steam train and ride through the Isle of Wight countryside. Look out for special events held throughout the year (next event – Real Ale train 13 Jul, fish and chip evenings on Tuesdays between 9 Jul – 27 Aug). Blackgang Chine is known as the “land of imagination” with a host of characters, fun rides, slides and a whole season of events. If you’re after adventure then have a go at tree climbing with Goodleaf Tree Climbing.

Isle of Wight Gardens

Mottistone Gardens

The Isle of Wight hosts some stunning gardens. Nearby Mottistone Gardens (National Trust) is open 2 Mar – 3 Nov. In the microclimate of Ventnor’s undercliff you will find Ventnor Botanic Garden, Britain’s hottest garden (open all year). For a more natural garden explore the tree lined gorge of Shanklin Chine – look out for red squirrels (open 25 Mar – 3 Nov).

Historic Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight holiday cottages
Isle of Wight holiday cottages

English Heritage‘s Osborne House is often the reason our guests travel to the Isle of Wight and you should certainly plan a full day to visit Queen Victoria’s summer palace. As well as the glorious state and family rooms in the house, you can also wander in the gardens, delight in the Swiss Cottage and relax at the unexpected beach. Open every day from 20 Mar – 3 Nov.

Other English Heritage properties include:

Carisbrooke Castle – famous for the imprisonment of Charles I. Walk the castle walls and climb the keep. Don’t miss the Carisbrooke donkeys demonstrating how water used to be drawn from the well house. Open every day from 20 Mar – 3 Nov.

Yarmouth Castle – discover how the castle was used in the 16th century when it was Henry XIII’s coastal fortress. A great spot for a picnic. Open every day 23 Mar – 3 Nov.

Appuldurcombe House – free entry to grounds and the ruins of the house (open 29 Mar – 31 Oct).

St Catherine’s Oratory – free to walk to the medieval tower with magnificent views. Start/finish at Blackgang Viewpoint car park (also free).

Isle of Wight holiday cottages
Newtown National Nature Reserve
Isle of Wight holiday cottages

The National Trust have great places to explore on the Island. Entry is free if you are a member or buy the new Explorer Pass – special rates for 7 days, including car parks such as Compton (better than dangerously parking on the grass verges).

Old and New Batteries – Victorian coastal defence and secret rocket testing site high above The Needles. Old Battery open 2 Mar – 3 Nov, New Battery open 25 May – 31 Aug.

Mottistone Gardens – stunning gardens set in a sheltered valley below the downs Open 2 Mar – 3 Nov.

Newtown Old Town Hall – closed whilst undergoing conservation monitoring. You can still explore the Visitor Point and Newtown National Nature Reserve – a magical haven for birds and butterflies.  Visitor centre open 2 Mar – 3 Nov. Volunteers in the bird hide most days during the season to help with bird identification.

Bembridge Windmill is visible for miles around and visitors can climb the steep steps through four floors to admire the view and learn about the milling process used hundreds of years ago. Open 2 Apr – 3 Nov.

Bembridge Fort – unrestored fort with amazing coastal and downland views (currently closed). 

Roman Isle of Wight. We are very fortunate to have two well preserved Roman villas on the Island. Brading Roman Villa, near Sandown, is one of the finest Roman sites in Britain. It’s award winning Visitor Centre and Museum contain stunningly preserved mosaic floors and a large collection of Roman archaeology. Newport Roman Villa is a hidden gem allowing you to see a complete Roman farmhouse built around 280AD. The building has a superb bath suite with under floor heating and remnants of mosaic floors. Sections of the Villa have been reconstructed to illustrate the building materials used.

Free holiday attractions on the Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight holiday cottages

We are lucky to be surrounded by beautiful landscapes so very easy to holiday on the Island and not have to spend a fortune on pay per entry properties. As well as our wonderful beaches there are also some fantastic places you can visit free of charge.

Quarr Abbey is one of the most tranquil places on the Island – admire the amazing brickwork of the abbey, visit the pigs and enjoy lunch or afternoon tea at the cafe. The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary has free entry – meet more than 140 donkeys and you can even adopt one of them. Godshill Model Village is an RHS partner garden offering RHS members free entry at selected times of the year.

Isle of Wight holiday cottages

Arreton Barns is an artisan craft centre complete with pub. At the Garlic Farm you can buy a huge array of garlic products and also enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in the cafe. Isle of Wight Pearl is well known for its cafe with sea views and you may even be tempted to buy some of their beautiful jewellery. For those into transport call in to the Isle of Wight Bus and Coach Museum – 20 historic vehicles with displays, tea bar and a shop. If you love a ruin then make the most of the magnificent Appuldurcombe House.

Eating & drinking

West Wight Cottages

We recommend you check online and book in advance as pubs and restaurants may be busy in the summer – see Visit Isle of Wight Eat & Drink for examples of local Island produce on offer. Note some eateries close in the winter.

Local eateries we can recommend include Off the Rails in Yarmouth, The Terrace in Yarmouth, On the Rocks in Yarmouth, The Hut at Colwell, The Waterfront at Totland Bay, Red Lion in Freshwater, Wight Mouse Inn in Chale, The True Food Kitchen in Castlehaven, The Buddle Inn in Niton, The Royal Hotel in Ventnor, The Garlic Farm in Newchurch, and Quay Arts in Newport.

Isle of Wight Festival

Isle of Wight holidays

2025 Isle of Wight Festival will be held 19 – 22 June. Weekend and Day tickets available. Headliners to be announced later this year. 

Keep the Isle of Wight green!

Isle of Wight holiday cottages

We offer incentives for our Isle of Wight holiday cottage guests – from free maps, walking and cycling guides to free foot passenger ferry travel, and 5% off cottage rental if travelling to or around the Island without a car.

Electric vehicle charging point available at 2 The Granary.

Isle of Wight holiday cottages

Have a look at all the useful information on Visit Isle of Wight’s dedicated Green Travel page. The page includes information about the Green Star scheme and the Slow Travel guide – both of which provide plenty of practical information and inspiring itineraries for car free days out. Download or ask for a leaflet on how to get to the Isle of Wight by train, coach & bus – this includes a great map of the British rail network and guidance when you reach the ports. Bus fares remain at £2 per leg of each single journey throughout 2024 with the exception of The Breezers and Shanklin Shuttle).

Isle of Wight Holiday Cottage Dark Skies

Isle of Wight dark skies

The Isle of Wight has some of the darkest skies in the UK, which helped the Island secure UNESCO Biosphere status. Visit Isle of Wight has a brilliant dark skies page on the website showing best spots for an astronomical night out. The Island Planetarium at Fort Victoria and Vectis Astronomical Society (Newchurch) are useful resources if you want to learn more and attend Stargazing evenings throughout the year. 2 The Granary is well placed to do stargazing from the garden – some of our regular guests already bring their telescopes! Check out any online lunar calendar for help on choosing the best time to visit for a dark sky experience, i.e. not a full moon.

Catch the bus

The Southern Vectis bus stops are in easy reach of our Isle of Wight holiday cottages so jump on board and have a car-free day out. Places which are easy to get to from our Isle of Wight holiday cottages include Carisbrooke Castle, The Needles, Alum Bay, Newport, Yarmouth, Farringford House / Dimbola Lodge / Freshwater Bay , Compton Bay, Colwell Bay, and Totland Bay. Bus fares remain at £2 per leg of each single journey throughout 2024. Visit Southern Vectis for more information. 

Isle of Wight holiday cottage “What’s On”

Upcoming events:

20-23 June Isle of Wight Festival

6-7 July 1940s Experience, 27 July The Steam Railway Proms – Isle of Wight Steam Railway

19-21 July Isle of Wight Pride

For more information on the island, places to visit and the latest events for our Isle of Wight holiday cottage guests we recommend: