Things to do in the Isle of Wight

If you’re thinking of an Isle of Wight break but unsure of what to do, here you’ll find a quick guide for activities to add to your bucket list.


Whether you’re a history buff, love the beach or an adventurous walk, no matter who you’re holidaying with, there is something for everyone to enjoy on the island!

There are plenty of things to do with kids in the Isle of Wight, the whole family, couples, and even your dog!

For example, you could head to Carisbrooke Castle for a historical treat only a 10 minute drive away from The Lakes Rookley, bring your dog to the many Isle of Wight beaches, or partake in family-friendly activities, including archery.

All of this and more will allow you and your loved ones to create some of the best memories, especially if you’re staying in an Away Resorts holiday park.

Come rain or shine; there are plenty of things to do in the Isle of Wight during your next break. Experience all the fun the Isle of Wight has to offer on your next island break! But where should you head to first?

Find out more!

Take a look at our top picks for:

  • Best beaches to visit in the Isle of Wight

  • Animal attractions

  • Family-fun things to do with the kids

  • Top places to visit

Best beaches to visit in the Isle of Wight

A massive part of an Isle of Wight holiday is the numerous beaches you can visit and the things you can do whilst visiting them.

Dawn breaking over the beach at Whitecliff Bay. One of our stunning locations in the Isle Of Wight

Whitecliff Bay

While staying at the Whitecliff Bay resort, you're on the doorstep of some of the island's most beautiful beaches. With stunning sandy beaches, cafes and loads of other attractions, what is there not to like!

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Shanklin beach image

Shanklin beach

Shanklin beach is just a 15 minute drive from Whitecliff Bay and offers some of the most traditional British beach attractions (ships, ice cream and fish and chips), including a large amusement arcade and indoor crazy golf for those rainy days. A perfect family beach day out.

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Sandown pier image

Sandown pier

Sandown pier is another must-see beach, filled with a sports bar and an adventure play area for the children. The pier has rides for all ages, including dodgems, sides, quad bikes, and tea cups. There is also a cafe, burger bar and ice cream kiosk.

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Animal adventures and attractions

You could also fit in a trip to one of the island's many wildlife parks and farms, which make up some of the best things to do in the Isle of Wight!

Donkey sanctuary image

Donkey sanctuary

The Isle of Wight donkey sanctuary, a registered charity since 1991, offers more than 100 donkeys that have been mistreated, abandoned, or merely in need of care, a loving home. Situated on 55 acres of property, you may discover a variety of species and see the donkeys. To round off your day, head to the shop and café.

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A close up image of a Meerkat's face.

Amazon World zoo

With protection at the heart of this Isle of Wight zoo, you can expect a huge range of unusual and rare exotic animals. That’s right – amazon world Isle of Wight is home to over 100 different rainforest species!

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An image of three lions at a Zoo.

Wildheart animal sanctuary

Located in Sandown Bay, Wildheart animal sanctuary is the place for all wildlife lovers in the local area. The Wildheart animal sanctuary is one of the best zoos in the Isle of Wight, focusing on rescuing threatened wildlife and protecting endangered species. Meet the likes of lions, tigers, monkeys, and meerkats, to name a few.

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Monkey haven image

Monkey haven

Monkey haven is a must-see, award-winning Isle of Wight zoo for the entire family! Spend your day hanging around with some of the rescued primates, or turn to the sky for birds of prey displays. There’s lots to explore at monkey haven!

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Family-fun things to do with the kids

For some of you, a holiday wouldn't be complete without the kids, but sometimes it can be challenging to keep them constantly entertained.

Fear not, as there are plenty of family-friendly things to do in the Isle of Wight.

Blackgang Chine image

Blackgang Chine

Blackgang chine is the oldest Isle of Wight amusement park, with over 40 acres of Victorian gardens and the cliffgang roller coaster plus it is under a 15 minute drive from The Lakes Rookley. Blackgang chine has so many different fun rides providing hours of entertainment for your children!

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Dinosaur isle image

Dinosaur isle

Dinosaur isle is also a great option, especially as the island is known for being the dinosaur capital, so this museum provides history in a fun-filled attraction full of life-sized models. For a combination of fun and education, there are even more attractions to discover for the whole family!

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The garlic farm image

The garlic farm

It’s probably the most popular foodie attraction on the island with plenty of garlic tasting, a children’s playground and a woodland walk – what more could you want? There’s a large garlic-themed shop too, so not only will the taste of garlic linger but so will the lasting memories of the holiday. Free entry as well!

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Best places to visit Isle of Wight

Things to do in Ryde

Ryde is one of the most popular destinations to visit in the Isle of Wight, so it’s only natural that we take a look at some of the things to do in Ryde – but why should you visit Ryde?

  • It’s the biggest town on the Isle of Wight that sees thousands of holiday-goers each year.
  • Ryde is the gateway to the island with Hovertravel hovercraft from Southsea.
  • Portsmouth, and Wightlink Fastcats coming in from Portsmouth Hard.
  • Ryde’s pier is the second-longest seaside pier in the country – at nearly half a mile!
  • There are 14 beaches in and around Ryde, with Ryde Beach being award-winning.

These and more are just some reasons for Ryde's popularity as a holiday destination, but let’s take a closer look at some of the activities you can do here. 

And even better still, some of the Away Resorts holiday parks on the island are near Ryde. The St Helens coastal resort is about a 15-minute drive from Ryde, and the Whitecliff Bay destination is about 20 minutes – perfect timing for a fun-filled day out in Ryde!

The best attractions in Ryde:

Goodleaf tree climbing image

Goodleaf tree climbing

If you’re looking for adventurous things to do in the Isle of Wight, there’s nothing better to kickstart your holiday than a bit of tree climbing, and Goodleaf tree climbing is the perfect Ryde location to do so!

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Isle of Wight steam railway image

Isle of Wight steam railway

However, if you’re on the hunt for a more chilled holiday activity, the Isle of Wight steam railway is a great way to relax and spend a day with your loved ones. You can watch as the steamtrains come and go or hop on yourself.

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Cowes maritime museum image

Cowes maritime museum

There are plenty of museums and other historical attractions for history buffs, including Cowes maritime museum a 20 minute drive from The Lakes Rookley.

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An image of Osbourne House in the Isle of Wight on a summers day.

Osborne house

Situated on the Isle of Wight, Osborne house is the magnificent former vacation residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Discover a fascinating glimpse into the life of the royal family in the past by exploring the estate's rooms.

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Northwood house image

Northwood house

You can also head to Northwood house for concerts and events like The Wight Proms, so why not see what’s on when you decide to holiday here?

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Things to do in Isle of Wight FAQs

Now that you have seen how many things you can do on the Isle of Wight, you may have some questions that we’re here to answer!

What is the prettiest town on the Isle of Wight?

The prettiest town on the Isle of Wight is subjective due to many preferences, but you can visit a lot of them during your break.

Many people see the east towns of the island as the most beautiful ones on the Isle of Wight, which include Sandown and Ryde. Sandown Pier is especially great to visit whilst staying at a holiday park like Whitecliff Bay, as it’s between a 10-20 minute drive!

And with plenty of other towns to visit, when you book your break, why don’t you decide for yourself what is the prettiest town?

Is it worth going to the Isle of Wight?

The short answer is yes. Of course, it’s worth going to the Isle of Wight, as there are so many things to do no matter who you are!

Whether you want to holiday in the summer or the winter, there are plenty of things suited for each season.

What makes it even more worthwhile is the amazing holiday park accommodations that have everything you could wish for and more, providing you with the best place to access the best parts of the island!

You’ll only really find out if visiting the Isle of Wight is worth it if you go yourself, so why not book now?

What are the best things to do in the Isle of Wight when raining?

Unfortunately, we cannot always predict your holiday weather and you may think that a bit of rain can stop the fun on your break.

However, this is not the case, as there are so many great things to do in the Isle of Wight when it’s raining.

For example, if you want to stay active, some resorts, like The Lakes Rookley, are home to an indoor swimming pool, so you can keep the fun going with the whole family!

Or, you can head to a resort's entertainment lounge, so you can sit back and enjoy.

You won’t only find indoor activities within the resort if you still want to explore the island – you can head to museums, including the Museum of Island History to learn about all things Isle of Wight!

And with plenty more rainy-day activities to keep everyone occupied, an Isle of Wight holiday can be enjoyed whatever the weather.

So, why not find out more and enquire today about your next Isle of Wight break with Away Resorts?

And once you’re booked, you can even download the Away Resorts app to make your time with us that extra bit simpler. So what are you waiting for?

Where are the best places to eat in the Isle of Wight?

To top off a great short break or family holiday, some of the other best things to do on the Isle of Wight revolve around food and drink.

  • Fish and Chips: A trip to the seaside isn’t the same without fish and chips so we have picked out the top fish and chip places in the Isle of Wight for you to enjoy as part of your trip!
  • Pubs: Or if you are more a pub lunch person, we have also picked out the best pubs in the Isle of Wight so you can enjoy a pint with stunning sea views.

What are the free activities to do in the Isle of Wight?

A holiday on a budget is extremely doable, and there are plenty of things to do in the Isle of Wight to make this possible.

A day out at the beach and hikes around the beautiful holiday location are free.

Where is the best place to go hiking on the Isle of Wight?

You can find some of the best walking routes or even tackle parts of the Isle of Wight coastal path, where you'll find some of the island's greatest treasures along the way.

If you are an avid walker and in need of an active break, you can be sure to include this within your two-day trip – plus, it is part of the free things to do on the Isle of Wight.

Luckily, you don't even have to travel far from your chosen Isle of Wight holiday park to find some of these gorgeous walking trails.

The best thing about adventures on the island is that you can do romantic couple walks, walks as a family – including the dog – or even just a solo walk! Who knows? You could come across some beautiful wildlife along the way…

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