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The Isle of Wight is located off the southern coast of England. It is only a short ferry ride away from mainland UK.

That makes it easily accessible for a weekend break or a holiday escape and it has more than just picturesque views to offer. The Isle of Wight is  an amazing experience for those who travel for history and culture. 

If you are looking for the top things to do on the Isle of Wight, you have come to the right place!

Best Attractions and Things to do in Isle of Wight For A Weekend Break

Approximately a third of the entire area is considered an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). If you seek natural attractions, this is a great opportunity to see the well-preserved and protected area that holidaymakers travel many miles for. If you are staying in mainland UK, or are from London or other cities, there is no reason for you to not visit the Isle of Wight

Here are our recommended Isle of Wight attractions and activities that you should experience. 

1. Osborne House

When Queen Victoria saw the Osborne House for the first time, she said these words: “It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot.” This former royal residence is located in East Cowes and is one of the most popular places to visit in the Isle of Wight

Osborne House Isle of Wight

This house was originally built in the mid-19th century to serve as the summer home for Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. It is an Italian Renaissance Palazzo and is a gorgeous rural retreat worthy of its royal status. 

2. Ventnor

Another must-see among the Isle of Wight top attractions is the seaside resort known as Ventnor. It is located 11 miles from Newport and to the south of St. Boniface Down. It boasts of a warm microclimate, which explains why botanic gardens are able to thrive in this resort town. It is also filled with a wide range of attractions that are among the free things to do on the Isle of Wight.

During the summer, Ventnor Beach is filled with beachgoers relaxing on deckchairs. You can also walk to explore the Wheelers Bay and Bonchurch close to the Sea Wall. The sub-tropical paradise known as Ventnor Botanic Gardens is another must-see. These attractions make Ventnor one of the best Isle of Wight towns to visit.

3. Cowes

Cowes is another notable town that serves as the maritime gateway to the Isle of Wight. It is a fantastic holiday destination or a great spot for a weekend break. Among the nice attractions in this town is the pedestrian district of the High Street. This is filled with boutiques, art galleries, and specialty shops. 

You can also take a walk along the seafront to bask in the beauty of this seaside town. You can even plan your visit to Cowes according to the various festivals and events held throughout the year.

4. The Needles

You might be asking the question, “how big is the isle of wight?” Big enough to keep you occupied with lots of attractions to explore! One of the best places to visit is The Needles, Isle of Wight, an iconic landmark attraction. This spot is a favorite among the isle’s visitors. 

The Needles in Isle of Wight

The Needles is composed of a row of chalk. These are about 30 meters high and are stacked three times. They are located close to Alum Bay. The formation is named after the fourth stack that had a needle shape to it, which collapsed in 1764. While the three remaining pillars are not needle-shaped, the name has stuck. If you are looking for free things to do on the Isle of Wight, do not miss this attraction!

5. Yarmouth Castle

If you’re looking for ideas on what to do on the Isle of wight during a weekend break, make sure you stop by Yarmouth Castle. This is one of the British heritage sites, and is  a must-see destination for those who are into cultural attractions.

This castle is a former artillery fort built by Henry VIII. It was intended to protect the Yarmouth Harbour from French attackers. This square castle measures 30 meters across, with 15 artillery guns. There is also a garrison that can accommodate 20 men. 

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the castle was maintained and modified. Eventually, a bulwark was added to the eastern side of the castle. For its history and architecture, this is one of the top things to do in the Isle of Wight. 

6. Fort Victoria

Just like Yarmouth Castle, Fort Victoria is another attraction in the Isle of Wight with a link to military history. It is a former military fort that was built in order to guard the Solent. 

The fort was built in the 1850s in a triangular shape and is made of bricks. It was  in use until 1962. But some parts were demolished and those that were left of it are included in the Fort Victoria Country Park.

7. Isle of Wight Beaches

Spending time at the beach is among the best Isle of Wight things to do. There are 14 award-winning beaches in the region that are excellent for all beach lovers. If you visit during the summer, make sure you hit the waves and relish the feel of the sand between your toes. 

Isle of Wight Beaches

Add these beaches to your list of places to go: Bembridge Beach, Brook Beach, Colwell Bay, Cowes Beach, Gurnard Beach, and Ryde Beach.

8. Carisbrooke Castle

The Carisbrooke Castle is another historic spot worth seeing when you visit the Isle of Wight. It is located in the village of Carisbrooke, which is near Newport.

Carisbrook Castle Isle of wight

Also, there are several notable buildings within this castle complex that are worth exploring. Among them are: The Main Gate, The Chapel, The Well-House, The Constable’s Chamber, and the Earthworks.

9. Blackgang Chine

Known as the oldest amusement park in the UK, Blackgang Chine is a great place to experience when you spend the weekend on the Isle of Wight. This park opened in the 1840s and was named after the coastal ravine in the area that has now been destroyed. 

It is a great attraction to visit for the entire family as it boasts of imaginatively themed lands. There are also many rides and attractions to enjoy here such as Cliffhanger, Water Force, Pirate Barrels, The Vortex, and many more.

10. Robin Hill

Are you looking for another great theme park for the whole family to enjoy in IOW? Head to Robin Hill in Newport! This 88-acre theme park is set on the beautiful countryside of the Isle of Wight.

Until now, it is home to a wide variety of rides and attractions for people of all ages. Aside from the exhilarating rides, there are also ponds and relaxing woodland gardens to relax in. 

Top Activities in Isle of Wight

Best accommodations and Where to stay in Isle of Wight

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More posts about the United Kingdom

See these suggested best places to visit in the UK and if you want more inspirations about the United Kingdom

Looking for more inspirations on other destinations, you can visit our WORLD DESTINATIONS page.

Helpful travel tips for travellers

I’ve gathered some handy travel tips to help you and serve as your guide so you can have a hassle-free experience. You can absolutely travel like a pro!

So, what are you waiting for? Plan your Isle of Wight holiday and get ready for a wonderful adventure!