WHERE TO SHOP, EAT AND PLAY ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT


I'm lucky enough to live so close to somewhere like the Isle of Wight but I don't visit as much as I could and probably should. If I stand on the roof of my house I can clearly see the island and even during the winter I can see it by just looking out of my bedroom window. If you don't know where it is, or have never heard of it then it is off the south coast of England and is best known for holding the Isle Of Wight Festival during the summer. There are many places hidden away on the island which people don't visit and could almost go undetected if you didn't know they were there.

SHOP:

As far as shopping is concerned, if you're looking for your main high-street stores, then Newport is the best place to be. It has all of the chain stores you would expect to find in a large town, as well as smaller independent shops which are all located across two main squares in the town centre. There are obviously smaller and quirkier shops all over the island, but the best place for a general shop is Newport. As well as Newport, Ryde is a great place to shop, and is easily accessible by bus and also on the hovercraft over from Portsmouth. If you're visiting on holiday and are looking for somewhere unique to find a souvenir or a gift for someone there are many independent shops all over the island. Most of the bigger towns like Ventnor, Yarmouth and Shanklin have great souvenir shops but if you're anywhere on the island you will be able to find a souvenir shop somewhere near in atleast ten minutes.

EAT:

The Folly Inn in Whippingham is just up the river from Cowes and is easily accessible from all directions. It's your typical English pub, and if we're staying in Cowes it's where we always tend to go if we're eating out. They serve all the standard pub food and if you eat out in the garden you have a great view over the River Medina on summer nights.

One of my favourite places to eat on the Island is a restaurant called On The Rocks in Yarmouth. They serve all types of meats and fish but it isn't your average restaurant. They bring the food out to you on a slab of volcanic rock and this means that you can cook your food exactly to how you like at the table. I've only ever known someone to burn themselves once, and that was because we were all having a laugh at the table so it's generally fairly safe for young children! This restaurant is a great place to eat at if you're staying in Yarmouth on a boat and have been eating aboard for the last couple of nights.

On The Rocks restaurant in Yarmouth
PLAY:
The most obvious event that I'm going to mention is the Isle Of Wight Festival, which is one of the best known music events in the UK along with festivals like V-Festival and Glastonbury. The festival tends to occur around the early June time in Newprt and many well known artists have played there. For example, in previous years The 1975, Amy Winehouse, The Rolling Stones and Coldplay have performed there, just to name a few. There's also Bestival which happens around the early September time and has a huge range of artists performing and activities to do during the festival.

If you're visiting the island with young children there are two amusement parks which kids would love. Robin Hill Adventure Park in Newport has a range of activities suitable for children including adventure play parks, rides such as a toboggan run and a swinging ship. You can go directly to the website here if you want to find out more. Blackgang Chine is owned by the same company as Robin Hill and also has a bunch of activities which are suitable for anyone, any age. Located in Blackgang on the south side of the island, it is a bit of a drive from Cowes but makes a good location for a family day out. You can visit the Blackgang Chine website here.


In Alum Bay there is the Needles Landmark Attraction Park. It is easily accessible from Yarmouth by jumping on the open top bus which leaves from near the ferry terminal. The park has glass blowing and sweet manufacturing sites which are open to the public, as well as the small theme park which provides great entertainment for children. I have fond memories of visiting there when I was younger and it is somewhere we always like to return to if we're on the island. There is the chairlift which takes you down over the edge of the cliff to the beach, so if you're not a fan of heights maybe avoid this one! On a clear, sunny day the views from the chairlift are amazing, sometimes allowing you to see over to the Purbeck peninsula and Swanage. Visit the park's website here.


Ryde in general is a great place to spend a couple of days and is somewhere where I'd always want to go. The beach is purely sand and when the tide goes out, extends out into the Solent. Right by the harbour is a small arcade and permanent funfair which provided myself and my sister with hours of entertainment when we used to visit regularly. Along with that, there is a bowling and ice skating rink a short walk from the harbour which is a great location for an evening out with friends and family. There are obviously a handful of other attractions on the island which I haven't mentioned, but these are a couple of my favourites which I wanted to share.



Cablecar ride at Alum Bay
Sandown Pier at dusk

4 comments:

  1. Looks amazing! This is definitely a place I would like to visit.

    (I tried commenting on another post but the comment box was not showing!)

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    1. It's such a lovely place! Do you know which post it was? I might have had the comments box disabled by accident!

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  2. My most favourite place in the world!! I grew up visiting the island every year til I was 18, then took my little family back the past few years too. I love it there! Your post has reminded me of all the lovely places there :) (Is your last picture of Sandown Pier?)

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    1. It's a lovely place isn't it? And yes, it is Sandown Pier!

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