May half term on the Isle of Wight

Family sitting on a gun at the Needles Battery, Isle of Wight

We’ve lots of exciting ways to keep boredom at bay this half term on the Isle of Wight. Whether you're an adventurous explorer keen to discover nature, a budding musician or someone who likes a history challenge, you'll find plenty to do at our places throughout the holiday. And while you’re exploring, you’re helping us look after all that nature too.

Saturday 29 May – Sunday 6 June (during opening hours).

Newtown and Needles Old Battery: free, Mottistone Gardens: £3 per trail. Normal admission applies. All trails are self-led.

A wild adventure

All things creepy-crawly, cute, fluffy, and squawky love our National Trust countryside. And when we carefully look after over 5000 acres on the Isle of Wight, it means there’s lots of wildlife for you to go hunting for.

At Newtown the creeks and meadows are bursting with wildlife. Put your spotter skills to the test with our self-guided activities that are perfect for those aged 7 to 12 years. Become a nature detective and use your senses to discover what you can find as you wander through the lanes and meadows. Perhaps you’ll see a hiding place for an insect in the hedgerows, or smell something with a strong scent by the harbour.

The peacock is one of our most beautiful butterflies
Peacock butterfly on a flower
The peacock is one of our most beautiful butterflies

Make a noise

Over at Mottistone, the gardens are coming alive with music. As you explore, tune into your senses as you follow our musical themed nature trail. From something as simple as sitting and listening to the birds singing and joining in with a grass trumpet, to doing a rain dance and playing a natural xylophone, see how much wild noise you can make. At the end, claim a chocolate reward for your musical performance (charges apply). 

Family visitors in the garden making wild music
A family using grass to make trumpet sounds beneath a tree
Family visitors in the garden making wild music

Hunt for history

Little explorers aged between 7 and 12 years can hunt around the Battery to find the eight hidden soldiers. Each one is carefully guarding an interesting fact about what life was like for those stationed at the Battery. Can you find them all? You can pretend to be a soldier too. Strike your best pose and have your photo taken by the sentry box. Post it on social media using @needlesbattery or #NeedlesBattery so we can share your adventures.

Useful things for families to know

  • Baby-changing facilities available at Mottistone Gardens and the Needles Old Battery
  • Toilets at Mottistone Gardens, Newtown National Nature Reserve and the Needles Old Battery
  • Pushchairs and baby back-carriers admitted at Newtown National Nature Reserve, the Needles Battery and in the gardens at Mottistone.
  • Takeaway food and drinks available at Mottistone Gardens and the Needles Old Battery
  • Normal admission charges apply
  • Please book in advance