May half-term on the Isle of Wight

We’ve lots of exciting events to keep boredom at bay this half-term on the Isle of Wight. Whether you're a budding bear hunter ready to test your skills, an adventurous explorer keen to discover ancient sites at Mottistone, or someone who likes a wildlife art 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.

A wild holiday

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. Whilst exploring Bembridge Windmill, you’re more than likely to spot colourful flowers and fluttery butterflies in the meadows and lanes around the windmill. And if you follow our trail boards, you’ll become an expert in telling your fauna from your flora (Fauna and Flora ID Trail Sat 26 May – Sun 3 June 10.30am-5pm)

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

If you’re particularly fond of searching for wildlife, then why not go looking for a bear? Just like in the book, ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’, you can run through the wavy grass and splosh through the waves as you go hunting for the bear through the grassy dunes and sandy beaches at St Helens on our Adventure Weekend (Sat 2 & Sun 3 June 10am-4pm).

Cartoon illustration of bear and children crossing a sandy beach

We're Going on an Isle of Wight Bear Hunt 

Have you ever wanted to go on a real life Bear Hunt? On Sat 2 & Sun 3 June, the whole family can bring the book to life as they hunt for the bear in the swishy grass of St Helens Duver or head through the sploshy waves by the beach.

Behind closed doors

Peer behind the ancient doors of Mottistone Manor and discover the fascinating history of this private home. Open to the public for just two special days each year (Sun 27 & Mon 28), Mottistone is a house full of hidden treasures. As you wind your way around the rooms, you’ll discover how the home was restored by the Seely family, and find out about the interesting objects collected by the family over the years.

A challenge for half-term

On Tuesday 29 May (10.30am-4.30pm), on a visit to Mottistone Gardens, see how many of your 50 things activities you can tick off in one day. Try making a kite and watching it bob and dance in the breeze, or let the grass tickle your feet on a bare foot walk through our maze. With so many plants around, plant it, grow it, eat it, is easy peasy too (£2 per kite kit).

Fly a kite
A young girl at the 2014 Dunstable Kite Festival, on the Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire.
Fly a kite

And if you haven’t managed to tick off No.18 from your list of 50 things yet, then head to Bembridge Windmill on Wednesday 30 May (2-4pm). Using leaves that are big and small, round and pointy, see what amazing masterpieces of wild art you can create.

Useful things for families to know

  • Baby-changing facilities available at Mottistone Gardens
  • Toilets at Mottistone Gardens and Newtown National Nature Reserve
  • Pushchairs and baby back-carriers admitted at Newtown National Nature Reserve, Mottistone Gardens and in the grounds of the Windmill.
  • Tea-garden at Mottistone Gardens and refreshments available at Bembridge Windmill.
  • Gifts available from Bembridge Windmill and Mottistone Gardens