Winter family adventures on the Isle of Wight

The weather might be a bit nippy but if you dress the family in coats and wellies, scarfs and hats and head outdoors in the fresh air, you’ll find over 5000 acres of Isle of Wight countryside to explore together on your doorstep. You could follow one of our easy downloadable trails, try coppicing with our rangers, warm up and refuel in the Needles Old Battery tea-rooms or have a go at some wintery 50 things to do before you’re 11 4/3. All of which means there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained this winter on the Isle of Wight.

Refuel for winter walking

If being stuck indoors means there’s lots of unused energy bouncing around, then a walk across Tennyson Downs and the Needles Headland is sure to burn it off. But if you need to refuel for the trip back, our tea-room at the Needles Old Battery is open each weekend this winter (11am-3pm) and every day for half-term (10-25 Feb, 11am-3pm). It serves warming meals, refreshing drinks and lots of yummy cake, as well as award winning scones – all of which should keep out the winter chill and get even the youngest of walkers back across the downs (park at either Highdown Pit carpark (SZ325856) or Needles Landmark Attraction).

The woods in winter

Borthwood Copse is a magical place even in the winter. There are lots of big trees to climb, fallen branches to make dens from, and red squirrels to spot. And this winter, you can even have a go at being a ranger for the day.

Children cutting down a tree in the woods at Mottistone Gardens

Family coppicing in Borthwood Copse

Ever wanted to find out what it’s like to be a ranger? On Sunday 4 Feb (10am-3pm), dress in your oldest, most waterproof clothes, and bring a pack lunch, and you can have a go in Borthwood Copse. Our rangers will help you use hand tools to coppice some of the hazel stools that grow here in this ancient wood. Booking is essential, so please call 01983 741020 to save your place.

More family walks for little legs

Despite all the energy that the youngest members of the family can have, we know that little legs can get tired quite quickly. Luckily, some of our downloadable trails are just right for taking a shorter, gentler walk that the whole family can enjoy on a bright winter’s day. You can follow the whole route, or just use them as a guide to discover where to go.

Low tide on Newtown saltwater marsh on a calm winter's day
Walking trail

Explore the estuary at Newtown 

Newtown is very flat which means the paths around the village are perfect for pushchairs and prams. Or if you’ve come with wellies and waterproofs, you could follow the trail to the estuary and splash through the watery meadows on the way. You might even spot some of the winter migrant birds flying overhead or wading in the creeks as you wander.

Boats gracefully decaying on the edge of St Helen's Duver
Walking trail

St Helens Duver 

The sand dunes close to the sea at St Helens, known as the Duver, are a great place for the whole family to explore. The area is fairly level, there is parking, which is free for NT members, and it’s popular for dog walking, meaning that the family’s four-legged friend can enjoy running around too. But if you’d like to explore further afield, then you can follow the trail and discover more of St Helens.

50 things activities to try this winter

It may not seem it, but winter is still a great time of year to tick off some of your 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾. We’ve put together a list of the best ones to try at this time of year.

Boy sat in a the branches of a large tree

Wintery 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ on the Isle of Wight 

Winter can be a magical season, especially when you’re ticking off 50 things challenges in the frosty outdoors. We’ve put together a few of our favourite activities to do in winter and where to go to try them.