Summer holiday activities on the Isle of Wight

With miles of beaches, acres of woods, plenty of rolling downland and lots of wildlife, our Isle of Wight places are the perfect place for families to explore this summer. We have events every week of the holidays, so little adventurers can discover the natural world around them as they hunt for bugs, build a sandcastle or fly a kite.

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

The Needles Battery

Up at the Needles Old Battery, can you find the hidden gunners? Pick up a trail sheet at the entrance and search high and low for Major Mindup and co. Or try getting dressed up as a soldier and become a gunner yourself. Each Wednesday at the Needles Battery this summer, you can tick some of your 50 things challenges too with our organised activities. Try making a kite and flying it in the breeze (No. 7). Or climb the really big hill from the Old Battery to the New Battery and tick off No. 28 too.

Girl in field looking through binoculars

Newtown's summer fun

Our work at Newtown means that it’s filled with wildlife, so it’s a great place for the whole family to discover nature. In summer, the meadows and woods are filled with fluttery butterflies, creepy crawlies and tuneful birds. Each Mon (5-26 Aug) we'll help you find the beautiful butterflies on a short walks for little ones. And on Thursdays through the holidays, there are '50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4' activities, which will help you find lots of bugs and birds.

A sand sculpture of two heads created at Compton beach on the Isle of Wight

Family days at the beach 

We look after some of the best beaches on the Island. At Compton there are safe waters for little explorers to try jumping over waves in, and for older children to surf on. Or the whole family can try and find crazy creatures in the rock pools. And at both Compton and Yaverland, you’ll find miles of soft sand to build sandcastles from. You can even put your sand design and building skills to the test at our competitions (Yaverland 5 Aug & Compton 20 Aug, £2 per team, 10am start).

Child looking at a bug in an insect catcher

50 things at the windmill

Head to Bembridge Windmill this holiday and after the whole family explores inside (hunting for the hidden millers along the way), little ones could try our Summer Nature ID Trail and discover the wildlife that lives around the mill too. And for slightly older explorers, there’s a chance to get crafty every Wednesday of the summer holidays by making your very own kite (£2 per kit, 2-4pm).

Open gate with sign on it leading in to the wild area at Mottistone Gardens on the Isle of Wight

Wild family activities at Mottistone

With lots of old branches and leaves, our wild area is a great place for young adventurers to build a den (No. 4). Or take home something tasty any Tuesday throughout the summer with our self-led activities, such as No. 41 (plant it, grow it, eat it) or kite making (No.7). Meanwhile, little explorers could let the grass tickle their feet on a barefoot walk around our turf maze (No. 24), or hunt for Captain Jack Marrow and Ivan Appetite (our flowerpot people) hidden in the gardens.

A father and two children play at the water's edge at Compton Bay

Summer family days out at Compton Bay

When the sun shines, the beach is often the best place to be as a family. At Compton the whole family can swim, surf, make sandcastles, rock pool and even hunt for fossils. And with every wave you jump over, you’re helping to keep the sands clean for everyone to enjoy.

Man holding a crab in front of boy over pockpool

Plenty more to do 

There are lots of other places on the Island for families to explore this summer. Try rockpooling at St Helens Duver, rolling down a really big hill on the downs or climbing a tree in Borthwood Copse.