Summer holiday activities on the Isle of Wight in 2017

This was about our 2017 summer holiday activities. We'll be updating with our 2018 events in time for the next summer holiday. This summer holiday, it's all about 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ at our Isle of Wight places. With miles of beaches, acres of woods, plenty of rolling downland and lots of wildlife, they are the perfect place to tick them all off. We’ve got loads of bugs to hunt for and birds to spot, creeks to canoe in, rock pools to search, and sometimes even a bit of rain to run around in. See where you can complete them all this summer.

Girl in field looking through binoculars

Newtown's summer fun

Newtown is filled with wildlife, so it’s a great place for the whole family to discover nature. There are meadows to hunt bugs in (No.31), woods to make wild art in (No.18), and of course birds to spot (No.44). In summer, the meadows and woods are filled with butterflies, so we’ve put together a new trail for all the famaily to help you spot them. And every week of the holidays, we’re running our bug hunt and 50 things events to help you find even more creepy crawlies.

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

Family days at Compton beach

Compton is one of the best beaches on the Island. It has safe waters for little explorers to try jumping over waves in (No.20), and for older children to surf on. Or the whole family can try No. 37 and find crazy creatures in the rock pools. And there’s miles of soft sand to build sandcastles from. You can even put your sand design and building skills to the test at our competition at Compton on 15 August (£2 per team, 10.30am 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 No. 22 and explore inside a tree. Slightly older explorers could tick off No. 31 and hunt for bugs and butterflies with our free nature trail. Or try making a kite (No. 7), a trail with sticks (No. 12) and some wild art (No. 18) at one of our events that run every Wednesday of the summer holidays.

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 Thursday 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.

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.

Man holding a crab in front of boy over pockpool

Plenty more to do 

There are lots of other places on the Island where you can have a go at your 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ too. Try rockpooling at St Helens Duver, rolling down a really big hill on the downs or climbing a tree in Borthwood Copse.