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Isle of Wight

Discover gardens, forts and a windmill on the Isle of Wight – not to mention 17 miles of beautiful coastline and more than 5,000 acres of countryside. Find out what to see and do on this treasure island.

Places to visit

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Top places to visit on the Isle of Wight

The white cliffs of Tennyson Down seen above the cold wintry blue water of Compton Bay
Place
Place

Compton Bay and Downs 

One of the Island's favourite beaches and biggest expanses of open downland

Isle of Wight

Fully open today
Sunset over the Needles headland coast, Isle of Wight. The Needles lighthouse and rocks can be seen in the shade, leading up to the coastline.
Place
Place

The Needles Headland and Tennyson Down 

Beautiful open downland,sheer chalk cliffs and dramatic sea views

Isle of Wight

Fully open today
Visitors at The Needles Old Battery and New Battery, Isle of Wight
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Place

The Needles Old Battery and New Battery 

Victorian coastal defence and secret rocket testing site perched high above the Needles Rocks

Alum Bay, Isle of Wight

Closed now
Cormorant and oystercatchers at Newtown National Nature Reserve, Isle of Wight
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Place

Newtown National Nature Reserve and Old Town Hall 

A quiet backwater with a busy Medieval past, now bursting with wildlife and a town hall with no town...

Newtown, Isle of Wight

Partially open today
The landslip at Redcliff above sandy Yaverland beach on a calm autumn afternoon
Place
Place

Bembridge Fort and Downs 

Dramatic chalk cliffs and open downland with coastal views, military history and wildlife.

near Bembridge, Isle of Wight

Fully open today
View of Bembridge Windmill, Isle of Wight from the rear, and surrounded by trees.
Place
Place

Bembridge Windmill 

The only surviving windmill on the Isle of Wight

Bembridge, Isle of Wight

Closed now
Aerial view of Mottistone Gardens, Isle of Wight
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Place

Mottistone Gardens and Estate 

Enchanting gardens set in a sheltered valley and surrounded by rolling downland

near Brighstone, Isle of Wight

Partially open today
A path leads through Borthwood Copse, with trees just coming into leaf
Place
Place

Borthwood Copse 

Paths wind through ancient oak woodland with sunny glades

near Winford, Isle of Wight

Fully open today
St Catherine's lighthouse seen far below from coast path at the top of Gore Cliff, near a concrete plinth for surveying equipment to check the cliff is not moving
Place
Place

St Catherine's Down and Knowles Farm 

A wild rocky coast with jutting cliffs, a windswept down and sheltered wooded valley

Blackgang, Isle of Wight

Fully open today
Autumn colours in the leaves of the trees at St Helens Duver behind the wall of the tidal lagoon
Place
Place

St Helens Duver 

Sand dunes with a royal history and great coastal views

St Helens, Isle of Wight

Fully open today
Low winter sunshine highlights the undulations in the lower slope of Chillerton Down, where white chalk down merges into very green grassland
Place
Place

Chillerton Down 

An impressive flank of open downland

Isle of Wight

Fully open today
Paths criss-cross the slopes of Coombe Bottom near Ventnor with radar masts in the distance
Place
Place

Ventnor Downs 

Dramatic views from the highest point on the Island

Wroxall, Isle of Wight

Fully open today

What's on for families this spring

A family enjoying Easter trails and Spring sunshine at Ickworth, Suffolk
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Take part in an Easter trail at Mottistone Gardens 

Every day 25 March - 14 April, 10.30am-5pm. Join 'Red' the squirrel on an Easter adventure at Mottistone Gardens and help her discover the 'Signs of Spring', as she gets ready to wake her hibernating friends. Our family-friendly trail has fun activities for you to do along the way. Complete the trail and earn your chocolate egg at the end.

Close view of fossils at the disused Loftus Alum Works, North Yorkshire

Compton Bay fossil walks 

9 & 23 March, 2, 4, 9 & 11 April, 28 & 30 May. Join award-winning Wight Coast Fossils for guided walks at Compton Bay and discover evidence for dinosaurs once roaming the Island. Compton beach is one of the best places to encounter the Island’s rich geological past. During one of the walks, you'll learn more about this amazing history; have an opportunity to find fossilised bone, teeth and wood; and even see huge dinosaur foot casts laying on the beach. Booking is essential. Please follow the link for more information.

Buildings on the Isle of Wight

Learning how flour is made at Bembridge Windmill, Isle of Wight
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Things to see and do at Bembridge Windmill 

Discover the highlights of Bembridge Windmill, the last surviving windmill on the Isle of Wight. Climb to the top, play in the Mud Bakery or make friends with a tree in the grounds.

An image of a small single storey wooden building called The Shack in the grounds of Mottistone Garden and Estate, which is stood on stone pillars and clad in wooden singles
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The Shack at Mottistone Gardens and Estate 

The Shack was a neat, compact retreat for 1930s architects Seely & Paget where they designed projects like Eltham Palace. It is still furnished as it would have been in their time.

Forts on the Isle of Wight

Winter sunshine over still waters in Sandown Bay seen from just above the beach at Yaverland
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Bembridge Fort 

Bembridge Fort is an unrestored Victorian fort set on dramatic chalk cliffs. You can explore this fascinating example of military architecture on pre-booked tours.

Visitors at the Needles Old Battery and New Battery, Isle of Wight
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Needles Old Battery and New Battery 

Explore the defensive site that helped protect a nation from invasion. See guns, underground tunnels and the secret rocket testing site plus views across the Solent.

Places to stay on the Isle of Wight

Pet dogs and their owners outside a holiday cottage on the Holnicote Estate, Somerset
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Dog-friendly holiday cottages 

Our holiday cottages are set in scenic locations, by rugged coastline and wild countryside. Bring your dog along for the adventure in one of nearly 300 dog-friendly cottages.

Upcoming events

Event

Winter birdwatching walks 

Newtown National Nature Reserve and Old Town Hall, Newtown, Isle of Wight

3 March. As the seasons change, join us for a guided walk around the meadows and creeks of Newtown to discover the over-wintering birds.

Event summary

on
3 Mar 2024
at
10:00 to 12:30
Event

Wellbeing Walks 

Newtown National Nature Reserve and Old Town Hall, Newtown, Isle of Wight

Each Saturday at 10am from 9 March. Take time out of hectic modern life for a guided walk through Newtown National Nature Reserve, focusing on connecting with nature in a deeper way.

Event summary

on
9 Mar to 2 Nov 2024
at
10:00 to 12:00
+ 34 other dates or times
Event

Compton Bay Fossil Walks 

Compton Bay and Downs, Isle of Wight

9 & 23 March, 2, 4, 9 & 11 April, 28 & 30 May. Join Wight Coast Fossils at Compton Bay and travel back in time 130 million years to the Cretaceous period as you discover the fossils of the Compton coast.

Event summary

on
9 Mar to 30 May 2024
at
15:00 to 16:00
+ 13 other dates or times
Event

Easter egg hunt at Mottistone Gardens 

Mottistone Gardens and Estate, near Brighstone, Isle of Wight

25 March - 14 April. Join Red Squirrel in a hunt around Mottistone Gardens to find the 'Signs of Spring', as she gets ready to wake her hibernating friends this Easter.

Event summary

on
25 Mar to 14 Apr 2024
at
10:30 to 17:00
+ 20 other dates or times
Event

Dawn Chorus Walk 

Newtown National Nature Reserve and Old Town Hall, Newtown, Isle of Wight

5 May. Join us for a gentle guided stroll through the meadows and woodland at Newtown National Nature Reserve to listen to the dawn chorus.

Event summary

on
5 May 2024
at
05:00 to 07:00
Event

Glanville Fritillary Walk at Mottistone 

Mottistone Gardens and Estate, near Brighstone, Isle of Wight

Sat 18 May. Join an official Isle of Wight Butterfly Conservation walk across Mottistone Downs to discover butterflies.

Event summary

on
18 May 2024
at
13:30 to 15:30
Event

Glanville Fritillary Walk at Compton 

Compton Bay and Downs, Isle of Wight

Sat 25 May. Discover the butterflies of the Afton area on an official Butterfly Conservation walk across the downs and along the cliffs.

Event summary

on
25 May 2024
at
13:30 to 15:30
Event

Dear Future: I Leave This Place For You – Mottistone, Isle of Wight 

Mottistone Gardens and Estate, near Brighstone, Isle of Wight

Learn more about how a gift in your will could help us carry out crucial conservation work at Mottistone and on the Isle of Wight.

Event summary

on
4 Jun 2024
at
11:00 to 14:30
Family walking down the main drive with lady in a tramper at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire - CTA crop only

Where will you visit next?

Discover lots of gardens, historic houses, days out at the coast and more.