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Things to do in Isle of Wight

Our most recommended things to do in Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight: Osborne Admission Ticket

1. Isle of Wight: Osborne Admission Ticket

Admire the opulent Royal Apartments and private family bedrooms within the mansion. See the twin desks where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert worked. Explore the magnificently decorated Durbar Room. The furniture and artifacts reveal intricate details about entertainment at Osborne, from state banquets to family meals. Currently, only the lower floor of Osborne House is open for visitors to view. See where the royal children played house and tended their own gardens down at the Swiss Cottage. There's a room dressed as it was on 11th July 1861, when the children prepared afternoon tea for their parents, not long before Prince Albert's tragic death.  Stroll in the pleasure gardens, alongside historic trees, and enjoy the Victorian Walled Garden much as the royal couple did. Take a trip down to the royal family's once jealously guarded private beach, with Victoria's restored bathing machine.

Portsmouth: Hovercraft Flight to the Isle of Wight

2. Portsmouth: Hovercraft Flight to the Isle of Wight

Board your hovercraft for an adrenaline-filled day on the Isle of Wight. When the hovercraft reaches the island, you'll land in a prime sea front position along Ryde's beautiful and inviting beaches. Hop off and enjoy what Ryde and the Isle of Wight have to offer, including the beaches, boutique shops, bars and restaurants, and travel links to elsewhere across the island. After a day of fun on the island, enjoy a same-day return journey back to the Southsea terminal. The journey across the Solent is approximately 10 minutes. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight on the World's only commercial passenger hovercraft service.

Isle of Wight: Carisbrooke Castle Entry Ticket

3. Isle of Wight: Carisbrooke Castle Entry Ticket

Carisbrooke Castle has stories to intrigue any visitor. This mighty medieval fortress was a prison for a tragic king and home of Queen Victoria's youngest daughter. Founded around 1100, the castle was key to the Isle of Wight's defense for over nine centuries. First, enjoy an overview of the people and events which have shaped the castle's history by watching an introductory film. Then, patrol the battlements and climb the steep steps up the massive castle mound for unrivalled views from the Norman keep. Explore the powerful medieval gatehouse and the ruins of Carey's Mansion. Discover the stronghold's original domestic buildings, adapted by later residents. See the room from which Charles I attempted to escape - but got stuck in the window bars. Enjoy the Edwardian-style Princess Beatrice Garden, with its fountain and plantings in the rich colors of the royal arms. Don't forget to greet the Carisbrooke donkeys on their daily 6-minute stint of treading the water wheel - demonstrating how it was used for centuries to draw up water from the castle well. Finally admire the statue of the war horse Warrior, loaned to English Heritage as part of the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War.

From Brighton: Isle of Wight Full-Day Trip via Portsmouth

4. From Brighton: Isle of Wight Full-Day Trip via Portsmouth

Meet in central Brighton and travel by bus to the nearby city of Portsmouth. Learn about Britain's naval history before traveling to the Isle of Wight via the Wightlink Ferry. Get a great photo of Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower and its historic dockyard as you depart. Arrive at Fishbourne shortly before noon. Take a scenic 20-minute drive to the charming village of Godshill. Upon arrival, discover its medieval church and see its 500-year-old thatched cottages, tea shops, and the Model Village. Explore the village with your guide and learn more about local history. Continue to Alum Bay, famous for its multi-colored sand cliffs and "the Needles". Choose between a chairlift ride or a walk down the steps to the picturesque beach. Enjoy the views of this scenic location, with plenty of fantastic photo opportunities. After some time here, travel back to Fishbourne for a 6:00 PM journey back to the mainland, followed by drop-off in Brighton.

Isle of Wight Day Trip from London

5. Isle of Wight Day Trip from London

Depart London and travel by luxury coach to cross by ferry to the Isle of Wight, a popular holiday destination since Victorian times. Separated from the mainland of England by the Solent, the Isle of Wight is home to annual festivals such as Bestival, along with well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe. Visit some of the island's beautiful villages, including Godshill, home to some lovely thatched cottages and a model village. Go to the seaside village of Shanklin, where attractions include 2 sandy beaches and the wooded coastal ravine of the Shanklin Chine. Benefit from plenty of free time to explore at your leisure. Spend the rest of the day exploring the island's many charms before you return to the mainland by ferry and drive back to London by coach.

English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

6. English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

Get a range of benefits with a 9-day or 16-day single or family English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass, offering free entry to more than 100 stately homes, castles, prehistoric remains and gardens the length and breadth of England. Only available to non-UK residents, the great value pass will save you money even if you only visit 2 or 3 attractions, making a 9-day pass suitable for a weekend break. You can visit as many English Heritage attractions as you like, and come back as many times as you want to. But the more places you visit, the more money you save! Plan your vacation with the help of our overseas visitor Guidebook. The English Heritage website will also help you plan your visit before you travel. Once you have decided which attractions to explore, there is no need to get your money out at every attraction, and no need to keep track of your spending. The monuments bring the story of England to life, and have all been selected for their historic significance. Located in some of the most beautiful settings in England, they include mighty castles, tranquil monastic ruins, pleasant gardens and grand stately homes. Many host special events throughout the year, and your pass also gives you free or reduced price entry. You might even come face-to-face with a knight in shining armor. All sites have reduced opening times during the winter months (October to March). Detailed information available after booking. The full list of places you can access with your pass is as follows: In London: Apsley HouseChiswick HouseEltham Palace and GardensJewel TowerMarble Hill HouseRanger’s House - The Wernher CollectionWellington ArchIn the South East: 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey & BattlefieldBayham Old AbbeyCarisbrooke CastleDeal CastleDover CastleFort Brockhurst (as part of a pre-booked group)Home of Charles Darwin (Down House)Lullingstone Roman VillaMedieval Merchant’s HouseOsborne HousePevensey CastlePortchester CastleRichborough Roman FortRochester CastleSt Augustine’s AbbeyWalmer Castle & GardensYarmouth CastleIn the South West: Berry Pomeroy CastleChysauster Ancient VillageCleeve AbbeyDartmouth CastleFarleigh Hungerford CastleHailes AbbeyLaunceston CastleMuchelney AbbeyOkehampton CastleOld SarumOld Wardour CastlePendennis CastlePortland CastleRestormel CastleSt Mawes CastleSherborne Old CastleStonehengeTintagel CastleTotnes Castle In the East of England: Audley End House & GardensBerney Arms Windmill (as part of a pre-booked group)Castle Acre PrioryDenny Abbey and the Farmland MuseumGreat Yarmouth Row Houses and Greyfriars’ CloisterGrime’s GravesFramlingham CastleOrford CastleSaxtead Green Post MillTilbury FortWrest Park In the East Midlands: Ashby de la Zouch CastleBolsover CastleHardwick Old HallKirby HallKirby Muxloe CastleLyddington Bede HousePeveril CastleSibsey Trader WindmillLincoln Medieval Bishops’ PalaceRushton Triangular LodgeIn the West Midlands: Boscobel House and the Royal OakBuildwas AbbeyGoodrich CastleHaughmond AbbeyKenilworth Castle and Elizabethan GardenStokesay CastleWenlock PrioryWitley Court and GardensWroxeter Roman CityIn Yorkshire: Aldborough Roman SiteBrodsworth Hall and GardensByland AbbeyClifford's TowerHelmsley CastleKirkham PrioryMiddleham CastleMount Grace PrioryPickering CastleRichmond CastleRievaulx AbbeyRoche AbbeySt Peter's ChurchScarborough CastleThornton Abbey and GatehouseWhitby AbbeyYork Cold War Bunker (pre-booked visits only)In the North West: Beeston Castle and Woodland ParkBrougham CastleCarlisle CastleFurness AbbeyLanercost PrioryStott Park Bobbin MillAt Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Roman FortChesters Roman FortCorbridge Roman TownHousesteads Roman FortIn the North East: Aydon CastleBarnard CastleBerwick-Upon-Tweed-BarracksBelsay Hall, Castle and GardensBrinkburn PrioryDunstanburgh CastleEtal CastleLindisfarne PrioryPrudhoe CastleTynemouth Priory and CastleWarkworth Castle

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What people are saying about Isle of Wight

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 905 reviews

A wonderful day out. I used my mobility scooter to explore the grounds. Though I couldn't use it around the house itself (understandably) I was able with my walking stick to explore virtually all areas open to the public. There is a lift up to the private rooms and everybody was very helpful and informative. The only part I could not reach was the very top floor, the nursery as this needed climbing a large staircase. The house is so opulent and interesting, the grounds beautiful and wonderfully maintained. It's a brilliant day out for everybody.

I haven't visited Osborne House for many years, and I thought that there were many improvements regarding information in the rooms etc., It all seemed much brighter than I remembered it. And the icing on the cake for me was that we were allowed in the cottage - we couldn't do that on my last visit. The only downside was queueing for a coffee at the beach cafe, the service was more than slow, I think some improvement could be made there. Otherwise, a most enjoyable day out.

The pass can be collected from any English Heritage Centre. The friendly staff at Dover Castle issued the pass on presentation of the voucher.

It was my first time on the hovercraft, and we loved the experience. It was so quick and easy.

Beautiful estate, educational and lovely to experience.