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Even though the Isle of Wight might be relatively small in size, it manages to pack a number of amazing things to do and see within its territory. Here are 10 of our favourites to get you started when planning your next trip to the wonderful island…
Named one of the several natural wonders of the UK, The Needles are a famous landmark of the Isle of Wight and are a must-see for any visitor. They are three natural chalk stacks that are located at the western tip of the island. There is a Needles Chair Lift available down to the shore and also a boat trip that can get you closer to them.
Located on both sides of the Medina estuary, Cowes & East Cowes is one of the most charming areas of the Isle of Wight. You will find plenty of cosy cafes and shops that line the high street. Seafaring has played a big part of the culture of this area over the years and it is the headquarters for the Royal Yacht Club.
Standing boldly on a hillside in the village of Carisbrooke you will find Carisbrooke Castle. The castle has a rich and varied history, ranging from being a royal palace to a Saxon fortress to a prison for kings. Booking a reservation in advance is required and a tour of the English Heritage site is highly recommended.
Newport is the political centre of the Isle of Wight and is also one of the best places to indulge in a bit of retail therapy. Here you will find a good mix of well-known brands and independent stores that are unique to the island. Newport also houses Quay Arts with its impressive three galleries, theatre and cafe.
Osborne House is one of the most famous landmarks that the Isle of Wight has to offer. It was the former summer residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and was built in 1845, with stunning views onto the seashore and its own private beach. The inside of the house is decorated in a number of different ways, inspired by their interest in foreign cultures. The Durbar Room is a highlight with its variety of Indian-style carvings and decor.
Located to the north of the island is the seaside town of Ryde. It has seen its fair share of visitors attracted to the shores over the years, including many Victorians, Edwardians and even Karl Marx. Ryde Beach and Appleby Beach continue to be very popular today for much of the same reasons of the past. Large, sandy bays and the addition of a funfair in the tourist season for younger visitors.
Blackgang Chine is the oldest amusement park in the UK and was built all the way back in 1843. It boasts a stunning location on the cliffs at Chale and should be towards the top of your to-do list if you are travelling with kids. Some of the standout attractions include the CliffHanger Roller Coaster and Water Force ride. It is also worth mentioning that it has a sister theme-park, Robin Hill, which stretches across 88 acres of parkland that is also a great visit.
Yarmouth is one of the most historical towns on the Isle of Wight and even continues to use the same grid system that the Normans introduced around 1000 years ago. It is a harbour town and the port is an excellent departure point for boats that are going out to see The Needles up close. Yarmouth Castle is certainly worth a visit here and Tapnell Farm Park is a great day-out too.
This is a great place to visit the rescued donkeys and ponies of the island and is a very wholesome visit for people of all ages. There is a tearoom to enjoy here as well as a picnic area in the adjacent meadow. The shop has plenty of donkey-related gifts and donations to the sanctuary are always encouraged and warmly welcomed.
Shanklin is another superb and charming seatown that the Isle of Wight provides. Whether you want to enjoy a peaceful stroll through the beautiful Rylstone Gardens or simply kick back and chill on the beach, there are a number of different ways to relax in Shanklin. The town centre itself is a great place for picking up a variety of handmade goods, clothing and seaside classics like rock candy.
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