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Activities for families on the Isle of Wight

Information on this page is now out of date - please see VisitIOW website for up-to-date information on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight for babies, toddlers, children and families

There are so many fun family friendly things on the Isle of Wight that the most difficult thing about your holiday here will be trying to fit it all in!


The Isle of Wight has it all: toddler friendly beaches, horse riding, pottery painting sessions, donkeys, monkeys, llamas, a steam railway . . . There really is something to please all ages.

And if you fancy a day relaxing at home, remember Firefly House has playroom with toys, books and DVDs to keep the little ones entertained.

Slideshow photos credited to

Family things to do on the IOW

Below, we have selected some of the family highlights from our full (and ever growing) list of activities for the on IOW what to do page.

Don't forget to check out what events are happening in 2017, the list includes carnival dates, regattas, festivals and other special events taking place around the Isle of Wight.

Isle of Wight beaches


Isle of Wight beaches are recognised as being some of the best in Europe.

With 57 miles of varied coastline the Island yields a fantastic array of beaches, which were awarded a combined total of 17 Blue Flag and Seaside Awards in 2014.

With miles of award winning sand and shingle beaches, rugged cliffs, hidden coves and clear waters, a trip to the beach is an essential part of any visit to the Island.

One of the advantages of being surrounded by water is that wherever you are the beach is never too far away.

Some of the best beaches include:

  • Shanklin

  • Sandown

  • Ventnor

  • Ryde & Appley

  • Compton Bay

  • Brook

  • Colwell Bay

​Photo credit:

The Beach Guide Best beaches in Isle of Wight

Ryde Canoe Lake


Traditional Victorian boating lake with peddle boats and canoes on Ryde Esplanade

Calbourne Water Mill & Rural Museum - PEDALOS

Woodland, Water Mill, Adventure golf, pedalos

Set in 35 acres of stunning rural landscape, Calbourne Water Mill contains one of the oldest working water mills in the country, dating back to the Domesday Book.

You’ll be surprised at quite how much there is at Calbourne Water Mill, apart from feeding the peacocks, geese, ducks, moorhens and doves there is a beautiful ancient oak woodland which is home to badgers, red squirrels, foxes and many many more birds and small mammals, with a stream which is home to eels.

  • small but very interesting war museum

  • many little rural museums, displaying a selection of memorabilia from a bygone age (such as Granma’s kitchen, Granfer’s Shed, Fire Station, Old Bakery and much more!)

  • family Clay-play area (We use air drying clay, so you can take home what you make  (£2 per child).

  • lego Tables and Giant Chalkboard 

  • adventure golf (£3.00 per person)

  • punts for a relaxing float down the stream

  • Pedalos  (£7.50 per punt/pedalo for 30 minutes).

  • croquet & petanque (£1 per person)

  • fully licensed café serving a delicious menu of daily specials, sandwiches, freshly made soup, pancakes, as well as a children’s selection

  • gift shop selling souvenirs, hand-made Water Mill Pottery, muesli and flour

Pirates Cove Adventure Playground, Shanklin

Crazy golf, Fun park, Rollercoaster ride

Both the exciting 18-hole adventure golf course and outdoor fun park with brand new rollercoaster makes Pirates Cove great fun for the kids...and the big kids too! 

18-hole Pirates Cove Crazy Golf The Pirates Cove Crazy Golf is the Isle of Wight's newest outdoor golf experience with great features along the way including pirates, a waterfall, fountains, a cave, palm trees and fully rigged pirate ship. You can test your skill and even win the 'treasure' of a free game. the 18-hole Crazy Golf course is open from 9am daily and providing the weather holds out, the last game will be at 9pm in the summer season and 6pm in the winter. If you're looking to bring a large group to play, be it a school trip, children's party, birthday celebration or even stag or hen do, please contact us to book. 

Pirates Cove Fun Park The outdoor fun park on the seafront next to the crazy golf course offers the latest crazes in outdoor entertainment. You can try a wide range of activities from mini go-karts and bumper boats to water zorbs, trampolines and bouncy castles.

The latest addition is our brand new rollercoaster! Take your seat on the Pirates Cove runaway train and enjoy a rollercoaster ride with beautiful views out to sea and across Shanklin Beach. The kids will love it too!

Sandown Pier

Indoor golf, Bowling, Play area, Pier rides

Sandown Pier is all year round entertainment for all the family.

  • Lost World indoor golf adventure, with special lighting and sound effects

  • Ten Pin Bowling

  • Magic Island Play Area (play area includes ball pits, slides, a swing slide and a whole host of other attractions built in)

  • The End of the Pier is open from Easter and has rides for all the family including: Dodgems, Snake Slide, Ball Walkers, Quad Bikes and Tea Cups

  • Cafe, Burger Bar and Ice Cream Kiosk

  • Scruffy Jacks Sports Bar with stunning views of the bay.

Ryde Superbowl

Bowling and Laser

​For a fun-packed, good value day out for all your family or a big night out with your friends, Ryde Superbowl is the top local venue for a wide range of exciting entertainment


Ten pin bowling and laser quest (age 6+).

Fully refurbished Pavilion Café-Bar 

The Needles Landmark Attraction, Alum Bay

Attraction park

The Needles offers a range of attractions for all ages including sand filling shop, adventure golf, open top bus rides, boat trips, a traditional family Carousel, Victorian games and a wide variety of retail and catering facilities.


A visit to The Needles would also not be complete without a ride in the famous chairlift which transports visitors from the top of the cliff to Alum Bay beach and back, giving the best view of the Isle of Wight’s most famous landmark – The Needles Rocks. Completing the line-up, guests can also immerse themselves in an interactive 4D Cinema experience showing the Lost World.

Alum Bay Glass is educational as well as fun, with visitors being able to watch the fascinating art of glass blowing and to witness craftsmen making a variety of crafted glassware, and at the Isle of Wight Sweet manufactory guests can then watch skilled sweet makers create sweets that you simply can’t find anywhere else!

At the sand shop guests can make their own unique coloured sand souvenirs and, with a variety of children’s attractions including a traditional Victorian carousel and a ‘Spins and Needles’ Tea Cup ride, the kids will never be short of something to do. The Water Walkerz is also a great favourite, not forgetting The Vintage Cars that allow younger visitors to drive their own vehicles!

Finishing off the line-up, Jurassic Golf features a 9 hole crazy golf course, all beautifully set against a backdrop of imaginative water features and story boards depicting 9 different dinosaur species.

JR Zone, Newport

Soft play, Laser

JR Zone is a dedicated facility offering indoor soft play and associated activities plus the Isle of Wight's only multi-level indoor Laser Storm arena.

JR Zone caters for the indoor entertainment needs of all ages - from our hugely successful term-time toddler activities through to our after-hours laser tournaments and even private hires of the facility for all age groups, including adults. 

'No matter what the weather brings, JR Zone is open 7 days a week for play between 10am and 6pm. There's no need to book - just turn up and pay on the door. We have plenty of parking and the coffee is always hot!  Free high-speed WiFi is available throughout the building, so you can make the most of your quiet time whilst the little ones play.'

  • baby soft play

  • toddler soft play

  • adventure play frame

  • laser parties

  • laser pay & play

  • term time activities for babies and toddlers

  • 2 cafe areas

Blackgang Chine, near Ventnor

Amusement Park

The very word “Blackgang” has a legendary ring about it, summoning up visions of smugglers, shipwrecks and wild storm lashed shores.

Let your imagination run wild as you venture on a journey of discovery…

Fighting pirates on-board your own ship, discovering life size moving dinosaurs and escaping from danger, being sheriff of your own cowboy town, rounding up the outlaws and locking ’em up – or experiencing the magic of being fairy princess in your own castle!

Filled with an eclectic mix of attractions, magical theme worlds and exciting rides, you’ll find adventures around every corner – something for all the family at Blackgang Chine.

  • Lands of imagination - magical themed worlds: Fairlyand, Pirate Cove, Cowboy Town, Nurseryland

  • Fun rides and slides: Cliffhanger, Waterforce, Pirate Barrels, Snakes & Ladders

  • Blackgang Chine favourites: Dodo Valley, Giant Bug Walk, Rumpus Mansion, The Musical Pet Shop, Hall of Mirrors, Jonah's Whale, Crooked House, Mouth of Hell

  • Blackgang's Characters: Lady Penelope & Raphus, Shadow & Sheila, Cedric

Robin Hill Country Park, near Newport

Theme Park

With some incredible day and night time experiences to be found throughout the season, Robin Hill, set in 88 acres of beautiful countryside really is the destination for visitors of all ages looking for outdoor fun, adventure and great family experiences.

The park offers a fantastic blend of rides, falconry and adventure play for fun loving families and children, and relaxing woodland gardens, ponds and walks for discerning adults to enjoy.

NEW for 2017… Squirrel your way through a spiralling mesh tube suspended around our Canopy Skywalk, high up in the tree tops. Just don’t look down!

  • Fun rides & slides: Cows Express, Toboggan Run, Colussus Swinging Galleon, 4d Motion Cinema, Big Green Tractor Train, Hill Billy & Snake Slides

  • Adventure Play: Canopy Sky Walk, Squirrel Tower, New Squirrel Run, African Adventure, Suspension Bridges, Duck Down Play Village, Giant Maze, Tots Play & Activity Course, Hill Billy & Snake Slides

  • Falconry

  • Gardens

Tapnell Farm Park, near Yarmouth

Animals, Play zone, Archery

Tapnell Farm is a former dairy farm, turned all-weather attraction, surrounded by the beautiful landscapes of the Isle of Wight.

Meet the Animals in our Farmyard Barn, and get up close and personal with some of Tapnell’s cutest and smallest residents. Wander round the Wallaby Walkabout with our mob of tame wallabies, and admire the marvellous meerkats as they stand guard. Venture out into The Paddock and enjoy the views in the company of our friendly sheep and their other farmyard chums.  Animals include: sheep, goats, alpacas, donkeys, pigs, meerkats, rabbits, ginea pigs

Run wild in the Straw Bale Adventure Zone, race round the pedal go-kart track, zoom along the zip-wires and scale the straw bale pyramid. Tackle the 3-storey soft play zone in our Play Barn, battle the climbing wall, and create a masterpiece on the giant chalkboards, or head outside for a bounce on our amazing Jumping Pillow!  To explore: play barn (with dedicated toddler area), jumping pillow, straw bale adventure (zip wires, go karts).

Young explorer days are specially planned event days such as: Haven Falconry, Crazy Cats, Wight Squirrels, Top Targets (archery, clay pigeon and air rifle shooting).

Gift shop and cafe

Isle of Wight Zoo, Sandown


The Isle of Wight Zoo is a well-established, popular wildlife centre based on the east coast of the Island. The zoo was built within the ruins of a Victorian Fort built to guard Sandown's coast, which means we face one of the Isle of Wight's nicest beaches. Once upon a time the zoo owners used to walk tiger cubs on the beach, and we're still famous locally for it. 

The zoo has a variety of animals, but they specialise in two particular areas - tigers and lemurs. They also have Indian Tigers, Madagascan animals, meerkats, a jaguar, new world monkey, racoons, coatis, wallabies, a tawny owl and farm animals.

Walking safaris

Daily meerkat encounter

Wildlife experiences: big cat experience, big cat training experience, lemur feeding, keeper for a day experience, junior keeper experience.  

Under 3 years go free

Monkey Haven, Newport


Monkey Haven is a rescue centre and sanctuary for primates and birds of prey who are in desperate need of care and attention. Animals and birds include: Muller's gibbons, Rhesus macaques, White-throated capuchins, Siamang gibbons, Marmosets, Lan Gibbons, Barn owls, Kookaburras, Bengal eagle owls, Boat constrictor, Tortoise and Meerkats.


The Reptile Lodge houses our small selection of rescued reptiles. There’s also an interactive map, plus activities including quiz trails and colouring fun.

The Cheeky Monkeys play area is a super-fun area for our smallest visitors. It features bubble cars, tricycles, springies, and a slide and play hut. Parents can watch their children play from the decking area or tea room conservatory.

The Funky Monkey play area is the largest play area for children, with rope bridges, slides, swings, towers and a see-saw. It’s designed to look like a monkey enclosure, complete with a Homo sapiens information board. The squidgy floor is made from 100% recycled aircraft tyres, to help your little ones bounce back from any tumbles. It’s situated near the noisy Lar Gibbons.

Our newly refurbished tea room has been named after one of our most popular monkeys – a sweet Siamang called Xhabu. We offer coffee, tea, sandwiches, cakes, ice creams, snacks and drinks. There’s indoor and outdoor seating, and a viewing conservatory that’s adjacent to the ‘Cheeky Monkey’ play area so parents can relax while watching their little ones play.

Our great shop is packed with fun souvenirs, presents and pocket money toys, including cuddly monkeys, key rings, postcards, jewellery, garden ornaments and magnets. You can also drop in here to adopt one of our adorable animals. 100% of the revenue from adoptions goes straight into the Leaf Foundation, our charitable organisation.

Mummy Travels review of Monkey Haven

West Wight Alpacas, West Wight


West Wight Alpacas is a trekking and alpaca and llama stud farm set within 23-acres of picturesque countryside in the village of Wellow on the Isle of Wight and is home to a wonderful herd of unique Suri alpacas and wooly & Suri llamas.

We've opened our doors so you can come trekking with these adorable animals and get to know your cushing from your pronking or you can just as easily drop into our farm café and shop, while you watch the alpacas roam around.

Animals include: alpacas, llamas, miniature donkeys, pygmy goats, brahmas, rhea, guinea fowl, indian runner ducks

Farm entry, short farm walk 20 mins, long farm walk 40 mins, farm picnic walk, Gift shop, the Llama Tree Pizzeria & Coffee House (entry to the Café Bistro is free)

Free for under 4s

Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctury, Wroxall


The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary is based between Shanklin and Ventnor on the road to Wroxall and we are open all year round from 10:00am till 4:30pm, weather permitting. Everyone is welcome to come and visit our lovely donkeys including well behaved dogs. The charity relies entirely on donations, adoptions and the many fundraising activities held throughout the year.

Amazon World, near Arreton


Amazon World is something more than a just a collection of animals; it is a zoo and a centre for education and conservation.


It is the largest exotic animal attraction on the Isle of Wight and has a huge range of unusual rare and exotic animals, spanning the entire animal kingdom.  Animals include monkeys, lemurs, armadillo, meerkats, penguins, flamingos, macaws, frogs, lizards, snakes, iguanas, tarantulas, to name but a few.  Full list of animals

  • daily meet the animal sessions

  • on site cafe

  • gift shop

  • large Jurassic themed adventure playground

Children under 3 are free

Mummy travels review of Amazon World

Dinosaur Isle, near Sandown


Dinosaur Isle displays over 1000 of the best fossils from the Island's geology and fossil collections and is an all-year-round facility, combining entertainment, education and enjoyment.  Displays use clever lighting, artwork, sound, smells and animatronic technology to create an exciting experience.  As well as the displays, there is a working laboratory on view, and a room set aside for learning sessions. 

Dinosaur Isle is a family-friendly museum.  The whole exhibition is inside which makes it an ideal place to visit come rain or shine!  The museum has plenty of interactive activities for the children; and activity sheets, clipboards and pencils are available at the start of the exhibition to enhance your visit.  During school holidays, and at the weekends, the Education Room is usually open to families. There you will find painting, drawing, puzzles, soft toys on a large dinosaur mat, and even dressing up.  For the adults there is a reading area with magazines. The colouring sheets are available to be downloaded from our website if you want to try some at home.  Our shop stocks hundreds of books, toys and puzzles along with plenty of pocket money souvenirs.

Outside you will find a picnic area and the beach is just across the road. If the children need to let off steam there is a play park about 5 minutes walk away.  We don't have a cafe in the museum, but Browns Cafe, next door, serves childrens meal portions during Spring and Summer.

Please bear in mind that very small children occasionally find the museum a bit scary.  For parents with babies or very young children the Mummy Travel review website may be helpful.

children under 3 are free

Butterfly World, Newport


A visit provides the opportunity to see hundreds of butterflies flying freely in a natural environment, with the unique opportunity to study their life cycle first hand.

Alongside Butterfly World we have Fountain World, the Italian & Japanese gardens, Koi ponds and more.

The Garlic Farm, Newchurch

Farm, restaurant, shop

We are a free to enter family attraction providing the full garlic experience and free access to our beautiful farmland in the Arreton Valley.  


  • Farm walks to experience the flora and fauna of the natural habitat 

  • Tractor trailer tours in school holidays

  • Garlic bread making workshops, decorate a garlic bulb, planting, plaiting and grapping 

  • Education centre includes the history of the farm, archaeological finds, and all about garlic

  • Timber play area with trim trail and nest swing. Perfect for watching the kids on the play kit whilst enjoying a coffee on the rear terrace of the restaurant

  • Farm shop with free tasters of all garlic farm products

  • The Allium Cafe: serving quality coffee, tea, hot chocolate, garlic bread and homemade soup, cakes and biscuits. Dogs and muddy boots welcome.

  • The Garlic Farm Restaurant: our team of exceptional chefs create gourmet dishes often but not always with a good hint of garlic. Wherever possible ingredients are sourced locally. Often we are proud to be able to serve our own Garlic Farm reared highland beef in the restaurant. The cattle can be seen enjoying the open pastures around the farm

Isle Jump Trampoline Park, Lake


​islejump's main arena consists of 40 interconnecting trampolines of the highest quality, as well as angled trampolines that bring another meaning to bouncing off the walls!

The Main Area of islejump if accessible for jumpers aged 5 and above (special family fun sessions are available to include under 5's)

Also available: dodgeball, airbag, basketball

Parent & toddler sessions, autism friendly sessions & fitness classes

Wight Cycle Hire, Yarmouth

Cycle hire

​Cycling on the Isle of Wight - there is something for everyone – from family fun and adventure to challenging road and off-road riding for the enthusiast, we cater for all to ensure that your Isle of Wight cycling experience is the best it can be.

Cycle hire: adult bike standard, road bike alloy, road bike carbon, electric PAS, tandem, child bike, trailer or tag, child seat, pannier racks/bags, lights

All bikes come with the following: –

  • Helmet 

  • Full Island wide mobile support ensuring complete peace of mind and if requested puncture repair kit and pump

  • Lock

  • We will provide maps, routes and route suggestions as requested

  • See website for delivery details

  • See website for route maps

Wight Karting, Ryde


​Wight Karting offers the Isle of Wight’s only all-weather outdoor 500m floodlit track providing unrivalled fun, excitement and safety for people of all ages; 8 to 88!

Isurf, Newchurch


​iSurf is the Isle of Wight's only mobile surf school, meaning they're able to make the most of the fantastic wind and waves the island has to offer.


With over 20 years experience iSurf offers professional teaching and coaching to children and adults looking to learn or develop surf or SUP skills. 


Tuition for children aged 8-16 and for adults.

1:1 surf lessons, group surf lessons, stand up paddle board lessons, stand up paddle board yoga lessons, summer surf camp, birthday parties

Wightwater Adventure Watersports, Lake


​Dunroamin Beach, Lake, Midway between Shanklin & Sandown

Wight Water Adventure Watersports has developed over 32 years into a centre that is able to design specific watersports packages to accommodate schools, individuals, adults and children alike.  They are passionate about providing a whole family experience.

The Tradewinds Café, next door to their centre, is the place to chill out after a hard day in the surf with a hot drink and some tasty refuelling food.


Equipment to hire: catamaran, dinghy, windsurfer, kayak, sit on double kayak, sit on kayak, hard surf board, soft surf board, paddle board, body board,  wet suits.

Tuition: catamaran & dinghy sailing, windsurfing, kit surfing, canoe, surfing

Clinics: sailing, windsurfing

Taster sessions: canoe, surfing, sailing, windsurfing, catamaran, SUP

Tackt-Isle Adventures, St Helens

Adventure activities

​Tackt-Isle Adventures is the place to go for an action packed adventure on the Isle of Wight.


Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or you’re new to outdoor adventures and fancy giving something a go, Tackt-Isle have all the kit, skills and experience to help you make the Island your playground.


Hire kit hassle free, or join their enthusiastic, highly qualified and local staff for an adventure on water or on dry land.


Private tuition, courses, hire, team building, stag & hen events, birthday parties, schools, clubs and groups:

Dinghy sailing, Kayaking, Stand Up Paddleboarding, SUP Yoga, Windsurfing,

Bike & mountain bike hire, mountain bike trail rides, sand yachting, foraging & beachcraft, Segway & airwheel riding


Age restrictions: SAILING: Min 8 years old, unless accompanied by an adult, KAYAKING: Min 9 years old unless in a double kayak with an adult, SUP: Min 12 years old.

Isle of Wight Adventure Activities, Freshwater

Adventure activities

​Isle of Wight Adventure Activities claim to be the largest and most well respected Adventure Company on the Isle of Wight and is a local company within a larger organisation.


“Delivering high quality adventure activities for families is one of our core aims and we work hard to ensure that all ages can take part in our family activities. We have special ‘small child’ safety equipment and our staff are trained to incorporate children of all ages into our adventure activities so that everyone has fun and has an adventure to remember.”


Some of their activities (with age restrictions in brackets): adventure kayaking (12+), family kayaking (8+), kayaking day tour (15+), mega SUP family sessions (8+), climbing (8+), bushcraft intro (no age), aqua zorbing (8+), bushcraft adventure (no age), paddleboarding (12+), SUP day tour (15+), Mega SUP (8+), archery (8+), birthday parties (8-16), mountain boarding (no age), axe throwing (no age), coasteering (12+)


They also offer School Holiday Adventure Days, “an exciting day of land and water activities for children between the ages of 8 – 16 during the school holidays.  Perfect for active children and working parents.  Children can be dropped off at 9am and collected again at 5pm from Tapnell Farm (or they can also pick up at 8.30am and drop off at 5.30pm in Newport (bookable minibus journey). 

Kingswood, Bembridge

Adventure activities

Family adventure days

Available on selected dates April-September, typically on Saturdays, bank holidays or week days during school holidays. Adventure days are great fun for families with limited time and include 4 adventurous activities & lunch:

obstacle challenge, archery, abseiling or climbing, zipwire or indoor bouldering.

Minimum of 1 adult and 1 child (6-17) on each booking​

1 night weekend adventure also available and includes: 6 adventurous activities including zipwire, archery, climbing or abseiling, obstacle challenge and laser games as well as a bushcraft fire lighting session around the campfire in the evening

2 night weekend adventure includes: a full programme of 10 - 11 adventurous activities

Goodleaf Treelcimbing, Ryde


​The UK’s original recreational tree climbing company.

A two hour discover tree climbing experience is a unique and offbeat adventure perfect for ages 8 to 80.

Their experienced and enthusiastic staff will show you the ropes so that you can safely scale the heights of the 70 foot oak tree. Once you’re in the canopy, you can enjoy beautiful sea views, relax in their special tree top hammocks or challenge yourself to climb as much as you want to.

Needles Pleasure Cruises, Alum Bay

Pleasure cruises

Boat trips from Alum Bay on the west tip of the Isle of Wight viewing the famous Needles Rocks and Lighthouse.  Operating from Easter until 1st November,  starting 10.30 daily.

A 20 Minute slow cruise or a 15 minute fast trip to view the Needles Rocks and Lighthouse, coloured sands of Alum Bay, dramatic caulk cliff face and the surrounding coastal features.

No booking required for group sizes less than 20

Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Havenstreet

Steam railway

Take a Ride behind one of our vintage steam locomotives for a special journey back in time. Breathe in the evocative smells of a real steam railway, while your eyes and ears thrill to the puffing and hissing of the steam engine. Settle back in beautifully restored Victorian and Edwardian carriages and enjoy a unique view of some of the Island’s unspoilt countryside ... or hop off at one of our stations and just watch the trains go by!


The railway runs five miles from Smallbrook Junction through Ashey and Havenstreet to Wootton, stopping at all stations along the way - your train ticket is valid for unlimited travel on the day of ticket issue, so please ride as much as you wish! You can stay on the train for the complete trip or break your journey at the station of your choice.

  • Footplate experiences vouchers available

  • Train Story Discovery Centre 

  • Museum in the former Haven Street gasworks retort house

  • Fully licensed refreshment rooms 

  • T-Junction Refreshment kiosk

  • Minghellas Ice Cream parlour

  • Shop selling toys, books, games, souvenirs, used-books, history books, DVDs and an extensive range of railway model products 

  • Regular event days including: real ale train, motor show, heritage goods days, circus, victorian weekend, steam show, Morris Minor rally, carver nights, cider & cheese weekend, beer & buses, halloween fright night, Christmas carver night and Santa specials.

Shanklin Chine & Historic Gorge

Gorge waterfall

Carved by Mother Nature’s own hands over thousands of years, the stunning tree lined gorge that is Shanklin Chine cuts its mark from Shanklin Old Village to the sandy beach and esplanade far below.

Attracting many millions of visitors to wander through and marvel at its beauty over a near double century of seasonal openings, Shanklin Chine can truly say it’s lasted the test of visitor time. There are few places on the Isle of Wight, let alone England, that can boast such a tranquil and picturesque location.

Enjoy the splendour of the Chine by day … then wonder at its mystical beauty on summer nights during the Chine Lumière when hundreds of lights illuminate the narrow paths, streams and waterfalls held within. Without doubt this is the hidden gem in the Island’s crown jewels.

A brand-new exhibition in 2017 will tell the fascinating story of the Chine’s two-hundred-year history and features sections on the flora and fauna of this officially classified site of important nature conservation. This is accompanied by a limited edition new book written especially for the Bicentenary.

Tea room, gift shop and Fisherman's Cottage pub 

Osborne House, East Cowes

Heritage building

"It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot" said Queen Victoria of Osborne House, her palatial holiday home on the Isle of Wight. Visit Victoria and Albert's private apartments, their bathing beach and children's play-cottage for an intimate glimpse of royal family life. Then stroll through the garden terraces where the stunning views across the Solent reminded Prince Albert of the Bay of Naples.

Osborne reflects Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's passions, tastes and style. Ornate furnishings and artefacts from The Royal Collection fill rooms and corridors where Victoria entertained heads of state, inventors, princess and princesses and ruled the vast British Empire.

Things to see and do:

  • State rooms

  • Family rooms

  • Queen Victoria's beach

  • Swiss Cottage

  • Garden and grounds

  • Food and drink

  • Playgrounds and trails

  • Royal collection

  • Regular themed events throughout the year

For families:

  • shingle / sand beach for paddling & swimming (with shuttle bus)

  • Two playgrounds: at the visitor centre, by Swiss Cottage

  • Swiss Cottage, including the Childhood at Osbourne exhibition

  • Family themed events

  • Children's trail - Noble Quest

  • Victorian activities: including Punch & Judy shows, quoits, skittles

  • Picnic benches

  • Cafes with child-sized portions, lunch boxes, highchairs, & children's cutlery 

Carisbrooke Castle


The quintessential romantic castle, Carisbrooke has been an Elizabethan artillery fortress, a king's prison and a royal summer residence. Here you can meet the loveable donkeys and see them work, visit a fascinating museum and see the Castle’s Edwardian garden. Experience far reaching panoramic views from high castle walls and place yourself at the very heart of the Isle of Wight’s History.

What to see and do

  • Conquer the castle

  • Meet the donkeys

  • Explore royal connections

  • Norman keep & wall walk

  • Princess Beatrice Garden

  • Exhibition & Castle Museum

  • Chapel

  • Castle Tearoom

  • Regular events including plays, knight school, jousting and spooky castle

Yarmouth Castle


Yarmouth Castle, Isle of Wight provides a magnificent picnic spot, with views over the Solent for a lovely relaxing family day by the sea. Step inside and discover the atmospheric recreation of how the rooms were used in the 16th century, and see the exhibition about the many wrecks which occurred in the treacherous stretch of sea which the castle overlooks. 

This was the last and most sophisticated addition to Henry VIII's coastal defences; it was completed after his death in 1547, with the first new-style 'arrowhead' artillery bastion built in England.

The Needles Old Battery and New Battery

Heritage building

The Needles Old Battery is a great place for families both inside and out.


With its mixture of ruins and restored buildings, displays and models there's lots for children to explore and do.


Combine your visit to The Needles Old Battery and New Battery with a short stroll on the downs or a more bracing cliff-top hike to the Tennyson Monument.

The Needles New Battery is a small site, further up the headland from the Old Battery. Its two underground rooms tell the fascinating story of British space rockets which were secretly tested here between the 1950s and 70s.

Godshill Model Village

Model village

Our Model Village in Godshill is a 1/10th scale version of the village of Godshill and Shanklin Old Village and Chine, two of the oldest tourist areas on the Isle of Wight.   You can find all of our houses, cottages, churches and pubs in real life for a proper Gulliver experience!  Our models are fantastic replicas of these real buildings, made with sand and cement so they weather as they age. We even thatch them just like the real thing using authentic materials and methods.

We’d recommend that you allow an hour here to fully appreciate the details of the little scenes around the model houses.   On a sunny day you can join us for a cup of tea then wander around agin to catch the little details you missed first time.   So you could easily combine a visit to us with a leisurely wander around the real Godshill village and take a day here.

Shop & cafe

Picnic area (including bring your own picnic, borrow a rug)

Under 3s free

All admission tickets are valid for 7 days as long as you have it validated at the Entrance Kiosk

Fort Victoria Model Railway, near Yarmouth

Model Railway

At Fort Victoria, just outside Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, we have an indoor model railway and shop which is open to the public most of the year. The railway has been at the Fort for the past fifteen years, but under new ownership for only five years. The layouts have been completely altered although the controls of the Continental trains are still by computer programme. A new British layout is under construction, and this will be run by an infra-red system.

Island Planetarium, near Yarmouth


The Island Planetarium offers a fascinating journey through time & space; stimulating your imagination & mind, in our Astrodome theatre & exhibition.

This man-made Universe will take you places you have never been before, from the surface of the Moon to the depth of outer space in our immersive ASTRODOME 360 STAR-THEATRE.

Make sure you leave time to explore the various space-science displays and exhibition dedicated the great scientist/inventor Robert Hooke, born in Freshwater in 1635.

Fort Victoria Country Park is a Dark Sky Discovery Site.  At the Island Planetarium we offer various evening and weekend stargazing courses.

The Planetarium is located at Fort Victoria Country Park which has several attractions, cafe, woodland/beach walks.

Sunken Secrets Archaeology Discovery Centre, near Yarmouth


The Sunken Secrets Archaeology Discovery Centre and exhibition will bring you closer to the Island’s fascinating past; with famous shipwrecks and submerged landscapes, a gift shop and hands-on family workshops, there's something for everyone.

  • Investigate the Island’s ingenious military inventions, its tragic shipwrecks and important sea battles

  • Follow the ongoing rescue of a stone age settlement from the sea 

  • Explore how maritime archaeologists work to protect our earliest evidence for the Island’s boatbuilding industry beneath the Solent. 

  • Stimulate your senses through artefact displays, videos, interactive games and activities to discover the intriguing history of Fort Victoria as a coastal battery, a sea mining depot, and a base for military power boats.

  • New for 2017 Wonder at the engineering and shipbuilding glory of the Cowes Hammerhead Crane

  • Family workshops

  • Giftshop

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Brading Roman Villa


Brading Roman Villa is one of the finest Roman sites in the UK. Our award winning Visitor Centre and Museum offers a unique insight into Roman life in Britain from beautifully preserved mosaic floors to an extensive collection of Roman archaeology. 

Award winning museum, licensed café, shop, meadow trail and garden – Open Daily 10am-5pm.

Regular touring exhibitions and film showings

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