What to do on the Isle of Wight, UK
Following on from my postcards from the Isle of Wight, I thought I’d share things in a little more structured way to help prepare you for an amazing trip to the Isle of Wight! It was such a gorgeous spot to visit and whilst I sit here with the rain pelting down, I’d quite like to be on their sunny climes!
Getting to the Isle of Wight
As mentioned, the only way to head over is by ferry! We took the car so took the vehicle ferry with Red Funnel ferries from Southampton. They also have a passenger service or there is a quicker hover boat service which runs from Portsmouth.
I definitely recommend having a car when you’re on the island. There is public transport, but it isn’t that frequent so you’d definitely have more freedom with a car. You can hire them on the island or take one across like we did.
What to do on the Isle of Wight
Visit Farringford House
Farringford House was the home of Tennyson – the poet laureate to Queen Victoria. I have to admit that whilst I knew some of his poems, I wasn’t totally familiar with his background. Well, his house which had previously been turned into a hotel, has been renovated back to what it would have looked like when Tennyson lived there.
The house itself is gorgeous, they offer tours which you need to book onto which take you around all the rooms and give you a great background into the family. The guides were fab too – showing us lots of interesting aspects. The gardens have also been redone and are totally worth a good wander around. If you love old houses then a trip here and to Osborne House is a perfect weekend!
Visit the Needles
The Needles are one of the most famous spots on the Isle – which refer to three chalk cliffs out to the sea. We didn’t have enough time to take the walk down to see them but the photos are gorgeous. Everyone who I mentioned the Isle too always mentioned the sand and this is the place! You can make little sand combinations which all the different sand colours found on the island.
Take a cycle along the Ryde sea front
Ever cycled on a 17 person cycle? Well me either! But there is always a first and Erica and I jumped on the BoRo beach bike for a cycle down the Ryde seafront. It is definitely a unique way to see the seaside and I loved the looks of shock on peoples faces as we rode past!
The bikes mainly run in the summer but do check out whether they have any special events on – they even offer afternoon tea on the bike which I have to say sounds like quite the experience!
Explore the Garlic Farm
I can’t say I’ve visited a garlic farm before, so it was very interesting to give it a visit! Garlic is grown on the Isle and used in an array of products. The farm is hospitable to guests and you can take tours of the whole farm, including out in the field where the garlic is grown and in the large metal barns where the garlic is sorted and stored. The barns are absolutely humongous – it must have taken a very big steel buildings kit and a lot of time to build them! They also have a taste experience room where you can give them all a try and a little educational area too. The restaurant attached to it was packed and the shop full of garlic! I ended up buying Isle of Wight gin which wasn’t flavoured with garlic but was very much enjoyable. Definitely a spot to pop into!
Hit up one of the music events
The Isle of Wight is home to loooads of music events! The night we were there the All Wight Now line up was on which we heard was fabulous (and is on yearly) and there was a big festival the weekend after too. Keep an eye on the ‘Whats On’ page on Visit Isle of Wight to keep up with all the details!
Where to eat on the Isle of Wight
On the way to Farringford, be sure to top off at The Piano for breakfast or lunch. It is a gorgeous light and airy cafe which serves delicious food. I went for a giant Caprese salad which used Isle of Wight tomatoes – the best of the UK and served with home made sourdough. Erica went for a halloumi salad which also went down a treat. A perfect spot for local home made fair!
For dinner in Shanklin we had a wander to The Cottage – doing modern British food. I had a beautiful prawn filo starter and then fresh piece of salmon for main. We shared a salted caramel dome for dessert which was just an utter dream. Highly recommend if you’re on that side of the island!
We popped to Three Buoys for lunch and it was a dream – specialising in amazing seafood, I definitely ate a lot of it! I started with scallop ceviche which was zingy and fresh before a giant bowl of mussels. I take advantage of mussels whenever I can and these were great – creamy sauce and lots of fresh mussels.
We shared dessert again and even though I was stuffed by this point, I could not stop eating their rhubarb tart – it had a caramelised top which I could not get enough of. I could probably eat one every day!
Where to stay
I gushed about Haven Hall in my last post but had to mention it again. This luxury hotel in Shanklin is a real gem – great hosts, amazing gardens, stunning views and a cozy, fresh interior is everything you need. If you have the opportunity to stay here then I 100% recommend it!
Phew, hopefully that will get you set for an amazing trip to the Isle of Wight – I’ll definitely be back to visit again with Paul as I know he would love it too.
Have you ever been to the Isle of Wight?
*We headed to the Isle of Wight on a press trip but all loving opinions are my own – I mean what’s not to love?!
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