So is the Isle of Wight really “the best holiday place in the UK“, or are there better choices for an English break such as Cornwall, Devon, The Lake District, Dorset, Yorkshire, or Slough?
We could settle it with a fight, but alternatively, you could look at our analysis of how the Isle of Wight compares to other UK family vacation destinations in eight areas like beaches, attractions, weather, and location before you decide where to book.
When you arrive, what things can you see and do around the Bonchurch area, which by the way is famous for its lovely old church?
1. Allnatt Outdoors East Dene
Allnatt Outdoors East Dene is open and remains to be through winter and 2021, offering day trips to schools while overnight residentials aren’t available under Government guidelines.
They welcome you back with the “We are Good to Go” badge, giving you the confidence you will need to enjoy your stay.
A magnificent historic Grade 2 registered Mansion House with adjoining Coach House facing the ocean. A variety of bunk bedded and double/single-bedded rooms with three fabulous dining rooms and a comfortable, relaxed, and friendly setting. Established in 10 acres of old woodland. East Dene has an interesting history as a Victorian family home, and they provide an outstanding choice of menus.
Teaching Services provides a broad selection of quality outdoor experiences, and activities. Kids and adults love the wide variety of seasonal, healthy meals. A perfect venue for school excursions, groups from overseas, families, youth and adult classes, weddings and special occasions, faith groups, and specialist programs.
Comfortable and attractive accommodation that can sleep up to 180. Hospitality services offer a warm welcome in which “nothing is too much trouble.” We’ve got direct access to Monks Bay with wonderful opportunities to study and revel in the coastal environment.
East Dene is full of wildlife, including badgers, foxes, red squirrels, and pheasants.
East Dene includes a heated outdoor pool and spa, an archery range, campfire, bushcraft sites, barbecue sites, inspirational breakout rooms, a library, and a piano and keyboard.
2. Appuldurcombe House
Appuldurcombe House is the shell of a grand looking 18th century home, located towards the Isle’s south coast. The existing house dates back to 1702, but the site itself was a priory in 1100. Wikipedia says that it is ‘one of the most haunted places on the Island.’
3. Many Beaches
Ventnor’s shore used to be much Sandier, but some major storms one winter became a fair bit rougher. It’s still a beautiful coastline with small beach huts that were once bathing cabins on wheels in addition to lots of great chip-eating points.
Steephill Cove is less accessible compared to Ventnor (the clue’s in the title ), but it’s a favorite of many. It seems somewhat like a little Cornish fishing bay with half a dozen quite little homes. Low tide is favored as there is hardly any beach otherwise.
If you fancy somewhere really secluded, try Orchard Bay, Binnel Bay, or Woody Bay. We tried to have a picnic in Binnel Bay, despite no sand or soft surfaces to sit on. We would describe it as a bumpy experience.
4. Blackgang Chine
The UK’s strangest – sorry, earliest – Theme park remains a family favorite, despite it now being a little pricier than you may retain when you visited in years ago.
Everybody who went on a school excursion to The Isle of Wight will reminisce on Blackgang Chine’s Crooked House, the dinosaurs (which currently move), the maze, the cowboys, and the large smuggler.
It is also in an unbeatable place, hanging on the side of a somewhat precarious coastline.
5. Bonchurch To Ventnor’s Solar System Walk
People who have experienced life in a wheelchair or with a relative in a wheelchair will be aware that the world suddenly feels really inaccessible. An easy step is enough to ruin a day out.
Finally, you get to know the available places to go and begin to actually appreciate the opportunity to do something normal. Lots of individuals have had many steps near the seawall from Bonchurch to Ventnor. There is a precipitous slope in the Bonchurch end, though it is not difficult, and you’ll be able to find a car down to the bottom bit for falling off.
6. Historic Churches
Do not even think about taking kids on a tour of historic churches. They won’t like it, and consequently neither will you. Adults may see the appeal – well-maintained buildings which are almost a thousand years old and they’re free to get in.
Section of Old St Boniface Church exists from the 11th century.
St. Lawrence Old Church on Seven Sisters Road is quaintness enhanced by quaintness, with a door made for very short people and chairs for a very small gathering.
7. Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary
The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary is just the outside of Ventnor, which is open to visitors and isn’t too bulky on the ‘sponsor a donkey’ sales offering.
8. St. Boniface Down and Blackgang
Not just a day tour, but if you’re passing, you may prefer to stop in the Blackgang car park perspective that has wonderful views looking towards Freshwater and the Needles.
There’s a beautiful clifftop road from here, which faces the Blackgang Chine park (it seems a good bit smaller from above). There’s generally a van providing food and beverages.
You might want to include it with a go-to St. Catherine’s Oratory, just up a precipitous hill.
9. St. Catherine’s Lighthouse
St. Catherine’s Lighthouse is a little gem that’s well worth walking around on a sunny day. Unfortunately, you can’t have a tour inside. It was formerly a very lovely little activity surrounded by kindly volunteers who took you up steep steps to the very top.
On the other hand, you can stay in one of the lighthouse keeper’s cottages that are known as Gurnard (sleep 5), Penda (sleep 5), and Landward (sleep 4).
10. Ventnor Botanic Garden
Many tourism guides trot out that Ventnor has a unique microclimate’ without actually explaining what that means. Essentially, it appears to be somewhat sunnier than elsewhere (since it’s about 7 miles closer to the equator than Newport probably), and it is not too windy as it’s backed by high mountains.
The end result is that a) it was an ideal site for individuals recovering from tuberculosis, and b) you can grow beautiful Mediterranean flowers in the Botanic Gardens.
It used to be free, but it currently charges an entrance fee. It is not hugely expensive, though, and will appeal to anglers.
11. Ventnor Heritage Centre and Time Travel
Ventnor’s Heritage Centre has a museum and a local history society, each of which is kept by volunteers. At the time of writing, entrance to the museum is the grand cost of #1.50 – that will hardly get you an ice cream today.
It’s in a store in the High Street (PO38 1PE) and contains a collection of photographs, records, and so forth.
It does not open all day, so see their site or call first (01983 855407)
You can burn the chips and ice cream while discovering Ventnor’s history on the heritage trail. There are nine boards around the region and a challenge to beat the clock, which could persuade the kids to join.
12. Ventnor Paddling Playgrounds and Pool
Small splashers will love this map of the Island, complete with cold water to recreate the freezing Solent.
It’s well placed on the Esplanade, besides some toilets and an excellent cafe. There’s a significant pay and display car park nearby, which can be handy for toddlers that are inclined to have an awkward meltdown and need quickly returning to the car.
There is also a playground high upward by Ventnor Winter Gardens.
13. Ventnor Park and the Diplodocus Labyrinth
Ventnor Park is free and is among the nicer parks around the Isle of Wight, with a little putting green and an outside gym that’s fantastic for the city’s beefcake citizens who wish to chew gum and pump iron.
There are also some somewhat random colorful budgies in aviaries. It won Park of the Year in the South and South East England in Bloom Awards in 2016.
Only a little walk alongside from Ventnor Park close to La Falaise Car Park, you’ll find that a Diplodocus Labyrinth that has been painted on the hillside. It is a bit like a maze, simply without junctions, and it is excellent for younger people to run up and down before giving up and asking to be carried for the last bit.