Around The Island
Go to Robin Hill – a lovely natural adventure park, fab for kids and some things older kids will like too, like the huge swinging boat and the toboggan run.
Visit Blackgang Chine on the south of the Island – the sister park to Robin Hill, slightly different, a bit ‘Isle of Wight’ – probably better for kids under 12, but a good water slide for the older kids.
Chug along on the Island Steam Railway all the way from Wootton to Smallbrook. It really is gorgeous and most relaxing.
Walk along to the Needles – a stunning blowy walk with amazing views over the white cliffs. There is also a National Trust museum at the end, with wartime and rocket launching info. Just before you get there, on the left is a lovely cream tea place called Warren Farm. To the hills on the right is another memorable walk with great views over the Solent at Headon Warren. West Wight Alpacas has just started running treks along there too, with their friendly Alpacas.
Between Yarmouth and Freshwater is the lovely sandy Colwell Bay – with a very cool new beach café / restaurant called Barefoot on the Beach. It’s great for swimming in the sea, as there’s a lovely sandy bottom. There’s also a scenic walk along to nearby Totland Bay – or you can swim it!
Yarmouth is a lovely little old fashioned harbour town, with a few great shops and some good restaurants. Sit our in the garden overlooking the sea at the George Hotel and enjoy fabulous food and service. At On The Rocks you can cook your own supper on a hot stone. And for great seafood in a lovely old sailloft – Salty’s is the place to be.
Cowes – the heart of British Yachting – a great place to wander through, with lots of boats to watch, great shopping, though sadly not so many great restaurants. Coast is a good café/bar/restaurant, Saffron is the best Indian, Tiffins is great for well filled baguettes at lunchtime and that’s about all I could recommend!
Walk or drive along the seafront to the village of Gurnard, past the beachhuts and there’s a great seaside café serving breakfast, snacks and lunches and ice creams. You can walk behind the sailing club further along the beach and eventually on to the Little Gloster restaurant with fantastic food and sunsets.
English Heritage – Carisbrooke Castle is an interesting old place with great battlements to climb and sometimes even staged battles, etc.
Osbourne House in East Cowes is very interesting for all ages. Plus they do pony and cart trips down to the Swiss chalet that the princes and princesses looked after. They have a good restaurant with excellent lunches.
If it’s pouring with rain, why not go to a good old fashioned and very cheap cinema – The Commodore in Ryde only £2.50 per ticket ! Or for the younger kids – Jolly Rogers indoor play centre in Newport is the best on the Island. There’s always indoor Bowling on Ryde seafront, or a swim in the beachside pool there (with retractable roof when the sun’s out!)