East of the Island
Ryde is an old Victorian town that has seen better days really ! But some great new shops on the lower High Street leading down to the sea – worthy of a visit for contemporary unusual lovely things are Smith & Stephenson, Crocus, Beachcomber and Flowers By Nic. The restaurant Olivos is a really good family restaurant with nice mediterannean atmosphere. Great food.
You could get the hovercraft from here back to the mainland ( in 8 mins!) and visit the slightly tacky rollercoaster and amusement park in Southsea, or Seaworld. Or catch the Wightlink Fast Cat (15 mins) from along the Pier to Portsmouth and visit the historial dockyards with lots of naval interest and the old Victory, the Warrior and the Mary Rose ships to see. Have a little shop right there at the excellent outlet centre at Gunwharf Quays, with a big selection of shops including Ralph Lauren, Gap, Monsoon, Jack Wills, L K Bennett, Superdry – plus lots of great restaurants including a new Jamie Oliver.
Visit Seaview a quintessential English seaside village with some smart new beachy shops and cafes. Have a crab ramekin at the Seaview Hotel, or drinks on the seafront from The Old Fort.
Puckpool is an old fashioned play park with cool new swings etc for younger kids, tennis courts and crazy golf. Some interesting old war batteries to explore too – and walk through to the end of Ryde beach and have lunch at the bohemian Dell Café. Or round the corner by road is the Boathouse gastropub.
St Helens Duver is a maze of sand dunes and a good sandy beach at the entrance to Bembridge Harbour.
On the green at St Helens are some good little Restaurants, including Dans Kitchen and a lovely tearoom nearby.
Bembridge has some good walks along the beaches, a pretty harbour, and interesting lifeboat station and some good restaurants and a deli in the village including the excellent Locks Lane and the new Angel in the Kitchen.
The Priory Bay Hotel is a smart country house hotel with a great restaurant where you can sit outside or in the conservatory. Excellent food and smart service. You can then walk down to a great sandy beach through the grounds.