For a weekend getaway that truly feels like a holiday, look no further than the Isle of Wight. The fact that it’s set apart from the mainland makes it an exciting and exotic adventure in its own rite, but factor in its natural wonders, award-winning beaches, historic attractions and cosy pubs, and you’ve got a recipe for the perfect weekend away!
It’s easy to get to the Isle of Wight too – simply catch a train to Lymington Pier, Portsmouth & Southsea, Portsmouth Harbour or Southampton Central. From any of these stations, you can hop on a ferry to take you across to the island.
There are loads of things to do on the Isle of Wight and there’s something for just about everyone to enjoy, whether you’re planning a trip with your partner, your family or your friends. So without further ado, here’s our itinerary for the perfect weekend on the Isle of Wight.
Day 1: Your first day on the Isle of Wight
Get your morning coffee at Caffe Isola
Once you’ve safely arrived on terra firma, make your way to the island’s capital – Newport – and start your day off with a delicious cup of coffee at Caffe Isola. This gorgeous artisan café has its own coffee roastery on the island, so you’re guaranteed a fresh and tasty brew! Grab a pastry, a slice of cake or a heartier breakfast to accompany your steaming cuppa and to give you the energy you need for your first day of exploring.
Pay a visit to Carisbrooke Castle
Take a stroll through Newport and head up the hill to Carisbrooke Castle (it’s a 20-minute walk or a 10-minute ride on the number 7, 12 or 38 bus). This fine English Heritage property sits proudly at the heart of the island, and since being built more than 1,000 years ago, it’s been a Saxon fortress, a king’s prison and a royal summer home. If you’re away with the kids, they’ll love dressing up as soldiers and learning how to fire cannons! Enjoy panoramic views and wander through the tranquil Princess Batrice Garden before meeting the famous Carisbrooke donkeys.
Stop for lunch at The Eight Bells
Once you’ve had your history fix, head back down the hill for lunch at The Eight Bells – a family-run free house in the heart of Carisbrooke village. Expect all the usual pub classics, including fish and chips, hunter’s chicken and a range of burgers. There’s plenty of veggie and vegan choices too, a selection of sandwiches and jacket potatoes for smaller appetites, and a great kids’ menu too.
See the Needles
As one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the UK, no trip to the Isle of Wight is complete without going to see the Needles! These iconic chalk stacks are on the western tip of the island and to get here you’ll either need to jump in a taxi for half an hour, or take a scenic ride on the number 7 bus. It will take the best part of an hour, but there’s plenty to see from the window so consider it a sightseeing tour! Once there, ride on The Needles Chair Lift for spectacular views across the picturesque rocks and twinkling sea. And don’t miss your chance to visit the Sand Shop to make a sand-filled souvenir!
Have dinner at Burrs
Head back to Newport and round off your action-packed day with a sophisticated meal at Burrs – one of the best restaurants on the Isle of Wight when it comes to ratings and reviews! Take a seat at one of their candlelit tables and feast on British dishes made using locally sourced produce. Everything is made on site, from the bread and dipping oil you’ll start your meal with to the chocolate fudge that comes with your post-meal coffee. Bon appetit!
Enjoy after-dinner drinks at The Hogshead
As the night draws in, treat yourself to a nightcap at The Hogshead, which is just around the corner from Burrs. This warm and inviting pub is the perfect place to enjoy your tipple of choice and end a well-spent first day on the Isle of Wight.
Day 2: Your second day on the Isle of Wight
Start your day at Robin Hill Country Park
Get out in the fresh air and spend the morning exploring the 88 acres of rolling parkland, natural woodland and countryside gardens that make up Robin Hill Country Park. Take in the views from the treetop canopy walkways, wander through the beautiful woodland and marvel at the falconry displays. Grab a coffee and a bite to eat from one of the cafes dotted around the park while the kids enjoy rides, slides and adventure playgrounds – there's something for all ages to enjoy!
Lunch at The Dairyman’s Daughter
After all that fresh air you’re bound to have worked up an appetite, so head out the park, hop on the number 8 bus for five minutes and treat yourself to some wholesome grub at The Dairyman’s Daughter. With options to cater to all tastebuds and lovely outdoor seating for a sunny day, it’s the perfect place to stop for lunch of your second day on the Isle of Wight.
Spend the afternoon at Shanklin Chine
Catch the number 2 bus for 35 minutes and continue your day in the great outdoors with a visit to Shanklin Chine – in the southeast of the island. This deep, rocky ravine has been carved by Mother Nature over thousands of years, and it’s been open to the public since 1817 – in fact, it’s the oldest visitor attraction on the Isle of Wight! Weave your way down the tranquil, leafy Chine and keep your eyes peeled for rare plants, a range of wildlife and enchanting waterfalls.
Take a walk on Shanklin beach
The island is renowned for its long stretches of golden sandy beaches, so be sure to make time for a seaside stroll, whatever the weather! Shanklin beach is one of the Isle of Wight’s best beaches – it’s just a short walk away from Shanklin Chine and has everything you’d expect from a traditional British seaside resort, including an amusement arcade, crazy golf, cafes and souvenir shops. You’ll also find cute and colourful beach huts for that perfect photo opportunity.
Have dinner at Fisherman’s Cottage Inn
After a wonderful day spent outdoors, wrap up your weekend at this lovely beachfront gem. Fisherman’s Cottage Inn is Shanklin’s original thatched dining pub and has been serving customers since 1817. If it’s a Sunday then tuck into a hearty Sunday roast, otherwise take your pick from their menu, with seafood specialities and pub classics at the forefront. Take the time to reflect on your past couple of days of adventures, and start planning your next trip with SWR!
Ready to set sail? Explore our flexible range of ticket types to find the best one for your journey, and remember that if you have a Railcard you could save even more on your fare. Book your train tickets today and get set for your adventure to the Isle of Wight!
Spring has sprung – grab your flock and get cheap train tickets to London and the rest of the Southwest with no booking fee and a price promise guarantee that you won’t find cheaper tickets anywhere else. Visit London and enjoy theatre, restaurant and attraction discounts with SWR rewards, take a trip to the coast for some spring sunshine or head to the New Forest for some fresh air and walking trails.
Spread your wings this spring