No need to leave the site, especially for any kids who love thumping a fluffy green ball across a net. Or indeed for anyone who likes trekking with llamas. With 55 acres to play with, this is llama heaven. Nature kids will also love the Newtown National Nature Reserve, alive with flora and fauna to be discovered.
To up the pace, head out to the UK’s oldest theme park at Blackgang Chine – Land of Imagination. Ride the Cliffhanger and Waterforce, and explore Fairyland and Pirate Cove. Then hit sister site Robin Hill Activity Park for the suspended maze, falconry, toboggan run and 4D cinema.
Explore 57 miles of coastline, with sand-based fun at Ventnor, Shanklin, Ryde and Sandown. Take the chairlift down to Alum Bay beach for rides, sweet-making demonstrations, glass-blowing and crazy golf. Or see 200 different species at the Amazon World Zoo Park.
You can hunt for your own fossils – plenty to be found – or cheat and head for the Dinosaur Isle Museum, home to 126 million years of geology and history. Watch the primates have a swinging time at Monkey Haven. Or get high in the canopy at Goodleaf Tree Climbing, with the option of relaxing in the hammocks once you’re up there.
Right out of the door, the Newtown National Nature Reserve is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty bursting with wildlife that comes with its own town hall, but no town. If you have your own craft, you can also kayak in the neighbouring creek or charter boats from Cowes or Yarmouth.
See The Needles, a row of three distinctive stacks of chalk rising 30 metres out of the sea off the west coast. Then check out The Needles Old and New Batteries, a Victorian coastal defence and secret rocket-testing site high above the rocks. Or see loveable donkeys, a fascinating museum and an Edwardian garden at Carisbrooke Castle.
Then there’s Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s palatial holiday home. See the King and Queen’s private apartments, their bathing beach and children’s play cottage. Then stroll through the garden terraces where the Solent view reminded Prince Albert of the Bay of Naples.
Head into Cowes for independent boutique shopping or to Newport for the larger chains. Come in June and see the big headline acts in the Isle of Wight Festival and enjoy a splash in the hot tubs, or head to Three Gates Farm in July for the family-friendly and highly international Rhythm Tree Festival.
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