Are you having a staycation this summer? If so, you might be tempted to go back to your tried and tested favourites… Cornwall, the Peak District, Suffolk – they’re all beautiful and well-loved destinations, but how about exploring a little further afield instead? The Isle of Wight is located just off the south coast of England, meaning its easy to access while still feeling like you’ve actually ‘gone somewhere’. Here are eight reasons you should consider checking it out…
1. It’s easy to get to
Reaching the Isle of Wight is actually very straightforward: hop on the ferry from mainland England (you can board at Lymington, Portsmouth or Southsea) on foot, with your bicycle or even with your car for a smooth journey that only takes around 45 minutes on average.
2. It’s beautiful
The Isle of Wight is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with miles of pathways that meander through open fields, woodland, beaches and cliff lines. It’s the perfect destination if you like lacing up your walking boots, being in the fresh air or snapping photographs of the great outdoors.
3. There are dinosaurs
Ok, so there aren’t any living dinosaurs, but the Isle of Wight is certainly somewhere to visit if you or your little ones are interested in learning more about them. The coast is littered with fossils waiting to be uncovered by eagle-eyed visitors, and England’s first museum dedicated to dinosaurs is found on the island too.
4. It’s peaceful
While the Isle of Wight is the second most populated island in England, it’s surprisingly peaceful if you fancy getting away from the crowds. Make a detour to avoid busy towns such as Shanklin and Ventnor, instead heading to tranquil villages like Arreton (home to two pubs and a 12th century church) and Godshill (with thatched cottages and tea rooms).
5. But the island is also lively!
Every summer, the island offers one of the best festivals in Europe: The Isle of Wight festival. Offering days of incredible music, great entertainment and a buzzing atmosphere, the island is alive with locals and tourists having a good time.
6. The holiday accommodation is brilliant
Campervans, tents, caravans and yurts… there are so many options when it comes to visiting the Isle of Wight. However, you’ll perhaps enjoy the charming holiday cottages that are available on the island most of all, with a smattering of classic cottages offering a cosy place to stay with all your creature comforts; the perfect base for exploring the island as it means you can spend your days exploring windswept beaches, coastal villages and local attractions before curling up on a sofa of your own in the evening.
7. It’s a fantastic destination for music lovers
As well as the pop music to be enjoyed at the Isle of Wight festival each year, the island caters for people with all kinds of tastes. For instance, there’s an excellent jazz weekend on the island in June, a classic music festival in July, and a one-of-a-kind Ventnor Fringe festival in August, featuring intimate performances from alternative and indie music acts across the island with one single ticket.
8. Foodies are spoilt for choice
Finally, it might not occur to you to think of the Isle of Wight as something of a foodie haven, but it really is! From fine dining options like Thompsons (offering an eight course dining menu) to cheap and cheerful fish and chip shops, cafes, pubs and everything in between, you could eat your way around the island and enjoy something different every night.
So, will you consider exploring further afield this year?
Featured image from here.