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Things to do on the Isle of Wight in Winter

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'A little wet and cold won’t hurt you' our parents used to tell us when we were growing up, and now we couldn’t agree more. Winter often provides a unique beauty to the great outdoors that other seasons fail to match, so there’s no way we should be clamouring to stay indoors from December to February! Get out and enjoy it!

Here on the great Isle of Wight there’s never a dull winter moment – especially not during the festive season. If you’re heading to the Island in the chilly season, or you’re contemplating a trip away and haven’t settled on a location yet, let us walk you through just some of the many fantastic things to do on the Isle of Wight in winter.

Go to the beach!


Don’t worry – we haven’t lost our marbles, and yes – we haven’t forgotten this is a piece about winter, not summer! You know that winter beauty we were just talking about? Well, you won’t find a better example on display than at the Island’s stunning beaches.

A brisk winter walk with a coffee or cup of hot chocolate along a seawall, taking in sensational views across the Solent, listening to the waves crash at the shore? Lovely. Bonchurch to Ventnor is a great stroll, as is Yaverland to Shanklin. If you’re a sailing fan and you want to spot some yachts out on the water, try Cowes to Gurnard. Wrap up warm as it could be chilly, but it’s well worth it.

Delight in a wine tasting


Just because it’s colder, that doesn’t mean the vineyards close down! Nor does it change our love for a drop of good vino. There’s only one place for it then – the Rosemary Vineyard on Smallbrook Lane in Ryde.

The road leading to the vineyard is a bit bumpy, but once you’ve arrived you’ll be able to stroll around the vines, take in the views, learn about the wine-making process, and start sipping some gorgeous wines, juices, liqueurs and ciders. Why not pick up a bottle of your favourite wine throughout the testing at the gift shop? A great day out, any time of year.

Head to Dinosaur Isle


The Isle of Wight is known for its Jurassic past, so for a great day out for all the family you could pay a visit to Dinosaur Isle. Formerly the Museum of Isle of Wight geology housing the Island's geology and fossil collections, the £2.7 million modern and purpose-built Dinosaur Isle museum was opened in 2001.

Located on Culver Parade, Sandown, there are more than a thousand of the best fossils on display, as well as an informative gallery taking you from the Ice Age to the recent past. With its skeletal re-constructions, life-sized fleshed sculptures, and two amazing animatronic dinosaurs, the kids will be blown away!

Be enchanted at the zoo


From extinct animals to ones we rarely get a chance to see here in the UK, the Isle of Wight Zoo is a must-visit for animal lovers. Overlooking Sandown Bay, the zoo specialises in the fascinating world of big cats; there are lions, jaguars, even a white tiger named Zena! In fact, Britain’s largest assortment of tigers is homed right here on the Island.

Wallabies, lemurs, monkeys, meerkats – they’re all here! The zoo also boasts an impressive collection of Madagascan animals including giant jumping rats, day geckos, tree boas and hissing cockroaches. You won’t get many opportunities to see these extraordinarily unique creatures.

Enjoy a warming pub crawl


What’s better than a hearty ale or a drop of wine by a roaring fire in a delightful country pub during winter? Doing it on the Isle of Wight, that’s what.

There are plenty of fantastic pubs in great locations. Some of our favourites for food include The Taveners, The Folly, The Bonchurch Inn, The New Inn and The Pointer Inn. Meanwhile, for quality ale head to The Travellers Joy, The Railway, The Anchor, The Union or Cowes Ale House.

Take a ride on the steam railway


There aren’t many things more festive than donning your woolly hat and scarf, grabbing a cup of cocoa, and settling in for a ride on a steam train. Regardless of your age, that’s a great day out!

Santa specials run throughout December right up until Christmas Eve, but there are also mince pie specials, New Year ‘Hangover’ specials, and a Christmas Carvery night.

Step back in time to a Victorian Christmas


Osborne House has long been one of the most popular tourist attractions on the Island; it might have been Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s summer holiday home, but in December it becomes a time machine back to Victorian Christmas times!

Festive guided tours will be running up to Christmas, giving visitors a taste of how the holiday was celebrated when the Royal Family were in town.

Do you want to treat the family to an amazing getaway on the Isle of Wight? Then check out our special Christmas packages for incredible offers this winter.