Top Isle of Wight Attractions
The Isle of Wight is a popular holiday destination year after year. It's ideal for people of all ages and there are various different attractions on offer whether you're a toddler or in retirement. Here is just a small list of the things on offer and the places you should try to visit on your stay.
Based in Newport, this animal attraction is home to rescued birds of prey and primates. The haven keeps lemurs, gibbons, capuchins and marmosets, along with several other breeds of monkey. The birds of prey section is also extensive with barn owls, eagle-owls and buzzards. You can meet the owls and watch the monkeys being fed, making this an ideal attraction for people of all ages.
This stately home was once the royal residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, used as a summer retreat. The house hasn't been used by the royal family since Victoria's death in 1901 and it is now fully open to the public. The grounds overlook the Solent and are home to picnic-style concerts held occasionally. Many of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's possessions are on display in Osborne House for the public to see while wandering around the rooms and the extensive grounds.
The Needles are not your traditional tourist destination in that they are actually three distinctive rocks that just out of the sea on the coast of the Isle of Wight. The chalk rock also houses the Needles Lighthouse, warning incoming ships of the dangers on the coastline. There are several boat trips that go round the rocks and give some fantastic views of Alum Bay so if you fancy doing something a bit different on your holiday, be sure to pay a visit to the Needles.
The Isle of Wight has been nicknamed the dinosaur isle because there are so many dinosaur bones that have been discovered here. As a consequence, there is a pretty impressive museum in Sandown titled Dinosaur Isle. It is interactive and gives people of all ages a chance to learn about dinosaurs and their history in an entertaining and interesting way. There aren't a lot of the traditional steam railways left in the UK now but the Isle of Wight is home to one of them. You can hop onto the train at Smallbrook Junction and travel through Ashey and Havenstreet, ending your journey in Wootton. There is also a museum that you can visit and have a look at some of the items they have on display to get an understanding of what life was like before modern trains were even thought of.
Isle of Wight Zoo
This zoo is primarily a big cat sanctuary, with one of the largest collections of tigers in the country but there is a range of other animals there. The wallabies are part of a walk-through enclosure that you can feed, while special animal experience days can be booked in advance to feed the tigers and the lemurs. Based in Sandown, the zoo was built in the ruins of a Victorian Fort and the zoo owners used to walk the tigers down the beach, however they now concentrate more on giving older tigers a peaceful retirement.
If you're a fan of the outdoors, make sure you pay a visit to Tennyson Down. Situated just south of Totland on the western side of the island, it is quite simply a big, grassy ridge. It is ideal for people who like walking and if you're brave enough to go close to the cliff edge, you can see a whole range of birds from peregrine falcons to ravens. You'll be able to spot the Tennyson Down because of the Tennyson Memorial cross found there. It was named after the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson who used to walk there regularly and often used it as a source of inspiration.