With fantastic theme parks, picturesque landscapes and countless sandy beaches, the Isle of Wight is the perfect place for a family getaway. Whether you want to get up close and personal with wild animals, explore ancient castles or simply soak in the sights and scenery, there’s bound to be something that’ll tickle your fancy.
It only seems fitting that Britain’s dinosaur capital should have a dinosaur-themed museum. Housed within a striking pterosaur-shaped building, overlooking Sandown beach, Dinosaur Isle is one of the best-loved attractions on the island. Inside you will find life-sized models of local dinosaurs, get to view thousands of prehistoric specimens and even venture down onto the beach for a guided fossil hunt. Tickets are priced at just £5 for adults and £3.80 for children.
Blackgang Chine holds the title of the “oldest UK amusement park.” It contains over 40 acres of Victorian gardens, a cowboy town, controllable moving dinosaurs and the famous Cliffgang roller coaster. Other fan favourites include the Water Force drop slide and a life-sized Snakes and Ladders play park!
The Isle of Wight Zoo specialises in tigers and lemurs. It’s a family-run zoo that was built within the ruins of a Victorian Fort. With a focus on care, conservation and education, the zoo runs daily tours and programmes for children, aimed at generating awareness for endangered animals. It also offers daily photography workshops for visitors who want to improve their skills or leave with a memorable souvenir. Adult tickets are £10.50 and children’s tickets are £8.50.
With more than 100 animals in care – including 90 donkeys and 25 horses/ponies – the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary is a prime home for unwanted donkeys. The sanctuary is open all year round, seven days per week. Admission is free of charge; however, the organization relies on donations and adoptions from visitors to stay afloat, so be generous!
Monkey Haven is an award-winning sanctuary for primates and birds of prey. All of the animals have come to the centre through various rescue efforts – illegal pet trade, bullying, poor breeding programs – therefore, most are unable to live in the wild and fend for themselves. The sanctuary is dedicated to enriching the lives of the animals in a relaxing, tranquil environment. Entrance is £10 for adults and £8 for children.
The Isle of Wight is Britain’s number one fossil hunting destination. No trip to the area would be complete without scouring the beaches for a souvenir. Fossil hunting tours from The Footprint Tours, Dinosaur Expeditions CIC and Dinosaur Isle operate year round from both Compton Bay and Yaverland beaches.
The Isle of Wight truly is an all-year-round destination with something for all ages. If you’re not one for theme parks, wild animals or dinosaurs, no need to worry. With hundreds of cycling/walking trails, artisan coffee shops and beautiful untouched British scenery, there’s still plenty to enjoy that doesn’t involve boosting your heart rate!
If you’re in need of accommodation, check out our Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park and book your next trip to the Isle of Wight with Away Resorts.