Why not head to the Isle of Wight this summer; full of quintessential British beauty, eclectic events and its own ‘island magic’. A grown-up getaway can be whatever you want it to be. The Isle of Wight, easily reached with Wightlink, offers you a chance to really get away from it all.
1.Getting away from it all
There’s something special about stepping on board a Wightlink ferry from Portsmouth – be it on foot or with your car – as it signals the start of your Isle of Wight adventure. You might be staying for a few hours or a few nights, but as you wave goodbye to the mainland you can literally feel your troubles lifting from your shoulders. Take the FastCat from Portsmouth Harbour railway station and you’ll be in Ryde in just 22 minutes. Or take the car and leave from Wightlink’s ferry port in Gunwharf, arriving in Fishbourne 45 minutes later.
2.Visit Osborne House
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria – the second-longest reigning monarch, and regular holiday visitor to the Isle of Wight. For a true spot of royalty, visitors can explore Osborne – once the holiday home of Queen Victoria. From state rooms in the house, where the Queen once entertained guests, to family rooms and stunning gardens to walk around in, guests can truly immerse themselves in Queen Victoria’s footsteps at this attraction.
3.Get on your bike
With over 200 miles of cycling routes, nestled within a stunning landscape, the Isle of Wight is unsurprisingly one of the UK’s most popular cycling destinations - perfect for beginners and pros alike. What’s more, Wightlink will carry your bike across for free!
It’s probably been a fair few years since you climbed a tree. But why let kids have all the fun? Try a spot of recreational tree climbing in Ryde. Climbing into the branches of a magnificent oak tree using rope, a harness and wearing a helmet. The experience takes place in small groups of up to eight people and the emphasis is on fun. It’s a chance to experience a unique place that very few people ever get to visit – the canopy of a tree. You climb at your own pace. There’s no one waiting at the bottom of your rope for their turn; you can tailor your climb to suit you.
5.Take the dog
The Isle of Wight is one of the most dog-friendly places in Britain. There are walks galore, sandy beaches for running and swimming, glorious countryside to explore and plenty of pet-friendly pit-stops for when the humans need refuelling. Dogs travel free on Wightlink – when accompanied by a well-behaved owner. On a clear day, they can amble on the car ferries’ outer decks and when the weather is not so good they can enjoy the short crossing inside the ferries’ dedicated pet areas.
6.Marvel at the Needles
Explore the marvels of the Island’s natural coastline and discover the Needles rock formation in all its glory aboard the Needles Pleasure Cruise. You’ll head out to the Trinity Lighthouse, where you can gaze back at the glorious multicoloured sands of Alum Bay. Or jump on the iconic Needles Chairlift from the top of the Alum Bay cliffs down to the beach below – the views are spectacular.
7.Have an adventure
Swap the everyday grind for boundless adventures on the Island. The Isle of Wight Surf Club has recently celebrated its half-century so why not hang loose and hit the surf? Or if you're looking for a more tranquil way to appreciate our spectacular coastline, glide around crystal-clear bays on a stand-up paddleboard. Try your hand at sailing or pump up the adrenaline as you explore sea caves and leap off rocks on a coasteering trip.
8.Eat your way around the Island
The superb climate ensures that the Isle of Wight is home to a wealth of local produce; the freshest seafood straight from fishing boats, locally made beer, wine and spirits, organic fruit and vegetables (you’ve tried Isle of Wight garlic and tomatoes, right?) and delicious locally made ice creams and desserts.
9.Explore the great indoors
And if the weather doesn’t live up to your expectations? There’s plenty to do indoors too. Visit the latest exhibition at Dimbola Museum & Galleries in Freshwater Bay (Iconic Bowie is on until 18 August) or book tickets to a show at Quay Arts in Newport. Hop on a train at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway or get tropical at Amazon World Zoo Park.
10.Enjoy some pampering
Relax, recharge and reenergise at The Cabin at Ventor where soothing treatments are carried out on a secluded outdoor terrace, to the soundtrack of breaking waves. This charming mini coastal spa is a real island gem and also offers boutique accommodation. The Isle of Wight is also proud home to Liz Earle's flagship store in Ryde and it is said that the islands rich flora inspired some of her world-famous and best-selling products.
With all this and more, you can enjoy the perfect staycation or day out on the Island this summer with Wightlink. Check wightlink.co.uk for the latest ferry offers.