The ultimate Isle Of Wight travel guide: Top tips for the perfect staycation this year

7 September 2021, 16:09 | Updated: 8 September 2021, 14:36

Explore the Isle of Wight
Explore the Isle of Wight. Picture: Alamy/Koala Cottage/The Terrace/The Taverners

Here's what to do and where to eat in the Isle of Wight...

After 18 months of being cooped up, we're all desperate to get away this year.

And with Covid tests and quarantine rules still in place across the world, a staycation to the Isle of Wight is the perfect alternative and will feel like a proper holiday.

Renowned for its natural beauty, the island has amazing sandy beaches, windswept cliff tops and incredible restaurants.

Here’s your ultimate guide to staying on the Isle of Wight…

How to get there

Just off the south coast of England, Isle of Wight is a 22-minute ferry ride across the Solent.

The Wightlink Ferry can get you from Portsmouth to Fishbourne in 22 minutes
The Wightlink Ferry can get you from Portsmouth to Fishbourne in 22 minutes. Picture: Alamy

Wightlink offers a car ferry return crossing this autumn from £59 for a car with up to seven people.

For foot passengers, Wightlink’s tickets cost £14.80 per person.

Trains are frequent to Portsmouth harbour from all over the country, with tickets from Waterloo starting at just £12.80.

Visit their website here.

Where to stay

If you’re looking for a picture postcard stay in Isle of Wight, Koala Cottage is the perfect spot.

The boutique B&B is tucked away in the heart of the quaint village of Godshill, a 25 minute drive from Fishbourne ferry port.

Awarded a luxury 5* Silver Bed and Breakfast accolade, they have a choice of three deluxe suites with large bathrooms and sweet touches such as chocolates and plenty of tea and coffee.

Koala Cottage is situated in Godshill
Koala Cottage is situated in Godshill. Picture: Koala Cottage
The outside area of Koala Cottage has a Tiki bar
The outside area of Koala Cottage has a Tiki bar. Picture: Koala Cottage

The owners are welcoming and friendly, while the homemade breakfasts are a real highlight with fresh ingredients from the island.

For anyone wanting a pre-dinner drink, the garden features a Tiki bar which offers an array of cocktails.

Prices start at £440 for a three night stay for two people on a bed and breakfast basis.

Call 01983 842031 to book or visit their website here.

Where to eat and drink

The Taverners

Situated in Godshill, the Taverners is a warm and welcoming pub complete with oak beams, flagstone flooring and open fireplaces.

Situated in a stunning 17th century building, the restaurant is very popular with locals and walkers and is the ideal spot to enjoy some amazing food.

The menu focuses on seasonal local produce, including dishes such as home made pies, curries and beautifully cooked fish.

Visit their website here.

The Terrace

If you’re looking for a fine dining experience with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, The Terrace is perfect.

This harbour-side restaurant in Yarmouth is located above the Wightlink ferry terminal and offers incredible views across the harbour and Yarmouth Castle.

On a sunny day, guests will feel like they are somewhere in the Mediterranean while enjoying beautifully cooked dishes and fantastic wine.

The talented chefs create a daily-changing menu showcasing seasonal produce, while on the Castle Terrace, there are delicate tapas style dishes for more casual dining.

Visit their website here.

The Mermaid bar

Situated in the stunning surroundings of Pondwell, The Mermaid bar is the Isle of Wight’s first and only distillery.

The warm and welcoming bar sees a small team distil their hugely popular Mermaid Gin on site, as well as a range of other spirits.

Focused on the environmental impact of their business, Mermaid Gin’s sculpted bottle is made from sustainable materials and is plastic free.

The team is also keen to minimise waste, using ethically sourced and local ingredients to craft a range of delicious and smooth range of spirits.

They are currently working with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to monitor and restore seagrass meadows in the waters surrounding their island home.

As for their gin, it was recently awarded Gold at the International Wine and Spirit Competition, which isn't surprising given it how wonderfully fresh it is.

Visit their website here.

What to do

Visit the Model Village

You can’t visit Isle of Wight without taking a look at the famous Model Village in Godshill.

Set in nearly two acres of gorgeous landscaped gardens, you will find scale models of Shanklin and Godshill villages as they were in the 1920's.

Visitors will be treated to replicas of cottages, pubs and churches, while the village is also an RHS Partner Garden.

Prices start at £6.50 for an adult ticket with special deals for families.

Visit their website here.

Enjoy a coastal walk

One of this island’s biggest appeals is the beautiful coastlines.

Perfect for long walks, the Isle of Wight has many sandy and shingle beaches dotted with pretty beach huts and plenty of amazing eateries.

Enjoy a beautiful coastal walk along Totland Bay
Enjoy a beautiful coastal walk along Totland Bay. Picture: Alamy

Take a walk across Bembridge and Culver Downs to marvel at the incredible views across the water.

The Headon Warren Walk will also takes you to the renowned Needles Landmark Attraction.

Along the 4.2mile circular walk you can explore Totland Bay, past an Old Lifeboat Station, and the picturesque Alum Bay.

Check out Yarmouth harbour

Yarmouth is a little town in the west of the Isle of Wight, and is the perfect place for an afternoon out.

Yarmouth is a beautiful town on the Isle of Wight
Yarmouth is a beautiful town on the Isle of Wight. Picture: Alamy

As well as plenty of stunning views across the busy harbour, there is also a lot of history with a Grade 2 listed pier which is also known locally for being a great spot for fishing.

Yarmouth Castle is tucked away to the side of the ferry dock, is also a great place for sea views and even an impromptu picnic.

Find out more about planning your perfect staycation at the Visit Isle of Wight website.