In no particular order...just some of our favourites.
Blackgang Chine is arguably one of the most popular attractions on the Island and it’s easy to see why when you arrive at the Park, and walk under giant statue of a Pirate Smuggler, standing guard at the entrance. The Park has many themed ‘worlds’ including a new Dinosaur area, Cowboy land and Fairy land. During the upcoming May half term the Cowboy Showdown returns to Cowboy land featuring a live shoot out and a bank robbery – performances take place twice a day.
Robin Hill Country Park is the sister park to Blackgang Chine and combined tickets are available for entry for both parks. The park covers 88 acres of stunning countryside and has a wide range of features and activities to keep the kids busy all day.
Tapnell Farm, on the West Wight is a fairly new attraction to the Island and has recently expanded to include a large new Farm Park, with a huge soft play area, jumping pillow, pedal karts and indoor and outdoor Animal encounter areas featuring all sorts of traditional farm animals and some more exotic species from around the world.
If exotic animals are your thing, then Amazon World is a must see for the family. This indoor and outdoor wildlife park has recently undergone a major extension and addition of lots of new animals. One of the things we love about Amazon World is the option to get up close and interact with some of the animals, in particular the very nosey and mischievous lemurs.
There’s something very old fashioned about seaside piers, and Sandown Pier still captures some of that nostalgia. The pier was built in 1879, but today is almost recognisable from the original design. The pier is now a hub of kids activities, including a soft play area, one of the best crazy golf courses I have ever played on and of course dozens of brightly light arcade machines. Bring Change!
Ryde is the Islands second largest town and has more than just shops and restaurants to offer visitors to the Island. The long flat promenade runs from the pier, all the way to Appley Park and beyond onto Seaview. All the way along the front you will find a variety of attractions, including a bowling alley, a pirate themed amusement park, miles of sandy beach, a boating lake, an indoor swimming pool plus a collection of waterfront cafes and snack bars.
Home of the infamous chairlift with the best views of the Needles, the Needles Park sits on the clifftop at Alum Bay, where you’ll find the coloured sands in the cliff face, which have been used for many years to create ornaments which have adorned many, many grandparents mantelpieces over the years. You’ll also find a range of shops, exhibitions and attractions to keep the kids happy.
If your little ones are captivated by the adventures of a certain group of trains on the Island of Sodor, then they’ll love the Isle of Wight Steam Railway which has a great collection of working steam trains and historic carriages. The railway is open throughout the year, but you’ll need to check the timetable before visiting to make sure you haven’t missed your train that day. You can check on the movements of the steam trains from home by checking out the live webcam from the Station at Havenstreet.
Established in 1976, the Isle of Wight Zoo is a family run wildlife attraction, which has been built within the walls of an old Victorian fort on the seafront near Yaverland. The zoo is a specialist sanctuary for tigers and other big cats, and their enclosures are the highlight of the zoo. If you prefer your animals to be a bit more cuddly, they also have a wide range of smaller animals with less teeth! The zoo is open seven days a week from 10.00 till 16.00.
One of the most famous former residents of the Isle of Wight was of course Queen Victoria, who lived at Osborne House for many years. The house is now operated by English Heritage, who run regular events at the house aimed at families and visitors of all ages. The house and grounds are located on the northern coast of the Island at Whippingham.