The Isle of Wight continues to attract tourists at whopping rates because of its historic sites, informational museums and beautiful beaches. Here are the top attractions that you should not forget to visit while in the Isle:
1) Amazon World Zoo Park
As the largest exotic animal attraction park in the Isle, the Amazon World Zoo Park is known as one of the best attractions in the area. Here, you will be teleported to the Amazonian jungles as you witness the unique fauna thriving in the simulated forests. For a mere USD 13.30, you can come face to face with penguins, lemurs, flamingoes and many more!
Address: Watery Lane, Newchurch
2) Dinosaur Isle
They do not call Isle of Wight the “Dinosaur Capital” for nothing. Here you can witness the remains of Iguanadons, Pterosaurs, Eotyrannus and Neovanators, to name a few. A great attraction for kids, the Dinosaur Isle will foster the imagination of adults as well! Entrance fee is USD 7.60.
3) Carisbrook Castle
Take a tour back in time and enjoy a royal experience at the Isle’s famous Carisbrook Castle. Formerly the home of Charles I, the castle features historic embattlements, a lovely chapel castle and the beautiful Princess Beatrice Garden. Do not forget to climb the castle’s paramount, where you can feel like you are at the top of the world! Admission costs USD 11.70.
Address: Carisbook, Newport
4) Ryde Beach
A visit to Isle of Wight is deemed incomplete if you have not managed to bathe in any of its famed beaches. Perhaps the best place for you to visit is the Ryde Beach, located on the northeastern part of the Isle. Open all year round, Ryde Beach is the perfect reprieve for water lovers who wish to soak up the sun and sand. Apart from the usual swimming activities, Ryde Beach is also popular amongst hobbyists because of its kite surfing-conducive waters and winds.
Address: Espalanade, Ryde 5.
5) The Needles Park
Yes, the Isle of Wight is primarily a historic town, but it is not far behind when it comes to modern attractions. In fact, it plays home to three amusement parks, the most famous of which is the Needles Park. Its must-try ride is the chairlift (USD 6 for a return ticket), where you are suspended meters above the land as you enjoy the marvelous views of the Isle’s colored sands and rocks. Other attractions include the 4D cinema, carousel, Jurassic golf, Sweet factory demonstration, teacup ride and other children’s rides.
Address: Alum Bay
Where to Eat
One of the highlights of any vacation is to search for places that can delightfully satiate your gustatory desires. The Isle of Wight has a fantastic array to cater for all tastes and appetites. Each of its nook and cranny has spots to tempt you, so indulge yourself: eat and drink to your heart’s content; head out to any one of these places.
1) Appuldurcombe Restaurant
This award-winning restaurant is the flagship bistro of the famed Royal Hotel, the isle’s largest premier accommodation location. A sanctuary for fine dining, the Appuldurcombe specializes in English dishes made of fresh local produce. Must-try entrees include the local cheese soufflé and smoked salmon. Two-course meals cost USD 47, three-course meals, on the other hand, cost about USD 61.
Address: Royal Hotel, Belgrave Road, Ventnor
2) Dan’s Kitchen
When it comes to world-class contemporary food, Dan’s Kitchen is the place to be. Chef Dan’s menu that ranges from ‘unique poultry’ (duck and pigeon) to usual staples such as steak and fish. Just as amazing as the presentation is the food and the house service. A three-course meal clocks in at about USD 69.
Address: Lower Green Road, St. Helens
3) Forresters Bistro and Wine Bar
When it comes to great food and even greater wine, Forresters at Yarmouth leads the pack. Open from morning to late night, this restaurant is perfect for tourists in search of fine British fare. Whether you are with your fiancée or your whole brood, Forresters is your best choice given its delectable food and affordable prices (entrees only cost USD 15 to USD 30).
Address: High Street, Yarmouth
4) Fine Nammet
Looking for the best restaurant in Shanklin? Well you better try Fine Nammet, the baby of foodies-slash-restaurant owners Jenna and Paul. Specializing in contemporary British cuisine, Fine Nammet takes pride in producing sumptuous treats made with the Isle’s finest fresh produce. Its bestsellers include pan fried sea bass with creamy leeks and pan fried mackerel with beetroot salad. Prices range from USD 10 to USD 30.
Address: High Street Shanklin, Shanklin
5) Lockslane Contemporary Bistro
While in Bembridge, you must not forget to try the tasty contemporary offerings of the town’s famed Lockslane Contemporary Bistro. Here, you can sample the best of what Bembridge has to offer. Its crab tart appetizer is to die for, while its sweet ending – the sinful salted caramel chocolate fondant tart – will make you forget that you are on a diet. Entrees cost anywhere from USD 15 to USD 30. Make sure to book reservations in advance since the quaint restaurant gets filled up quite easily.
Address: Foreland Road, Bembridge
Where to Stay
From paragliding to golfing, the Isle of Wight offers a vast array of adventures that can get your feet tired and your body sore. You can’t complain. Pick from any of these top choices. They offer a luxurious place to rest your head on after a long day of touring the place.
1) The Royal Hotel
Take part in history by spending a night or two at the beautiful Royal Hotel. This hotel is truly an expert in guest accommodation, having been around for 150 years. This four-star hotel features 54 rooms, surrounded by the beautiful gardens of the coastal town. The nightly rate costs an average of USD 247.
2) St. Augustine Villa
Wake up to the stunning view of the Solent by staying at the beautiful St. Augustine Villa. Located in the coastal town of Ventnor, the Villa is well-known for its Victorian glamour, having been constructed in the year 1843. Like wine, the Villa’s old age and experience in guest accommodation make it one of the best hotels in the Isle of Wight. Nightly rates start at USD 135.
3) Hambledon Hotel
If you are looking for an affordable yet amazing B&B, then Hambledon Hotel is the best place to satisfy your needs. This homey hotel in Shanklin takes pride in its complete en-suite rooms for couples and spacious family rooms for big vacationing broods. Half-board for three nights costs an affordable USD 200 per person.
Address: Queens Road, Shanklin
4) North Court Manor
Experience royal-style vacation at the North Court Manor, one of Shorwell’s best places for tourists. This regal country house exudes monarchial flair and impeccable designs, making it a great choice amongst travelers who wish to bask in the Isle’s rich history. With its vast grounds, a day is not enough to navigate through the entire manor. Rate is USD 61 per person, per night.
5) Trouville Hotel
Wake up to the beautiful view of the sea; book a room at Sandown’s lovely Trouville Hotel. This 88-room, 3-star hotel is ideal for tourists who wish to enjoy the panoramic vistas of the magnificent Shanklin Bay. With rates starting at USD 148 (breakfast included, with free high-speed internet), Trouville is a reasonable option for those who love the beach.
If, by now, you’re still trying to figure out the best way to beat the humdrum of work life, you’ve finally found the perfect solution. From beaches, to castles, to gardens, to museums and art galleries, to adventure theme parks, IOW is sure to give you a hundred and one ways to keep you occupied. After all, life is too short not to add some pizzazz to it.
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