Known for its bucket and spade summer holidays and sunny day visitor attractions, it’s a little known secret that the Island really comes into its own on cold, crisp winter days. There are loads of great things to do for all the family, so get your coats and wellies on and plan a winter adventure!
The Isle of Wight’s beaches are perfect for building sandcastles, paddling and getting sand in your sandwiches, but during the winter months they are scenes of blustery walks. Shell collecting and even kite surfing if you’re feeling brave enough. The west Wight’s beaches at Brook Beach are brilliant for fossil hunting and rock pooling. You can walk along the beach itself or the cliff path for stunning views to take your breath away. Many of the Island’s beaches revert back to being dog friendly in the winter months, so that’s another great excuse for taking an out of season beach walk. Appley and Yaverland beaches are every pooch’s idea of heaven with plenty of room to run around.
For more committed walkers and cyclists there are miles and miles of footpaths and cycle routes to tackle, from the strenuous walk to St Catherine’s Oratory (aka The Pepperpot), Britain’s only surviving medieval lighthouse on St Catherine’s Down, to the Red Squirrel Trail. A flat route which is ideal if you are cycling with children. You could try some ‘forest bathing’ as the Japanese call it, said to be good for the soul and your general well-being. Take a walk through Parkhurst Forest or Firestone Copse and feel the winter blues slip away.
There’s also a woodland walk at Quarr Abbey (where the grounds are open for daily exercise during lockdown this November). The quaint tea shop is open for takeaways, so grab a warming cup of coffee to enjoy on your exertions. Open all year round, it’s a tranquil place to take a walk and enjoy the countryside and sea views. The rest of the Abbey is closed at the moment due to government restrictions.
So don your hat and scarf, pull on your boots and get out there and experience the beauty of the Isle of Wight this winter.