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Isle of Wight - recommendations of things to do and things to avoid especially in bad weather!

(13 Posts)
RandomMess Sat 01-Jun-13 20:00:22

Well we've been and I have to say there wasn't anything that we did apart from the Roman villa that we couldn't have done for a daytrip from home without all the expense!!!

fortunately the weather was mixed so managed quite a few days on the beach grin

We've been 5 times in the last 3 years with DCs aged 9 and 7 and only had a couple of wet days.

My two love Blackgang Chine and Robin Hill but they are almost totally outdoors. We tried Cineworld in Newport one wet day and had a nightmare with traffic and parking, park and eat in the town itself and walk to the cinema or go to the old fashioned one in Ryde would be my advice. There's a theatre in Shanklin, we went to panto there this year and it was great.

We love Puckpool Park nr Ryde, nice cafe, close to the beach where there's another good cafe, crazy golf, good play area - skanky toilets though. Also love Ventnor. St Helens beach and cafe are great. Yarmouth is nice to potter around too.

Haven't had any real failures. I read on here that Waltzing Waters is dire so I have avoided it. My DCs didn't terribly enjoy Carisbrooke Castle and Osborne House. We keep meaning to try Brading Roman Villa.

uggmum Sun 26-May-13 21:46:22

Amazon world is great when the weather is rubbish.
Cineworld in Newport is a good bet.
If its really bad you can get the hovercraft to Portsmouth (or the Cowes shopper near the floating bridge). Gunwharf in Portsmouth is a great day out.
Seaview Animal park in St Helen's is good but it needs to be dry as its all outdoors.
If you want a good walk, you can walk from the top car park at Ventnor beach to Steephill cove. You follow the cliff path. You can get a cream tea at Steephill which will help with the return journey.
We really love the beach at Ventnor. Good clean toilets and facilities but not overly commercial.
Cowes is good for a wander, but the above poster is right, not much opens after 6pm. The octopus garden (cafe) is great for breakfast.
We've been to the iow every year for the past 20. But this year we've chosen Whitstable for a bit of a change.
Hope you have a fab time

Poppetspinkpants Sun 26-May-13 21:27:06

There's a soft play area in the industrial estate opposite Morrisons near Shanklin.
Also the indoor pool on the road between Shanklin and Sandown.

Rocksie Wed 22-May-13 23:23:05

I went to the IOW when I was a child and absolutely loved it. My memories are of the needles, alum bay and blackgang.

When I returned last summer with my family, including children and grandparents there wasn't a whole lot to do to be honest. I think we have been spoilt here with Chessington, Legoland, play farms etc.

However, we did enjoy pitch and putt at Browns golf 'course' in Sandown. Contrary to other posts - the needles - as they had the coloured sands, glass blowing, a few shops. Umm..didn't really enjoy Blackgang, my kids didn't either, I found there wasn't much to do - left after 2 hrs. Enjoyed Shanklin Chine village which was very quaint and had a few shops and quite oldie. Arreton Barnes craft village is nice for a couple of hours - thought was better than alum bay for glass blowing.

Sorry not much recommendations for indoor apart from pier at Sandown - typical pier 2p, 10p slot machines which the kids love.

Also went to Cowes for the day during Cowes week and enjoyed the town with all different shops/pubs/cafes.

I found that most places shut at around 6 which was strange for height of summer, unless we were in the wrong places!

I would suggest just to research before you go as much as you can so you have all the options rather than opinions that may be different to yours (wouldn't want to try and put you off something you may enjoy).

In summary, it is a very relaxing holiday and is a chance to spend time together as a family. Lovely drives too!

Trizelda Sat 18-May-13 16:27:25

Ooh...and the Crab and Lobster pub at Bembridge is lovely as is the beach cafe (day) or restaurant (at night) at St Helen's....(can't remember the name as it's been a few years since we went.

Trizelda Sat 18-May-13 16:26:05

The chair lift to see the coloured sands is the best.. We liked the Needles because there is a small National Trust tea room...any excuse for a cake. We went for a walk/climb somewhere called the Devil's Chimney (I think?)....that brings you out at another tearoom!
Ryde beach is beautiful...I think there is bowling there if it's raining.

RandomMess Sat 18-May-13 16:23:24

Cheers - am making notes.

Our plan was to spend lots of time at the various beaches sad

professorpoopsnagle Sat 18-May-13 15:46:46

The needles is very tacky but surely is a ritual of childhood. The chairlift and filling up the sand bottles are the best bit, but everything else is overpriced. However, you may not all get down on the chairlifts- we have 3 children and had a right conundrum working out how to do it as an adult has to travel with a child (our eldest was 8 so you may get away with it).

We enjoyed Steephill Cove which is a fantastic beach. I would go there even if the weather was bad, it's that nice (albeit with a pop up beach tent). From what I remember a lot of Robin Hill is outside, so maybe great if cloudy but not rainy. Osborne House is interesting, and there's Carisbrooke Castle too.

RandomMess Sat 18-May-13 12:29:39

Thank you, someone else said the needles wasn't great either so we shall avoid!

SoggySummer Sat 18-May-13 12:22:54

Robin Hill and Black gange Chine parks are both very good and ideal for your ages groups.

Its been a few years since we went but the websites are linked I think and there used to some deals available - return for free in 7 days etc.

We found the Needles Park a bit of a commercial nightmare.

Ventnor - has a lovely paddling pool on the sea front for nice days.

The Griffin pub in Godshill is fab for the kids and does nice food.

There is a little Toy Museum in Brading which isnt very big but will pass an hour or so on a wet day. Cheap for adults and free for kids from memory.

Sorry I am being a bit vague but its been a few years since we went. However we did 4 years of 2 weeks there and we loved it and hope to return.

RandomMess Sat 18-May-13 12:15:45


RandomMess Sat 18-May-13 11:32:34

So the forecast isn't looking great sad

Girls are 7, 9 and just 11 so all junior school still.

Please can I have recommendations of things to do on the IoW and a list of places that are over-rated/to be avoided. Especially things to do if the weather is unkind the whole week...

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