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Just 22 miles long but studded with beautiful beaches and traditional seaside towns, there’s tons to do in the Isle of Wight. A short ferry or hovercraft trip off the Hampshire coast, it's a small but perfectly formed holiday destination for families.
The island is home to pretty villages and bustling small towns, with unspoiled beaches and rugged countryside in between. Famed for its cycle routes, it’s the perfect place to explore as a family - especially if you’re leaving your car on the mainland.
Finding the right accommodation for your stay is essential for a relaxing family getaway, and Mumsnetters are on hand with their top island hotels and cottages.
What are the best family hotels in the Isle of Wight?
1. Best overall hotel: Luccombe Hall Hotel, Shanklin
Luccombe Hall | Check availability
"Luccombe Hall has an indoor and outdoor pool, indoor games room, sunbathing area, sauna and hot tub. It’s within walking distance of shops, restaurants, beach and train station in Shanklin" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Ricekrispie22
"If you’re after a hotel, then I’d recommend Luccombe Hall" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, Fivemoreminutes1
Originally built in 1870 as the Bishop of Portsmouth’s summer palace, Luccombe Hall is perched on a clifftop in the seaside town of Shanklin. It has indoor and outdoor pools, a playground, a giant chessboard, and steps that lead directly down to the beach. Family rooms have bunk beds and a fridge and you can opt for a sea or garden view. Nearby you’ll find the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary, Dinosaur Isle and Blackgang Chine - the UK’s oldest amusement park, which comes highly recommended by Mumsnetters.
Nearest train station: Shanklin (1 mile)
2. Best budget place to stay: Brambles Chine, Freshwater
Brambles Chine | Check availability
"Brambles Chine (or nearby Linstone Chine) in the quieter West Wight is right on the beach and has lots of privately owned chalets for 2 adults and 2 children on a shared site for £200-£500 per week" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Buildhigh2000
Brambles Chine is a collection of privately-owned and rented chalets near Freshwater, and it’s probably the cheapest way to stay on the Isle of Wight as a family. This chalet has an e-bike hook up, bike racks, a gorgeous sea view and sleeps up to six in two bedrooms and a sofa bed. Situated a stone’s throw from Fort Victoria Country Park and Colwell Bay, the nearest beach is about 200m away.
Nearest train station: Ryde Esplanade (19 miles)
3. Best luxury hotel: The Royal Hotel, Ventnor
The Royal Hotel | Check availability
Three minutes’ walk from the beach, staying at the Royal Hotel is a truly luxury experience. Overlooking Ventnor Bay, the hotel is surrounded by subtropical gardens, sea views and has a pool perfect for sunbathing. The Royal’s classic family rooms sleep three or four, and the larger rooms have a separate sleeping area for the children. There’s a listening service available so you can relax and enjoy the hotel restaurant and grounds after bedtime.
Nearest train station: Shanklin (5 miles)
4. Best beachfront hotel: Wellington Hotel, Ventnor
Wellington Hotel | Check availability
"We have done the Wellington hotel in Ventnor that has massive rooms and balconies that overlook the sea" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Nothinggoldcanstay
Another Ventnor gem, the Wellington features large family rooms with sea views and balconies. The town is a great spot for exploring the Isle of Wight’s stunning countryside - half the island is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - including the Ventnor Downs. Drive to the top of the hill and look for the herd of Old English Goats, or scale the steep incline from Ventnor town if you like a challenge.
Nearest train station: Shanklin (5 miles)
5. Best self-catering accommodation: The Garlic Farm, Sandown
The Garlic Farm | Check availability
"We stayed in the Milking Parlour last year and it was great" - recommended by Mumsnet user, BlueChampagne
This working garlic farm has seven beautiful converted cottages and five luxury yurts for between two and 10 people. Situated between Newport and Sandown, Mumsnetters particularly recommend the Milking Parlour cottage, which has an accessible ramp, private garden, three bedrooms and allows dogs. Isle of Wight Zoo is a short drive away, as well as many lovely beaches.
Nearest train station: Brading (4 miles)
6. Best boutique hotel: North House, Cowes
North House | Check availability
"If I wanted a nice hotel I’d go to either the Royal at Ventnor or North House in Cowes. Both do very good food and are child friendly in a ‘not chicken nuggets’ way. Both have small, warm pools" - recommended by Mumsnet user, LemonRoses
In the heart of Cowes Old Town, North House is a luxurious choice for a family trip. Extra beds or cots can be added to rooms for a small extra charge, and there are children’s swim times in the outdoor heated pool. The food is a cut above, with Michelin-star chef Robert Thompson overseeing the hotel’s restaurant. Head to Tapnell Park for an activity-packed day out, or take the Cowes Mystery Treasure Trail for a brain-teasing way to explore the town.
Nearest train station: Ryde Esplanade (13 miles)
7. Best family-friendly cottage: Chilton Farm, Brighstone
Chilton Farm | Check availability
"Reasonably priced, animals to feed, uncrowded beach just across the road and down the cliff path, beautiful footpath into the village - we had a family get together here last year - weather was wonderful. Everywhere on the island is within easy reach - the buses are great if you don't want to use the car - tons of stuff to do" - recommended by Mumsnet user, eatyourveg
Ideal for animal lovers, the accommodation on Chilton Farm is set next door to the working farm and surrounded by countryside. Situated in the picturesque village of Brighstone on the southwest coast of the island, Chilton Farm is a great choice for a peaceful family getaway. Cherry Cottage is one of three cottages and sleeps six plus one dog. If you’re part of a big group, all three cottages can be booked together, offering accommodation for up to 18 people. Brighstone Bay is a shingle beach a short walk away from the cottages, or head inland to explore woodland and rivers nearby.
Nearest train station: Shanklin (13 miles)
8. Best hotel for entertainment: Wight Mouse Inn, Ventnor
Wight Mouse Inn | Check availability
"The Wight mouse Inn in Chale was great for kids as they had a playground and a soft play area in a barn" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Nothinggoldcanstay
The Wight Mouse Inn is a cosy, family-run pub with a big garden, a playground and soft play to keep the kids entertained. It’s a 10-minute walk from must-see Blackgang Chine and a 20-minute drive from Newport or Shanklin. Family rooms are snug with two fold-out sofa beds and some have sea views. The pub has a good kids’ menu and pets are allowed on request.
Nearest train station: Shanklin (9 miles)
Is the Isle of Wight good for a family holiday?
With plenty to explore and something for everybody, the Isle of Wight is a brilliant place for a family holiday. Kids will love the adventure of crossing the sea, while there’s none of the hassle of foreign travel.
What are the best family attractions on the Isle of Wight?
Mumsnetters say quirky amusement park Blackgang Chine is great for younger children, and the Needles Landmark attraction is not to be missed - there’s a ski lift down the cliff, Dino Jeep Safari, a sweet factory and traditional fairground games.
Queen Victoria’s family home Osborne House is another must-see, with its opulent interiors and manicured gardens. Entry is free for English Heritage members, be sure to visit Queen Victoria’s bathing machine, the royal children’s Swiss Cottage and the adventure trail through the gardens.
How long do you need on the Isle of Wight?
At only 22 x 13 miles, it’s possible to travel all around the Isle of Wight in a relatively short amount of time. We recommend taking a week to enjoy its natural beauty, explore the beaches and see the sights.
What’s the best family-friendly hotel in the Isle of Wight?
Luccombe Hall Hotel is the best hotel for families on the Isle of Wight. It’s well-placed for transport, with Shanklin train station just up the road, and boasts stunning sea views. Mumsnetters love the spa and pools, and we think it strikes an excellent balance between luxury and kid-friendly.
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which hotels, cottages and self-catering accommodation Mumsnetters were talking about.
We then did some online research, looking at which Isle of Wight hotels had won awards or been featured in ‘best hotel’ lists across trusted travel publications, and what guest reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best hotels and places to stay on the Isle of Wight.
Why you should trust us
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