Staycations have surged in popularity over the past few years, as eco-conscious holiday-makers seek to reduce their carbon footprint and enjoy beautiful destinations closer to home.
Less than one hour’s ferry crossing from Southampton, Portsmouth or Lymington, the Isle of Wight feels a world away from the bustle of city life. And as one of the sunniest places in the UK - particularly the island’s south coast, with Ventnor enjoying a sheltered position that can rival the Mediterranean for temperature - the Isle of Wight makes an attractive staycation to anyone wanting to escape across the Solent for some mood-boosting sun, sand and sea.
Glorious beaches, water-based sports, and a wraparound coastal path all goes without saying on an island with 57 miles of coastline.
If you (or your children) enjoy being active, you can book sessions in surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, coasteering and more at one of the Island’s four well-equipped watersports’ centres. Inland, the island’s countryside is a haven for nature-lovers, hikers and foragers alike. Explore Parkhurst Forest and see how many red squirrels you can spot at their log cabin hide, or stroll through Newtown Creek’s National Nature Reserve, which offers the best opportunity for birdwatching on the island, and has National Trust volunteers on hand to help identify the different species nearby. Take to the trees with Goodleaf Tree Climbing experts, and scale an ancient oak tree in Ryde; or rest your legs and ride on a vintage steam train through the island’s landscape with the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.
If you have young children, Tapnell Farm Park has a winning combination of activity. Meet the Animals in our Farmyard Barn, and get up close and personal with some of Tapnell’s cutest and smallest residents. Wander round the Wallaby Walkabout with our mob of tame wallabies, and admire the marvellous meerkats as they stand guard. Venture out into The Paddock and enjoy the views in the company of our friendly sheep and their other farmyard chums.