Throw off your seaboots and explore the holiday Isle of Wight. Take a hike, hire a bike or hop on the bus.

Isle of Wight at a glance

  • Wander down Cowes' pretty High Street
  • Walk to Queen Victoria's Osborne House
  • Watch the sunset from Gurnard
  • Great beaches for sand castles and surfers
  • Country pubs and pretty villages
  • Come for the racing at Cowes Week

Local Area

The Isle of Wight is only 15 miles by 23 and half of it is classified as Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty. No Island town is very big, and all are charmingly old-fashioned. Away from the coast, the Island is rural, with rolling downland, small fields and areas of forest with red squirrels. In fact, you can often see red squirrels in suburban gardens in East Cowes, and in Northwood House in Cowes.

There are lots of footpaths on the Island, and it is possible to walk the whole way round. You can even go for a walk with a llama if you so desire. If you don't fancy this, exploring by bus or bike is perfectly achievable. Local car hire companies will deliver to the marina.

The yellow Plaza Ices ice cream boat alongside a motor yacht in Osborne Bay near East Cowes Marina

Ice cream boat

Queen Victoria's Osborne House, designed by Prince Albert and John Nash. Waterfalls and gardens in the foreground

Things to do ashore

Not surprisingly, the Isle of Wight has always been a holiday destination, even for the Royals. Queen Victoria's Osborne House is about 15 minutes' walk from the marina, and you can enjoy the house, grounds and beach. Dogs are now allowed in the grounds.

Castle fanatics should head for Carisbrooke Castle near Newport, where Charles I was imprisoned, and an older era is brought to life at Brading Roman Villa, to the east of the Island. If you like maritime history, the Sir Max Aitken Museum in Cowes is a treasure trove of powerboat racing memorabilia and curios.

If you want to sit on a beach or build sand castles, head to Ryde, Seaview, Sandown or Ventnor; Cowes' beaches are a bit pebbly. On the way to Ryde and accessible by bus is Quarr Abbey, a Benedictine monastery that welcomes visitors and has a nice tea room. If you make it south to Ventnor, visit the Botanic Gardens and Steephill Cove, a privately owned beach.

Bunting flies between the buildings in Cowes' busy High Street.

Cowes High Street

Thatched cottages and an old church around the village green in Godshill, Isle of Wight

Godshill village

Things to do by boat

Take the dinghy up to the Folly Inn and tie up to their jetty. A short walk inland from the Folly is St Mildred's Church at Whippingham, built for Queen Victoria.

On a high tide you can follow the river Medina right up to Newport, the island's capital. Check your tidal heights and don't miss the tide back though!

A popular lunch stop and swimming place with locals is Osborne Bay, just to the east of Cowes. The anchorage is sheltered from the south and west. If you're lucky the ice cream boat will come by.

A wide-angle shot of the River Medina shows the Lifeboat pub overlooking East Cowes Marina and the boats moored there

The Marina

We have 380 berths for power and sail, the Lifeboat pub with sun terrace, free parking, water taxi and more.

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Aboard their boat, tied up at East Cowes, the Jackaroo sailing team raise their beers

Annual Berthing

Locals and mainlanders love our friendly marina as a race base or holiday home-from-home.

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A man and his daughter hold hands as they walk along the Marina beside a pink-flowered hedge, looking out over the River Medina

Visiting Us

Walk to historic Osborne House, watch red squirrels, cycle to Newport or stock-up in Waitrose.

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