Why you should visit the Isle of Wight – Britain’s most picturesque seaside staycation
The pandemic has reminded us all how much there is to see and do in the UK – without the hassle of forms, airports, and lateral flow tests. One of the UK’s gems, the Isle of Wight, houses world-class beaches, historic heritage sites and idyllic villages - making it one of the UK’s most treasured holiday destinations.
Just four miles off the British South Coast, the Isle of Wight offers an ideal solution for staycationers who don’t want to stray too far from home shores – with a hub of activity and plenty to explore all year round.
Where to visit
This pocket-sized yet perfect Isle is brimming with places to visit, from bustling seaside towns to ancient historical attractions. For a breath-taking experience on the Isle’s most Western point, visiting The Needles landmark is a must-do – as the three iconic chalk stacks have been listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the UK. Avid explorers can take The Needles Chair Lift down to the shore, or embark on a walk down the stunning coasts.
History buffs will love a trip to Carisbrooke Castle, set high and proud at the heart of the Isle in the pretty town of Newport. The castle’s rich, royal history spans over 1,000 years, having acted as an artillery fortress, a king's prison and a royal summer residence. Visitors can gaze across vast panoramic views from high castle walls, wander over the moat to discover King Charles I’s bowling green or enjoy a tranquil stroll in the Princess Beatrice Garden.
For another glamourous glimpse into royal family life, Osborne House is an opulent manor in the Isle’s rural region, East Cowes. Built by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the mid-19th century, the palatial mansion sits against stunning grounds, and visitors can admire the very rooms where Victoria entertained heads of state and ruled the vast British Empire. With its expansive gardens and private beachfront there’s plenty to explore - or visitors can luxuriate in its lavish interiors.
The largest town on the Isle of Wight, Ryde is also popular spot for visitors, and is known for its fine Georgian and Victorian buildings, lively pubs and restaurants, a seafront promenade, as well as great nightlife and entertainment.
Where to sunbathe
If you’re looking for a seaside oasis, the Isle of Wight has many beaches that are sure to give you that abroad feeling, without having to leave the UK. On the Southeast coast, Sandown Beach boasts an impressive sea view and is favoured by visitors for its beauty. It’s sheltered by Culver’s white cliffs and Luccombe’s red cliffs, making this beach a serene, safe haven. Swimming is a delight, with award-winning clean waters and soft, sandy seabed.
When the tide is low, the beaches of Ryde reveal a wide expanse of golden sand, lighter in shade than the ones you usually find on surrounding beaches. Covering 6 miles from the pier to the Seaview village, you have ample space to enjoy a leisurely walk, or set up camp to catch some rays.
Alum Bay is arguably one of the most scenic destinations on the Isle of Wight, with its distinctive multicoloured sand and the stunning chalk stack formation. The sand from the cliffs comes in 21 shades, making for a beautiful souvenir that can be bought in beach shops all over the island. The clear waters are a delight to swim in, and you’ll often find boats moored during the day and fishermen taking a break at dusk.
Where to stay
Those who are yet to visit the Isle may be on the hunt for the best place to stay, but staycation experts Warner Leisure Hotels offer two adult-only havens on both the East and West coasts – leaving eager holidaymakers spoilt for choice.
Situated in a history-filled village on the West Wight, Norton Grange Coastal Village is the place for those after an enriching stay on the Isle. Moments from a maritime museum, underwater Archaeology Centre, a Planetarium and the world-famous Needles monument, the hotel sits among some of the Isle’s most popular attractions.
Guests at Norton Grange are free to spend their stay how they please, with plenty to fill their days right at the hotel. A long board terrace offers stunning views of the Solent, and guests can enjoy a host of outdoor activities included in the price of their stay – from bowls and archery to Nordic walking across the grounds, set against a beautiful seaside backdrop. The hotel’s chalet-style rooms perfectly mirror the nautical atmosphere, and stunning live shows are accompanied by delicious dining in the show lounge.
Over on the East of the Isle and just a stone’s throw from a glorious beach, Bembridge Coast Hotel is an ideal base for touring the eastern shore. Once owned by George V’s Lord in Waiting, Bembridge Coast Hotel offers a rich, royal history, and was highly favoured by the late Queen’s Mother - who would often visit to watch the yachts racing during Cowes Week.
Beautiful balcony rooms allow guests to capture the spectacular sunrise over the Solent, and contemporary chalets are just a few steps from an idyllic sand and pebble beach. Come rain or shine, guests can take a relaxing dip in the hotel’s indoor pool or indulge in a heavenly spa treatment, and exciting outdoor activities are available for those after some competitive fun. The new Market Kitchen restaurant brings divine courses for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and evenings are brought to life with nightly live entertainment, including the hotel’s very own in-house band.
Bookings are now open at Norton Grange and Bembridge Coast, and eager guests are encouraged to act quickly to secure their spot as spring and summer breaks are booking up fast. For a three-night break staying at Bembridge Coast Hotel in a standard room, prices start at £239pp based on two people sharing a Standard room on 8th April 2022. For a three-night break staying at Norton Grange Coastal Village in a standard room, prices start at £179pp based on two people sharing a Standard chalet on 15th April 2022.
For more information on Warner’s Isle of Wight breaks and beyond, visit warnerleisurehotels.co.uk/locations/isle-of-wight
Notes to Editors
About Warner Leisure Hotels
Warner Leisure Hotels, renowned for short breaks 'exclusively for adults' are set in some of the UK's finest historic countryside and coastal locations. From the picturesque Yorkshire Dales to the glistening Solent shores of the Isle of Wight; each hotel offers fine dining, lovely rooms, live entertainment, and plenty of areas to just relax and soak up the scenery. Guests can even try their hand at a new 'experience', or simply sit back, unwind.