Isle of Wight | A Travel Guide

The Isle of Wight lies just off the South coast of England and is a picturesque and fun getaway for many tastes. It has miles of beautiful coastline for those wishing to get out and explore and it’s home to the Ventnor Fringe festival every Summer if you’re interested in the arts. With it’s many top restaurants serving delicious local seafood and glorious beaches to capture that quintessential British Summer holiday with an ice cream, it’s an ideal holiday destination close to London.

How to get to the Isle of Wight
Ferries go from Southampton and Portsmouth and there are direct trains to both from London.

From Southampton you can take the Red Funnel ferries that take both foot passengers and cars and takes only 45 minutes. From Portsmouth, Wight Link has a FastCat foot passenger service which takes just 22 minutes

Where to Eat on the Isle of Wight

Woods Kitchen
Previously known as ‘The Essex’ Woods Kitchen was recommended to me by a number of people I chatted to on my first day on the IOW. It’s an atmospheric spot with the main restaurant housed inside a pretty thatched building with a large raised terrace at the rear with a very trendy feel and clearly a popular spot for an afternoon drink in the sun.

The menu is extensive and there are daily specials menus including lots of vegan options. There’s even an afternoon tea menu including themed afternoon tea, prosecco afternoon tea and a savoury tea.


Opening times -Monday & Tuesday – Closed. Wednesday to Saturday 10:30am till 11pm Last food orders 9pmSunday 10:30am till 4pm


Afternoon Tea at The Royal Hotel – Belgrave Rd, Ventnor PO38 1JJ

The Royal Hotel is one of the grandest hotels on the island located in charming Ventnor. It’s known for it’s food in all respects and is able to boast the 98% of hotel guests choose to dine in it’s main restaurant, but it also host to some delightful afternoon teas.

Served in your choice of the Colonial-style conservatory, the south-facing garden or Geranium Terrace you can pick from a selection of Afternoon Teas including a champagne tea. First up is a range of finger sandwiches alongside your choice of fragrant teas or alternate hot drinks, followed by the main event, a tiered cake stand with fresh scones and rich sweet treats such as lemon tart and carrot cake.


Served from 3pm to 5pm from £23/person | Click here to book


Tramezzini – 14 High Street, Ventnor

For a tasty brunch including some homemade black pudding served with on the vine cherry tomatoes, poached eggs and thick sausages, head to Tramezzini. It’s a friendly spot popular with the locals and has a selection of salads and fish dishes for those wanting something a bit healthier.



PO41 – St James Court, Quay St, Yarmouth PO41 0PB

The town of Yarmouth is named after the small Western Yar river and makes a nice place to have a wander around and pop into the local boutiques. PO41 is one of the most popular cafes in the town due to it’s famously delicious cakes and big range of coffees. It’s located in the old post office and it’s a friendly spot which will draw you in with all the tasty treats in the window.


What to do on the Isle of Wight

Visit Appuldurcumbe House

Appuldurcumbe House is the shell of the formally grand Baroque mansion built in the 18th century. During both world wars troops were billeted in the house and in February 1943, a  German plane dropped its final mine very close to the house. The house was never repaired and despite it looking in fine condition from a distance it’s actually just a shell of a building now and is completely without a roof.


It’s free to visit and the property is managed by English Heritage. The house is open 10am-4pm, Sunday to Friday, from April until October and has car parking on site.


Explore pretty Godshill

Godshill is a charming village with thatched roof houses, with it’s main street lined with tea shops and quirky pubs. The very first Isle of Wight festival took place near the village in 1968. One of the most popular spots is the model village (Open 10-5pm in Summer), but it’s also home to a local cider shop; Godshill Cider and a fun sweet shop called Candy Cottage.

Godshill will delight those interested in traditionally British things as it’s incredibly picturesque and it’s easy to reach as there are plenty of direct buses to Shanklin, Newport, Ventnor and Sandown.





Hire a bike and explore the island
The Isle of Wight is a popular destination for cycle enthusiasts and there are numerous cycling trails all over the island. Outside of the towns there is little in the way of traffic making it an enjoyable and safe place to cycle even for those with relatively little experience.

Routefifty7 is a bike hire company based in Shanklin with prices starting at only £13. They offer e-bikes, mountain bikes and even tandems and have free delivery and collection for hires over £47.

I hired an electric bike and decided to follow the Red Squirrel Trail which is listed as one of “150 Great Days Out’’ by Sustrans,. At full length it is 32.23 miles but one can leave and join with ease, stopping at a variety of sights along the way. I started in Ventnor and followed it up to Godshill circling back towards Sandown and it’s a pleasant and fairly easy cycle route named after the endangered Red Squirrel that is found in some numbers on the Isle of Wight.


For bike hire on the Isle of Wight  please ring 07491 00 00 57 or email
Open everyday 9am – 6pm


Take a RIB ride to the Needles
The Needles are one of the most famous landmarks on the Isle of Wight. These stone columns reaching up to 30m high out of the sea are a well known sight, and it’s possible to hire a boat with captain to take you around this great landmark.

The Royal Hotel has a private RIB (rigid-hulled inflatable boat) which can take customers on private day trips or shorter journeys from Yarmouth.  It’s a high speed exhilarating ride, but a very comfortable one too as the Royal RIB is somewhat a luxury RIB and you’ll stay dry but get as close to the Needles as possible.  To book, call 0198385218620190726_1048068536164555151957023.jpgDSC_5393DSC_5372


Visit Ventnor Beach

Ventnor Beach is  the southernmost  beach on the Isle of Wight and is always a popular destination on the island. Complete with it’s stylish vintage beach huts used by families on hot days it’s a red shingle and golden sand beach.

With nearby ice cream shops, a lobster restaurant and a pretty promenade it’s a lovely place to come and rent a deckchair to relax, even if you’re not planning on going in the sea.



For more information please visit;

The Royal Hotel Ventnor | Isle of Wight

Located in trendy Ventnor, The Royal Hotel is a 4* award winning hotel that has continued to preserve it’s title as the Isle of Wight’s top hotel due to it’s ability to preserve the features of a classic hotel synonymous with British hospitality yet add modern touches like a beautiful swimming pool.

It’s a Victorian style design with a delightful lawn and garden area. I was lucky enough to have glorious weather when I visited and the gardens were popular every day with guests enjoying the flowered gardens and views down to the coast while relaxing with a drink or ordering the popular afternoon tea.



The Royal is able to boast that 98% of its staying guests dine at the restaurant and it’s easy to see why. The hotel has achieved 2 AA Rosettes for it’s food for over 20 consecutive years and has appeared in every Michelin Good Food Guide since the guide was created.

The main dining room itself is grand and some guests chose to dress up to dine, but I was in slightly more casual attire and still didn’t feel out of place. The staff were happy to recommend dishes and I chose the garlic butter lobster and a generously sized sticky toffee pudding for my dessert.

Afternoon tea at the Royal is clearly very popular for both residents and visiting guests. Served between 2pm and 5pm you have the choice of tucking into your selection of sandwiches and cakes either in the conservatory or the gardens themselves, surrounded by colourful flowers and a picturesque lawn. There is a choice of afternoon tea including the champagne tea, and the sweet treats themselves were varied and filling. Favourites included a rich lemon tart and the fruit scones, but there was almost too much (which is a rarity with an afternoon tea) and the staff suggested I boxed some up for later on.


The rooms
There are a number of different levels of rooms at The Royal Hotel. My room was a garden view and as well as the lawns below I could actually see all the way out to the coast which was a lovely surprise. The rooms are classically decorated yet not cluttered and as my window opened all the way up I actually loved sitting on the windowsill and enjoying the sea breeze.



Each morning the receptionists delivered a copy of the Guardian at my request and I also enjoyed the other small touches such as the postcard picturing the hotel which I found on my dressing table, ready stamped and ideal to send back home.

Having a dip in the swimming pool at The Royal Hotel was actually the first time I’ve been in an outdoor pool at a hotel on the British Isles. It’s at the bottom of the lovely gardens and has comfortable day beds to relax with a G&T when you’re in a need of a rest from exploring the island.

During my stay there were a few artists performing in the lobby area and a number of guests had a coffee or afternoon drink in the comfort of the light & airy space whilst watching the singers and pianist.


The Royal RIB

The hotel has it’s own RIB or Rigid Hulled inflatable boat and for guests staying 5 days or more they offer a free day out on board. I booked a shorter trip from Yarmouth as my dad had been very specific that I couldn’t come to the Isle of Wight without going to see The Needles. Probably the most famous landmark on the IOW The Needles are three chalk white stacks grandly protruding out of the water up to 30m high. They lead up to the Needles lighthouse and the whole area is a beautiful coastal region including multi coloured sand cliffs.


It was my first time on a RIB and I was surprised as to how comfortable it was. Able to take up to 8 people at once there were a few places to sit including the red sofa-like back area complete with handles to hold when the RIB went up to high speeds, and indeed it can go fast with it’s 300 horsepower engine! We sped out to The Needles themselves and having never been on a RIB before I was pleased to see that we actually stayed completely dry.

To book a ride on the RIB enquire at reception or call 01983852186.

To book a stay at The Royal Hotel | Click Here