Things To Do On The Isle Of Wight This Autumn
Being from the south of England visiting the isle of wight every summer has been a custom for as long as I can remember. With its gorgeous beaches, exciting attractions and quaint towns its the perfect place to explore whilst the sun is shining. However much of what the island has to offer is outdoors meaning that outside of the summer holidays the island tends to quieten down, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing! So I’ve assembled a list of things to do and places to visit on the island during the wetter months of autumn!
The Garlic Farm
No trip to the island is complete without a visit to the famous garlic farm. The farm itself has been growing garlic on the island for the past 60 years and now offers many varieties as well as multiple garlic infused products like black garlic beer, garlic chutney and garlic ice cream. There is also a tasting experience and restaurant. It makes for a perfect trip if the weather isn’t favourable as you can pop in for a rummage around the shop and finish off with a coffee and slice of cake in the restaurant. Don’t worry not everything is garlic infused, as I don’t think a garlic cappuccino would go down too well.
Hike To The Needles
The isle of wight is home to so many gorgeous hikes and I personally don’t think there is any better time take advantage of that fact than during the autumn. Of course you need to keep an eye on the weather as no one wants to be hiking in the pouring rain but there are still plenty of pleasant dry days throughout the autumn months to take advantage of. My favourite hike is from freshwater up to the needles and back. Be warned It does take between 3 - 3:30 hours but its worth it, the views are stunning and you cross through farmland, wooden areas and hillside. Also on a clear day you’re able to see the mainland.
Start at freshwater longstay car park cross the road to the seafront. Take a left past the hotel and follow the road until you pass the public toilets. Turn right through the kissing gate to access Easton field and onto footpath 50. Follow the path up along the cliff top with the Tennyson monument in the distance. Make your way towards the monument and past it towards the coast, eventually you will reach the needles old battery which is now manage by the national trust. Theres a little cafe for refreshments on site as well as a couple of viewing platform to catch those photos of the needles. Simply follow the same route back.
Don’t forget to come prepared with walking boots, water and rain jackets just incase.
Explore The Beach
Beaches aren’t just for summer, although I probably wouldn’t recommend taking a dive in the ocean this time of year. Taking advantage of the many beaches the island has to offer during the autumn is a perfect day out. Not only are they considerably quieter but they’re also dog friendly, as many of the beaches operate a dog ban from May 1st - September 30th which means our little Edna gets to enjoy the sand in her paws too.
One of my favourites is Shanklin. It’s a sandy beach with ample parking and multiple bars and restaurants which are open for most of year meaning you can stop off for a well earned drink after a long walk on the beach. Theres also an indoor play area, amusement park and crazy golf making it the perfect stop if you have children. To the left of Shanklin is small hope beach which is a sheltered bay area providing the perfect place for children to swim. It’s also a great place to explore the rock pools to see which creatures and lurking in the deep!
Where To Eat
Now anyone that knows me knows that food is the highlight of any trip and a trip to the isle of wight is no exception. From it’s fresh crab to it’s home grown garlic there is a multitude of flavours to be explored on the island. Here are my best spots to grab a bite to eat.
Cibo - Wootton Bridge
Located on Wootton Highstreet Cibo is a contemporary restaurant offering breakfast, lunch & dinner as well as coffee and a selection of alcoholic beverages. They’re dog friendly as long as you’re sitting in the front porch, which I personally think is the nicest part of the restaurant. Many of the ingredients are sources locally on the island and are available to purchase. We only stopped in for breakfast as it was quite close to where we were staying but I would definitely recommend the smoked salmon & scrambled eggs on sourdough as well as the oven baked omelettes.
Off The Rails - Yarmouth
Definitely the most unique place to eat on the island is off the rails. A Restaurant located in the converted Yarmouth station. You can sit in the old train style booth and sip coffee overlooking the Yarmouth marshes. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and even has it’s very own dog menu, much to Edna’s delight. We only popped in for a quick pit stop after a walk along the marshes for coffee and a slice of home-made cake but will definitely be back.
Old Thatch Teashop - Shanklin
From the most unique place to eat to the cutest. The Old Thatch Teashop in Shanklin is oozing cute-ness. With its thatched roof, pink walls & fairy garden its the perfect place to stop buy for an afternoon tea. Again dog friendly we opted for the traditional afternoon tea whilst Edna was treated to a biscuit from the owner.
The Sun Inn - Hulverstone
This gorgeous Inn is owned by a 4th generation island family and features a cosy interior and stunning beer garden with outstanding views of the English Channel, rolling countryside and Tennyson Down. It also happens to be the place Benedict Cumberbatch held his wedding reception. We stopped by for dinner and the menu had plenty of mouth watering options. We opted for the crab ‘doughnuts’ to start, I had the seafood linguine & pan fried seabass whereas Sam had the Butternut, red pepper & lentil cottage bake all of which was incredible. The views over the channel at sunset with a glass of rosè in hand can’t be beaten.
The Beach Shack - Steephill Cove
This rustic shack is well hidden in Steephill Cove overlooking the sea. The main staple of the menu is fresh Ventnor Bay crab however they do offer a variety of other options. The views are unspoilt as the location of Steephill Cove is tucked away and not accessible by road meaning the few that find it are locals or are just lucky. Its the perfect spot to watch the sun go down and enjoy local crab rolls & local beer.
Where to stay
We stayed in Woodside Bay Lodge Retreat in Wootton Bridge, the location was perfect as everything on the island was only a 30 minute drive away. We stayed in a lodge at the edge of the park with access to a private beach just a 5 minute walk away. The park is dog friendly and is the perfect place to unwind after a day exploring the island.
There Is a spa, fitness centre & a couple of restaurants on site but we didn’t use them instead opting to make use of local businesses in the surrounding area.
We stayed in the ‘Wootton’ accommodation which offered two bedrooms each with their own ensuite, a large living space with open plan kitchen diner and a balcony overlooking the surrounding woods. The park was quiet, spacious and exactly what we needed for a relaxing break on the island.
As much as the Isle Of Wight has a reputation of being a seaside island only worth visiting if the weather is nice there is definitely more to it. The autumn months bring cooler weather perfect for exploring the many coves and hikes the island has to offer not to mention with fewer people it makes for a far more relaxing break.
So what are you waiting for, book your stay-cation and go and see what the island has to offer!
Love always bopo.boy