Things to Do on the Isle of Wight in Winter

When you think of holidaying on the Isle of Wight, thoughts of a traditional British beach holiday with ice cream, buckets and spades and sunny days may spring to mind. But the Isle of wight is a great place to visit, anytime of the year. The Island is a lot less seasonal than it once was and you won't find that everything closes from October to Easter; plenty of attractions, shops and places to visit are open all year round. As an added bonus, the roads will usually be quieter in the winter months so you'll find getting around will be nice and easy and you'll avoid some of the crowds. You will also find that parking along the Island seafronts is usually free from November. Here's our list of great reasons to visit the Isle of Wight in the winter season:

Osborne House

If you want to visit Osborne House during your stay on the Island you will need to plan your dates around when it's open. To keep Queen Victorias home in the manner that royalty would expect, they do close out of season for restoration works. They are still open on certain dates for pre-booked guided tours.  On Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th November, the grounds will be open although the house itself is closed. On Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November you can experience all the atmosphere of a traditional Victorian Christmas. From 21st November to 6th January the house will be open from 10am to 4pm, Wednesday to Sunday for pre-booked guided tours. For more information or to book a tour, call 01983 200022

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

What a lovely thought. Cozying up in a warm and comfortable carriage on one of the Victorian or Edwardian Steam trains, puffing through the Isle of Wights winter landscape. The Steam Railway is open on Thursdays and Sundays during November. In December they are open on the 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th , 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th December for their Santa Specials. These are a great day out for the whole family and include a visit with father Christmas, refreshments and entertainment. For more information call 01983 882204    

The Isle of Wight Christmas Market  

New to the Island for 2012, The Isle of Wight Christmas Market. A very exciting addition to the Island, this new attraction will be open from 1st to 23rd December . Based on the traditional markets of Germany and Austria, this is sure to be a hit with Islanders and tourists, alike. Not only will there be the Christmas Market with traditional stalls, ideal for picking up some unusual Christmas presents, there will also be a Dickensian High Street, open-air Ice Skating Rink, Santas Grotto, bandstand and an outdoor heated garden. Also parking and entry to the market are free. We can hardly wait! 

 Amazon World Zoo Park

A great attraction, rain or shine. Most of the zoo is actually under cover and is housed in a large greenhouse, to mimic the enviroment of a temperate rain forest. Here you can find around 200 different species, spanning the entire animal kingdom. There are daily talks and an opportunity to meet some of the animals and learn more about them and their enviroment. Open daily from 10am (except Christmas Day)

Discover the Island on Foot

The Isle of Wight is a great destination for walkers and boasts over 500 miles of well maintained footpaths. With over half the Island recognised as an area of outstanding natural beauty and with a stunning coastline best viewed on foot, there's no better way to enjoy our beautiful Island. Luccombe Manor offer some great Walking and Cycling Breaks which include use of maps and a packed lunch each day to sustain you on your adventures across the lovely garden isle. For ideas of routes across and around the Island that you can print off before you go, visit the Isle of Wight tourism Website.

Arreton Barns Craft Village

Conveniently located on the main road through to Newport, the Craft Village is a great place to stop off for a browse around the craft shops and watch the skilled artisans at work. Open daily there is a lovely pub offering traditional and home-made fayre and Farmer Jacks Shop sells locally grown produce and is run by Island farming families. There's plenty going on with a programme of events throughout the year including Grandparents Day on the 18th November, Ladies night on 30th November and throughout December there is mulled wine and mince pies for the adults and Father Christmas putting in an appearance for the kids.

Waltzing Waters

A spectacular 40 minute show of lights, water fountains and music. This is the most elaborate production of music, lights and water in the world. Like liquid fireworks that seem alive as they dance to music from pop and rock to classical. Great entertainment for all members of the family. Shows take place every hour from 10am to 4pm daily. Waltzing Waters does close for a few weeks from Mid December to the end of January. If you plan to visit, look at their website (link above) for a discount voucher.

We hope you enjoy your out of season trip to the Isle of Wight. Usually the Island experiences the best of the British weather and the climate is reasonably mild. You might want to pack your hats and gloves for a bracing walk along our cliffs, though. Of course there are many attractions that are only open during the main season from Easter to the end of October so we hope you come back again.