Autumn is a great time to plan short Isle of Wight holidays and easy days out. Warmer than the rest of the UK, it’s still outdoorsy on the Island even in October and November. Plus, there’s just so much to see and do with kids. Not ready to hibernate? Say YES to Isle of Wight Autumn Adventures!
Isle of Wight holidays are much loved by families thanks to the Island’s seemingly endless natural beauty and myriad experiences and activities for children of all ages. It sits just off the south coast of England, which means a quick and easy ferry trip from Portsmouth, Southampton and Lymington. There are also direct train services to most ferry ports, so you can be ready to sail in as little as two hours from London.
Even better, this petite island has a mild climate that tends to be a couple of degrees warmer than the British mainland. In fact, the Isle of Wight has been named the UK’s sunniest staycation destination. All in all, we can’t think of a more ideal place for a family getaway this autumn or winter!
From zipwires and climbing to bush craft survival courses and beach days with campfires, the old adage ‘there’s something for everyone’ couldn’t be more true when it comes to the Isle of Wight. Tots to teens (and even grandma and any furry family members) will have plenty to keep boredom at bay, and every day can be different.
The dramatic cliffs, epic coastal views and untouched nature always make you feel like you’re really getting away from it all. But the Island is also jam-packed with things to do and places to go. So you’re never too far from both nature and home comforts all at once. Add to that a generous dash of classic seaside charm and it’s easy to see why families adore Isle of Wight holidays.
Isle of Wight holidays for nature loving families
If you love being in the great outdoors, you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere as lovely as the Isle of Wight. Over 50% of the Island is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. And, thanks to its unspoiled landscape, clear waters and thriving wildlife, the Island is also one of the only places in the UK to gain UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status.
Owing to the Isle of Wight’s mild climate, even in autumn and winter, you can spend plenty of time outside. Get wonderfully lost in 200 acres of pasture and woodlands at Quarr Abbey with a kit of binoculars and activity cards and go in search of critters large and small (including the very cute resident pigs).
Alternatively, if your family enjoys striding out, there are walks for all sorts of families. Try one of the relaxing strolls along parts of the 68-mile-long coastal path to enjoy the views. Or discover more challenging hikes during the bi-annual Walking Festival, which takes place in October and again, in May.
If your kids love wildlife, you’ll find plenty to please them across the Island. For snakes, snails and lizards, the Isle of Wight Reptilarium contains 30 species of reptile and invertebrates and its mission is to combine learning and fun. At Haven Falconry kids can see various birds of prey, looked after by experienced, knowledgeable falconers. Or you could head to Butterfly World and wander through a tropical area where butterflies and moths fly free.
Day and night adventures for active families this autumn
The Island’s seemingly endless beauty makes it a natural playground for active and adventure-seeking families. If your brood loves to cycle, there are over 200 miles of bike tracks, byways, and bridleways which weave through some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK. Or why not take it up a notch and challenge yourselves to mountain biking for a different view of the Island.
However, if nothing short of extreme will satisfy your kids, take them to Goodleaf Tree Climbing. Here they can don a harness and climb to the tree tops. Friendly instructors keep everything safe and the rewards from the top are sensational views of Appley Beach and beyond.
The Isle of Wight also has some of the darkest Dark Skies in the UK, so it’s perfect for stargazing too, especially in autumn or winter. Check out the six top stargazing spots for astronomical adventures, then just wrap kids up warm and stare into dazzling space.
Even if it rains during your Isle of Wight holiday, there’s still plenty for kids to do. Keen skateboarders will like Canopy Skatepark or, for more splash around fun, head to West Wight Sports, 1Leisure Medina or 1Leisure The Heights.
Beachy fun and quieter days out on Isle of Wight holidays
The Isle of Wight is less than 25 miles from east to west at its widest point and only about 13 miles long. However, the coastline weaves for around 57 miles, so beach-loving families are never short of places to enjoy the seaside.
Our favourite spots include Shanklin and Sandown beaches, Appley beach in Ryde or legendary Ventnor. They’re all brilliant for family beaches, whether you like to pack your own picnic or head into town for a slice of island life. Some beaches are great for easy paddling with younger kids. But older ones and teens will be thrilled to know several beaches are also up for canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding.
If you want to know where’s good to go each day on Isle of Wight holidays, just download the Beach Check app. Then simply check out conditions in the morning and pick where suits your idea of a fun family day out best.
Another brilliant day out for kids is a trip to Osborne. The favourite holiday home of Queen Victoria, this grand Italianate villa and its sprawling grounds can be visited again and again. The Swiss Cottage where the royal children once played is a particular treat. There’s also a dedicated family garden which includes an outdoor play area and museum. And once you’re done looking at 19th century life, you can walk down to Osborne’s private beach and watch the boats bob by.