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Isle of Wight

The largest island off the English coast and is a delightful, self-contained community covering an area of 147 square miles, half of which is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The 67 miles of coastline of the Isle of Wight include chalk and sandstone cliffs, sandy beaches, marshes and estuaries and deep coastal ravines, while inland there are ancient forests, farmland, downs and river valleys. The Isle of Wight is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing break, at any time of the year. It is a stunning Island with unspoilt scenery and a wealth of fascinating attractions.

The island has been a holiday destination since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines. The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. It has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, and Britain’s space rockets. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.

Tour Highlights

  • Explore Queen Victoria’s lovely home of Osborne House
  • Stay in a lovely hotel in the beach resort of Ventnor
  • Drive along the fabulous Military Road to Freshwater
  • See the famed Needles off the western coast of the island
  • Stroll around Cowes, Britain’s yachting capital
  • See where Charles I was imprisoned at Carisbrooke Castle
  • Visit the delightful Mottistone Manor (National Trust) & Appuldurcombe House
  • Visit the Classic Boat Museum in Cowes

Tour Map


Day 1:  Take the Ferry to the Isle of Wight

16 Miles

Arrive on the island via Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries from Southampton to East Cowes. The ferry crossing can be booked at any time to suit you as ferries leave hourly, on the hour.

It is then a short drive past Osbourne House, former home to Queen Victoria, and cross-country, on some delightfully quiet lanes, through Newchurch and onto Ventnor. Stop and visit the renowned Garlic Farm, with an amazing array of the bulbs and everything (and more) to do with garlic. Dinner is included at the hotel.

Day 2:  Explore the western part of the island

65 Miles

Explore the western side of the island today, heading along the coast to Blackgang and the superb road to Freshwater. Continue to Alum Bay to see the Needles, and then drive onto the pretty port of Yarmouth for lunch. Then head to Newtown, famed for its National Trust properties, and then along the seafront to Cowes, Britain’s yachting capital. Enjoy a stroll around Cowes, and indulge in a spot of shopping. Then head south to Carisbrooke Castle, and visit this amazing medieval building and wander around the ramparts. Continue south to the idyllic villages of Brighstone and Mottistone, where you can visit the manor. Return to Ventnor on the back roads in plenty of time for dinner.

Day 3:  Discover the eastern part of the island

50 Miles

Discover the island’s eastern half starting with a visit to Appuldurcombe House, with its Owl & Falconry Centre. Continue to Godshill, which is an ideal place to stop for coffee (or hot chocolate at Chocolate Island). Drive along some of the wonderful small lanes, wiggling your way up to Newport, to visit the excellent Classic Boat Museum. After your visit head over Brading Downs to Ryde, on the north coast of the island. Drive along the esplanade, past the pier, and head on to the lovely village of Bembridge. Visit the superb Roman Villa at Brading. Then on to Adgestone Vineyard for some samples of their fine wines, before heading to Shanklin old village. Return to Ventnor via the quaint village of Bonchurch.

Day 4:  Return to Cowes for the Ferry to Southampton

16 Miles

Return to Cowes via the pretty village of Godshill. Once in Southampton, depart for home.

Where we'll stay

Stay in a fabulous 4-star hotel on the south coast of the Island, in the quintessentially English resort of Ventnor. The hotel is steeped in history and is the perfect base to discover the island’s colourful past. Most of the bedrooms have a view of the gardens with the sea beyond and it is a few minutes stroll to the sandy beach. The renowned restaurant has been consistently awarded two AA rosettes. There is an outdoor pool as well.

What's included


  • Please ensure you have suitable travel insurance
  • It is a good idea to carry a warning triangle, first-aid kit, fluorescent jacket, set of replacement bulbs and a national identification sticker.
  • The most important requirement is that you take pleasure in motoring through fabulous scenery and relish individual, character hotels.



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