Destination guide

The many sides of the Isle of Wight

It's tricky to pin down the Isle of Wight. Where the twinkling piers and campsites of Shanklin dominate, you'd be tempted to call it a family destination. But then the jet-setters of the Cowes Regatta are found partying on the north coast, bringing clinking champagne flutes and heart-thumping sailing competitions. At one turn there are grand Victorian castles, at another raucous music festivals are unfolding in the woods. Throw in dramatic cliff walks, dinosaur bones, Blue Flag beaches, roaring surf and cider-splashing country pubs and it's easy to see why Isle of Wight holiday rentals are in such demand.

Things to do

Isle of Wight – the home of prehistoric monsters

Palaeontologists assemble, because the Isle of Wight might even give Patagonia a run for its money on the dinosaur front. While you can't personally pull gigantic stegosaurus spines from the soil, you can wander the marked fossil trails and delve into Dinosaur Isle in Sandown. That's packed with life-size models of the mighty iguanodon and polacanthus – 2 of the resident monsters discovered here. You'll keep the kids wide-eyed with wonder as you wander exhibits detailing the land's Jurassic and Triassic past, controlling robotic dinos and hearing pterodactyls cry overhead.


The Isle of Wight is festival country

There must be something about leaving the mainland that makes folk feel free, easy and ready for a shindig. How else could the Isle of Wight have become such a mecca for festivalgoers? There are 2 annual blowouts that come to mind. There's the rocking Isle of Wight Festival, which has been attracting big-name acts to the countryside parks since the 1960s – a certain Jimi Hendrix even made an appearance. The other is the Cowes Week of August. Hailed as one of the most prestigious regattas on the globe, it fills the northern harbours with competing sailors, ale tents and live music.


Time for the Isle of Wight outdoors

With its sands and surf, its country parks and coastal walks, this little cut-off of southern England really is a destination built for fair weather. The rush for the top Isle of Wight holiday rentals starts in May, when the spring sailing season begins and the mercury starts to creep up. Most people opt to come in the summer months of June, July and August, when the crowds of beachgoers are only bolstered by people heading for the music festivals and yacht regattas.

Natural features

Isle of Wight – a teardrop of England

Whether you're seeking Isle of Wight holiday rentals close to the beaches of Shanklin, or country boltholes that hide between the inland valleys, you can look forward to exploring a darn pretty corner of the UK. Of course, it's the coast that takes the biscuit. Check out the blade-like spires of The Needles in the west – a goosebump-inducing chairlift arches over the top of them. Close by is Compton Bay, where rolling waves host surfers in the heart of the Isle of Wight AONB – a protected reserve. Northwards is the Hamstead Heritage Coast, a land of grass-topped cliffs and fossil-spotted beaches.

How to get there

Transport options to and around Isle of Wight

Fly into Southampton (SOU), the closest airport, located 19.3 mi (31.1 km) from the city centre. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you can also fly into Bournemouth (BOH-Bournemouth Intl.), which is 24.5 mi (39.4 km) away.

If you're travelling by train, Shanklin Station, Sandown Station and Sandown Lake Station are the main stations in the area.

Where to stay around Isle of Wight?

Our 2019 accommodation listings offer a large selection of 1,825 holiday lettings near Isle of Wight. From 738 Cottages to 640 Houses, find unique self catering accommodation for you to enjoy a memorable holiday or a weekend with your family and friends. The best place to stay near Isle of Wight is on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in Isle of Wight?

There are many lovely places to stay for a long holiday or just a weekend break in Isle of Wight. From HomeAway travellers, the popular destinations to visit are:

  • Ventnor: 1,445 holiday homes
  • Shanklin: 1,106 holiday homes
  • Seaview: 1,102 holiday homes
  • Cowes: 1,460 holiday homes
  • Bembridge: 1,131 holiday homes

HomeAway offers you the possibility to discover many other popular destinations in Isle of Wight! Please use our search bar to access the selection of self catering accommodations available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in Isle of Wight?

Whether you are travelling solo or with family and friends, here are the cities in Isle of Wight with the largest selection of holiday lettings for a perfect city break:

  • Ventnor: 1,445 holiday lettings
  • Shanklin: 1,106 holiday lettings
  • Seaview: 1,102 holiday lettings
  • Cowes: 1,460 holiday lettings
  • Bembridge: 1,131 holiday lettings

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of holiday homes available.

Can I find easy access holiday homes when travelling by plane to Isle of Wight?

Yes of course. Our owners offer a large selection of self catering accommodations near to airports. Airports with a large selection of self catering accommodations in Isle of Wight are:

  • Bembridge Airport (BBP): 1,981 self catering accommodations
  • Ringwood (RNW-Ringwood Bus Station): 1,919 self catering accommodations
  • Bournemouth Airport (BOH): 1,795 self catering accommodations

For other airports, please use our search bar to access the selection of holiday rentals available.

What are the most popular points of interest and landmarks to stay near in Isle of Wight?

HomeAway offers a large selection of holiday lettings near great places to visit in Isle of Wight. From HomeAway travellers, the top popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Ventnor Botanic Garden: 1,710 holiday rentals
  • St. Catherine's Lighthouse: 1,725 holiday rentals
  • Osborne House: 1,797 holiday rentals
  • Shanklin Chine: 1,846 holiday rentals
  • Isle of Wight Steam Railway: 1,792 holiday rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Isle of Wight listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection of holiday accommodations.