Summer on the Isle of Wight

Looking for exciting ways to keep the kids entertained this summer? Look no further than the Isle of Wight.

There's plenty to keep all ages entertained this summer
There's plenty to keep all ages entertained this summer

There are adventures to be had around every corner. And best of all, kids sail for free all summer with Wightlink, so you can keep going back as often as you like.

The Isle of Wight, easily reached with Wightlink, offers you a chance to really get away from it all – sail away to an Island full of events with short stays from £78*.

Expect the unexpected, as the Isle of Wight offers up something for everyone

*offer terms and conditions apply, visit wightlink.co.uk/terms

1) Find family friendly events

It’s the start of the school holidays, which means there are lots of fun things happening for families later in the month. School holiday activities take place at attractions all over the Isle of Wight like Blackgang Chine’s Summer Fest and Tapnell Farm’s Biggest Kids Party, but you can also enjoy family-friendly events like Ventnor Fringe Festival from 22 July and Cowes Week from 30 July 2022.

2) Visit an aqua park

An island of adventure awaits

Make time to visit the Isle of Wight’s only outdoor Aqua Park this summer. There are more than 20 bouncy obstacles to tackle, including giant free-fall slides. Great fun for confident swimmers over the age of seven, it’s an epic challenge to tackle as a family. Set within Tapnell Farm Park, there’s loads to do once you dry off including a farmyard attraction, archery, axe throwing and a brand-new football golf course.

3) Live the beach sports lifestyle

July is a great time to get into beach sports – not just because it’s better weather, but because Appley Beach on the Isle of Wight is host to the Wight Wave Beach Fest. From 29-31 July, the event will host beach soccer, beach volleyball, beach runs, paddle board racing, beach rugby and more to a backdrop of laid-back music and a family-friendly beach environment. And it’s just a short walk from where Wightlink’s FastCat arrives.

4) Make the most of the microclimate

Visit the sanctuary for wildlife on the island

Enjoying more hours of sunshine than the national average, the Isle of Wight benefits from a unique microclimate that is perfect for plants and makes for gorgeous gardens. Marvel at the Mediterranean planting at Mottistone Garden or sub-tropical Ventnor Botanic Garden.

5) Hit the beach or have a picnic in the countryside

We’ve got more than our fair share of coast – from sunny, sandy, traditional family beaches to wild cliffs and secluded coves. Choose the wide sandy beaches of Ryde, Sandown or Shanklin for a traditional British seaside experience this summer. Fancy a picnic in the open air? Immerse yourself fully with the Isle of Wight’s natural environment by choosing local ingredients and head to Culver Down, Blackgang Viewpoint or Brading Down for the best views; or St Helens Duver for a mix of coast and countryside.

6) Be entertained in the woods

The Woodland Sessions return to Robin Hill this summer with five captivating evenings of entertainment in a stunning countryside setting. These intimate outdoor concerts are set in the heart of Robin Hill’s woodland valley, nestled alongside the parks’ ancient woodland with a backdrop of gorgeous lakes, incredible views and colourfully-lit pine and oak trees.

7) Catch Carnival Fever

July marks the start of the Isle of Wight carnival season, so you’re in the right place for a summer street party! This weekend you’ll be able to enjoy the Isle of Wight Pride parade in Ryde followed by afternoon and evening entertainment on the Saturday and Sunday on the seafront. If you’re planning to visit the Island later on in the summer, you’ll have Ryde’s Childrens Carnival to look forward to on 27 August, and their Illuminated Carnival on 3 September.

8) Find Royal Connections

Visit Carisbrooke Castle, whose most notable inmate was King Charles I between 1647-8. Or spend a day at Osborne, Queen Victoria’s family holiday home, a seaside retreat. During her time on the Isle of Wight, Queen Victoria also visited many places that are still open to the public today including Shanklin Chine and Blackgang Chine.

9) Wildheart Animal Sanctuary

This beautiful sanctuary is a little oasis by the sea, built within the ruins of a Victorian Fort at Sandown. The sanctuary has a variety of animals, but the experts from the Wildheart Trust specialise in two particular areas - tigers and lemurs. You’ll also find meerkats, wallabies, birds, lions, monkeys and reptiles here.

10) Sandham Gardens

Located in the seaside town of Sandown with a beach front location, Sandham Gardens is home to a wide range of exciting activities including Sandham Skynets: The Big Bounce, Sandham Karts and Dino Islands: A Golf Adventure. There’s free entry to the rainbow playground and skate park, and you can take a break from all the fun at their Ice Cream Shack.

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Discover more events at wightlink.co.uk/explorer