Darwin Escapes

13 Picturesque Places to Visit on the Isle of Wight


Woodside Coastal Retreat is perfectly placed to explore the perfectly beautiful island

The Isle of Wight is one of the most beautiful places in the UK, with half the island being designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, making it an Instagramers dream destination!

With so much to photograph and share on your instastories, we thought it would help to narrow down your search of the most beautiful places in the Isle of Wight. Here are our top 13 picks to make sure you don’t miss anything when visiting the beautiful island.


St Catherine’s Oratory


This tall medieval octagonal tower was originally built in 1328 as penance to a landowner who stole from the church (2 cases of wine!). Known on the island as Pepperpot, it was used as a lighthouse and stands on one of the highest parts of the Isle of Wight, offering breathtaking views around it.


Megalithic Mottistone Longstone


Legend tells us that the Devil and St Catherine had a wager on who could control the Isle of Wight, and St Catherine threw the stone the furthest from Down to the east, where is lies today. However, it is in fact a 6000 year old Neolithic long barrow burial marker – which is just as interesting!


Woodside Beach


Woodside Coastal Retreat is only a couple of minutes’ walk to the beautiful shingle Woodside Beach. The beach is perfect for a peaceful walk along the shoreline with unrivaled views of the stunning Solent waters, and even over to main-land UK.


The Needles


Take the chairlift to the cliff top of Alum Bay for a gorgeous birds-eye view of the famous Needles rock formation. The row of distinctive chalk rocks is a photographers dream, and is the best known landmark on the Isle of Wight.


St Catherine’s Lighthouse


Located on the southern tip of the Isle of Wight, it was first established in 1323 and provides a way-mark for ships travelling the English Channel. A guided tour of the lighthouse lasts around 40 minutes and tells you the impressive history of the beautiful monument.


Bembridge Windmill


Built in early 1700’s, the windmill provided service to generations of millers on Bembridge and was last operated in 1913, just before the men were sent to fight in the Great War, after the war ended the mill was never reopened. It is the only surviving windmill on the island, an important part of the islands heritage.


The Mermaid & Stag Rocks


Located along the beautiful Freshwater Bay, it’s believed the two rocks originally formed an arch, which collapsed, leaving the striking formation. Be careful when exploring the fascinating Smugglers Caves during the low tide, as you can quickly be cut off by the high tide.


Compton Bay


Marvel at the different coloured cliffs along Compton Bay. The older, orange rocks were formed by rivers and lagoons, while the younger white rocks were formed by the sea. The change started over 250 million years ago, so make sure to be careful when walking around the cliffs as rocks often fall, even 125 million year old dinosaur foot casts have fallen out of the cliff side!


Yaverland Beach


One of the Isle of Wight’s most beautiful beaches, providing a long sandy stretch with stunning swimming waters. Popular with water sports fans, you’ll often see catamaran and dingy sailing, kite surfing, windsurfing and, of course, surfing.


Cowes Harbour


One of the most beautiful harbours in the UK, and home to the world famous Cowes Week. Make sure to visit Shepards Warf Marina, one of the harbours main marina facilities, named for the prominent fishing family from the 14th Century. Enter the wonderful Sugar Store Events Centre for breathtaking views and fun nautical events.


Sandown Beach


One of the Isle of Wight’s most famous beaches, miles of soft golden sand with the traditional British Pleasure Pier. The Pier is home to amusements and a crazy golf course, while the beach is lined with cafes and souvenir shops. A beautiful and traditional ‘bucket & spade’ beach trip!


Ventnor Beach


The southernmost beach on the Isle of Wight, adored by tourists and locals with miles of red shingle and sandy shoreline to wander. Enjoy the vintage beach huts, which you can hire at a daily rate, along with sun loungers, deckchairs and even windbreakers.


The Osborne House


Built in 1845 to provide Queen Victoria and Prince Albert with a private family home. This stunning house offers beautiful panoramic views over the Solent, and was recently the location for shooting Judi Dench’s new movie, Victoria and Abdul, about the Queen’s later years.


Woodside Coastal Retreat is the ideal place to base yourself when exploring this stunning island. Only 4 miles away from beautiful Cowes and 10 miles from the vibrant Ryde, our luxurious holiday retreat offers you relaxing and sumptuous accommodation to return to once your exploring is complete! Don’t forget to check in on your Instagram account for chance of your images appearing in our posts!

Book your holiday to Woodside Coastal Retreat today and start exploring this breathtakingly beautiful island!


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Photo Credits: Anthony McCallum, Derek Harper, Christine Matthews, Jaapkievit, John Webber, Island Visions, Ronald Saunders, Editor5807