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Hidden Gems of the Isle of Wight

Date: 5th November 2015
Author: Sarah Twist
Publisher: Darwin Escapes
Park: Woodside Bay Lodge Retreat
Local Area


The Isle of Wight is a beautiful island off the coast of the south of England, it has many hidden secrets ready to be explored

With our brand new Woodside Bay Lodge Retreat location opening on the Isle of Wight, now is the perfect time to spend a few nights in our outstanding treehouse accommodation while exploring the wonders that the island has to offer…

The Calbourne Water Mill

Set in 35 acres of breathtaking rural landscape and one of the oldest water mills in the UK, The Calbourne can date it’s history back to the doomsday book and is a must visit for anyone traveling to the Isle of Wight. The Calbourne has its own war museum with historic exhibitions you can follow through time. The rustic and rural exhibits all display special treasures from times gone by, including a fake fire station, a Granfer’s Shed and Grandma’s Kitchen exhibits. Make sure to take a walk through the Ancient Oak Woodland, wander around the ponds, build a little house on the Lego tables, create anything you fancy on the giant chalkboard or jump on the pedalo and travel downstream. Visit the family fun pottery area, where air-dry pottery is used so you can take home what you make that day! A fun family day out, and it’s free to get in too!

Ventnor Botanic Gardens

These beautiful gardens have an unrivaled collection of sub tropical and exotic plants, with the immersive landscape transporting you to outstanding Mediterranean regions around the world. There are more than just plants at the Botanic Gardens, art exhibitions are also held for your delight, with everyone from Picasso to Banksy having their work showcased here. After a full day walking around, make sure to grab a meal at the Plantation Room Café, which uses herbs grown from the surrounding gardens. Ventnor Botanic Gardens has loads of secret passageways, underground caverns and tunnels to find, the biggest being a 350 foot long tunnel running through the nearby Cliffside out to the shore. Guided tours are available daily here as it is too dangerous to go in alone. An interesting day for all the family!

Fogg’s of Ventnor

This little hidden gem on the Isle of Wight offers food and relaxing atmosphere, perfectly located on Ventnor’s high street and set in a beautiful Colonial style villa, you will fall in love instantly. The lovely brasserie style lends itself to the light and airy rooms with a relaxed and friendly service and atmosphere, along with a great selection of food, this is a must visit restaurant on the island. All produce is locally sourced, with the meat coming from local farms and butchers, Ventnor Haven Fishery supplies freshly caught fish daily and even the bread is locally baked from Sarah’s House bakery down the road. Owner and chef Mark is passionate about the island and, obviously, food, having catered for the Queen, Prince Charles, David Beckham and both the English rugby and football teams, he definitely knows what he’s doing. With over 25 years experience in the industry and worked in kitchens supervised by Marco Pierre White, you know you are in expert hands at Fogg’s of Ventnor, he offers flavours of the world as well as the grill menu and delightful little’uns menu too, something for everyone!

Tapnell Farm & The Cow Co.

Tapnell Farm has everything you need under one roof. You can eat, shop and play all in one place. The kids will love the Play Barn, the indoor play area with a fun imagination playground and giant chalkboard, while adventurers can have a go at the zip wires, or the huge jumping pillow that can fit up to 35 people!

You can book experience days and learn skills like archery, wall climbing, zorbing or mountain boarding, or take a trip off site and try some water activities. Tapnell Farm is an actual working farm, and has been for over 40 years, turning from the little dairy farm to diverse business it is today, with all produce made on the farm shared between the farm shop and the restaurant, called The Cow Co. Delicious burgers and steaks await your taste buds, as well as wonderful gourmet delights and handmade gifts at the gift shop.

Explore away on one of the most beautiful islands in the UK!
Happy Adventuring Ladies & Gents

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Photo Credits: Chris Allen, David Anstiss, Geoff Peters, Mosespreciado

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We’ve reopened our holiday resorts in England. Our resorts in Wales are planned to reopen to holiday home owners on 11th July and to holiday guests on 13th July. Find out more.