12 hours on the Island: things to do for couples on the Isle of Wight

Take a little break away from it all, hopping aboard a Wightlink ferry to the Isle of Wight, where memorable fun, good food, and well-earned relaxation awaits you in abundance.

We know that planning a day out can be difficult with so many activities to choose from, so here are our recommendations for things that couples can enjoy with just 12 hours on the Island.

10:00am: Hop aboard a Wightlink Ferry from Portsmouth to Fishbourne (on foot or with thecar). It’s always a lovely journey with beautiful views and a relaxed atmosphere.

10:45am: Head north-west to Osborne in East Cowes, where even Queen Victoria came to relax! Once the monarch’s holiday home, where she’d retreat with Prince Albert and their nine children, the English Heritage attraction now makes for a fascinating stroll through history, and has its own beach which is yours to enjoy. Victoria herself said that it’s “impossible to imagine a prettier spot.”


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Before or after you explore the house itself, enjoy Osborne’s splendid selection of eateries, be it crab sandwiches in The Terrace Restaurant, light lunches in The Petty Officers’ Quarters Café, or Beatrice cakes based on a 19th century recipe in The Gazelle House.

1:45pm: Make your way through East Cowes to the Floating Bridge chain ferry and catch a ride across the River Medina to West Cowes, where there’s a maze of quaint high street shops and stretches of charming promenades and pebble beaches to explore.

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2:45pm: After enjoying Cowes, venture to the western tip of the Isle of Wight: Alum Bay.

3:15pm: Freshly-made scones, sandwiches, cakes, and tea in a World War Two signal station? Ideal. Take a leisurely stroll to the Old Needles Battery for delicious refreshments, an historic atmosphere, and spectacular clifftop views of the Needles.

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4:00pm: You can also take a calming boat ride out to the Needles from Alum Bay, absorbing the sea air, admiring the intriguing geography and its resident lighthouse, and gazing back at the handsome multicoloured sands of the cliffs.

5:30pm: Time for tea! A quick ride north along the coastline will lead you to The Hut, a restaurant in Colwell Bay. Locally-sourced ingredients combine with stunning seaward views for a wonderful island dining experience.

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7:00pm: Head back to Cowes for the sunset, and revel in the dusk atmosphere of the town. Pop into The Mess Canteen & Bar for cocktails — this local gem is renowned for its stylish upcycled interior, with furnishings constructed from locally-sourced materials, including a 30-seater sofa made of pallets from the factory of Isle of Wight-based ice cream creator Minghella.

8:30pm: Head back to Fishbourne, ready to catch your return ferry

9:15pm: Hop aboard a Wightlink back to Portsmouth.

10:00pm: Welcome home!