12 hours on the Isle of Wight for families

The summer holidays are just around the corner, and you’re looking for days out with the kids to keep the whole family entertained — look a little further afield to the Isle of Wight! It’s incredible how many things the entire family can enjoy with just 12 hours on on our beautiful island.

To help you on your way, we’ve saved you the time and effort of planning out your day. The itinerary below is perfect for trips to the island with the kids, whether you’re driving or using local transport. See you over here soon!

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

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10:45am: Welcome to the Isle of Wight! Take a short trip around the corner from the ferry terminal to The Fishbourne, a quality dining pub nestled in a picturesque wooden enclave.

11:45am: After you’ve refuelled and are ready for the day ahead, bear east to explore Ryde’s high street and seafront shops, both offering marvellous views back to the mainland. Highlights include The Chocolate Apothecary, a boutique chocolate shop, and Pink Elephant, an old-school sweet shop stocking wall upon wall of pick‘n‘ mix jars, imported American candy, and refreshing milkshakes and slushies.

Then make tracks to Appley Beach — there’s a car park if you’re driving — and climb Appley Tower, a distinctive gothic landmark doubling up as a fantastic vantage point for broad Solent views. When you’ve taken it all in, stroll into Appley Park.

1:00pm: This is something you’ll want to book in advance: two hours with Good Leaf Tree Climbing, a recreational tree climbing experience which gives the entire family a magical thrill. You only need to bring yourself — instructors will provide equipment and, well, show you the ropes!

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3:00pm: Travel to Sandown. When you arrive, head into Dinosaur Isle, open ’til 6:00pm during the summer months. This purpose-built dinosaur museum serves as the ultimate starting point for exploring the Isle of Wight’s exciting prehistory, and will have you hunting for fossils in no time.

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5:15pm: Go a little further south to Shanklin and make a pitstop at The Waterfront Inn for dinner, where the seaward views impress and the broad menu serves all tastes, including vegetarian-friendly dishes and gluten-free offerings. There’s also a children’s menu, with everything priced at just £6.00.

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6:15pm: Take a short walk along the seafront to Pirate’s Cove, Shanklin’s very own 18-hole pirate-themed crazy golf course. Pirate’s Cove also features go-karts, bumper boats, water zorbs, trampolines, bouncy castles. They even have a new rollercoaster! Hours of fun can be had at Pirate’s Cove, and they’re open ’til late during the summer season.

8:30pm: Head back to Fishbourne.

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

10:00pm: Welcome home!