Five Isle of Wight day trip ideas for autumn

Autumn has fallen, and we’re all wrapping up a little bit warmer. The pumpkin spice is out in abundance, and things are starting to feel festive — now’s the ideal time to glide over to the Isle of Wight aboard a Wightlink ferry to join in the celebrations and begin winding down for the winter.

Don’t forget to pack your Halloween costume!

Isle of Fright

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The spookiest time of the year is upon us! Where better to start the frightening festivities than in the ominous Carisbrooke Castle? Create terrifying Halloween crafts, wander the grounds with Victorian ghost hunters, and pass by the graveyard to discover how its occupants met a gruesome demise. Prizes await the winners of the Halloween costume competitions.

If you’re still feeling brave, don your witch or wizard robes and head to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s Halloween Fright Night! Board a train through the island’s deserted nighttime countryside. Witness darkened woodlands and desolate fields and hear stories of paranormal investigations into otherworldly activities on the eerie railway line.

Set your sights on 28th October for this spooky day trip, and you’ll be able to fit both of the exciting experiences in!

Fossils in fall

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There’s a reason the Isle of Wight is often referred to as ‘Dinosaur Island’ — it’s heralded one of the richest places for dinosaur discovery in Europe! You could dedicate an entire day trip to prehistory activities.

At the heart of it all is Dinosaur Isle, sited in Sandown, bringing to life the prehistoric story paleontologists have been able to uncover over decades of studying  the island’s fossils — a story which spans 126 million years! It’s open from 10:00am to 5:00pm in September and October.

Children can learn how to excavate and identify real fossils and handle replicas of the biggest dinosaur claws at the Dinosaur Expedition Centre, who also lead fossil hunts. You can find fossils yourself nearby at Brook Bay, from small fragments to larger reptilian bones.

Winding down for winter

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Autumn is the ideal time to treat yourself to a well-earned wind-down, and being beside the seaside is scientifically proven to be one of the ultimate mood-lifters. Take day trip away from it all to the beach-lined Isle of Wight is one of the best opportunities for a wellness break.

Indulge the Isle of Wight way at West Bay Country Club’s Island Wellness Spa, treating yourself to an all-day retreat while enjoying a charming pocket of coastal life, exploring the miles of seaside paths bordering the spa. Breathe in the sea air, freshen up, and hit reset ahead of the winter.

You can also bring the spa to you — Relax Isle of Wight is a mobile spa which caters for individuals and pamper parties, and can come direct to wherever you’re staying.

All of the lights

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Robin Hill Country Park comes alive for the Diwali-inspired Festival of Light, every evening from 6:00pm to 10:00pm between 30th September and 4th November. Wander through the park's woodlands and experience exciting dynamic light effects inspired by the Hindu festival of Diwali, which celebrates the triumph of light over darkness. Experience the wildness, island!

Spend a day at Blackgang Chine, the UK’s oldest amusement park, and come nightfall, revel in the beauty of the Blackgang Illuminations. The creative, interactive lighting effects and displays get bigger and better every year.

Pair these stunning light displays with autumnal island sunsets for a truly unforgettable day.

Cycle through the autumn leaves

Fall in love with the breathtaking orange and yellow hues of autumnal nature and get closer to the Isle of Wight’s wildlife while staying active at your own pace, enjoying your own company or bringing along the whole family.

The island’s Red Squirrel Trail offers 23 miles of mostly traffic-free cycling between patchwork fields, and it covers all landscapes: woodlands, farmlands, coastlines, and estuaries. The Isle of Wight is one of the few places where the red squirrel still thrives. This is the route to take if you want to see them — it’s teeming with the island’s wildlife.

Take on the Taste Round the Island Trail to discover some of the island’s best-renowned eateries, including the Dimbola Lodge Tearooms attached to a Victorian photography museum, the nationally-acclaimed Garlic Farm, and the Brading Station — a Victorian railway station and signal box that’s been transformed into a visitor centre.