Isle of Wellness: relaxing on the Isle of Wight
Being beside the seaside is scientifically proven to be one of the ultimate mood-lifters, so taking a day trip away from it all to the beach-lined Isle of Wight is one of the best opportunities for a wellness break.
With just two changes between London and the island, car ferries departing from both Portsmouth and Lymington, and a streamlined public transport system covering the island, spending some ‘you time’ on the Isle of Wight couldn't be easier.
1) Yoga and paddle boarding, at once
Isle of Wight yoga instructor Emma leads stand-up paddle board yoga classes with watersports centres around the Solent, often at dawn or dusk when the water is at its most still. It’s a truly life-affirming experience.
No previous practice of either paddle boarding or yoga is required.
Emma also runs a number of other indoor and outdoor yoga workshops — everywhere from the studio to the beach.
2) Taking your time in Ryde
When you arrive in Ryde as a foot passenger from Portsmouth, you’ll take a relaxing stroll to the shore along the pier from the Wightlink terminal and receive a warm welcome from the vast expanses of serene sandy beaches and a lush little high street with great views across to Portsmouth.
There are a number of eateries which make for ideal sanctuaries come rain or shine, such as The Chocolate Apothecary with its sunlight-luring floor-to-ceiling windows and selection of gluten-free cakes, and Three Buoys, a restaurant with great food and calming panoramic views of the beach and the mainland.
3) Luxury relaxation at West Bay Country Club
Indulge the Isle of Wight way at West Bay Country Club’s Island Wellness Spa, treating yourself to a one- or two-day retreat while enjoying a charming pocket of coastal life.
The country club and spa rests on miles of seaside paths — yours to explore as you breathe in the fresh invigorating sea air, escaping the frantic pace of everyday life.
Soothe your muscles in the sauna, unwind with a book in the Little Room of Calm, freshen up with a facial, and enjoy a healthy menu of food and juices and a well-earned pampering.
4) Bring the spa to you
Qualified in holistic therapies, Swedish massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, Indian head massage, facials, manicures, and pedicures, Hannah Davies runs Relax, a professional beauty specialist on the Isle of Wight with a little bit of a difference: Hannah brings the spa to you.
Whether you’re at home on the Isle of Wight, in a hotel during a visit, or at another location of your choosing, Relax Isle of Wight’s fully-equipped mobile spa caters for individuals and pamper parties alike.
Visit the Relax website or call them on 0845 057 0516 for more information.
5) Unwind with an abundance of coastal walks
Cowes at sundown is a stunning sight to see, and the sweet tavern-lined shopping streets fade into a serene seafront promenade and pebbly beach to form the ideal course for a soothing evening walk.
You could also follow a route to the romantic rolling hills of Tennyson Down — a prime place for a picnic — and unwind with Freshwater Bay’s spectacular views stretching out before you. Venture a little further, and you’ll find yourself in Alum Bay, another breathtaking spot where you can admire geological marvels like The Needles and the bay’s famously colourful cliffs.
6) Cycle and taste the island
Cycling is the perfect way to get closer to the Isle of Wight’s nature and culture while staying active at your own pace.
The Red Squirrel Trail comprises 23 miles of mostly traffic-free cycling between patchwork fields and 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.
As for culture, The Taste Round the Island Trail will take you to some of the Isle of Wight’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.
7) An historic beach fit for royal relaxation
Osborne House is Queen Victoria's holiday home, where she'd retreat with Prince Albert and their nine children, is a stunning sight to behold. Victoria herself said that it's “impossible to imagine a prettier spot.”
What’s more, Victoria and Albert had their very own private beach which is now yours to chill out on, just a short walk through nature from the house. Bring a picnic, go for a swim, and enjoy the beautiful Solent views.