In Facts

We regularly bombard visitors with "things to do on the Isle of Wight", leaving many with big plans and not enough days to do it all in. So as some light respite for those visitors with overloaded itineraries, the Isle of Wight Guru takes a look at 5 things you can't do on the Isle of Wight!

(above) St Boniface Down, the Isle of Wight's highest point

At Isle of Wight Guru, we routinely make extravagant claims about the numerous entertaining (and usually free) things you can do on the Isle of Wight. But, we should also confess there are several things that you can’t do, including these five:

  1. Climb a mountain - My poor old Fiat Punto struggled endlessly on the hilly roads around Ventnor, but you’ll have to go elsewhere if you want to climb an actual mountain. The Isle of Wight’s highpoint is St Boniface which is about 240 metres high whilst official mountains usually start at 600 metres.
  2. Go for an hour’s drive - Assuming you don’t get lost, stuck in traffic, break down or drive very slowly, a car journey won’t take longer than an hour on the Isle of Wight. The longest journey – Bembridge to Alum Bay should take you about 55 minutes. If you’re somewhere in the middle (Newport or Carisbrooke), you can usually get anywhere within half an hour.
  3. Drive on a motorway - On a similar note to #2, the Isle of Wight is lacking in anything bigger than a dual carriageway. Don’t get me wrong, the roads aren’t all dirt tracks but if your main hobby is writing down HGV cab numbers from Eddie Stobart lorries then I would pick a different holiday destination (and please don’t invite me to come with you).
  4. See a grey squirrel - Red squirrels are beautiful, shy creatures with fluffy tails, unlike grey squirrels which are more like rats which want to steal your cheese and pickle sandwich. Parkhurst Forest is a good place to start if you want to see a red squirrel, but I’ve also seen them at Robin Hill and at Ventnor’s Botanic Gardens. I would advise against bringing your pet grey squirrel on holiday to the Isle of Wight, as your trip may get extended to two years in Parkhurst Prison.
  5. Catch a train to Newport - Newport is the county capital with the best range of chain shops on the Isle of Wight, but it doesn’t have a train station. The last train left Newport in the year England won the World Cup, and I suspect there’s as much chance of a train station coming back as there is of England winning the World Cup again. However, there is a good train service between the foot passenger ferries in Ryde through to Sandown and Shanklin, and there’s a pleasant steam train at Havenstreet.

This is an excerpt from Isle of Wight Guru’s ‘10 things you can’t do on the Isle of Wight’.

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