In Facts

Couple pointing out to sea, Isle of Wight

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, here are look at 7 things you can't do on the Isle of Wight!

  1. Climb a mountain - There are plenty of 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, whereas 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. While the roads aren’t all dirt tracks, you’ll want to look at choosing a different holiday destination if you love nothing more than whizzing down motorways at 70mph.
  4. Drive through a tunnelThe Isle of Wight boasts spectacular views, stunning coastline and winding roads that take you on a magical tour of the Island countryside. But if you love driving through tunnels, you’re out of luck. Though tunnels have been talked about for many years, none have ever had the go-ahead. So, for now, you’ll have to stick to the beautiful scenery on the open road.
  5. See a grey squirrel - Red squirrels are beautiful, shy creatures with fluffy tails. They’re also the only squirrel native to the British Isles. The Solent provides a barrier to grey squirrels, allowing red squirrels to place to live and thrive without the risk of greys dominating their environment. It’s actually illegal to release a grey squirrel anywhere on the Island, so you’re not going to bump into one on the Isle of Wight anytime soon. Parkhurst Forest is a good place to start if you want to see a red squirrel, but you can also spot one or two at Ventnor Botanic Garden.
  6. Catch a train to Newport - Newport is the Island's 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, but there’s a good train service between the foot passenger ferries in Ryde through to Sandown and Shanklin. There’s also a pleasant steam train at Havenstreet, which makes for a fun day out.
  7. Get to the Island over a bridge or through a tunnelBecause the Island has no tunnels or bridges into it, the only way you can get here is by travelling across the sea. Whether you use a ferry, hovercraft, catamaran, sailing boat or yacht, getting here is half the fun!