According to the song, “the best things in life are for free”, and there is certainly a lot of satisfaction to be had from a great day out that doesn’t cost you a penny.
Here are 10 of our recommendations for free activities, attractions and event on the Isle of Wight:
We can’t recommend visiting at least one Isle of Wight beach during your stay enough – we have a wide variety of brilliant beaches, and they are all completely free for you to explore at your leisure. It is fair to say that our beaches usually top most visitors’ days out on the Island, whatever time of year they are here!
The Donkey Sanctuary at Wroxall has been one of the Island’s most popular attractions for many years – regularly ranking in the top 10 of Trip Advisor for things to do on the Isle of Wight. Visitors are welcome to explore the farm and meet all of the rescued donkeys with no charge for entry, whilst a recently added café is available for refreshments.
The world’s largest sailing regatta takes place in August every year, bringing over 1,000 boats from across the globe to compete in 8 days of racing. The town of Cowes buzzes with a festival-type atmosphere for the duration of the week, with entertainment in the streets and on the shoreside throughout the day and evening. All the racing action is free to watch from the shore.
The stunning monastery at Quarr is visible through the trees to arrivals on the Portsmouth to Fishbourne ferry, yet is very much one of the Island’s undiscovered treasures. There is no admission fee to the site at Quarr, with a visitor centre, art gallery, woodland walks and of course the monastery all available to explore – with a popular farm shop and teashop café in the gardens selling some great local produce.
The Herd forms the centrepiece of The Cow Co – a restaurant, shop and free museum (coming soon) celebrating beef and dairy brilliance. It is an eye-catching collection of life-size fiberglass cows decorated by local artists and businesses, including designs from The Isle of Wight Festival, Bestival, The Garlic Farm, Chessell Pottery and many more. Entry to the farm is free, and there is plenty to explore.
The Warrior Trail is a 6 mile circular route that can be enjoyed on foot, by bike, and even on horseback! It follows in the footsteps of the Isle of Wight “Warhorse” that famously fought on the battlefields of World War 1, weaving past sites of historical importance to Warrior and his family down to Brook Beach where he was once trained to face danger in the surf.
The Dinosaur Island App, free to download for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, allows you to walk alongside some of the Isle of Wight’s former Dinosaur residents, with no risk of getting bitten! The trail runs along the south coast of the Island in the form of 6 special meteorites – with each location unlocking a different dinosaur. There are also a few hidden locations on the Island (and one in the Solent) so keep your eyes open
The Quay Arts Centre is a hub for Island artists, with 3 galleries, a theatre, a crafts council listed shop and well regarded café and bar serving a variety of great food and refreshments. There are regular exhibitions from both guest, and local artists, and whilst entry fees apply for special events there is no charge to visit the Centre.
St Mildred’s church in Whippingham was made famous after Queen Victoria took up residence at Osborne House, and the nearby village became the centre of the Royal estate. Prince Albert played a hand in the redesigning of the church, and there are a number of memorials inside commemorating the Queen’s family and household. It is free to visit the church, and highly recommended, especially if you are heading to nearby Osborne for the day.
Possibly one of the most photographed structures on the Isle of Wight since its rebuild in 2010 is the Bembridge Lifeboat Station. The concrete pier leading out to the station protrudes over 250 yards, clearing the rocks that form the “Bembridge Ledge”, and the boathouse at the end offers fantastic panoramic views across the Solent.
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