Majestic sea cliffs and sweeping beaches; the quiet solitude of ancient woodlands; an ever changing patchwork of worked fields; the timeless and enduring presence of the downs: intricate inlets of tranquil creeks; long distance views from the coastal heath and downland; winding paths; shutes and hollow ways in the countryside; Chines and steps down cliffs to miles of beaches; all make the landscape a perfect place for birdwatching.
The Isle of Wight has a wide variety of habitats, all having their influence on the type of birds seen.
There are chalk, sand and clay cliffs; shores of sand, shingle mud and rock; fresh and saltwater marshes; tidal rivers and creeks; mixed farmland; deciduous and coniferous woods, copse and large areas of chalk downland.
The main kind of habitat inadequately represented is fresh water, of which there are only several ponds.
The dominant feature of the Island is the ridge of chalk downs running west to east, from the Needles to Culver Cliff, with another group in the south around Ventnor.
There are numerous copses and thickets, plus mixed plantations above Brook and Brighstone.
Some of the regular species are Nightjar, Woodcocks, Long-eared Owl, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker & Firecrest.
The two ends of this ridge of chalk form high cliffs which are populated, especially on and near the Needles, by various seabirds.
Some of their nesting ledges can be seen from the cliff-top, but care is needed.
In the case of several interesting species - Fulmar, Cormorant, Shag, Lesser and Great Black-backed Gulls, Guillemot and Razorbill - these cliffs mark the eastern limit of breeding (or at least of regular breeding) along the south coast of Britain.
Freshwater Bay, a short break in the chalk near the western end, is sometimes resorted to for shelter from severe weather.
Cormorants, Shags & Gulls all can be seen.
The Island's three main rivers all drain to the north - the Medina in the centre, and the two others, both confusingly named the Yar, at either end (Newtown really only a creek).
The estuaries of the two Yars can offer a wide variety of visiting species (mainly ducks and waders) and a few nesters, but much of Brading Marsh (a reclaimed part of the former estuary of the eastern Yar) is private.
At the Medina estuary you will find many species of waders & oystercatchers, swans & ducks.
The area most likely to be worth a visit at any season of the year is that around Newtown River and Marsh, on the Island's Northwest coast.
The nesting species include Shelduck, Oystercatcher and Black-headed Gull and occasionally Sandwich and Common Terns.
Also often present during the summer are numbers of non-breeding waders, including Grey plover, Dunlin, Knot and Black-tailed Godwit.
At other times there is a wider variety of species, mainly ducks in winter and waders in the migration seasons.
St Catherines Point, at the southern extremity of the Island, attracts considerable notice, largely on account of the birds which can be found resting there, usually after migrating during an overcast night.
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Show / Display
Follow the clues around the castle as you embark on the great castle quest. Don’t forget to collect your prize in this fun activity for children.
Wightlink is the largest ferry operator to the Isle of Wight, operating a regular round-the -clock service - 3 routes across the Solent:
- Portsmouth - Fishbourne (Car ferry – approx 40 minute crossing)
- Portsmouth Harbour - Ryde Pier Head...
Close to the beach, surrounded by National Trust land & in the middle of the AONB, Brook House is a beautiful and peaceful location for a lovely self-catering holiday cottage.
Now in its sixth year, the Isle of Wight Literary Festival attracts well known fiction and non fiction writers, journalists, military men, actors and historians.
5 Star and David Bellamy Gold award Family run Holiday Park situated within an area of outstanding natural beauty. Perfect base for walkers and cyclists. Access to glorious coves and beaches within minutes. An ideal location for any pursuit
East Cowes Beach is a quiet shingle and sand beach with fantastic views across West Cowes and its marina, and also out across the Solent.
Show / Display
Spotlight IOW Ltd once again present their fantastic professional summer season with live music. A sparkling new show for 2013, packed with songs and dances from all your favourite musicals - old and new! with live music.
Keith & Christine offer a warm & friendly welcome to all their guests, a home away from home, family run licensed guest accommodation catering for B & B and Half Board. The modernised & fresh en-suite rooms offer flexible accommodation for 1-4 people
Quay Arts’ award-winning riverside Café Bar is the perfect place to enjoy a reviving hot drink or to relax for lunch.
Mottistone Gardens, which is in the care of the National Trust, is one of the most peaceful and magical gardens on the Island with colourful borders, shrub filled banks and grassy terraces which surround an Elizabethan manor house (tenanted).
Cowes Beach is a short pebble and shell covered beach to the west of the town front or Parade.
WIGHT IN BLOOM 2015 AWARD - JOINT 2ND PLACE (BEST TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN - LARGE).
Ventnor Botanic Garden lies at the heart of a remarkable microclimate on the south coast of the Isle of Wight. Protected by the chalk downs of the Ventnor...
Adventure Park / Playground
Set in Over 40 acres of spectacular cliff-top gardens - you will find a magical mix of fantasy, legend and heritage!