With over half of the Island recognised as an area of outstanding natural beauty and over 500 miles of footpath, the Isle of Wight is a ramblers heaven.
www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/things-to-do/walking has a great selection of maps and routes to get you started.
If you are visiting in October go to www.isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk for a programme of fun walking events.
Adventure - Isle of Wight Adventure Activities is a one stop shop for outdoor escapades with a huge choice of pastimes, including Kayaking, Zorbing and Fossil Hunting. They really do have something for everyone. www.isleofwightadventureactivities.co.uk
Cycling - As well as being a popular destination for many road racing events, there are over 200 miles of cycle paths to keep you busy. www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/things-to-do/cycling has a comprehensive list of cycle routes for all ages and abilities.
If you are visiting in September go to www.sunseaandcycling.com for a programme of exciting two wheeled events, as the Island celebrates it’s annual Cycling Festival.
Shooting - For clay pigeon shooting look no further than The Isle of Wight Gun Club. Based in the spectacular Sainham (Godshill) the Gun Club has been running for over a century. All are welcome, from experienced shots to those who have yet to pick up a gun. Training and coaching available (as well as tea and bacon rolls). www.isleofwightgunclub.org
With 60 miles of coastline, you have plenty of choice when it comes to beaches. They are generally split into the following categories;
Jurassic - Beautiful ancient cliffs and a mix of sand or shingle beaches, the unspoilt views are tremendous but this also means there is usually little or nothing in the way of facilities. These beaches tend to be in the South West Wight and include : Brook, Compton, Freshwater, Brighstone and Atherfield.
Resort - Generally located in the (North) East Wight these are sandy beaches with great facilities and amusements. They are found in busy beach resort towns such as: Sandown, Shanklin and Ryde.
Fishing - These are beaches usually made up of rock, pebble and sand, some are busy fishing harbours but swimming areas can be found in most. These beaches are generally found in the (South) East Wight such as Castle Haven (Niton), Ventnor, and Bembridge.
Sailing - This is generally the North of the Island in the Cowes/ Gurnard Area. These beaches are great for watching boats go by, along the sea wall. The beaches themselves are small and pebbled. It is not recommended that you swim along these beaches due to very strong currents. Perhaps enjoy some fish and chips instead!
For a more in depth guide to Island Beaches go to: www.isleofwight.co.uk/beaches
Of course, we are ever so slightly biased but we think you will love Brook Beach and not just because it’s a very short walk away from your cottage. With sandy shores and stunning views, it is one of the best beaches on the Island. Luckily it’s sister beach roughly a mile away (Compton) tends to be a lot busier, meaning lots of space for you to relax.
Dogs are welcome at Brook all year round, but please be considerate of other beach goers as not everyone wants a sandy nose in their picnic basket (no matter how cute). The Brook area is an incredibly dog friendly location. As if sea swimming and miles of beautiful walks aren’t enough, you can even take your pooch out to dinner at The Sun Inn, located just a mile from the cottages. See our Food & Drink guide for more details.
Our Top Five Beach Tips
* It sounds obvious but ALWAYS check your tide timetables, the tides can come in fairly quickly in some areas and with rocky coastlines and limited access to some beaches it is possible to get cut off and stranded.
* Never let children swim unaccompanied, even the strongest of swimmers can be taken by surprise by unfamiliar tidal activities.
* Make your footwear beach appropriate - for sandy beaches such as Brook, Ryde or Sandown anything will do. But for shingle beaches such as Atherfield or Whale Chine flip flops and sandals are a no no. The shingle gets under your feet (literally) making for slow uncomfortable going.
* Jelly shoes, or any other kind of swim shoes are a must on some beaches. When the tide is out there is lots of rockpooling to be done, but when the tide covers the rocks, they can be uncomfortable to walk on when wading out to sea for a dip.
* Check beach facilities meet the needs of everybody, especially if you have elderly, disabled or babies in your party. Some beaches only have access via steep wooden steps and some have no toilets.