explore the Isle of Wight

Explore the island, lose yourself on stretches of sandy beaches, go on epic woodland walks, and discover a new way of holidaying.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach and spend the day sunbathing and surfing, or you’re looking for adventure and a chance to explore, Darwin Escapes offers the perfect place to base yourself. Discover the island in your way and start your holiday break in the Isle of Wight, with Woodside Bay.

some of our favourite places in the Isle of Wight

Beaulieu Motor Museum

At this truly spectacular motor museum, car aficionados can see cars from all drives of life (see what we did there). From oldies and goldies, to super-fast newbies and special TV star engines, there’s something for every petrol-head to enjoy! Home to over 280 vehicles, you’ll get to learn more about great classics and pioneering engines as you walk through the exhibit, as well as see some spectacular F1 cars and other record speed holders.

Wander through to the Top Gear section and see the fascinating cars from TV’s greatest motoring challenges, remembering the trials each car lived through (or at least – most of them did!) and how they were modified by the hosts. Beaulieu also has other attractions to enjoy, including an 800-year-old Abbey, once home to an order of monks, as well as the adventure playground for the little ones, called ‘Little Beaulieu’.

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Shanklin Chine

Follow the walk through the gorge, and find the stunning waterfall which attracts tens of thousands of admiring tourists every year.

Created by nature over thousands of years, the chine has left a beautiful tree-lined gorge: you can follow the walking trail and cross the bridges, for the most peaceful walk on the island.

If you visit during the night, you’ll see the whole area light up to truly marvel at the breathtaking colours all around you.

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The Needles

Visit these three incredible landmarks in the ocean; some of the most instantly-recognizable landmarks in the whole of the UK! Jump on the chairlift, and get an unforgettable bird’s eye view of the coastline, lighthouse and the Needles themselves.

There is something for all ages to enjoy at the landmark, which shares its home with other attractions to allow visitors to make the most of their stay –  including visiting the Isle of Wight Sweet Manufactory, where you’ll see the tastiest sweets being made before having the chance to buy them in the gift shop!

The Dino Jeep Safari mini go-kart course is perfect for the little ones, while adults will love the extraordinary talent on display at the glass blowing workshop. Give the whole family a trip around the lighthouse on the many boat trips and enjoy the fresh sea air on a fantastic family day out.

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Haven Falconry: Bird of Prey Centre

Get up close and personal with some of nature’s most beautiful and fascinating birds. Specialising in smaller groups, Haven Falconry offers an absolutely fantastic day out.

With over 45 years’ experience in bird conservation, the friendly staff will be on hand to teach you about all 50 birds they have in residence! With over 21 species to meet, including owls, hawks, falcons and vultures, you’ll learn more about these majestic birds and their quirky personalities, with the help of the centre’s fully trained and dedicated staff.

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Ventnor Botanical Gardens

Dip into the tropics, at the hottest garden in Britain! The gardens enjoy their own unique micro-climate because they are protected by the chalk down cliffs, making the gardens like no other on our small island.

They also have very little average rainfall and little-to-no frost, meaning the climate is more Mediterranean than the British weather that we’re used to! This warmer climate means a fantastic burst of colour and variety of flowers, trees and plants all around the gardens for all to enjoy.

There is a wonderful calendar of facilities and events to make the most of your trip, including some holistic wellbeing classes, children’s story-time sessions, and a trip to the Plantation Room Café for a delicious meal, made from ingredients grown in the gardens. Yum! 

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