Isle of Wight Cottages With Rural Walks to Local Public House

A pub walk along a rural lane or across the heathland is an idyllic way to enjoy the country pub experience. A quintessentially British experience and one which seems to heighten the enjoyment of that first drink or the pub food.

Most small towns and villages on the Isle of Wight have a public house or two each is shaped by the locals who visit. You can always be assured of a unique experience and it is a great way to pick up local information and learn about local walks and attractions.

Below is a list of some Isle of Wight cottages within walking distance of a country pub and a bit of information about what you can expect when you arrive.

4.8 Stars 44 Guest Reviews
Milk Parlour Cottage self catering Godshill East Isle of Wight

Milk Parlour Cottage Godshill, Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Cottages » Isle of Wight » East » Godshill

Sleeps 3 in 2 bedrooms; Children welcome
This cottage is situated in a quiet country lane on the outskirts of Godshill. It was originally the milking parlour of Lower Yard Farm. The surrounding fields are home to horses which belong to a small nearby riding school. Here you are in lovely countryside but the centre of the picturesque village of Godshill, with its pretty thatched cottages, restaurants and tea shops is only 3/4 mile away. View Milk Parlour Cottage Godshill Isle of Wight

There are two pubs within walking distance of Milk Parlour Cottage and both can be reached by a rural route which is mostly off the road. The nearest pub is the Chequers Inn pub which can be reached via a woodland walk and then a country lane. It is a 15 minute walk but can be taken at a leisurely pace to enjoy the scenery.

The second pub within walking distance of Milk Parlour Cottage is The Taverners Godshill and can, likewise, be reached via the woodland and a country lane.

4.9 Stars 40 Guest Reviews
The Granary self catering Ningwood West Isle of Wight

The Granary Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Cottages » Isle of Wight » West

Sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms; Children 8+ yrs welcome
The Granary is a charming cottage, which has been carefully converted from the wing of a large ancient barn dating back to the 17th Century – Ningwood Green Barn. It is nestled in lovely peaceful West Wight countryside. This is a lovely walking area and is not too far from the coastal path. View The Granary Cottage Yarmouth Isle of Wight

The Granary has two excellent pubs within walking distance and both can be reached by footpaths or along the country lanes. The nearest is the Horse and Groom which is a 5 to 10 minute walk along the lane. The second is the New Inn in Shalfleet which is a traditional British public house with an open fire and rustic feel. The New Inn can be reached via the footpath and can also be incorporated into an extended walk down the Shalfleet Estuary.

4.9 Stars 25 Guest Reviews
Spring Cottage self catering Ventnor South Isle of Wight

Spring Cottage Bonchurch, Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Cottages » Isle of Wight » South » Ventnor » Bonchurch

Sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms; Children welcome
Spring Cottage stands in an idyllic location, within a 2 minute walk of the beach in the pretty seaside village of Bonchurch on the south east coast of the Island. The cottage enjoys beautiful sea views from most rooms and from its enchanting garden. Bonchurch is a peaceful village with a small shop, public house, good restaurant and two ancient churches plus a pretty pond which is home to carp, ducks and a variety of birds. View Spring Cottage Bonchurch Isle of Wight

Spring Cottage offers a slightly different pub walk as it is a seafront walk into Ventnor. Ventnor has a wide choice of pubs and restaurants and the walk to reach them is idyllic and not overly challenging. It starts with a short descent through woodland to the coastal path and then follows the wide and flat coastal path to Ventnor Beach. Along the seafront are numerous places to eat and drink and more are found in the centre of Ventnor itself.

4.9 Stars 44 Guest Reviews
Medham Farm Cottage self catering Cowes Area North Isle of Wight

Medham Farm Cottage Cowes, Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Cottages » Isle of Wight » North » Cowes

Sleeps 2 in 1 bedroom + 1 extra bed; Children welcome
This lovely detached cottage is beautifully situated in delightful countryside, with the most wonderful open views across rolling lawns and fields to the valley of the River Medina which gently meanders into the distance. It is a peaceful location on the 35 acre Medham Farm and visitors have open access to the private meadow, lake and beautiful woodland of the farm. This is an area rich in wildlife with frogs, newts and ducks in the pond the garden overlooks. View Medham Farm Cottage Cowes Isle of Wight

Medham Farm is located in a beautiful rural spot on the North of the Isle of Wight and in sight of the Cowes estuary. A path leads down to the estuary cycle route and footpath and here you have the choice to go right into Newport or left into Cowes. Cowes has a wonderful range of pubs and restaurants and the rural route is free of cars and traffic. It takes only a few minutes to cycle into Cowes along the cycle route and is a pleasant walk with views of the estuary and wetlands along the way.

Isle of Wight Public Houses with Open Fire

An evening at the public house on the Isle of Wight is often a time to meet the locals, learn about the area and enjoy a some local food. To help create that restful atmosphere many pubs on the Isle of Wight have an open fire burning in the evenings and there are usually some chairs set around it for people bask in its glow.

Below are just some of the Isle of Wight public houses with an open fire.

New Inn at Shalfleet

New Inn Shalfleet Isle of Wight The New Inn is located along the road from Yarmouth to Newport in the small village of Shalfleet. This traditional public house is famous for local food including Bembridge Crab, Brownrigg Duck and meats from Godshill.

The public house has a large fireplace with a woodburning stove that generates a wonderful warm glow in the snug around the bar. The are chairs set either side so you can warm your feet in front of flames.

The open fire is popular with walkers who have walked along the coastal path from Yarmouth or have been exploring the wetlands around Shalfleet.
Shalfleet, Isle of Wight PO30 4ND
01983 531314

Red Lion Pub at Freshwater

Red Lion Public House Freshwater Isle of WightThis homely and friendly pub has excellent food and has a good mix of regulars and holiday visitors. Sturdy wood floors and tables give the pub a country feel and the warming open fire at the end of the room creates a cosy feel.

Walkers from Yarmouth to Freshwater pass the public house and it is a lovely place to stop for lunch. For those staying in holiday cottages around Freshwater it is a great place for an evening meal and you can walk to the pub along quiet roads and footpaths from Freshwater Bay.
Phone: 01983 754925

The Taverners in Godshill

The Taverners Isle of Wight This traditional public house in Godshill is famed for its food which ranges from rich country food to delicious and delicate fine dining. The old part of the public house has low wooden beams and a warm traditional atmosphere. In this part of the pub there is a large woodburning stove which is lit in the winter months.

Godshill is on the intersection of the Worsley Trail and Stenbury Trails so is a good place to stop for lunch and warm up. Walkers may be walking the inland route from Shanklin to the West of the Island or be walking inland from Ventnor.
High Street, Godshill, Isle of Wight PO38 3HZ
Phone: 01983 840 707

Buddle Inn at Niton Undercliff

Buddle Inn Pub Isle of WightThis hidden haven of comfort and warmth is a beautiful and traditional Isle of Wight public house located on the Southern most village on the Island and within a short walk of St Catherine’s Lighthouse.

This pub does a range of pub and restaurant food and has a good range of beers and ales which can be enjoyed in front of the open fire.
St Catherines Road,  Niton, Isle of Wight PO38 2NE
Phone: 01983 840 707

Isle of Wight Holiday Cottages with Open Fires

If you like to sit in front of an open fire in the evenings then you might be interested in our range of Isle of Wight cottages with open fires and wood burning stoves.

Byre Cottage self catering Shanklin East Isle of Wight

Byre Cottage Shanklin, Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Cottages » Isle of Wight » East » Shanklin

Sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms + 1 extra bed; Children welcome
This lovely stone cottage is built of Isle of Wight Stone and has been converted from an ancient stone barn. Byre Cottage is situated in a small country lane in attractive countryside. This is a lovely walking area and footpaths lead from close to the cottage to the beautiful downs above Ventnor. Byre Cottage is only 1.5 miles from the centre of the seaside town of Shanklin with its wonderful sandy beach which is popular for swimming and paddling. The neighbouring seaside towns of Sandown and Ventnor are within a 10 minute drive. View Byre Cottage Shanklin Isle of Wight

Spring Cottage self catering Ventnor South Isle of Wight

Spring Cottage Bonchurch, Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Cottages » Isle of Wight » South » Ventnor » Bonchurch

Sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms; Children welcome
Spring Cottage stands in an idyllic location, within a 2 minute walk of the beach in the pretty seaside village of Bonchurch on the south east coast of the Island. The cottage enjoys beautiful sea views from most rooms and from its enchanting garden. Bonchurch is a peaceful village with a small shop, public house, good restaurant and two ancient churches plus a pretty pond which is home to carp, ducks and a variety of birds. View Spring Cottage Bonchurch Isle of Wight

Continue reading “Isle of Wight Public Houses with Open Fire”

Easter Duck Race Yarmouth Isle of Wight

Yarmouth Easter Duck Race Isle of Wight
Yarmouth Easter Duck Race

The famous rubber duck race along the Yar River in Yarmouth is an annual Easter holiday event with over 1200 ducks taking part in a test of floatability and pure luck that culminates in a lively and nail biting finish. Each duck is individually decorated and prizes are won for speed and style.

There are also refreshments of tea and cake as well as a fantastic atmosphere. All are welcome on the 4th April at 3pm in Yarmouth.

Yarmouth is located in the West of the Isle of Wight and is a short drive from Freshwater and Brighstone. The small town has lovely small shops, public houses and restaurants. There are some wonderful historic buildings including a castle looking over the Solent. If you can’t make it to the duck race it is still well worth a visit.

For more information visit Yarmouth Carnival

Top 10 Isle of Wight Family Holiday Activities

A great family holiday is something we treasure down the years and warms the heart. The best way to get the most out of a family holiday is with a little planning and some great activities so here are some of our recommendations compiled with the help of our guests.

Beach CricketBeach Games

Often associated with warm sunny days in July and August but equally enjoyable, or maybe even more enjoyable, on Spring and Autumn days when there are fewer fellow beach goers to get in the way. Children and adults alike can get a great mix of fun and exercise with a healthy dose of competition. The old favourites of football and cricket are just as fun as ever but there are a host of other games here to try with the family –

To choose an Isle of Wight beach to enjoy some beach games on go to our Isle of Wight Beach Guide.

Isle of Wight History

It is harder and harder to escape the fact that history is now fun and the Isle of Wight has a number of places where children can have fun with history. Amongst the many historic sites on the Island are Carisbrooke Castle, Brading Roman Villa, Needles Old Battery and Bembridge Windmill which offer special activities for children and families.

Free to enter historic sites include the Isle of Wight Rocket Testing site above the Needles Old Battery on the Western tip of the Isle of Wight and the Culver Battery with large gun placements at the end of Culver Downs North of Sandown at the Eastern tip of the Island.

Animals and Wildlife

The Isle of Wight is a very special place for wildlife. There are a number of beautiful woodlands where you can spot red squirrels, badgers and woodpeckers as well as larger animals like deer. Good places to enjoy this natural show include Borthwood Copse near Lake (nr Sandown Airport) and the Tennyson Downs between Freshwater and Carisbrooke.

To guarantee a close encounter with animals there are a number of parks with rescue animals including the Donkey Sanctuary near Godshill, Amazon World near Arretton and the Owl and Monkey Sanctuary near Wootton.

Isle of Wight Walking HolidayFamily Walks

There are number of excellent walking areas on the Isle of Wight and choosing one suitable for your particular family shouldn’t be too difficult. Over the years we have heard a lot of great recommendations from guests about good places to walk and have learnt a few tricks for choosing a walk which will really appeal.

Walking with younger children one has tailor the walk for little legs so a small loop around a park or gardens is ideal and won’t take you too far from conveniences such as a loo, cafe or your car. For this type of walk you may wish to consider Ventnor Botanical Gardens where there are a number of small paths between the exotic plants.

For older children there needs to be lots of variation and stuff to explore along the way and for this a section of coastal path is a great choice. Sections we have been recommended include Freshwater to the Needles via the Tennyson Trail, where there is a hill top monument and the rocket testing site mentioned above, and the section between Yarmouth and Shalfleet where there are remote beaches and a sections of raised gantries across flooded estuaries. Both have amazing views and are between 2 and 3 hours in length. Busses take you back to the start or you can complete the walk in a loop.

Isle of Wight Steam RailwayFor longer walks you may wish to consider completing one of the Isle of Wight walking trails such as the Stenbury Trail, Worsley Trail or Tennyson Trail.

It is important to keep the children engaged so we recommend to give each a map and a compass and get them plan and plot the route (you might have to take away their GPS enabled smart phones). Point at land marks in the distance and ask what they are if they seem to be finding it too easy.

Adventure Activities

The Island is known for extreme sports and you can safely try them with the family with the help of experienced guides. Surfing, kayaking, climbing, sailing, and much more is on offer from adventure activity companies on the Isle of Wight. On the West of the Isle of Wight visit Isle of Wight Adventure Activities at Freshwater and on the East visit Tackt-Isle at St Helens.

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

For children who like steam trains this is heaven. The Isle of Wight Steam Railway lets you learn about steam trains, ride on steam trains and even poke around in the engine sheds.

Isle of Wight Cycling Festival

Family Cycling Holiday

Cycle routes and cycle paths are now well developed on the Isle of Wight and often completely separate from the road network making them very safe for family trips. Bike hire is available across the Island (Isle of Wight Bike Hire) and they will give you a leaflet on where all the routes are. Alternatively view our Isle of Wight Cycle Routes page.

Again, family bike rides have to take into account the age of the children but for younger children there are shorter and flatter bike rides. One of theses is a section of the route from Newport to Sandown via Merstone, Newchurch and Alverstone. The ride runs along the valley by the small river and has railway bridges, wildlife, horned cowes (in adjacent fields) and conveniently spaced public houses serving food and refreshment. The ride from Yarmouth to Freshwater is another short flat ride and you can stop half way at the Red Lion Public House for food on the way.

Families with older children may wish to complete whole biking routes such as the Sunshine Trail which is a loop inland from Shanklin and goes to Godshill where there is an excellent public house for food. On the West of the Island there are more challenging and more undulating routes but great if you need to burn more energy. Following the Tennyson Trail from Carisbrooke to Freshwater is very demanding but there are lots of places to stop along the way and enjoy refreshment or the views.

Take a good map and get the kids to guide. Getting them to find places with a grand view that might be good for a rest or picnic just from the map is a good challenge to set.

New Ways to Explore the Isle of Wight

Traveling and seeing interesting new places is often a matter of combining luck and preparation but there are some cool new ways of exploring the Isle of Wight.

  • GeoCaching

    Where you hunt for a hidden cache (like treasure) by following a GPS coordinates. This is like an Island wide treasure hunt and keeps children and adults busy searching and second guessing. Once you find a cache you can add a small item to it or swap and item. Usually these are small treasure items such as an unusual coin or a poem but occasionally they are something really special. The great thing about this way of exploring is that you visit places you might not otherwise find. Don’t forget a map as GPS only gets you so far. – Isle of Wight Geocaching

  • Old Postcard Compare

    This is a simple way to explore but really gets children enthused. Get some old postcards of the Isle of Wight (often easiest online such at this site or by doing a Google Image Search) and then going around to try to find the exact place it was taken. You can then take your own photo to compare how things have changed over time.

Adventure Parks

The family trip to the fun park always fills children with glee and there are two large ones to choose on the Island. Blackgang Chine near Niton on the South of the Isle of Wight and Robin Hill near Arretton at the heart of the Island.

Steephill CoveTraditional Children Activities

The Isle of Wight is often somewhere parents remember coming when they were children and it is a great place to pass on happy memories of activities you did when you were a child. The following have been recommended by our holiday guests.

  • Kite Flying

    Great locations include the grassland park at Shanklin or atop any of the hills on the Island. A ridge of hills running down the middle of the Island gets plenty of updraft and is great for kite flying. Remember to be a safe distance away from power lines and other dangers. …and make sure you let the kids fly the kites some of the time.

  • Stone Skimming

    The best stone skimming is done on the shingle beaches along the North West coast of the Isle of Wight. You need flat calm water and a good supply of flat stones.

  • Camp Building

    Building a small shelter in the woods always keeps children amused. Only collect materials that have fallen naturally. A good design is important to have in mind and anything which blends naturally with the surroundings and conceals you well will be great as a hide for watching wildlife. Woodlands which are very suitable include Borthwood Copse and American Woods but any of a number of old english woodland areas will do.

  • Hide and Seek

    Clearly define your area and put down firm rules which apply to the area and keep everyone safe. Hiding too well can cause problems.

  • Treasure Hunt

    Creating a treasure hunt takes a little planning and the more planning the better it is. Having a pattern for where things are hidden makes it more enjoyable. For instance hide all the treasure in trees or under logs.

10 Things to Do in Cowes and Gurnard Isle of Wight

Cowes and Gurnard are two of the most popular North Isle of Wight holiday locations due to the great range of things to see and do as well as the natural beauty of this part of the Isle of Wight coastline. Here is our list of the top 10 things to see and do in Cowes and Gurnard compiled with the help of our holiday guests.

Cowes Isle of Wight1. Sailing and Racing – Cowes is probably best known for the sailing and racing scene. Thousands of boats take part in racing throughout the year and you will often see sailing boats of all sizes practicing along the coast.

2. Cowes and Gurnard Beaches – The Beaches along the North Coast of the Isle of Wight are often shingle beaches with impressive views across the solent. There is always plenty to see from the beach as the waters are used by a big array of boats.  – Isle of Wight Beaches

3. Osborne House – The summer house of Queen Victoria is within walking distance of the centre of Cowes and is found atop the hill in East Cowes. The house and gardens are open to the public and the newly opened beach is a good place to enjoy and ice cream in a deckchair. – Osborne House

4. Goodleaf Tree Climbing – The people at Goodleaf take you on an exploration of the canopy in a fun and thrilling day out for the family. They cater for all ages and fitness and are also keen conservationists who help everyone learn about the trees. –

5. Seaside Restaurants – Cowes and Gurnard both have a good range of restaurants and public houses with views of the sea. Our holiday guests are very keen on The Little Gloster at Gurnard which has a great view of the North Isle of Wight coast.

6. Coastal Promenade – An attractive coastal promenade runs along the coast from Cowes to Gurnard and is a lovely place to enjoy the sea views and enjoy some gentle exercise. A number of people choose to use the path as a morning running track so if you are feeling energetic you may wish to join them.

7. Boat and Ship Watching – All sizes of ships from small dinghies to large cruise ships and cargo ships use the waters around Cowes. Some of the larger cruise ships attract a large crowd as they make a close “flyby” of the Island.

8. Shopping – The boutique shops in Cowes are a real treat with lots of unusual and unique items for sale. Apart from a wide range of sailing shops and yacht fashion shops there are also a number of speciality food shops, craft shops, bakeries, and gift shops as well as an excellent kitchen shop. If you are looking for a gift to bring home from the Isle of Wight you are unlikely to be disappointed.

9. Cowes to Newport Estuary Bike Ride or Walk – A wonderful estuary bike ride trail runs from Cowes to Newport. It is part of the Isle of Wight cycle network but many choose to walk the route too. It is a level and well surfaced route and along the way there are places to admire the view and spot bird life using the water way. There cycle trail signs marking the route from the end of the high street near to the chain ferry across the estuary.

10. Cowes Week – The big event in the Cowes Calendar is the sailing festival of Cowes Week. This major sailing event is known throughout the world and attracts the top teams to race and compete. If you are not taking part directly there is still lots to see and do from the coast and many races take place just off the coast where they can be clearly viewed from the beach.

View Cowes Self Catering Holiday Cottages Isle of Wight

10 Things to Do in Swanage Dorset

Swanage is the principle holiday destination on the Isle of Purbeck and there are no end of activities and things to see and do when holidaying in Swanage. Here is our list of the top 10 things to see and do in Swanage which has been compiled with the help of our holiday guests.

Swanage Dorset1. Long Sandy Beach – The soft sandy beach at Swanage is one of the principle attractions for holiday makers coming to Purbeck. This mile long stretch of beach is wonderful for family fun, swimming and sunbathing. Each end of the beach has its own character with the end nearer the centre of the town being busier and accompanied by entertainments and facilities opposed to the other end of the beach which is quieter and more peaceful.

2. Durlston Country Park – The country park of Durlston is on the coast to the south of the town and is best reached via the Purbeck coastal path. The park is best known for the giant stone globe but many also come to view the beautiful coastal scenery and abundant cliff bird life.

3. Old Harry Rocks

4. Jurassic Coast

Purbeck Burial Mound
Burial Mound in Purbeck

5. Corfe CastleCorfe Castle is a wonderful way to explore the wider Purbeck region. For more information visit

6. Punch and Judy

7. Two Ridges Bike RideCorfe Castle before crossing the valley to Kingston and Worth Matravers

8. Pubs and RestaurantsThe Red Lion and The Black Swan

Purbeck Coastal Path
Purbeck Coast

9. Jet Ski Hire – For thrills (and possibly a few spills) there is the option to hire a jet ski and explore the bay. Jet ski hire is available at the south end of the beach.

10. Fish and Chips on the Pier

View Swanage Self Catering Holiday Cottages

10 Things to Do in Seaview Isle of Wight

The seaside town of Seaview Isle of Wight is a wonderful holiday destination on the East Coast of the Isle of Wight and many come to enjoy the beach and the rural surroundings. Here is our list of the top 10 things to see and do in Seaview which was compiled with the help of, and contributions from, our holiday guests.

Seaview Isle of Wight1. Choice of Sandy Beaches – Seaview is at the centre of a row of three beaches. The main beach at Seaview, slightly to the south of the town centre, is long and sandy and popular with holidaymakers and locals alike. Continuing South there is a second cove of Priory Bay which also has a gently sloping sandy beach but, for some reason, has remained undiscovered by many visitors. For more information on Isle of Wight Beaches visit our Isle of Wight Beach Guide.

2. Boutique Shops – The town centre of Seaview has a number of excellent boutique shops which sell wonderful locally made gifts, art and food. The art galleries and boating shop are also well worth a visit.

3. Coastal Walk to Ryde – For a moderate seaside walk on even and solid ground there is none better than the coastal path to Ryde. The path takes you along the beach edge to the North of Seaview till it meets up with Ryde beach.

4. Pubs and Restaurants – Seaview has a number of good pubs and restaurants and many think that two of the best restaurants on the Island are in, or within walking distance of, Seaview. The Seaview Hotel has a menu of delicious local food as well as a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

5. Seaview Wildlife Encounter –  With a fantastic range of animals in an open and inviting atmosphere it is no wonder that this park is a popular holiday destination. For more information visit

6. Cycle Route 8 – This cycle route is one of many signposted cycle tracks around the Isle of Wight. Route 8 passes through Seaview and visits Ryde, Upton, Brading, Bembridge and St Helens.  For more information visit Isle of Wight Cycle Route 8

7. Look out to St Helen’s Sea Fort

8. Local Wine from Rosemary Vineyard–  This local vineyard is just inland from Seaview and is a chance to try a locally made wine from the Isle of Wight as well as learn about the process of wine making. There is also an excellent shop selling local specialities along with wines and ciders.  For more information visit

9. Nearby St Helens Beach and Wetland Reserve – The neighbouring village of St Helens to the South of Seaview is within a pleasant walk and here you will find a sandy beach to the North of the village and a Wetland RSPB Reserve to the South. Both are well worth a visit but the beach at St Helens is especially popular.

10. Puckpool Mortar BatteryPuckpool Mortar Battery Isle of Wight

Visit Seaview Self Catering Holiday Cottage Accommodation.

10 Things to Do in Shanklin Isle of Wight

Shanklin is one of the most popular holiday destinations on the Isle of Wight and visitors love the mild climate, long sandy beach and great holiday atmosphere. Here is our list of the top 10 things to do in Shanklin which has been compiled with contributions from our holiday guests.

Shanklin Isle of Wight1. Shanklin Beach – The sandy beach at Shanklin is the most famous beach on the Isle of Wight and popular with families, swimmers and sunbathers. The gently sloping sand leads into a large area of shallow water which is perfect for paddling.

2. Sunshine Trail – This rural and seaside cycle route is well marked and is a lovely circular and fairly flat route along good paths and tracks. The route visits Sandown, Godshill, Newchurch and Merstone along the way where there are good local public houses. – Sunshine Trail

3. Shanklin Old Town – The historic heart of Shanklin is a picturesque area of thatched houses and old stone buildings. Apart from being a good place to takes some holiday photos it is also a great place to pick up some holiday gifts from the numerous boutique shops.

4. Shanklin Chine – Shanklin Chine is a wonderful natural gorge which, for sheer beauty and charm, has to be seen to be believed.  For more information visit

5. Tea Overlooking the Bay – The cliff top cafe and tea gardens at the appropriately named Grand View Tea Gardens is a lovely spot to enjoy refreshments while looking over the sea and down over Shanklin and Sandown bays.

Shanklin Beach
Shanklin Beach

6. Devils Chimney – This natural rock formation, which looks like it might descend into the underworld, is part of the coastal path and located between Shanklin and Ventnor, just below the Smugglers Haven Tea Rooms, on the Shanklin to Ventnor road. A path runs down into devils chimney and out into a little woodland below.

7. Train to Ryde – Shanklin and Ryde are connected by a train line and some enjoy a day out on Britains most punctual train service to visit the beach at Ryde or as part of a coastal walk from Ryde to Shanklin.

8. Seaside Amusements and Family Fun – Behind the beach at Shanklin there are a range of amusements from crazy golf to bouncy castles. Enough to keep the whole family entertained for hours.

Shanklin Seafront
Shanklin Seafront Clock

9. Coastal Path to Sandown – There is a flat and wide pathway along by the sea from Shanklin to Sandown and this is a lovely way to enjoy the East Isle of Wight coastline. Along the way there is a chance to see sailing and watersports from the water activity centre as well as the neighbourly spirit of beach hut owners along the seafront. Numerous ice cream stands and refreshment stops can be found as you near Sandown.

10. Eating and Drinking – Shanklin has a wonderful range of restaurants and public houses. Each has its own charm and character but many specialise in good local food as well and locally caught fish. Bembridge crab is a popular dish.

View Shanklin holiday cottage accommodation.

10 Things to Do in Worth Matravers Dorset

The pretty village of Worth Matravers is a traditional settlement of stone cottages which enjoys wonderful sea views down over the Jurassic Coast. Here is our list of the top 10 things to do in Worth Matravers compiled with the help of our guests.

Worth Matravers Dorset1. Winspit Bay Worth Matravers sits above the bay of Winspit from where one can enjoy wonderful views of the Jurassic Coast and swim in the sea. The rock formations around the bay are grand and dramatic and one feature to the right of the bay is popular with those wishing to give the illusion that they are holding up the whole cliff. The bay is signposted from the village.

2. Feed Village Ducks – The village green at the heart of Worth Matravers surrounds the duck pond which contains a number of white ducks which are the pride of the village. You will see them swimming or preening themselves in the sun and will come waddling towards you if you look like you have bread on you.

3. Chapmans Pool – The nearby beach at Chapmans Pool is one of the iconic locations on Purbeck and has a beautiful crescent bay. The gently sloping beach makes it excellent for swimming and the rock pools on either side are popular with fossil hunters who are guaranteed to find remains of a lost world. To reach Chapmans Pool head West through the village past the village church and out towards the farm. Keep walking till the road appears to the courtyard of a second set of farm buildings and on down through a gate towards hill bottom. In the centre of hill bottom (between two sets of houses) turn left and follow signs to Chapmans Pool. See Chapmans Pool on our Purbeck Beach Guide.

4. St Alban’s (or St Aldhelm’s) Head – This jutting headland is a spectacular part of the coast with panoramic views over the sea and along the coast towards Portland. The headland has a couple of stone benches to enjoy the view and also a beautiful Norman Chapel called St Aldhelm’s Chapel. There are also great night skies from this vantage point (St Aldhelms Night Sky Video). To reach St Aldhelm’s Head either follow the coastal path West or follow the road West out of the village and follow the signposts.

5. Square & Compass Public House – The world renowned public house in Worth Matravers is famous for being one of very few authentic and traditional public houses in the country. This focal point of village life welcomes visitors with a cosy atmosphere and friendly locals. Apart from the guarantee of good local beers and ciders you also have the chance to hear excellent folk music and poetry.

6. Coastal Path along the Jurassic CoastWorth Matravers is a short distance from the coastal path which runs along this stretch of the Jurassic Coast. You can follow the coastal path East to Swanage and Studland or West to Kimmeridge, Lulworth and, eventually, Weymouth.

7. Horseshoe Bats – At the top of Winspit Bay there is an area of old quarrying which were dug by hand into the cliffs many years ago. Quarrying ended in the 1040’s and now these large caverns are home to a small number of rare horse shoe bats. If you go down just before dusk and find a comfortable seat you can expect to see them come out to hunt for small insects. –

Square and Compass Worth Matravers
Square and Compass

8. Priests Way to Swanage – This historic right of way is a direct walking route into Swanage and also a lovely rural track for walking or cycling into Swanage. The path starts a short way along the road which leads out of Worth Matravers

9. Stone Carving – Stone carving is a traditional local skill and the people at Burngate offer a chance to try your hand at it and make something beautiful. For more information visit

10. Pub to Pub Cycle Tour – There are a number of excellent public houses in the area and some choose to experience a couple of them with a pub to pub cycle ride. A few which are within an easy cycle ride are the Scott Arms in Kingston, The Ship Inn in Langton Matravers, and any of four public houses in Corfe Castle. It goes without saying that it is dangerous to be in charge of a bike while drunk so please drink responsibly.

For accommodation in Worth Matravers visit Worth Matravers Cottages.

10 Things to Do in Freshwater Isle of Wight

Freshwater is a beautiful West coast holiday destination on the Isle of Wight and also one of the most photographed parts of the Isle of Wight due to the spectacular bays and beaches. Here is our list of the Top 10 things to do in Freshwater partly based on feedback from our holiday guest.

Freshwater Isle of Wight1. Freshwater Bay – The crescent beach at Freshwater Bay is one of the most beautiful sights on the Isle of Wight and is a wonderful beach for sunbathing or swimming. You can find more information about Freshwater Bay on our Isle of Wight Beach Guide.

2. Tennyson Monument – The monument to Alfred, Lord Tennyson sits atop the Downs to the West of Freshwater Bay and has wonderful views across the Western side of the Isle of Wight. The coastal path is the easiest way to reach the monument and it is signposted from the bay. Tennyson Monument

3. Golf with a sea view – Freshwater Golf course has some of the most beautiful views of any golf course in the country and apart from being able to look down over Freshwater Bay and the white cliffs there are also views North to Yarmouth and the Solent. Freshwater Golf Club

4. Estuary Walk to Yarmouth – There are a number of excellent walks around Freshwater but this one is very popular as it is mostly flat and wide and has wonderful views all the way along. The path follows the River Yar and is described by the blue section on this linked map. There are signposts which are marked with bike route signs from the garden centre in the town of Freshwater. Along the route there are lots of opportunities to view the wetland birds which enjoy the estuary.

5. Thatched Church – Freshwater has one of very few thatched churches in the country. This unusual sight is well worth a look and there is lots of information about the construction. You will find Freshwater’s Thatched Church by walking West from Freshwater Bay along the road towards the Needles. It is about 5 minutes walk from the bay. Freshwater Thatched Church

6. Totland Bay and Colwell Bay beaches – There are a number of excellent beaches and bays around Freshwater and it is well worth visiting both Totland and Colwell Bays. Both are within a short walk of Freshwater and have lovely refreshments and pretty beaches with great views. Both bays also face West so it is a lovely place to watch the sun set and take full advantage of the afternoon sunshine. You can find out more about these bays at our Isle of Wight Beach Guide.

7. Ridge top Cycle / Walk to Carisbrooke – For those looking for a longer walk or bike ride with wonderful views of the West side of the Isle of Wight then there is none better than the ridge top walk from Freshwater to the historic village of Carisbrooke. Start at Freshwater Bay and climbs up to the ridge along the path which crosses the Freshwater Golf Course. Once on the hill tops there is a clear path which is signposted for Newport but it is a good idea to carry a map in case you want to explore a detour, such as a public house in Shorwell or Brighstone, along the way. Once in Carisbrooke it is a short walk to Newport from where you can take a bus home (bikes are still not allowed to be carried on the busses).

8. Local Pubs – Freshwater has a number of pubs and each has their own character and charm. The two our guests most often tell us they enjoy are the Red Lion (Red Lion Freshwater) and the Highdown Inn (Highdown Inn Freshwater). Both have excellent food and a lovely atmosphere.

9. Walk to the Needles – One of the most iconic views on the Isle of Wight, consisting or white rock stacks lined up in the sea, is within walking distance (or a short drive) from Freshwater and is most spectacular when reached via the coastal path from Freshwater Bay. The coastal path takes you up to the Tennyson Monument and then along to the old rocket testing site from where there are great view of this natural rock formation.

10. Adventure Water Sports – The adventure sport people at Isle of Wight Adventure Activities have a wide range of adventure activities for families and groups. This is a fantastic way to see the natural environment as well as a chance to raise the heart rate with some sports like kayaking, coasteering, paddle boarding, surfing and much more.

View Isle of Wight holiday cottages in Freshwater.