Destination guide

Get beside the seaside on the Isle of Wight

A short ferry ride from the mainland city of Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight lies just off England's southern coast. Known for sandy beaches and seafront promenades, the island is full of quintessential English seaside charm—from vintage beach huts to waterfront restaurants serving the catch of the day. The island has long been a popular escape for families, but a surge of festivals and nightlife, paired with a growing food and wine sene, means there are plenty of Isle of Wight vacation rentals that cater to groups looking for adults-only fun, too.

Things to do

The last of the steam powered trains—riding the isle's rails

There are many ways to explore the Isle of Wight, but few are as charming as a ride on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. This heritage train takes you on a literal and metaphorical journey, offering stunning views and local history lessons. If you're craving more, visit the Museum Of Island History, or take the kids to Dinosaur Isle, where you'll learn about the fossils that have been discovered in the area. Foodies will also love the Garlic Farm, which holds tours, demonstrations, and a restaurant that's famous for—you guessed it—creative dishes that don't skimp on the garlic.

Activities

Rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear

Water sports are one of the island's biggest draws, and Cowes is known throughout the region as a sailing mecca. Surfing of all types is most popular in the southwest, particularly around Compton Bay, but there's plenty to see inland, too. The island boasts an up-and-coming viticultural scene, with a number of local wineries and vineyards offering tastings, cellar tours, and pairings. You'll also find a long, unique archaeological history that goes back billions of years, and dinosaur remains and fossils can be seen in areas such as Yaverland Beach.

Weather

Spring for summer (but book it in advance)

Summer is peak season on the island, but you'll have to plan well in advance to beat the crowds trying to book their own Isle of Wight vacation rentals. The weather is at its best between June and August, but the climate is mostly mild all year. However, this is England we're talking about, and there are plenty of overcast days all throughout the year. If you're visiting in March or November, you'll find many attractions open in the shoulder season, and lower prices to boot. In winter, the island empties, with most attractions shuttering for the off season.

Natural features

Miles of isles—from sandy beaches to rocky cliffs

Travelers hightail it from the mainland for the Isle of Wight every summer just to enjoy the island's beaches and classic English seaside culture. Known for its 25 miles of sandy coastline, dramatic white cliffs, and tranquil sand dunes, sun-seekers of all stripes can happily co-exist here, whether you're swimming, surfing, or sunbathing. The sandy Shanklin Beach and south-facing Ventnor Beach, overlooking Ventnor Bay, are two definite faves. To the west, you can find The Needles—3 huge, white chalk rock formations that rise from the sea, guarded by a 19th-century lighthouse.

How to get there

Transportation options to and around Isle of Wight

Fly into Southampton (SOU), the closest airport, located 19.3 mi (31.1 km) from the city center. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you can also fly into Bournemouth (BOH-Bournemouth Intl.), which is 24.5 mi (39.4 km) away.

If you're traveling by train, Shanklin Station, Sandown Station and Sandown Lake Station are the main stations in the area.

Can I find a vacation rental around Isle of Wight?

Yes, our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 1,721 vacation rentals near Isle of Wight. From 657 Cottages to 619 Houses, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Isle of Wight for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in Isle of Wight?

There are many lovely places to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Isle of Wight. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular destinations to visit are:

  • Cowes: 1,348 vacation rentals
  • Ventnor: 1,266 vacation rentals
  • Shanklin: 951 vacation rentals
  • Ryde: 1,247 vacation rentals
  • Freshwater: 884 vacation rentals

And HomeAway offers you the chance to discover many other popular destinations in Isle of Wight! Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in Isle of Wight?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the cities with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Isle of Wight:

  • Cowes: 1,348 rentals
  • Ventnor: 1,266 rentals
  • Shanklin: 951 rentals
  • Ryde: 1,247 rentals
  • Freshwater: 884 rentals

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Can I find easy-access vacation rentals when traveling by plane to Isle of Wight?

Yes of course. Our owners offer a large selection of vacation rentals near airports. The airports with a large selection of vacation rentals in Isle of Wight are:

  • Bembridge Airport (BBP): 1,875 vacation rentals
  • Ringwood (RNW-Ringwood Bus Station): 1,859 vacation rentals
  • Southampton Airport (SOU): 1,415 vacation rentals

For other airports, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Near which points of interest can I spend my holidays in Isle of Wight?

HomeAway offers a large selection of rentals near lovely places in Isle of Wight. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • St. Catherine's Lighthouse: 1,655 rentals
  • St Lawrence Parish Church: 1,641 rentals
  • Shanklin Theatre: 1,771 rentals
  • Dimbola Lodge: 2,172 rentals
  • Dinosaur Expeditions Conservation and Palaeoart Centre: 1,887 rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Isle of Wight listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection.