Every year, for four days in June, Newport is also home to the now world-famous Isle of Wight Music Festival. Described as a ‘festival for real music lovers of all ages’, it attracts well-known artists and bands; past headline acts have included The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Coldplay and Blondie – every year the line-up gets more impressive. It’s a unique Island festival experience that shouldn’t be missed.
On the outskirts of Newport is the village of Carisbrooke and up on the hill sits beautiful Carisbrooke Castle, managed by English Heritage, with its unique history and royal connections.
Other nearby villages that are worth a visit include Godshill, a quintessentially English village that boasts some of the oldest architecture on the Island, and the traditional villages of Arreton and Calbourne; the latter is where you’ll find the Island’s only working water mill.
Attractions & Activities
Castle Hill, Newport, Isle of Wight,
PO30 1XY. Tel: 0370 331 1181
This romantic castle has been an Elizabethan artillery fortress, a king’s prison and a royal summer residence. The grounds host many excellent events throughout the year and for those who may feel inclined, there’s even the opportunity to become a Knight’s apprentice. It’s a great day out for all the family and the loveable resident donkeys who turn the wheel to bring water up from the well are a must-see as well.
The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary,
Lower Winstone Farm, St Johns Road, Wroxall, Isle of Wight,
PO38 3AA. Tel: 01983 852693
Located between Ventnor and Godshill, the Donkey Sanctuary looks after rescued and retired donkeys in a purpose-built facility created by this wonderful charity. At any one time, there are around 100 resident animals to see and enjoy. If you feel the urge, you can even adopt a donkey. There is a café and events are often held at the weekends throughout the summer months.
Robin Hill Country Park,
Downend, Newport, Isle of Wight,
PO30 2NU. Tel: 01983 527352
Robin Hill Country Park is the sister site of Blackgang Chine near Ventnor, and there are usually offers allowing access to both attractions, so it’s worth checking before you visit. Sitting in a beautiful valley and comprising 88 acres of ancient woodland and green open spaces, there are some fantastic activities to enjoy at any time of the year, including a treetop trail and a toboggan run.
5 Acres Farm, Staplers Road, Newport, Isle of Wight,
PO30 2NB. Tel: 01983 530885
Located on the outskirts of Newport, Monkey Haven is a must-visit attraction to add to the holiday activities short list. Not only will you be helping rescue animals to a safer environment, but you will also be entertained by the monkeys themselves, ensuring a fun day out for all. There are also resident meerkats and owls – animal lovers will enjoy this one.
Watery Lane, Nr Arreton, Isle of Wight,
PO36 0LX. Tel: 01983 867122
Nothing to do with a delivery service, Amazon World deals with everything to do with the Amazon and is an ideal alternative for a rainy day, as most exhibits and activities are under glass. You’ll find a huge range of exotic and unusual animals, at the last count it was in the region of 200 different species.
Island Riding Centre,
Staplers Rd, Newport, Isle of Wight,
PO30 2NB. Tel: 01983 214000
Previously a farm, this riding Centre is now a modern, eco-friendly and well-equipped riding school with livery services, an outdoor arena and restaurant. It’s a unique equine experience for horse lovers and riding enthusiasts.
Allendale Equestrian Centre,
Newport Road, Godshill, Ventnor, Isle of Wight,
PO38 3LY. Tel:01983 840258
The Allendale Equestrian Centre at Godshill is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Lessons are available and for the more experienced, they can venture out to the many bridleways and tracks that cover the Island.
Pubs & Restaurants
The Bargeman’s Rest, Newport: Riverside location with a hearty selection of food.
Thompson’s, Newport: A Michelin star restaurant for that special occasion.
The Fighting Cocks, Arreton: Family friendly pub with an outside play area.
The Dairyman’s Daughter, Arreton: Local live music, real ales and traditional home cooked food.
The Sun Inn, Calbourne: A dog-friendly pub with countryside views from the beer garden.