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The 11 best things to do on the Isle of Wight

Of all the UK’s off-mainland destinations, the Isle of Wight is one of the most popular for Brits. That’s partly due to sheer convenience: the quickest ferry will get you there in 30 minutes (from Lymington) and the longest in an hour (from Southampton), or you can go from Portsmouth in 45 minutes. But there’s also a wealth of things to do on offer, from walking along glorious beaches to petting alpacas to dining at numerous restaurants serving up the freshest seafood, and absorbing whole lot of history along the way (not to mention spending the night at some seriously unique hotels). Even if you’re based further afield, it’s well worth making a beeline for, so check out our selection of the best things to do on the Isle of Wight and start exploring this charming little island. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.

The 10 best hotels on the Isle of Wight

Traditionally synonymous with sailing and Victorian seaside breaks, the Isle of Wight is perfect for families looking to pile in the car, jump on the ferry and spend a few days enjoying summery things to do like splashing about with a bucket and spade, eating ice cream and fossil-hunting on the island’s many lovely, sandy beaches. It’s also a great place to enjoy laidback cafés and local seafood restaurants along with a burgeoning gallery scene in Ventnor and, every June, big bands at the annual Isle of Wight Festival. As far as places to stay go, accommodation ranges from smart, family-run B&Bs and Victorian cottages turned boutique hotel to miniature houses, safari tents and even – get this – an early 19th-century maritime fortress in the middle of the Solent. Here’s the pick of our favourite.

A perfect day on the Isle of Wight

There is no one way to holiday on the Isle of Wight. If you’re into outdoor adventure, England’s closest island in the Channel (and, thanks to its unique microclimate, the UK’s sunniest spot) is one big playground. It also serves up scoopfuls of seaside kitsch and chocolate box village vibes, while its burgeoning restaurant scene and boom in local producers, brewers and distillers has made it a foodie destination. Locals are incredibly passionate about their island identity, and after spending a day discovering its best bits, it’s easy to see why. Just hop on a Wightlink ferry from the mainland to discover this special island.  RECOMMENDED: Find the best things to do nearby in Weymouth, Bournemouth and the New Forest