Attractions Nearby Isle of Wight, Day Trips and Excursions

(Isle of Wight, England, UK)

Attractions Nearby Isle of WightThe Isle of Wight is easily large enough for a family holiday lasting a couple of weeks or more, although if you feel that you need to spread your wings and explore attractions on the nearby mainland, then a number of possibilities present themselves. Portsmouth is especially close by and its seaside theme park suburb of Southsea is only ten minutes away from Ryde by hovercraft.

Further seaside attractions come in the form of Bournemouth, Boscombe, Southbourne and Hengistbury Head, where lengthy adjoining beachfronts stretch for literally miles. The quayside of Poole is a lively place to hang out, with pubs and restaurants offering waterfront views as you dine. Also within comfortable reach of the Isle of Wight is the city of Salisbury, which is home to an especially grand cathedral and stands next to the world-famous Stonehenge monument.

Attractions Nearby Isle of Wight


Bournemouth is situated just 53 km / 33 miles from the Isle of Wight and features an almost endless coast lined with dreamy golden beaches, which stretch for over 11 km / 7 miles in total. The beachfront around Bournemouth Pier is especially popular and although this spot soon fills up with sunbathers and families in the summer, there is always space for more. As you move either side, the beaches of Alum Chine, Durley Chine and Southbourne tend to be somewhat quieter.

Many of the most popular attractions are just a short walk from the pier, such as the Oceanarium, the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) and the Pavilion Theatre. The Victorian Pleasure Gardens form something of a backbone to the town, with the Lower Gardens leading to the beach and featuring benches, aviaries, a market for local artists, cafes, miniature golf, flower borders and a helium-filled balloon known as the 'Bournemouth Eye', offering passengers superb elevated views of the town and its lengthy coastline. There are many large shops and department stores in the town centre, including the likes of Debenhams and Beales, as well as a host of restaurants, two multi-screen cinemas and some grand Victorian-style hotels overlooking the sea. Those with a hankering for culture should head to the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum.

Attractions Nearby Isle of Wight


The medieval port of Poole is situated just 62 km / 39 miles from the Isle of Wight and is a good place to pick up a quality souvenir. The Quayside around Poole Harbour is where it all happens and here you will find all kinds of quaint gift shops, as well as a choice of water sports, such as jet skiing, windsurfing and sailing.

The Sandbanks peninsula is where holiday makers head during the summer months, with its extensive sandy beachfront suiting families, while children also enjoy spending time at Poole Park, where pedalos and kayaks can be hired on its boating lake. If you are a keen fisherman, then deep-sea fishing trips can be easily arranged at the harbour, as can trips to nearby Brownsea Island, which is owned by the National Trust and famous for being a haven for wild red squirrels.

Attractions Nearby Isle of Wight


Christchurch is a small town located 50 km / 31 miles from the Isle of Wight and is well-known for its historic church, the Christchurch Priory, which is actually surprisingly bigger than some of the country's cathedrals. This town has something of a thriving property market and many of the local houses are amongst the most expensive in the world, particularly when they come with waterfront views. Neighbouring attractions include the beaches of Highcliffe and Mudeford, the latter of which comes with a colourful beach-hut village and a busy seafood market.


Just 11 km / 7 miles from Poole and lying alongside Bournemouth, Boscombe is a busy seaside town with a good choice of B&Bs, a huge assortment of shops and a lengthy seafront. The town's pier is a familiar sight and has its origins in the 1880s, with this Grade-II listed structure being restored between 2005 and 2008, at the cost of almost £2.5 million. Recently, the Boscombe Spa Village regeneration scheme has injected a renewed interest in this town, both for holidaying tourists and families looking to relocate to the seaside.


A small market town based within East Dorset, Wimborne has much character and is to be found roughly 70 km / 44 miles from the Isle of Wight. This attractive town lies just to the north of Poole and is centred around an old minster, with this important Saxon church boasting a mixture of Gothic and Norman architecture. There are also a number of museums and a scale model town of Wimborne, showing its appearance in the 1950s. The town itself is always filled with seasonal flowers during the summer months and is a regular winner or finalist of the regional Britain in Bloom competition.

Attractions Nearby Isle of Wight


Salisbury is actually Wiltshire's only city and visitors are in for a real taste of yesteryear, since many of the local attractions are historical in their nature. The majestic Salisbury Cathedral is what most tourists come to see and this giant Anglican cathedral dates as far back as the early part of the 13th century. The city has an enormous range of tourist magnets to tempt visitors from the Isle of Wight and is 81 km / 50 miles from the island.

Located just a short drive away from the city and based on the spreading Salisbury Plain, Stonehenge is known all over the world and this ancient circle of stone monoliths is believed to have once been a temple for sun worshippers. You may also like to visit the Iron Age hill fort named Old Sarum Castle, Old Wardour Castle, Wilton House, Stourhead House and Gardens, and the Salisbury City Hall Entertainment Centre, where all kinds of live shows, comedy gigs and concerts are staged throughout the year.

Located on the nearby mainland, the following attractions may also be of interest: