Isle of Wight Museums and Art Galleries
(Isle of Wight, England, UK)
For many visitors, the Isle of Wight feels surprisingly large and the island's best museums tend to be located within the main towns and villages. Notable cultural attractions can be found within destinations such as Brading, Chessell, Godshill, Newport, Sandown and Ventnor.
Families holidaying on the island will be sure to enjoy spending time reminiscing over Corgi and Matchbox toys at the Nostalgia Toy Museum in Godshill, close to the very centre of the island. Grown ups may prefer to learn a little more about the nautical attractions at the Shipwreck and Maritime Museum.
Isle of Wight art galleries display some wonderful and important collections of art, which often depict coastal scenes and make for the perfect souvenir.
Cowes Maritime Museum
Address: Beckford Road, Isle of Wight, England
Tel: +44 (0)1983 293341
Cowes Maritime Museum is one of the island's most historic maritime attractions and is full of many interesting exhibits. Highlights include models, paintings, photographs and the famous yachts of the island's sailing legend Uffa Fox - the Avenger and the Cowslip.
Open hours: Monday to Wednesday, Friday - 09:30 to 18:00, Saturday - 09:00 to 16:30
Bus and Coach Museum
Address: Newport Harbour, Isle of Wight, England
Tel: +44 (0)1983 533352
Located next to Newport Harbour and close to the Jubilee Pottery, the Bus and Coach Museum was established in 1997 and is now run as a registered charity. The majority of the vehicles date from the 1910s onwards, with many originating from the island itself. Each year there are two 'running' events, staged in May and October.
Open hours: hours vary
Admission: charge, discounts for children, families and seniors
Shipwreck and Maritime Museum
Address: Arreton Barns Craft Village, Main Road, Arreton, Newport Isle of Wight, PO30 3AA, England
Tel: +44 (0)1983 533079
This is one of the most interesting nautical attractions on the island, featuring a large number of nautical exhibits.
The Shipwreck and Maritime Museum is full of artefacts recovered from local waters.
Open hours: March to October - 10:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, free for children under 5 years old, discounts available for children under 14 years old and seniors
Lilliput Antique Doll and Toy Museum
Address: Brading High Street, Isle of Wight, England
Tel: +44 (0)1983 407231
The Lilliput Antique Doll and Toy Museum contains over 2,000 exhibits, including dolls, dolls houses, traditional toys and teddy bears.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 17:00
Nostalgia Toy Museum
Address: High Street, Godshill, Isle of Wight, England
Tel: +44 (0)1983 840181
The Nostalgia Toy Museum contains over 2,000 Dinky, Corgi and Matchbox toys dating back to the 1930s. There are also a number of annual and themed exhibitions at the aptly named Nostalgia, which is situated in the centre of the island, and in the past these have included displays of Star Wars figures and Sindy dolls.
Open hours: May to October, daily - 10:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children
Sir Max Aitken Museum
Address: 83 High Street, Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Tel: +44 (0)1983 293800
The Sir Max Aitken Museum is located in the old Ratsey and Lapthorn sailmakers' loft on the High Street of Cowes. Visitors will enjoy Sir Max Aitken's extensive collection of nautical instruments, the multitude of paintings and the many interesting maritime artefacts.
Open hours: May to September, daily - 10:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children
Classic Boat Museum
Address: Seaclose Wharf, Newport, Isle of Wight, England
Tel: +44 (0)1983 533493
Situated in the Newport Harbour area, the Classic Boat Museum features a number of important historic boats.
Open hours: daily - 10:30 to 16:30, restricted opening hours during the winter
Brading Roman Villa and Museum
Address: Brading, Isle of Wight, England
Tel: +44 (0)1983 406223
The first-class Brading Roman Villa once stood on one of the inlets formed by Brading Haven and was an important agricultural centre. It survived into the 5th century and today the museum stands on the remains and includes the main rooms of a substantial house, with intricate mosaics, and an extensive collection of finds and artefacts.
Open hours: April to September, Monday to Saturday - 10:00 to 17:30, Sunday - 10:30 to 17:30
Address: Dinosaur Isle, Culver Parade, Sandown, Isle of Wight, PO36 8QA, England
Tel: +44 (0)1983 404344
Opened in August 2001, Dinosaur Isle is an interactive museum housed in a distinctive pterodactyl-shaped building. Many of the exhibits on display were formally at the Museum of Isle of Wight Geology, within the Sandown Library, where they had been housed since 1913. Animatronic technology runs along side traditional fossil collections to educate visitors about the rich geology and paleontology of the island.
Open hours: April to September, daily - 10:00 to 18:00; October, daily - 10:00 to 17:00; November to March, daily - 10:00 to 16:00, last admission an hour before closing,
Admission: charge, free for children under 3 years old, discount for children aged 3 to 15 years old and seniors
Address: Esplanade, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, England
Tel: +44 (0)1983 852176
The Longshoreman's Museum is full of nautical history from the Ventnor area of the island, including photographs, engravings and models.
Open hours: April to December, daily - 09:30 to 17:00
Museum of Island History
Address: Newport Guildhall, Newport, Isle of Wight, England
Tel: +44 (0)1983 823366
The Museum of Island History features many fascinating exhibits and displays about the rich history of the island, including its strong connections with Queen Victoria and her much-loved East Cowes retreat, Osborne House.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 10:00 to 16:00
Ventnor Heritage Centre and Local History Museum
Address: Spring Hill, High Street, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, England
Tel: +44 (0)1983 852156
The Ventnor Heritage Centre and Local History Museum has many interesting exhibits about the history of this area of the island, including a number of impressive artefacts.
Open hours: May to October, Tuesday to Friday - 10:00 to 16:30, Saturday - 10:00 to 14:30
The Quay Arts Centre
Address: Sea Street, Newport, Isle of Wight, England
Tel: +44 (0)1983 822490
The Quay Arts Centre comprises former 18th-century warehouses that have been transformed into a major modern arts centre, complete with a café and bar area. There is also an extensive programme of events held throughout the year here, including exhibitions, festivals, theatrical and musical events.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 10:00 to 17:00
Address: Chessell, near Calbourne, Isle of Wight, England
Tel: +44 (0)1983 531248
The Chessell Pottery is housed in a large converted barn and is distinctive, specialising in themes associated with nature, such a flowers and animals. Attractions include an exhibition gallery, a coffee shop and a factory shop.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:30