The Isle of Wight has got to be one of the most beautiful places in the UK to discover by road. The concept of a road trip around this sleepy island, that was once a Victorian holiday destination, has an air of romance about it and, because of its modest size, you don’t have to spend long days behind the wheel. Instead, you can take things easy and lap up the beautiful views, changing landscapes and glittering coastline at a relaxed and enjoyable pace.
With more than half of the island designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there is something to see around every turn. Bursting with historical accolades and proud of its maritime history and cultural heritage, the Isle of Wight is the perfect destination for a mini road trip.
Discovering the Isle of Wight in Four Days
Day 1 – 16 miles
The ferry crossing from Southampton to East Cowes is very easy but it is recommended that you make a booking with the Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries that leave hourly, on the hour.
When you leave the ferry and make a relaxed cross-country drive to Ventnor, you will pass Osbourne House, which was once home to Queen Victoria. You will also pass through the charming town of Newchurch, and if you fancy fitting in a trip to the Garlic Farm it is recommended. Here you will discover everything to do with garlic and it’s actually a fascinating stop-off.
Day 2 – 65 miles
This is a slightly longer day, but you won’t notice the miles as you roll along the coastal road to Blackgang and then on to Freshwater. Making your way westwards, you can stop for a photo at the Needles and then perhaps make your way to Yarmouth for a bite to eat.
Continuing on, the National Trust properties in Newtown are worth a visit (especially if you are a member), and a stroll along the Cowes seafront admiring the magnificent yachts and designer boutiques is a definite must. Before heading back to Ventnor, the Carisbrooke Castle makes for an interesting visit, and afternoon tea in Brighstone or Mottistone is the perfect way to finish off the afternoon.
Day 3- 50 miles
Today it is the eastern part of the island on the agenda. Before morning coffee in Godshill, consider taking a diversion to Appuldurcombe House, which is famous for its Owl and Falconry Centre. Meandering along the quiet country lanes towards Newport (known for its Classic Boat Museum) is an experience in itself, and remember: there’s no need to rush, just sit back and lap up the pleasure of driving.
The road then takes you to the pretty town of Ryde and on to the quaint village of Bembridge. It’s hard to imagine that there is a Roman Villa on the island, but there is and it’s open to the public. Look out for it in Brading.
This afternoon’s treat has to be a vineyard visit. Adgestone Vineyard offers wine tasting of their locally produced vintages, so why not stop off and buy a bottle or two?
Finally, Bonchurch is a nice place to stop for an early dinner before heading back to Ventnor.
Day 4 – 16 miles
Your last day will see you heading back to the ferry, but there is still time for a last leisurely morning coffee in Godshill before you leave.
Before You Go:
Organising car rental excess insurance is good advice for anyone looking to hire a car. It offers peace of mind that every eventuality with your vehicle is covered. Often the hire companies don’t offer comprehensive enough insurance, so by purchasing car rental excess insurance, you know you are covered should any issue arise.
You can delight in the wonders of this island at any time of the year, but one final tip is to hire a convertible in spring or summer and elevate your trip to the next level.
Author Plate Sam Walker is a specialist insurance expert at LowerHire, a company that offers low-cost single trip and annual multi-trip car rental excess insurance policies. Travellers can rest easy knowing they will be fully protected against any hidden hire car costs and look forward to a stress-free rental experience.