Isle of Wight accommodation isn’t hard to find - this south coast holiday destination has been a favourite getaway for Brits since the 18th century. Holiday homes, seafront B&Bs and pet-friendly chalets abound. However, finding the perfect place for your ideal island break takes a little more effort.
If you plan to travel with furry friends, ensure the accommodation you choose is dog-friendly. Similarly, if you're catching up with family and small children are joining, it pays to pack some fun activities to keep little ones entertained. And make sure the accommodation you choose suits their needs too!
Many holiday cottages and apartments on the Isle of Wight come with toddler gates, highchairs and cots. Often games for families to enjoy and dog toys to keep your hound happy are also included. Checking before you go will ensure you have everything you need for an enjoyable holiday.
To help, we've compiled a list of the best accommodation options, from basic camping to luxurious self-catering cottages with swimming pools and hot tubs - and everything in between. In no time, you’ll be enjoying one of England’s best seaside resort destinations just like Queen Victoria and Albert did in their day.
Isle of Wight holiday cottages
A holiday cottage on the Isle of Wight gives you the freedom to explore and a private place of your own to relax in after a day of sightseeing. These holiday cottages offer sea views, easy access to the coastal path, and sandy beaches as part of the package. We’ve included a mix of family-sized cottages, pet-friendly holiday homes and smaller spots for a couples-only getaway.
Ventnor holiday cottages
1. The Salt Pot sleeps 4, has free Wi-Fi and is a pet-friendly cottage with sea views and easy access to beaches, Botanical Gardens, and Ventnor, where you'll find an array of shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants.
2. The Deck Studio is an adults-only studio apartment on the edge of Ventnor, offering sea views and easy access to the Isle of Wight from the nearby bus stop.
3. St Rhadagunds Cottage West has four bedrooms, free Wi-Fi, a hot tub, and easy access to Ventnor’s Botanic gardens, the seaside and town. Perfect for a group of friends or holidays with extended family.
4. Oceanix is the perfect hub for a holiday for two. This top-floor apartment offers Victorian grandeur and sea views. The single bedroom has a king-sized bed, and the complete kitchen has all you need for preparing evening meals or a picnic to take when exploring secret coves and secluded beaches.
Cowes self-catering holiday rentals
5.Vrbo bungalow on the north coast of the Isle of Wight in Cowes overlooks the Solent and sleeps seven across four bedrooms. The fully equipped kitchen, suntrap patio, and BBQ area make it a perfect choice for groups of friends wanting to make the most of summer.
6. Levante is a modern terraced in the heart of Cowes and minutes away from restaurants, bars and the waterfront. The holiday home has three bedrooms over three floors with Wi-Fi, off-road parking, towels, bed linen and a full kitchen.
7. Starboard Side sleeps four and is just a two-minute walk from Gurnard Beach. Furry friends are welcome, and a wood-burning stove makes this little cottage the ideal getaway on the Isle of Wight in any season.
8. Barton Manor Lake Cottage is an excellent base for friends and couples to step out and explore the Isle of Wight. Set on the grounds adjacent to Osbourne House, the two-bedroom cottage sleeps four and has a cot for smaller family members. The cottage comes with access to over 200 acres of woodland and a private beach.
Glamping and caravanning on the Isle of Wight
Camping has become much more comfortable in recent years thanks to the multitude of glamping options available at most holiday parks and caravan sites. Glamping offers most of the luxury of a traditional hotel or holiday home but feels closer to nature and the great outdoors.
If you’re planning to get back to nature and don’t want to pack a tent, these holiday parks are just the thing. Some sites have additional facilities, such as swimming pools and hot tubs, and all offer amazing views and plenty of outdoor fun.
IOW caravan and glamping sites
Wightlink ferries offer discounted prices to caravan club members who book their fares in advance. Caravan owners can get 20% off their fares, while motorhome drivers could be eligible for up to a 50% discount. Once on the Isle of Wight, these caravan sites are perfect places for pitching up and enjoying island living.
9. Ninham Country Holidays is a four-star site on a 120-acre farm with views of Shanklin and Brading Down beaches. Dogs aren’t permitted through summer but can be taken along at other times of the year. The site has a heated outdoor pool, games area, laundry and hot showers. Bikes can also be hired on-site for exploring the island.
10. Grange Farm on the southwest coast of the Isle of Wight offers caravan hook-ups, sites for motorhomes and glamping in pods. Located centrally on the coastal path in the Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this family-run farm has easy access to Sandown beach and views over Brightstone forest.
11. Glamping the Wight Way has canvas lodges big enough for family holidays. These safari tents sleep 6 - 8 people and are found near Freshwater bay on the westernmost tip of the island. The unique location offers views of The Needles and Yarmouth.
12. The Ark Park in Cowes provides luxury glamping experiences for couples and families. Spend a night under the stars and soak in a wood-fired hot tub without having to pitch a tent. The site welcomes children of all ages and pets.
Luxury Isle of Wight hotels and cottages
If you're after luxury for your Isle of Wight holiday, these cottages and hotels are sure to please. However, luxury hotels and getaways are less likely to accept pets with your booking, so check before you go if you plan to take your dog. Often, booking directly on the hotel's website can land you a better deal, so check their rates and seasonal offers.
13. Haven Hall Hotel is a boutique hotel with just 14 luxury rooms filled with antiques. Once an Edwardian country home, the hotel offers a swimming pool, tennis court and views over the English Channel. Suites with kitchens and living and dining rooms are also available.
14. Merryweather Cottage in Bembridge is a luxury thatched Grade II listed holiday cottage that sleeps 4. It has a well-equipped modern kitchen and character features and is just a 15-minute walk from sandy beaches. Fresh crab and lobster can be purchased nearby, and Osborne House, Carisbrooke Castle and Ventnor Botanical Gardens are also easily reached by car.
15. Lakeside Park Hotel is a privately owned hotel with a swimming pool and spa offering health and beauty treatments. Special offers for guests include discounted spa treatments, three-course meals and access to the outdoor thermal spa garden.
16. The Royal Hotel in Ventnor overlooks the Esplanade and the English Channel. Each of the 51 rooms is decorated with luxurious fabrics and furnishing. It’s one of the oldest hotels on the island and offers an outdoor swimming pool, Michelin-grade food from the restaurant and beautiful private gardens for guests.
Things to do on the Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight has a long history and is full of beautiful and fascinating places. You can, of course, spend your Isle of Wight holiday on the many beautiful beaches, relaxing, hunting for fossils or swimming in the refreshing waters, but there are many other activities to enjoy, too.
Queen Victoria and Albert made their private family home on the Isle of Wight, just east of Cowes. The Osborne Estate is now open to visitors and makes a great day out for anyone interested in history, the Victorians, or architecture from that period.
Carisbrooke Castle is a mott-and-bailey castle located near Newport at the centre of the island. Charles 1st was imprisoned there before his execution, and it was the home of Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria's fifth daughter, between 1896 and 1944.
The Isle of Wight’s coastal path is the best way to explore all of the coves and beaches on the island. The trail stretches for 70 miles in total. You can even arrange walking holidays with accommodation booked in a different spot for each evening. It takes approximately eight days to walk the entire IOW coastal path at a moderate pace.
A wander through Godshill village on the Isle of Wight will be a treat for anyone interested in quaint villages and medieval architecture. The pretty village has many places to eat, stop for a cup of tea and pubs to enjoy a pint in. There is also a tiny Model Village on the high street that offers a fun way to pass the time.
Samantha Wragg, from the Coco Travels blog, told Age Times: “There’s so much to do on the Isle of Wight, it’s the perfect place for a family holiday. Some of my favourite things to do include exploring the beautiful beaches, a bike ride around the red squirrel trail and a visit to the Osborne Estate. There are also lots of lovely places to eat and drink. Don’t forget to try the Mermaid Gin, it’s distilled on the Isle of Wight!”
Jo Addison, from Kiddie Holidays, added: "The Isle of Wight is one of my favourite places to go on holiday in the UK! From long sandy beaches to stunning coastal walks and loads of days out to fantastic places like the Isle of Wight Railway and The Needles, the Isle of Wight has something for everyone! Don't miss a trip to the Ventnor Haven Fishery for local caught fish and trips and The Garlic Farm (the garlic ice cream is amazing....honestly!)."