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In this age of budget airlines, it’s easier than ever to jet off to Europe. This is a blessing and a curse as many have forgotten about the incredible beaches, attractions and natural wonders to explore in the UK. There’s no better example of this than the Isle of Wight. Lying off the southern coast of England, the small island enjoys some of the county’s finest weather, beaches and things to do.

Go hiking along the coastal paths

isle of wight hiking

Flickr: mollybeee

Though small, there are over 500 miles of public trails crisscrossing the island. Hike through forests and along spectacular coastal paths. During May, the Isle of Wight celebrates a walking festival and Hiking Nation runs short walking breaks.

Become a beach dweller

beach isle of wight

Flickr: mark dyer

The Isle of Wight has over 60 miles of beautiful award winning beaches to explore. Being off the UK’s southern coast, the weather tends to be warmer here than the rest of the country. Secluded bays, coves and miles of sandy beaches.

Spot the red squirrel

Since the introduction of the American grey squirrel, the population of the native red squirrel has suffered. The Isle of Wight is one of the only places in the UK where they can still be spotted. They are much shyer than their American cousins.

Bike the Hills Killer

In Autumn, mountain bikers descend upon the island to take on one of the country’s more challenging cycling routes. A specially plotted course passing various checkpoints tests biker’s strength and endurance.

Uncover the island’s art sceneisle of wight open studios

For over 10 years, the Isle of Wight has been running an annual Open Studios event, where local artists open their doors to the public. The event is free, but there’s an opportunity to buy art.

Enjoy the legendary Isle of Wight Festival

Isle of wight festival

Flickr: David Jones

The Isle of Wight Festival has been attracting some of the biggest names in the music industry since its inception in the 1970s. Two huge stages and several small stages play host to the likes of Rod Stewart, Foo Fighters and Bruce Springsteen who perform to over 50,000 revellers.

Stay in a vintage AirstreamVintage campervans isle of wight

Ever wanted to stay in one of these unique American campervans? Now you can with Vintage Vacations in a gorgeous spot on the island.

Learn to sail at the UKSAUKSA

The UK Sailing Academy runs sailing courses, from fun day sails to career development certification. Each year, the organisation introduces more than 8,000 young people to the thrills of sailing.

See evidence of dinosaurs

dinosaurs isle of wight

Flickr: The Bay

At low tide, the fossilised footprints of dinosaurs are revealed at Hanover Point on Brook Beach. Millions of years old, they are thought to have been left from the lguanodon dinosaurs. The best way to see them is on one of the many fossil tours that run along the beach.

Take to the skies

High Adventure run tandem paraglides, giving visitors a unique perspective of this beautiful island. The island’s location mean there are more flyable days on average than any other part of the UK.

Proudly sponsored by Hiking Nation.