Everybody loves Isle of Wight summers, but winter is our favourite time of year to explore the Island. After the summer crowds have left, those in the know escape to the West Wight for a peaceful getaway, far from the frantic pace of modern day life. Winter on the Island is all about revitalising walks on the beach, cosy country pubs, crunchy leaves and making the most of the crisp countryside air.
Here are some of our favourite reasons to escape to the Isle of Wight for a winter break…
Superb winter season short break prices
Escape, wrap up and explore the Island this winter. Whether you’re looking to relax and recharge, enjoy seasonal food or explore the Island’s dramatic coastline, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The winter months are the perfect time to escape for some peace and quiet so take advantage of the winter season short break prices.
Our favourite places to visit…
The Quay Arts Centre is the Island’s leading art gallery and venue for live arts events. You’ll find the centre in a converted 19th Century brewery warehouse at the head of the River Medina in Newport. There are three art galleries to explore, as well as a cafe and gift shop selling some of the best Island-made jewellery, pottery and gifts.
Take a walk to the tiny nearby hamlet of Newtown and discover the Old Town Hall, built in 1699. Today you can visit the museum, find out about the Hall’s role in 17th century politics, and explore the nearby Newtown National Nature Reserve.
The Boswell family have been growing garlic for over 50 years and a trip to The Garlic Farm is not to be missed. Visit the farm heritage centre to find out about the origins and history of the farm, taste the amazing range of garlic-inspired products, browse the farm shop, and enjoy some of the best food on the Island at the restaurant – the mezze board is delicious!
Countryside bike rides…
The Isle of Wight has been named by the Lonely Planet Travel Guide as one of the top 10 destinations in the world for cycling. With over 200 miles of cycle paths, exploring the Island’s beautiful landscape and rugged coastline couldn’t be easier. To make sure you get the very best cycling experience, our Country Club team of qualified trail leaders have put together a series of recommended cycling routes, complete with easy to follow maps for every ability – from total beginners through to advanced cyclists.
To make sure you get the very best cycling experience, hire our cycle guide, Martin. Take the stress out of navigation and just enjoy the ride and the stunning scenery. Martin will plan your route around your needs, whether you want to make a pit stop for delicious local food, enjoy a leisurely family outing, be taken to the best spots to photograph our dramatic coastline, or maybe you want a real workout – Martin is a real expert who will ensure you get the most out of your ride…plus West Bay guests enjoy 10% off bike hire at Wight Cycle Hire, who will deliver bikes and helmets to your house.
Read more about our guided cycle routes here.
Relax and recharge…
Enjoy the ultimate wellbeing experience and book yourself in for our Winter Wellbeing Spa Day. Escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life, while our therapists use the power of touch to harness your natural energy flows and give you a deep sense of balance and inner calm. Slow down, relax and switch off….it’s time to escape the frantic pace of modern day life. Including an hour and a half of blissful hands-on treatment, as well as time in our steam, sauna and ‘Little Room of Calm’…to read, snooze or simply do nothing, plus a light lunch. This is the perfect way to recharge and relax this winter with your mum, sister or friend. Take a look at your spa day itinerary here.
Our favourite places to eat…
With long hours of sunshine, rich and fertile soils and its southerly location, the Isle of Wight is a foodie paradise! Around our shores you will find foraged, seasonal and home-made delicacies, crab shacks, farm shops and roadside produce stands – all providing food fresh from our soil and seas. At West Bay we love…
The West Bay Bistro
We believe that you should feel good about the food you eat. Reflecting our passion for wellness, The Bay Bistro offers healthy, nutritious and super delicious food and drink. We support local farmers and growers and use fresh, seasonal, organic produce wherever we can. Our team have created a menu featuring fresh, healthy and delicious dishes. Our team love working with local and seasonal ingredients to create new dishes. Unwind from a class with a fresh detox juice or coffee or stay a little longer and enjoy a meal with friends. If you are in a rush, all of our food is available to take away and enjoy. And if you are off out for a day of adventure, why not ask the team for a delicious packed lunch to take with you so you can enjoy tasty, local handmade goodies during your winter explorations. Find out more here.
The Red Lion
Just minutes from The West Bay Club, The Red Lion in Freshwater is a traditional country pub and locals love to shelter from the chilly weather next to the cosy fireplace. The Red Lion has won Isle of Wight Dining Pub of the year three times, and their blackboard menu changes daily to make the most of seasonal Island meat, fish and vegetables. www.redlion-freshwater.co.uk
The Taverners pub in Godshill is a firm favourite with both locals and tourists. Serving wholesome pub staples such as a ‘proper’ beef, ale and suet crust pie, this family-friendly pub is ideal for a fuss-free, hearty meal. Dishes are cooked using local produce, which is bought daily from the surrounding markets and farms. The use of so many natural, unprocessed ingredients gives food at the Taverners a distinctive, fresh and delicious taste. If your experience leaves you feeling inspired to knock up a few dishes of your own, there’s also a small shop selling fresh ingredients and Island-made products. www.thetavernersgodshill.co.uk
Off The Rails
In the historic village of Yarmouth, where we are based, is Off the Rails, a popular bistro housed in the former Yarmouth Train Station serving a fresh array of traditional favourites with a modern twist. With quirky railway memorabilia for a touch of fun, it’s a lively venue for relaxed dining. Situated just off from one of our cycle paths, it’s the perfect pit stop on a day out. www.offtherailsyarmouth.co.uk
The Oyster Store
Flooded with light and with local chatter, let first-rate seafood do the talking. The team of chefs create dishes focused on fish and seafood from the South Coast with a respectful nod to the seasons. With flagstone flooring, tongue and groove walls and a peaceful terrace, The Oyster Store is the perfect place for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The beautiful terrace is the perfect space to enjoy seafood and wine, bathed in sunshine until late evening, when they like to light their fire pit for guests to enjoy. www.northhousecowes.co.uk/theoysterstore
The Ventnor Haven Fishery
Situated on the esplanade at Ventnor, the Ventnor Haven Fishery is a fantastic spot to grab a Great British classic: fish and chips. You can choose from a variety of freshly-caught fish, which is lightly battered and served with a generous helping of hand-cut, chunky chips. With a menu that changes according to that day’s catch, it doesn’t get much fresher, and is a sure-fire Island favourite.
The Little Gloster
Recently awarded ‘Restaurant of the Year’ in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and featured in the Michelin Guide, The Little Gloster is a family run restaurant offering panoramic sea views of the solent, in Gurnard, just five minutes West of Cowes. Presenting simple seasonal food in relaxed Scandinavian influenced surroundings, they offer high quality service, locally sourced produce, and a passion for great food, wine, music and cocktails. The perfect place for a quiet meal, to celebrate a special occasion or simply unwind with a glass of wine whilst taking in the spectacular sunsets that contribute to making this location so unique. www.thelittlegloster.com
Three Buoys restaurant is a local family run business that overlooks the beautiful bay of Appley. Their aim is to deliver elegant food with big flavours, complimented by their carefully selected wine list. Whether you want to relax on the balcony with a cocktail in hand or have an intimate meal looking over the Solent, Three Buoys is the place for you. We love Moules Frite Friday where you can enjoy a bowl of hot steaming fresh mussels, lemon salted chips, garlic ciabatta and a crisp glass of sauvignon blanc for an amazing £14! www.threebuoys.co.uk
Delicious seafood restaurant and grill with a great cocktail menu too. If you love seafood and steak – you will be hard pushed to choose from the menu! Located right on the seafront, the views are also fantastic. www.smokinglobster.co.uk
On The Rocks
On the Rocks is an exciting restaurant experience just down the road from us in the heart of Yarmouth. They are the islands only dedicated Black Rock Grill experience. Everything at On The Rocks is served sizzling on hot volcanic rocks for you to cook exactly how you like at the table – a super fun experience! www.ontherocksyarmouth.com
Set in the heart of Cowes, they serve locally sourced, seasonal food in a relaxed and welcoming setting – all day, every day. You can drop in for breakfast or a cake with a morning cappuccino, enjoy a hearty lunch or a three course dinner, as the relaxed informal style of our Bar & Dining Room is designed for every day eating. www.thecoastbar.co.uk
Neuvo Latino, Asian street food and classic British dishes. Inspired by both travel at home and abroad. Fun, exciting, no rules food. www.shutupandfeedme.co.uk