Coach holidays to the Isle of Wight
Currency: Pound Sterling
Time Zone: GMT
Tipping: 10 to 12% is usual for hotels with 10 to 15% being usual for restaurants. In each case, it is not necessarily added to the bill. If a service charge has already been added, no further tip is required.
The Isle of Wight is said to be Britain's sunniest spot and has long been favoured as the perfect holiday getaway. The resorts on the island hold the traditional British seaside feel combining amusements with a multitude of activities to take part in. The two most popular holiday resorts on the Isle of Wight are Sandown and Shanklin.
Sandown is famous for its wonderful beaches with over 5 miles to explore and awarded with the Blue Flag for cleanliness. When in Sandown you should visit the Pier as there are a variety of amusements to keep the whole family entertained including a funfair. If you happen to be staying in either Shanklin or Sandown, you can get to the other quite easily with a casual stroll along the beach – weather permitting. Add a bit of fun and walk in the surf if it's a nice sunny day! Sandown Isle of Wight is home to the highest collection of dinosaur fossils compared to anywhere else in the world which is why it has been referred to as 'Dinosaur Island'.
Shanklin is another one of those traditional seaside resorts but if you tear yourself away from the stunning coastline, you will come across the tiny Old Village filled with quaint thatched cottages, many housing traditional tea rooms or souvenir shops. Rylstone Gardens provide a beautiful spot to sit back and watch the world go by or you can take in the entertainment provided on the Bandstand. Shanklin Chine should also be visited, a gorge that contains a variety of rare plants and a beautiful waterfall. The Shanklin Esplanade is the perfect place to keep the whole family entertained with its array of seaside games, amusements and cafes.
There are many other places on the Isle of Wight that should be visited during your holiday here. Cowes is a mecca for sailing enthusiasts as it has an extensive maritime history and is the setting for the famous 'Round The Island Boat Race'. Discover the Island's Royal connections with a visit to Osborne House in East Cowes, the seaside home of Queen Victoria and her family. Newport, in particular Seaclose Park, is a favourite among music lovers as this is where the Isle of Wight Festival takes place attracting thousands of visitors from across the UK. Ventnor is home to one of the island's best theme parks Blackgang Chine which features rides and attractions to suit the whole family. Discover the quintessential English Village of Godshill located between Newport and Shanklin. Godshill is famous for its Model Village which depicts the entire area in miniature and is home to a 15th century church which is among the top 10 most visited churches in the UK. Take a ride on the iconic chairlift in Alum Bay where you can visit The Needles and make souvenirs out of the coloured sand.
For further information on the Isle of Wight you can visit the official tourism website at visitisleofwight.co.uk
Things to do
It may be a tiny island resting in The Solent but there is no end to the things you can do to keep everyone amused during your break here. Let us inspire you whilst you're planning your holiday to the Isle of Wight:
Alum Bay and The Needles
Found on the west coast of the Island, Alum Bay is a remarkable geological phenomenon made up of sandstone cliffs, richly coloured with different minerals. From Alum Bay, you will be able to view The Needles, three chalk monoliths stretching out into the sea. The lighthouse constructed in 1859 is still in use today, warning ships in low visibility.
Queen Victoria chose Osborne House for her country retreat and during her reign, the Family spent many holidays based on the Isle of Wight. The richly decorated interior of the property gives a real insight into the grandeur of private life of the Royal Family during the 19th Century.
Isle of Wight Steam Railway
The Edwardian and Victorian carriages and locomotives have been lovingly restored and brought back to life. A journey on board will see you pass through 5.5 miles of picturesque countryside, recapturing the journey of the branch line railway.
Ventnor Botanic Gardens
Developed on the site which was formerly the Royal National Chest Hospital, the Ventnor Botanic Gardens extend over 22 acres. Originally opened in 1972, the Gardens take full advantage of the Isle of Wight's micro-climate which allows for a wide variety of species to grow providing a stunning array of plants and flowers to be seen.
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in England, please take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office:
Health and Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is recommended by all our tour operators and for some operators it is a condition of booking. When choosing a travel insurance please ensure it fully covers all your personal requirements including pre-existing medical conditions, cancellation charges, medical expenses, and repatriation in the event of accident or illness. As a British citizen you will obviously be entitled to free emergency health care on the NHS.
If you are visiting England from outside the United Kingdom and fall ill or are involved in an accident and are from an EU country or Switzerland, you can use a valid EHIC issued by your home country to access healthcare. Please note this is not an alternative to travel insurance. Comprehensive travel insurance is advised for nationalities planning on visiting the UK.
For the latest information and travel advice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), please click here
If you need to contact the emergency services whilst in the UK simply dial 999 or 112 to ask for an ambulance.
The United Kingdom is a safe place to visit, however, as with all countries please exercise common sense. Petty crime can occur so take your usual precautions such as not leaving luggage unattended, beware of pickpockets in tourist areas and leave valuables in the hotel safe.
Local Laws and Customs
Queuing is a British Institution - jump a queue at your own risk!
If you are visiting from outside of the United Kingdom, it is wise to check customs requirements before you travel. If you are planning to bring alcohol, tobacco or souvenirs into the country, you need to be familiar with the UK's custom laws. If you go over your allowances, you may have to pay tax or duty. It is worth checking the HM Revenues and Customs website before you travel.
UK Entry Requirements
When travelling between the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man you may need to show a Border Force officer a document confirming your identity. In most cases an official form of identification such as a driver's license or an armed forces identity card will be ok. However, some airlines will insist you show a passport so please check before you travel.
If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein you can enter the UK with one of the following identity documents: a passport, an Irish passport card or a national identity card issued by an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, if you’re eligible to use one. The identity document should be valid for the whole of your stay.
If you’re from outside the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you must have a valid passport to enter the UK. It should be valid for the whole of your stay. You may also need a visa, depending on which country you’re from. Please check here if a visa is required before you travel.