Isle of Wight

Carefree short breaks & holidays

A ship sailing past The Needles © IW Tourism

Towns and villages

A young couple cycling along a village lane

© IW Tourism

From beautiful sailing villages to bustling market towns, seaside resorts to peaceful country hamlets, the Island has a great variety of towns and villages. Discover quiet fishing harbours and pretty chocolate-box villages where an easygoing lifestyle is the norm rather than the exception.

One of the most popular spots on the tourist map is Godshill, a charming thatched-roofed village with a delightful medieval church. The ancient town of Brading offers a glimpse into the past with its old town hall and gaol, complete with stocks and whipping post. Situated at the top of the chine, Shanklin Old Village with its pretty thatched cottages is also worth a visit.

Two towns which are great for shopping are Newport and Ryde. Once a flourishing Georgian market town, Newport has big-name stores, intriguing independent shops and historic Carisbrooke Castle nearby. With shops of all types, Ryde offers elegant Victorian buildings, a splendid esplanade and seafront promenade. To find out more, select a town from the menu below.

  • Shanklin – popular resort sharing a bay with Sandown
  • Sandown – a family-friendly holiday resort with fine golden sands
  • Ventnor – Victorian town with a sunny Mediterranean feel
  • Cowes – the Island's northernmost town, steeped in maritime heritage
  • Newport – the Island's administrative and commercial hub
  • Ryde – the largest town with lively pubs, restaurants, and a golden beach
  • East Wight – explore Bembridge, Brading and Seaview
  • West Wight – explore Yarmouth, Totland and Freshwater