Top Choice Historic Building in Cowes & Around

Osborne House

Lemon-frosted and Italianate, Osborne House is pure Victorian pomp. Built in the 1840s at the behest of Queen Victoria, the monarch grieved here for many years after her husband's death. Extravagant rooms include th…
Top Choice Ruins in Ryde & Around

Brading Roman Villa

The exquisitely preserved mosaics here (including a famous cockerel-headed man) make this one of the finest Romano-British sites in the UK. Wooden walkways lead over rubble walls and brightly painted tiles, allowing…
Top Choice Fort in West Wight

Needles Old & New Battery

The Victorian fort complex at Wight's western tip is home to two gun emplacements where engrossing displays reveal how the site was established in 1862, served in two world wars and then became a secret Cold War roc…
Heritage Railway in Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Chugs regularly from Smallbrook Junction to Wootton Common (return adult/child £12/6, 1st class £17/11, one hour).
Castle in Cowes & Around

Carisbrooke Castle

Charles I was imprisoned here before his execution in 1649. Today you can clamber the sturdy ramparts and play bowls on the very green the doomed monarch used.
Nature Reserve in Ryde & Around

St Helens Duver

At this idyllic sand-and-shingle spit bordering the mouth of the River Yar, trails snake past swathes of sea pink, marram grass and rare clovers. It's signed from the village of St Helens, near Bembridge Harbour.
Lighthouse in Ventnor & Around

St Catherine's Lighthouse

A crenellated 19th-century navigational aid that marks the island's southernmost point. Tours climb the 90-odd steps up to the lantern room, revealing sweeping sea views.
Lighthouse in Ventnor & Around

St Catherine's Oratory

Known locally as the Pepperpot, this 10.5m, octagonal, 14th-century tower constitutes England's only surviving medieval lighthouse.