5 of the Best – Top Caravan and Camping Sites in the Isle of Wight

22 Feb 2013

The diamond shaped Isle of Wight, which lies off England’s south coast, packs a great deal into its 380 km², offering a wide range of attractions, activities and sights likely to appeal to a diverse variety of visitors.

Perhaps most famous for ‘The Needles’ – the chalk rock stacks which rise strikingly out of the sea off the island’s western extremity – the Isle of Wight has actually been a popular holiday destination since Victorian times. Queen Victoria had a well-loved summer residence called Osborne House at East Cowes situated in the north, which contributed no doubt to the island’s rise in visitors and holiday makers during this historical period.

Beach lovers will be drawn by the 57 miles of coast and high sunshine hours, while keen walkers, cyclists and sailors will be spoiled for choice. The Isle of Wight’s maritime heritage is well known with the island hosting Cowes Week annually in August – the world’s largest sailing regatta of its kind.

Nature lovers too will be in their element as the island boasts a natural heritage rich in both wildlife and geological interest. A variety of rare British species thrive here – including the red squirrel, bats and butterflies – and the island also features as one of the most important European sites for dinosaur fossils, frequently uncovered from cliff erosion.

Spectacular scenery, beaches, holiday resorts, castles, museums, botanical gardens – the list goes on – there is something here for everyone.

Carpenters Farm Campsite

Carpenters Road, St. Helens, Ryde, PO33 1YN

www.carpentersfarm.co.uk

If you are looking for a slice of traditional family camping with the convenience and comforts of modern facilities you are going to love the 16 acre camp site of Carpenters Farm located on the eastern side of the island. The camping here is uncrowded and natural with red squirrels frequently seen around the site.

The village of St Helens is just ½ a mile away where you can complete your English idyll picture by watching the cricketers play in the summer evenings on the village green. The nearest beach of St Helens Duver is within walking distance and there are several more beaches close by.
Horse riding, sailing and a whole range of activities from coasteering to surfing and ocean fishing to kayaking are offered in the area and a host of restaurants, pubs and cafes, which cater for all budget types, are on your doorstep.

Facilities: Electric hook-up, shower and toilet block, laundry room, Wi-Fi access, dedicated mobile and laptop charging points, disabled facilities, children’s playground, dogs welcome

Open: All year

Cost: Prices per night – from £6.50 per adult, children 0-4 £1/ 5-12 £2.50/ 13-16 £3.50, dogs £1

Stoats Farm

Weston Lane, Totland Bay, Isle of Wight, PO39 0HE

www.stoats-farm.co.uk

Many caravanners and motor-homers understandably place ‘want a good view’ high on their priority list and you will get that here in spades. With a coveted entry into ‘The Guardian’ newspaper’s 10 best views camp sites list, your nestled valley position with sweeping Tennyson Downs vistas ensure you wake each morning with something to feast your eyes on.

A short walk will bring you to some more stunning scenery, this time of the coastal variety with plunging cliffs and ocean views.

There is a pub next door and 5 beaches all within close proximity to Stoats Farm which comes with its very own centuries old farmhouse and romantically ramshackle outbuildings.

However you are looking to fill your time Stoats Farm offers a great base for those interested in walking, cycling, bird watching, pleasure boat trips, plain and simple beach lazing or for those who want to visit a range of other island attractions and sights.

Facilities: Toilets and showers, electric hook-up, washing up areas, laundry service, barbeque area, disabled facilities, on-site shop, tourist information and literature, dogs allowed, dog exercise area

Open: 1 April to 31 October

Cost: From £16 per night per pitch for 2 persons. Extra persons and children over 4 – £3, electric hook up £6

Grange Farm

Grange Chine, Brighstone Bay, PO30 4DA

www.grangefarmholidays.com

There are no fancy frills here. This beautiful south-west coast site, located on a family run working farm, is deliberately undeveloped offering a simple, back to nature camping experience with the bonus of site facility conveniences.

Its trump card is its location – a field which runs all the way to the cliff edge with ocean views and plenty of fresh sea air. A short 100 metre stroll down the coast path will bring you to the sandy beach of Brighstone Bay where you can hunt for fossils and dinosaur remains.

Kids are allowed contact with the animals which feature your usual farm variety of pigs, goats and chickens but there are also a few unusual inclusions such as llamas and water buffalo too.

Although you may feel rather removed from civilisation here, the village of Brighstone is just ¾ mile away offering pubs, tea-rooms and shops, so you can have the best of both worlds.

Facilities: Shower and toilet block (including coin-op bath), launderette, dish-washing sinks, electric hook up, hard standing, dogs allowed, children’s play area, small shop

Open: March to November

Cost: From £13.50 per pitch for 2 adults, electric hook up pitches from £17 for 2 adults, child 4-13 £2.50

Ninham Country Holidays

Ninham, Shanklin, PO37 7PL

www.ninham-holidays.co.uk

This family run and owned park offers a great in-between choice for those who like a few facilities but don’t want all the hustle and bustle of a busy commercial holiday park.

You are located in a quiet valley surrounded by bluebell woods – the natural setting of which attracts badgers, red squirrels and plenty of birds – making serenity and relaxation the easy order of the day. However, you are close to Shanklin’s holiday resort facilities and beaches should you want a change of pace.

There are plenty of adventure and outdoor activities on offer in the area, some of which you can get a discount with as Ninham Country Holiday guests. Some are right on your doorstep – such as the try scuba diving opportunity in the park’s outdoor heated swimming pool.
This park gives you a little bit of everything – chilling or fun stuff – you decide.

Facilities: Electric hook-up, laundry, dish-washing facilities, toilet and shower blocks, outdoor swimming pool, course fishing, games room, Wi-Fi, pets welcome, choice of 2 areas one of which is families and couples only

Open: 22 April to 1 October

Cost: From £11.50 per night for 2 adults

Village Way Caravan and Camping

Village Way, Newprot Road, Sandown, PO36 9PJ

www.villagewaypark.co.uk

A quaint family run three star site that enjoys fantastic views of Brading Down and Culver Cliff. The beautiful countryside, picturesque walks and lure of the sandy beaches just a short skip away in Sandown and Shanklin makes Village Way ideal for all types of getaway.

Village Way is the perfect base to explore the rest of the Isle of Wight and boasts fantastic facilities for campers, touring caravans and RV camper vans. There’s a supermarket less than half a mile away meaning you can stock up on those necessary provisions or head into town and explore the many restaurants, eateries and pubs that you’ll discover.

If you’re the outdoors or active type then Village Way is the perfect spot for indulging in your hobby. Walking/rambling, biking and watersports are all possible in this area of the island.

Facilities: Modern toilet/shower block, laundry room, dish washing area, electrical hook-ups, chemical and RV disposal points.

Open: Open all year but best to contact for availability

Cost: Call for prices

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