The geographical centre of the Isle of Wight, Newport is the island’s largest administrative and shopping centre, with a host of services and attractions for anyone staying at a holiday cottage there. One of the most popular visitor attractions is Carisbrooke Castle, together with the museum of local history, located in the centre of town. Charles I spent the final year of his life here, and artefacts on display range from toys to military pieces to fashions and textiles, always with a local connection, as well as information on much earlier evidence of settlement on the island. Look out for the donkeys still working the well in the well house, which dates from mediaeval times.
Newport sits on the river Medina, making it a strategic inland port in times past; nowadays the presence of the river ensures it is a pleasant place to be. The Riverside Centre, Bus and Coach Museum and Classic Boat Museum all draw the crowds, whilst the town centre has some good shopping and a number of elegant Victorian and Georgian buildings surrounding the two main squares. There is a changing programme of events at the Quay Arts Centre, as well as a cinema, sports complex and plenty of pubs and restaurants to accommodate an evening visit. Begin with a guided ghost tour of some of the darker lanes and alleyways to see Newport in an altogether different light before repairing to one of the many cafes and restaurants to sample the fresh local seafood.
Robin Hill Countryside Adventure Park near Arreton is one of a number of attractions in the Newport area. At this giant play park you can choose your own level of fun, from thrills, spills and adventure rides galore to more peaceful woodland walks or a gentle red squirrel hunting safari. There are mini-rides and play areas for the very youngest of visitors, together with family rides, wildlife and nature activities, including falconry demonstrations, as well as a comprehensive range of physical activities to keep children busy. In addition to offering shopping and dining opportunities, Robin Hill doubles as the venue for one of the Isle of Wight’s leading summer festivals, the renowned Bestival, which takes place in September each year. The Arreton Valley is also the location for the Garlic Farm; a unique opportunity to visit a farm dedicated to the health-giving bulb and one of Europe’s largest commercial growers. A farm of the more traditional variety can be visited at Colemans Farm Park, and offers the kind of farm experience ideal for those holidaying with younger children. Activities include feeding the animals, animal shows, trailer rides, children’s play areas, and, crucially, plenty of indoor fun and activities in case the weather should be less than kind. Butterfly and Fountain World just beyond Newport is another family popular attraction, also good for wet weather days, with thousands of butterflies, beautiful Japanese gardens, ponds filled with koi carp and much more besides. Between Newport and Sandown, Amazon World Zoo Park features more than two hundred exotic animal species, with everything from anteaters and armadillos to falconry displays.
If you would like to visit Newport, why not take a look at these self catering holiday cottages?