What to do when it rains on the Isle of Wight

August 26, 2015

"It never rains on the Isle of Wight" is what my mother has said for the past thirty years, usually when it is raining. This summer has been marvelous. We can not complain. But as rain is on the horizon these are my recommendations to keep people occupied on our non beach days:

New find - Tapnell Farm: First of all their coffee is delicious! They have a brilliant barn with a zip wire, a life size cow that you can draw all over in chalk, hay bale tunnels and a mini climbing wall. They have jumping pillows and a sand pit outside if the rain eases off. For bigger boys there is a proper climbing wall and zorbing available. The food looked pretty delicious too but we didn't get a chance to sample.  Next time!


Butterfly World: It doesn't take long to whip round the butterflies but it's worth a punt on a drizzly day. The butterflies give way to 'fountain world' with pretty indoor gardens with koi carp which you can watch being fed and the grand finale involves jumping water fountains so bring a spare pair of clothes.

Dinosaur Isle: The island is famous for its dinosaurs and for this reason I find this 'museum' a little disappointing but when it rains I'll take anything. It's quite small but with some good dinosaur displays including an area where you can pretend to excavate fossils. But the second time we went the boys seem more interested in the upstairs playroom where they have trains and tables to draw on.

 

Victoria Fort: This place is quite extraordinary. There is a model railway with some exquisite pieces which the children enjoyed but the adults spent most of the time searching for the naughty nudies and sniggering! Across the car park is another antiquity in the shape of an aquarium with sea anemones, an amazingly large spider crab and clown fish. The beaches on this side of the island are stunning if the rain stops and The Hut in Colwell Bay has a children's menu and is great for grown ups too.

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway is a goodie for a rainy day. There is a brilliant interactive museum in Havenstreet and of course you can just sit on the train and ride back and forth!

Ryde has an ice skating rink and a bowling alley which have both come in handy on really dreadful days. 


And finally, we have just been to Jay Miller's Circus near Cowes which was two hours well spent and all under cover! 

If all else fails... A few hours on the beach in the rain can be quiet fun (check out our blog post on the best ones). As long as you have somewhere warm to go afterwards. And a spare pair of clothes.



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