Christmas is coming, and the Isle of Wight is getting ready to welcome Santa, his reindeer and his little helpers to the Island for a very jovial run-up to the Festive Season. Here’s our Festive Five reasons to plan a visit to the “Isle of White Christmas”.
The Great Christmas Day Walk
With over 500 miles of designated footpaths through forests and farmland, historic villages and along clifftop coastal paths, the Isle of Wight is a winter walker’s paradise. This year, anyone looking for an alternative way to spend Christmas Day can take part in The Great Christmas Day Walk. This 12-mile figure-of-eight walk, divided into 7 miles in the morning and 5 in the afternoon, will take visitors on a tour of some of the Island’s spectacular south-coast scenery. The area known as The Back of the Wight, includes the stunning St Catherine’ Down, the most southerly point on the Island. The walk starts from The Wight Mouse Inn car park in Chale at 10am. To book a place on this free walk, telephone IW Ramblers Association, on 07718 685936.
Victorian Christmas at Osborne
December 1 & 2 (12pm to 8pm)
This year’s seasonal offering at Osborne will give visitors the chance to experience the spirit of a Victorian Christmas – having a go at traditional games, taking a ride on the carousel and delighting in jovial entertainers. Also featuring the festive sounds of the season and the smell the roasting chestnuts in the snowy courtyard, it will also give youngsters the chance to make their own traditional toys. Father Christmas and a handful of familiar Dickensian characters will be on hand in the festively dressed rooms. And – new for this year – there will be a Victorian Christmas After Dark, featuring magical festive lights in the grounds. Usual entry fees apply, with an additional charge to meet Father Christmas: Member (Adult) £3.20; Member (Child) £1.90; Member (Concession) £2.90; Member (Family) £8.30; Adult £15.90; Child, 5-17 years £9.50; Concession £14.30; Family £41.30.
Santa Specials at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway
December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16 and 21 to 24
Santa is making Havenstreet Station his Christmas home once again, and is looking forward to meeting Isle of Wight Steam Railway passengers who can enjoy a stroll through Santa’s Sparkling Winter Wonderland, before going to see him to receive a gift. Admission includes a 10-mile round trip through the Island’s winter countryside, aboard a steam train: “on the gate” (subject to availability) prices from £16 (Adult), £12 (Child); £10 (Infant).Prices vary according to date. Online discounts available.
Make Christmas, on a holiday in a Tiny Home
November 30, to December 3
Tiny Homes is offering a weekend of Christmas craftiness – including aromatherapy candle making, bath bombs, natural firelighters, decorations and a fantastic natural wreath – priced at £285 per person (for two people sharing a Tiny Home). The three-night stay will include five craft workshops on the Saturday and Sunday, in the on-site. All tools and materials, lunches and refreshments, and a ‘simple but good’ breakfast are also included in the price.
Christmas fairs on the Island
With hundreds of independent retailers, the Isle of Wight provides a great backdrop for some timely Christmas shopping. Avoid the hustle and bustle of the high street, by escaping to the National Trust shop at Mottistone Gardens which is open from November 1 to December 22. The National Trust shop is also open on Sunday December 9 to celebrate the Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival.
Other Christmas fairs on the Island will include the Christmas Gift Fayre at Northwood House on December 1-2.
And Cowes Christmas Fair on November 17/18. https://www.iow.gov.uk/events/eventDetails.aspx?eventId=3794
For all tourist information about the Isle of Wight, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk