While it’s only natural that the Isle of Wight should receive its fair amount of sunshine given that it’s a coastal location, it’s considerably brighter here than in the rest of the UK.
In fact, the island receives an average of 37 hours of sunshine each week, whereas the national average for the UK is just 29.7 hours. Interestingly, the Isle of Wight is sunnier than some parts of Spain during the summer too, which at least partially explains why it remains one of the most popular outdoor tourist locations on these shores.
Because of this, you wouldn’t necessarily think that there are a greater number of indoor activities to do on the Isle of Wight. This is not the case, however, and there’s plenty for you to do indoors when the rainy weather does move in!
So, let’s take a closer look at the best Isle of Wight indoor activities and what makes them so popular!
The Best Indoor Activities on the Isle of Wight
Take a Trip to Dinosaur Isle
The Isle of Wight has always been a hotbed for archaeological activity and findings, with several historically important fossil findings being recorded in the region.
These include the recovery of flint and stone artefacts from the distant Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic eras, along with two Neolithic long barrows and a mortuary enclosure.
To celebrate this little-known slice of Isle of Wight History, the seaside town of Sandown has opened ‘Dinosaur Isle’ and the Dinosaur Isle Museum. This has been described as “the most important collection of dinosaurs in the UK” by Professor P. Barrett from the Natural History Museum, making it a strategically important location for those who want to learn about this particular period in history.
Here, you can see, hear, touch, and even smell the dinosaurs who once roamed the world, while the Dinosaur Isle Museum is highly interactive and capable of offering an exceptional learning experience.
You’ll also be able to discover minerals, rocks and fossils, and other historically important artefacts from the region, while the entire location is family-friendly and capable of providing an information distraction from the rain, wind, or snow.
This also makes a cheap day out, as you buy a ticket to gain entry into the Dinosaur Isle Museum for as little as £5.
Overall, this is one of the most highly recommended indoor activities on the Isle of Wight, and is arguably the best example of a fun ‘rainy day’ trip in the region.
Check Out the Tapnell Farm Park (Which is Mostly Indoors)
Typically, farms are located outdoors, and therefore primarily visited during the summer months and on hot, sun-kissed days.
The Isle of Wight’s Tapnell Farm Park in the West Wight near Freshwater Bay bucks this trend, however, with more than two-thirds of its sights and amenities contained indoors.
These include a large soft play area for toddlers and juniors, while you’ll find a huge space in which you can ride on mini tractors and go-karts. Then there’s the large indoor petting zoo (which is home to a large and diverse selection of animals), while you can also access an indoor zip wire if you’re visiting with slightly older children.
Somewhat surprisingly, Tapnell Farm Park is home to one of the largest selections of indoor children’s activities on the Isle of Wight, while you can spend several rainy hours here without ever feeling bored or starting to yearn for the sunshine to return!
There’s no need for the adults to worry either, as the farm includes several cafes and eateries in which they can indulge their own preferred indoor activities such as sipping lattes and scrolling through their smartphones!
The park is also open later during the summer and festive periods, during which it’s known to host cinema evenings, pumpkin festivals, and similarly seasonal events!
Visit the Roman Villas in Brading or Newport
If you’re visiting with children and are desperate for them to enjoy some form of educational experience during their stay, you should consider capitalising on any rainy day by visiting the Roman villas in Brading or Newport.
Brading is the biggest of these two locations, with this ancient structure having been transformed into a museum and visitor centre that also offers spectacular views of the neighbouring Sandown Bay.
This is also one of the largest and best Roman sites in the whole of the UK, while it’s an award-winning location that offers a truly unique insight into an ancient and entirely alien way of life. You can also see everything from beautifully preserved mosaic floors to expansive collections of Roman artefacts and archaeology, while it’s possible to spend an entire day here for as little as £10 per person.
While the Roman villa on Cypress Road in Newport is a little smaller, it’s also cheaper to access on average. Nestled between houses in a residential area and near the local M&S, you buy an adult ticket for just £4.50 and a child’s alternative for £3.00. Concession tickets are available for £4.00, while a special family ticket is priced at £12.50.
This historic site was discovered in 1926, when the owners of a neighbouring house sank new foundations and uncovered the ruins of a Roman farmhouse (which experts estimated had been initially constructed in 280 AD).
Further excavations revealed enough to confirm another major archaeological find in the region, and one that now underpins one of the most exciting indoor activities on the Isle of Wight.
Some of the artefacts here have to be seen to be believed, including evidence of the Roman’s advanced central heating systems and the well-preserved remains of a traditional Roman bath. Interestingly, many of these findings are in startlingly good condition, while the site’s restoration staff have worked tirelessly to recreate accurate Roman scenes within the villa.
While this site may take less time to navigate, it’s no less fascinating, while you can also access separate family education rooms where your kids can learn more about the Romans and their unique way of life!
The Last Word
As you can see, there are ample indoor activities for kids on the Isle of Wight, many of which are also appealing to older visitors and families as a whole.
Of course, there are other indoor activities available on the island too, so be sure to compare your full range of options on the rare occasions when the rain does fall on Dinosaur Island!