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Five Delicious Picnic Spots in the Isle of Wight 

Our summer long series dedicated to the UK's finest picnic spots has taken us all across the nation. For our last summer stop, we're setting our rug down on the picnic-perfect Isle of Wight. 

Throughout the summer months, Fortnum’s has been travelling up and down the country to discover Blighty’s most picturesque picnic locations for our staycation series. From city spots in London to the coastlines of Cornwall, we’ve been enjoying the finest al fresco food in the finest of settings the nation has on offer. 

 

Before the summer sun sets and the leaves start to brown, we’re going on one last adventure. Hamper in tow and Scotch Eggs aplenty, our picnic rug is touching down in the beautiful Isle of Wight. So prepare to lift the lid on your Fortnum’s wicker and discover our favourite al fresco patches on this verdant isle.

 

Situated in St Catherine’s Down - one of the highest parts of the entire island - is St Catherine’s Oratory, the second oldest lighthouse in England

 

THE LANDMARK

 

Situated in St Catherine’s Down - one of the highest parts of the entire island - is St Catherine’s Oratory, the second oldest lighthouse in England. A remarkable 11 foot structure, it’s known to caulkheads (that’s people from the Isle of Wight) as the Pepperpot. It was built by Walter De Godeton in the 14th century, who was made to build it to make amends for having plundered wine that belonged to the Church. While we don’t condone plundering of any kind, having to build a lighthouse is a worthy price to pay for exceptional wine in our opinion.

The oratory, which is a lighthouse, is not to be confused with St Catherine’s Lighthouse, which is also a lighthouse. Yes, both of these lighthouses sit within St Catherine’s Down, which is abundant with picturesque picnic locations offering panoramic views to enjoy as you tuck into your wicker.

 

 

THE BEACH

 

Compton Bay is one of the Island’s most famous beaches and is popular with surfers and sun lovers alike. However, adjacent to this expansive bay is Brook Beach. Located on the south west of the island, it is cradled by unspoilt coastline and is home to a very unique fossilised forest of huge trees that appear from beneath the waves at Hanover Point during low tide. 

 

In fact, the past has left a very large footprint on this beautiful shore. As far as the age of dinosaurs, to be exact. Yes, if you’re taking a break from tucking in to all your delicious nibbles, explore the back of the beach near the cliffs and discover all the fossils amongst the pebbles and even casts of dinosaur footprints.

 

If you’re taking a break from tucking in to all your delicious nibbles, explore the back of the Brook Beach near the cliffs and discover all the fossils amongst the pebbles

 

THE ADVENTURE

 

If you’ve set your al fresco aspirations high, you can’t go wrong with scaling the Tennyson Downs. Soaring above many of the Island’s landmarks, from this perch you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Needles, Compton Bay and even over the waters to Dorset.

 

It won’t take you long to find your picnic oasis, as there are plenty of benches to sit on and patches of short grass where you can unfurl your blanket. Drink in the beautiful vistas (as well as your favourite tipple), watch the butterflies swirl about the nearby flowers and relax as you leisurely scout out your next picnicking outpost.

 

 

THE FAMILY FAVOURITE

 

It shouldn’t be a question of what you can do at Fort Victoria, it should be what you can’t do. There is so much to see and do that you may need to bring a second hamper! Built during Queen Victoria’s reign to protect Portsmouth from the threat of invasion from the French, it has now become a must-see on the Island. 

 

Take the youngsters - and the adults too - on an adventure through the woodland trail with 22 hectares to explore. You’ll discover peaceful woodland walks alongside stunning sea views across the Solent. And if you’re lucky - as well as very quiet - you may notice red squirrels have joined you on your amble, as the Isle of Wight remains one of the few places in the UK where they can still be found. 

 

When it’s time to recharge, there are plenty of picnic areas within the park where everyone big and small can dive into the picnic wares and pluck out all the tasty treats they’ve probably been thinking about scoffing all day.

 

 

THE DOG WALK

 

Although you wouldn’t think it to look at it with its serene and peaceful beauty, Bembridge and Culver Downs were once the setting of much military action. Mostly flat and perfect for adventurous pooches, this trail along the top of the downs will reward you with fresh open air and delicious views as well as a fascinating insight into the Isle of Wight’s role in wartime defence and intelligence. Just don’t forget the nibbles for your pup as well!

 

 

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