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!