The Isle of Wight is recognised for its beautiful countryside, rolling landscapes, white sandy beaches, and for the past century it has been lovingly named the ‘Garden Isle’. The warmer-than-average weather (We will be reaching highs of 23 degrees this weekend), makes the island the perfect temperature and humidity to host a rather exotic range of plants that wouldn’t survive in the rest of the UK.
With 4,500 acres of countryside to explore on the island, it is no wonder that much of it is covered in beautiful gardens. If gardens, greens, flowers, shrubs, bugs and grubs are your thing then look no further. Here is my guide to VIP’s favourite gardens the island has to offer.
If gardens are your thing but not your partners or children’s, again look no further. Our concierge team is at hand to make sure you get the trip you want and deserve while the rest of the family does as well. Kids who would much rather be at the beach digging and making sandcastles, can be at the beach with a nanny while you explore what the island has to offer, then at lunch a pre-made, personalised luxury picnic hamper basket with all your favourite foods could be waiting for you on the beach to join in.
Remember: At VIP, there’s no such thing as a job too small, or a job too large, all we know, is a job well done.
So, onto our list of favourite gardens,
#1 Ventnor Botanical Gardens
Ventnor at the South of the island is in a location where the gulf stream and protection from the downs has created a Mediterranean-like micro-climate. This means in the Ventnor Botanical gardens you will find a subtropical and exotic plant collection unrivalled in the UK.
Ticket price is a little more at 9.50 pound for an adult, nevertheless still worth a visit.
Following a visit to the gardens why not stop off for afternoon tea at The Royal which can be arranged via the concierge team?
#2 Osborne House
Osborne Gardens in keeping with the house, the terrace gardens were designed in formal Italianate style by Prince Albert himself. The walled garden has been restored and the grounds are a delight. These gardens are disabled friends however not dog friendly. So why not tie in a visit to the house and gardens and make an afternoon of it?
Very exciting news has been released, that is that the trailer for the upcoming film Victoria and Abdul has been released. Filming started September 2016 at Osborne House, so if you visit the Gardens you can walk in the footsteps of not only royalty but the likes of Judy Dench and Ali Fazal too. https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/blog/read/2017/06/victoria-and-abdul-at-osborne-b174
Check out one of our new properties The Penthouse in Cowes, only a short distance from Osborne House. Linked below;
#3 Mottistone Gardens
Mottistone Gardens are maintained by the National Trust. ‘These magical gardens in a steep-sided valley have something to enchant everyone’. (National Trust)
With the backdrop of an old Tudor manor, ‘the double herbaceous borders create a spectacular kaleidoscope of colour and there are also Mediterranean plants that now thrive in our milder climate.’ These gardens boast a picnic area, events programme (including interactive hunt games for kids), tea room, car park, toilets, and shop. It is disable access friendly and dogs are welcome.
You will need to pay for entry, and guided tours are available by timed ticket.
All round a pretty good day out.
#4 Shanklin Chine
The island’s oldest tourist attraction at 200 years!
Craved by Mother Nature, the stunning tree lined gorge cuts its mark from Shanklin Old Village to the sandy beach and esplanade far below. There are few places on the Isle of Wight that can boast such a tranquil and picturesque location. Not only can you enjoy the Chine by day but at night the Illuminations transform the place into an area of magic and enchantment.
#5 Quarr Abbey
Perhaps somewhat of a surprise entry at number 5 is Quarr Abbey. Situated just outside Ryde this impressive monastery is surrounded by gardens, peace and tranquility (expect for the oinking of pigs). The Abbey is home to a small group of Benedictine monks. You are able to visit the church and wander around the grounds to experience the tranquil atmosphere, visit an art gallery and have a spot to eat at the teashop. A favourite for families visiting if you hadn’t already guessed are Quarr Abbey’s own resident pigs. Bags of pig food are available to buy in the farm shop for anyone who wants to give them a treat, which adds a unique experience.
Admission and car parking is free and the area has disabled access.
Why not stay at Anchor Cottage in East Cowes for only a short commute from Quarr Abbey.
Wight in Bloom
On the Wight is hosting a gardening/bloom competition, so make sure you get your entry in before the 30th of June to be in for a chance to win. All details can be found below;
Also make sure to check out our VIP social media.
Any questions or queries make sure and give us a call on:
Also make sure to check out our Facebook page @vipcottages for details on upcoming competitions.
By Abigail Rivers