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Wightlink’s top al fresco spots on the Isle of Wight

With the temperature climbing, visitors to the Isle of Wight are in for a treat this summer thanks to the variety of al fresco spots that are perfect for sunny days. From atmospheric outdoor cinemas through to restaurants with incredible terraces, there are plenty of enticing spaces for families, friends and couples to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Wightlink offers convenient crossings from a number of ports and Kids Go Free during school holidays, so there’s no better way to get to the Island for a summer’s day out.  

Here are Wightlink’s recommendations for the best places to spend a sunny day out on the Isle of Wight. 

Enjoy a film al fresco at these outdoor cinemas 

This summer, The Extraordinary Travelling Film Show will be hosting a number of outdoor cinema screenings around the Island. On 16th August, Mamma Mia 2 will be shown at Ventnor Botanic Garden, one of the warmest places in Britain. The Garden will open its own restaurant for the evening and will be serving pizzas for any hungry singers, with a bar and popcorn also available on site. Another iconic spot on the Island, Bembridge Windmill, will be screening The Greatest Showman for musical fans on 17th August. The incredible views across the harbour and surrounding hills will make this an evening like no other. Individual tickets start from £9 and family tickets (two adults, two children) are available for £36. 

Cool off in the water 

Ventnor paddling pool is located on the beautiful south coast of the Island in a great spot for nearby fish and chips and drinks. Ventnor’s microclimate makes it the warmest place on the Island, and with a model of the Isle of Wight rising out of the water, kids will love splashing around in this fun pool.  

Of course, a trip to the Isle of Wight is not complete without a visit to one of its glorious, award-winning beaches. Sandown Bay on the east coast of the Island won ‘Beach of the Year’ in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2019 and is described as a “traditional bucket and spade beach”. Recently named the ‘Best Isle of Wight Dog-friendly beach’ in the Wightlink Woof Awards, Seagrove Beach is a great option for visitors with dogs. Surrounded by some of the most impressive seaside properties on the Island, this beach is popular for water sports and beach activities due to its vast golden sands at low tide. 

Top spots for drinking and dining outdoors 

The Island has no shortage of brilliant spaces for eating and drinking outdoors, from sophisticated restaurants to traditional pubs. The Hut at Colwell Bay has earned a reputation as a top spot on sunny days, with its terrace offering seating with a stunning view out to sea. With an easy-going atmosphere, the waterfront restaurant prides itself on its simple yet delicious food.  

The award-winning The Little Gloster is a family-run restaurant offering panoramic sea views of the Solent and a great outdoor seating area. With a seasonal menu full of locally sourced produce, there’s something for everyone at this Scandinavian-inspired restaurant.  

Named the ‘Best pub on the Isle of Wight’ at the National Pub & Bar Awards 2019, The Spyglass Inn at Ventnor is popular with both tourists and locals all year round. With an admissions policy of ‘muddy boots & well behaved dogs welcome’, the pub is open to everyone. With live music most evenings, guests will be entertained against the backdrop of the stunning south coast.

All of these al fresco spots are within easy reach with Wightlink ferries and passengers can enjoy even more fresh air on deck. Using Wightlink’s Kids Go Free offer, a family of four can travel to the Island from £34*. With seamless train connections from London to Portsmouth, a trip to the Isle of Wight is a hassle-free day out this summer.


*based on a day return crossing on 14th August for two adults and two children on foot on the Portsmouth – Fishbourne route.

 For more information about Wightlink Ferries, please contact:

Belinda Hallworth 020 7680 7114  [email protected]
Radhika Sharma 020 7680 7118   [email protected]
Claire Nelson  020 7680 7116  [email protected]
Jo Kenworthy  020 7680 7125  [email protected]