The largest settlement on the island, Newport has a collection of shops and facilities which make it a great place to stock up on supplies, or make the most of a rainy day. It’s home to a multiplex cinema, theatre, shopping centre, museum and several supermarkets. Each year, the Isle of Wight festival is held here at Seaclose Park, just a 10 minute drive from our Rookley Park resort.
All about Newport
Located at the very centre of the Isle of Wight, the charming, historic town of Newport is known as the island’s capital. With a mix of Victorian and Georgian architecture, it’s a beautiful place to visit – we highly recommend stopping by on your next trip to the Isle of Wight.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best places to eat, attractions to see, and events to attend in Newport.
Things to do in Newport
Whether you’re young or old, there are lots of reason to visit Newport, other than the town itself. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular attractions.
Robin Hill Country Park
Families love Robin Hill Country Park, as it has something for everyone. For the older kids, there’s a 4D motion cinema and the Colossus Swinging Galleon, whereas the little ones will love the Toboggan Run and Cows Express. There are also adventure play areas, the stunning woodland gardens and owl and falconry displays.
Plus, you can bring your pooch with you too, as dogs are welcome provided they are kept on a lead. It’s fun for the whole family!
Perhaps best known as once being the royal prison to Charles I, Carisbrooke Castle is both educational and fascinating. Your kids can dress up like soldiers and learn all about how cannons were fired. You can also see the donkeys in action and walk around the stunning Edwardian-style Princess Beatrice Gardens.
Don’t leave without exploring the battlements – the views from up there are incredible.
Your cheeky monkeys will adore this place, but there’s more to Monkey Haven than, well, monkeys. It’s also a sanctuary for meerkats, owls, reptiles and more. Once you’ve had a look around, let the little ones run around in the play areas. You could even grab a bite to eat in the tearoom.
A gold award-winning attraction, you’re bound to want to spend a whole day here. Why not make it an extra-special visit and book a marmoset encounter?
Where to eat in Newport
From quaint cafes to welcoming pubs, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to places to eat and drink in Newport. Here are some of the town’s most popular eateries.
This small and intimate restaurant is perfect for couples seeking a romantic evening. Everything on the menu is made on-site, and the produce used is locally-sourced where possible, so you know what you’re eating is fresh. Make sure you save enough room for a homemade dessert!
The Bargeman’s Rest
If you’re with the family and after some tasty but familiar pub-grub instead, look no further than The Bargeman’s Rest. You can even bring the pooch, as this pub is dog-friendly. The portions are huge here and great value for money, so you won’t go home feeling hungry or cash-strapped.
The Blue Door
A small café with a surprisingly extensive menu, The Blue Door is the place to go after a busy shopping-filled morning. You could just stop for coffee and cake, or something more substantial, such as a burger or bowl of pasta. Again, the portions are generous – you may want to consider sharing with the kids!
Unmissable events in Newport
Newport hosts a major music festival – we highly recommend you attend at least one in your lifetime. To decide whether it's suited to your musical preferences, let’s take a look at the details.
The Isle of Wight Festival
Winner of ‘Best family festival’ in 2015, the Isle of Wight Festival welcomes visitors of all ages, with children able to attend for free! Spanning over the course of a summer weekend, previous acts include Pharrell Williams, The Killers, Biffy Clyro and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, among many others.
How to get to Newport
Being the unofficial capital of the Island, Newport is pretty easy to find. However, here are some directions from each of our accommodation sites, just in case you’re worried about getting lost.
From Rookley Park
Newport is just a 13-minute drive away from Rookley Country Park, so there’s no excuse not to visit! Simply drive onto the main road (A3020) and follow it until you reach the High Street in Newport – easy!
From Colwell Bay
It will take around 25 minutes to reach Newport from Colwell Bay, depending on traffic. Begin by heading south-east on Fort Warden Road towards Conway Lane, then follow the A3054 to High Street in Newport.
Parking in Newport
Parking in Newport is easy thanks to the large number of both long stay and short stay carparks. Here’s a list so you know where they all are, and can plan your visit accordingly.
Maximum stay: five hours
Charge times: 8am – 6pm
Maximum stay: ten hours
Charge times: 8am – 6pm
County Hall Complex (weekends only)
If you’d like some more advice on what to do on the Island during you’re stay, check out our other guides. There’s so much to see and try, you’ll never be bored in this beautiful destination, no matter where you’re staying.