Our Guide to Newport Holidays
Newport is the capital of the Isle of Wight, sitting at the end of the River Medina. Newport is one of the very few high streets left to be both unpedestrianised and it has ticketed on-street parking with a big disabled parking bay on Pyle Street. A little way up, there is also a multi-storey car park and right opposite, St. James Square with its pretty church and cafes offering a seat outside to enjoy a coffee and watch the world go by.
On Tuesdays the general and farmers market offers a wide choice of tasty Isle of Wight produce. If you coincide your visit to early June, you could also make a visit to the Isle of Wight music festival one of your ports of call as this is held in Seaclose Park a very short drive outside of the town.
Overlooking the River Medina is the Bargemans Rest pub. What more scenic setting could there be? Sitting on the small riverside terrace enjoying some of the best home-cooked food, including restricted diets, the island has to offer. The Bargemans Rest is a family friendly pub with a fair selection of Island and real ales. Every Sunday lunchtime there is a brilliant jazz band playing and almost every evening there is live music - The Bargemans Rest certainly gives value for money with everything it has to offer.
Places to visit in Newport
No visit to Newport would be complete without a trip to Carisbrooke Castle. Just outside the main town, set high on the hill, is the 800 year old fortress. Charles I was imprisoned here and there is a display here telling his sorry tale. The castle also has displays and demonstrations featuring wonderful real live donkeys who show how the 16th century treadwheel worked.
Children can dress up as soldiers and are shown how to fire the canons. Take your camera as there are some spectacular views from the battlements and a very interesting museum to boot. On a warm day this is just the place to go for a little history and a lot of lovely cool stone areas or top up your tan while viewing the Princess Beatrice Garden. There's on-site parking and the castle is both child and wheelchair user friendly.
Now to occupy the younger ones how about taking a day trip to Monkey Haven? This is a place you will want to come back to. There is a huge range of activities alongside the monkeys that will keep children and parents entertained. There is the aptly named Cheeky Monkeys area for the very small ones and the Funky Monkeys area for the older child.
There is a tearoom next to the Cheeky Monkeys play area so you can watch little people at play. Monkeys, meerkats, reptiles and owls are all here and there are various activities to watch every day. Monkey Haven is home to a range of monkeys including Macaques, Colobus, Langurs, Squirrel Monkeys, Red Tailed Guenon, Tamarins and more. There is free parking and disabled facilities here - as well as baby changing areas.
Things to do in Newport
Venture a short drive to the west of Newport and you will arrive at Calbourne Water Mill, the only working water mill on the island. Actually mentioned in the Doomsday book, Calbourne Mill has a good thousand years of history under its belt. This isn’t just a mill now though as they have introduced a lot to keep visitors occupied. You can feed a vast array of birdlife from the ducks to the peacocks. If you are lucky you will also see one of the island's protected red squirrels.
There are foxes and badgers and, in certain times of year there are eels in the river. You can feed the fish, visit the rural museum and see memorabilia from Grandmas kitchen to the Old Bakery. There is a play area with Lego tables and huge chalkboards or enjoy mini golf, croquet or a punt on the river. Calbourne Mill also has a licenced cafe serving anything from a fresh made sandwich to a full meal – they even use their own flour.