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Yarmouth Out Of Season

'Out of season' is a great time to visit the Island. It boasts a milder climate than almost anywhere in the UK and is one of the sunniest places on the south coast. Some areas, such as Ventnor, have their own micro-climate. Enjoy this by visiting the botanical gardens to see plants not normally hardy in this country.

Walking or cycling on the Island is a pleasure at any time of year with many well marked trails criss-crossing the island and out of season you can go for miles without meeting a soul. Visit in May or October and take part in the famous walking festivals.

Look out for the red squirrels which are at their most colourful in winter and often easier to spot as they are bolder when hungry. To ensure a sighting visit the woodlands at Alverstone Mead where the squirrels are fed by wardens.

Also visit the beautiful unspoiled nature reserve at Newtown during the spring, where from the bird-hide, you will be rewarded with a wonderful view of Black-headed Gulls, together with a few Mediterranean Gulls, nesting in the scrape. (breeding starts mid April and they leave their colonies around July). Osprey also visit this reserve on their spring and winter migration (March/April and August/September). Reed Buntings and Reed Warblers also nest along the Yar Estuary, which also boasts a wide variety of Sea-birds and Waders.

Another wildlife must is to watch the pied wagtails off Ryde pier. Over 100 birds gather at the end of the pier in winter and put on an amazing nightly display.

If you visit the Island over the Christmas season you can take a guided tour of Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s summer home, and see how the Victorians celebrated Christmas. Also hop on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway and enter the festive spirit with Santa, Mince Pie and Hangover specials

Worth a visit too are the famous Dinosaur Museum and Butterfly World. If the Arts are your thing then don’t miss Dimbola Lodge with its photography and art exhibitions and the fantastic cafe (do try the crab soup!) or the craft displays at Arreton Barns. Quay Arts in Newport has changing exhibitions and shows throughout the year and boasts a top class café for lunch or coffee.

Newport is also the place to shop, with a range of famous chains, individual shops, plenty of cafés and a farmers' market on Friday. Godshill is worth a shopping trip too as are many of the other smaller towns. Yarmouth itself offers an Art gallery, boutique, fossil and rock shop, delicatessen, several unusual gift shops and a chandlers as well as plenty of pubs and places to eat.

Whatever the weather or season the Island is full of places to eat and visit and many of the towns host celebrations for Guy Fawkes, Pancake Day and other festivals. Enjoy the Island out of season for a memorable holiday



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