Destination UK

Pre-historic secrets of the Isle of Wight

Posted on
January 23, 2019

I am very proud resident of Dorset and often sing the praises of the history and beauty of our Jurassic Coast, taking the kids on fossil hunts to places like Kimmeridge Bay, Charmouth and Lyme Regis.

Another local place that we enjoy visiting is the Isle of Wight, which has been declared the dinosaur capital of Britain in a map compiled by the Natural History Museum, beating the Jurassic Coast as the richest area for dinosaur fossil finds.

Fossil hunting is a brilliant excuse for getting the kids out in the fresh air and you don’t have to be a scientist or explorer to find them as several significant discoveries have been made in recent years by leisure hunters, including a six-year-old boy (2007), a nine-year-old girl (2013) and a mother-of-two (2016).


To mark the 75th anniversary of the Council for British Archaeology, Red Funnel and GO Outdoors have launched a guide to fossil hunting on the IOW to celebrate the rare finds that have nestled in the island for millions of years. The guide is designed to create a sense of adventure and excitement for both those living on the island and tourists, helping them to experience the UK’s captivating prehistory first-hand. 

The guide details the near-to-complete skeletons of dinosaurs discovered on the Isle of Wight, with illustrations based on what is known of the dinosaurs’ bone structures from excavations. Of course, what their skin really looked like remains a guess – some scientists argue that most of them had feathers!

The guide also includes preparation tips, a recommended kit list, the best locations for fossil hunting, information of legalities and a list of guided fossil walks. It also gives a real insight into the types of fossils that can be found including: crocodiles, turtles, reptiles, pterosaurs, shellfish and various mammals and the best beaches to find them.

The majority of dinosaur fossils are found along the south-west coast at Hanover Point, Chilton Chine, Brighstone Bay and Yaverland.

Once you have tried your hand at fossil hunting, the Isle of Wight has lots of fabulous attractions to visit, including one of our favourite theme parks – Blackgang Chine, home to a number of animatronic dinosaurs that are sure to fascinate the kids……….just beware of the T-Rex!!

Blackgang Chine

For history lovers, the Isle of Wight is also home to Queen Victoria’s beloved Osborne House, the characterful Carisbrooke Castle and the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.

Osborne House

Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company, with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m
passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.

In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry-inclusive holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages.

Have you visited the Isle of Wight before?

  1. Reply


    January 23, 2019

    I love the Isle of Wight. We visited on our last trip to the area, and it was so beautiful. I can’t wait to get back again.

  2. Reply


    January 23, 2019

    Haven’t been there. Seems like a great place to visit with the kids.

  3. Reply


    January 23, 2019

    I haven’t been there yet but it looks lovely! I guess I’ll have to add it to my ever-growing laundry list of places to visit!

  4. Reply

    Elizabeth weitz

    January 23, 2019

    The Isle of Wight looks so fun to explore! The fossils absolutely fascinate me!

  5. Reply


    January 23, 2019

    oh myyyyy!!! The place looks amazing! Such an adventure and i super love fossils, so cool. x

  6. Reply

    Bethany Stout

    January 23, 2019

    This looks amazing. What a beautiful place to explore. It would be a great trip for the kiddos I think. Looks like you had so much fun.

  7. Reply


    January 24, 2019

    This must be a great adventure for your family, and specifically the kids. Sounds like alot of fun

  8. Reply


    January 24, 2019

    That is so super cool – I am seriously a big kid when it comes to things like this! I would love to explore things like this!

  9. Reply

    Dean of Little Steps

    January 24, 2019

    We’ve never been to the Isle of Wight and I’ve always wanted to visit. We have a friend who has moved down there for a year, and yes, we definitely have an excuse to go! 😉

  10. Reply


    January 24, 2019

    wow that beach alone will keep me occupied for hours! hunting for sea gems and fossils sounds like a great time to me

  11. Reply


    January 24, 2019

    I have only been once on the Isle of Wight, and that was for a business meeting. I definitely need to return and do some fossil hunting.

  12. Reply


    January 24, 2019

    What an awesome experience! As a child, I used to find arrowheads along the Appalachian Trail and it’s so neat to discover history in person!

  13. Reply

    Yeah Lifestyle

    January 24, 2019

    I love visiting the Isle of Wight! How fantastic that a guide has been launched for fossil hunting on the Isle of Wight – fossil hunting is such a fun experience!

  14. Reply

    Jasmine Hewitt

    January 24, 2019

    tis place look like its a lot of fun for kids. maybe one day we’ll make it over there

  15. Reply

    Dennis Littley

    January 24, 2019

    Carisbrooke Castle looks like it would be fun to explore! Isle of Wight sounds like it would be a good place to visit. I’d be interested in the fossil hunting!

  16. Reply


    January 24, 2019

    What fun family friendly activity. Both fun and educational.

  17. Reply

    Chelle Dizon

    January 25, 2019

    Gosh that place looks incredible! It really seems like a great place to visit so you can have fun and enjoy with your family.

  18. Reply

    Catherine Santiago Jose

    January 25, 2019

    I love going places to places, traveling is part of my life and you’ve given me a good place to visit on this post. Such a nice place to visit with the whole family especially with kids, they are going to love and enjoy here.

  19. Reply


    January 25, 2019

    This will definitely have to be on my bucket list for a coming adventure!

  20. Reply

    Tiffany Barry

    January 25, 2019

    I love this! It’s so neat when you can go places with the kids that are fun and have those educational bonuses. They love to learn and play!

  21. Reply


    January 25, 2019

    What an amazing activity for the family! Love it all!

  22. Reply

    Monidipa Dutta

    January 25, 2019

    I have never been there but I would love to be there. Such a lovely place. Seems you had a great time.

  23. Reply


    January 27, 2019

    I have never visited the Isle of Wright! It looks like quite an awesome place! I love that you can take kids there. They really seem to love it!

  24. Reply

    Hola Cheska

    January 28, 2019

    That beach looks so beautiful. Here in Puerto Rico we have “Playuela” o “Playa Sucia” in Cabo Rojo and it is very beautiful. They have similar looks. Wonderful time!

  25. Reply

    Becca Talbot

    February 6, 2019

    What a fab day out for all the family! We used to love the Isle of Wight when we were kids x

  26. Reply

    Becca Talbot

    February 6, 2019

    What a fab day out for all the family! We used to love the Isle of Wight when we were kids! x

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog