A couple of weeks ago, we were invited over to the Isle of Wight to go and check out Island View Holidays Rookley Park. This was our first trip to the Isle of Wight, and I’d definitely go back. It’s a beautiful and really family friendly destination, and with the ferry ride being only 30 minutes from the south coast, the overall journey time from London came in at under 3 hours making it do-able even as a weekend break.
Rookley Park is located right in the middle of the Isle of Wight, meaning that it’s really handy to get to any of the attractions that you want to visit, without a very long drive whatever side of the island the attraction is on. We found that really handy with the kids, and the Isle of Wight is fairly compact anyway so you can get around easily without needing to spend a lot of time on travel.
The focal point at Rookley Park are the two scenic fishing lakes, one right next to the main entertainment building, and there’s another beside some of the cottages. It’s really picturesque and overall the site has a calm and tranquil feel – while at the same time having the facilities and activities that you need with kids.
Rookley Park Accommodation
Rookley Park has recently been taken over by Aria Resorts who have already invested 3million in upgrading to accommodation to luxury standards, with more investment yet to come! The new lake houses look gorgeous, and the cottages offer plenty of room for a larger family. We stayed in a three bed cosy cottage with a hot tub. Some of the cottages have already been refurbished whereas some have not, so you can either book one of the new ones for a more premium feel or grab a bargain by booking one of the older cottages for their last summer as all of them will have been upgraded by next year. There are also new luxury caravans on the site, if you prefer that.
Although our cosy cottage had not yet been renovated, we were still comfy and happy in that accomodation. I was very happy with the size of it – spread over two floors with decent sized living space – as with four children I really like to be able to spread out a bit on holiday, and not have everyone on top of each other. I would love to visit again and see how the same cottage will be after renovation, as from the pictures I saw it looks like it will be beautiful!
The hot tub in the garden was a huge hit with the boys, and with me! It was actually my first time in a hot tub and now I’m going to be hoping for one wherever we stay as it was such great fun, and really handy to have that right there for the kids to enjoy as we arrived after our journey.
Rookley Park Activities
Rookley Park have recently added their activities programme for kids. They have various crafts with a take home element, so you can tie die a t-shirt to take home with you, or make some sand art. There are also nature activities around the lake, and pool volley ball in the swimming pool, which was my kids favourite thing.
The activities are available for a small extra price per child and there will be a limit on how many kids can take part in each session. We did our activities on the Sunday were really lucky to get the sessions to our selves, which meant it was very relaxing just like a private session, and was a nice way to chill out for a while in contrast to rushing around seeing all of the sights which we’d done the day before.
The boys really enjoyed making the sand sculptures, and T brought his back to school for show and tell to share about his holiday.
I’d say this activity would suit for around 3-4 years and upwards so N was too little to try it, but there are plenty of toys in the activity room which younger ones can just play with while the older ones are busy crafting.
There’s also a kids disco on the weekend evenings, which they all enjoyed, and there’s an on site restaurant for breakfast lunch and dinner with a playground outside so kids can play and run around while waiting for your food to come.
It was a great location for a laid back family friendly trip.
Isle of Wight Activities
As well as spending time at Rookley Park, you would definitely want to go out and explore the Island. During our weekend, we managed to fit in Blackgang Chine, Osborne House and Carisbrooke Castle – the latter two both being part of English Heritage so we could go in free with our memberships, which is great!
Blackgang Chine is the oldest theme park in the UK, and makes a brilliant day out for kids of all ages. Our gang ranging from 1-9 all found plenty to enjoy here.
For the little ones, the new underwater themed area which has been added this year is really magical, and for the older ones the roller coaster was their favourite.
There’s also plenty for dinosaur lovers of all ages, a wild west themed play area which is very different to anything we’ve seen elsewhere, a great pirate play area, and lots more.
Osborne House was the favourite home of Queen Victoria and Albert, which we found really interesting to see, and is quite educational for kids. We would have liked to spend a full day there, as there’s even a private beach within the grounds, which we didn’t have chance to visit – so hopefully we will make it back in future!
Both of these places were within half an hour drive from Rookley Park (in opposite directions) and Carisbrooke Castle is even closer – around ten minutes away!
It’s a great castle with plenty of interactive elements to get kids interested, like dressing up, a donkey show, and there’s a little museum within its grounds too.
The nearest seaside to Rookley Park is Shanklin Chine and the nearest village is Godshill. We didn’t get time to go to the beach during our time, as we only had the weekend but did go through the village of Godshill for a look and it is really picturesque. With the Island being compact in size though, if you have a particular favourite beach on the Isle of Wight then any of them would be pretty accessible from Rookley Park.
Book Your Trip
We had a great time in the Isle of Wight, and Rookley Park was a great location for exploring the island, as well as offering activities for the kids to enjoy on site too.
Use the code PLAYROOM20 to get 20% off your holiday at Rookley Park via the Island View Holidays website
Terms & conditions: Online bookings only. For new bookings only. Subject to availability. Cannot be combined with any other offer. For stays at Rookley Park only. Valid for stays between 1 June 2018 and 31 August 2018. Must be booked by 14th June 2018. Offer code PLAYROOM20 must be quoted with booking. These terms may change at any time without notice.