Isle of Wight Hidden Heroes

Cowes Maritime Museum

cowes maritime museum

You can see Uffa Fox’s dinghy, Avenger and models of vessels built by J. Samuel White & Co Ltd of Cowes. Entrance to Cowes Maritime Museum is free of charge.

The Museum has an extensive photographic and paper archive depicting yachting and the shipbuilding industry in Cowes. The reserve collection is held within the museum store and is accessible by appointment only.

If you require more information about the archive collection of Cowes Maritime Museum please contact the Curator of Human History by using the telephone number listed.

The museum is situated within Cowes Library, which also houses a collection of maritime related books.

Quay Arts

Quay Arts

Quay Arts is one of the most exciting and widely supported arts centres in the south of England.

Whether you are just visiting the Isle of Wight or live here all year round, there is plenty of things to do, see and hear at the Quay Arts. Great fun for kids and adults alike. Check out our fantastic programme of music, visual arts, film, comedy, family events, workshops and courses.

Come along to the free concerts, free art exhibitions, and enjoy world-class entertainment in some of the best live venues on the south coast of England.

Two galleries give you the chance to discover the diversity of Island talent and established international artists on show at Quay Arts. On the first floor, the Clayden Gallery is an excellent space to see and buy work from local artists as well as work by schools, colleges and collectives.

Major exhibitions are held in the West Gallery. This spectacular space never fails to delight, challenge and surprise. Recent shows include Turner Prize winner Martin Creed and artists in residence at Jubilee Stores.

The award-winning Café Bar at Quay Arts is one of the best places to eat on the Island. Come and explore our wide selection of daily specials, freshly prepared in our kitchen, using locally sourced seasonal produce.

Our menu includes vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free dishes that will excite your taste buds and give you ideas to try at home. You will also find the yummiest cakes and some of the best tea and coffee you’ve ever tasted. In a welcoming environment with free Wifi, a book exchange in the corner and art on the walls.

Explore Quay Arts

Newport Roman Villa

newport roman villa

When the owners of a nearby house sank new foundations for a garage in 1926, they discovered something that they found to be unusual.

It was the site of a Roman farmhouse that had been built around the year 280 AD.

Subsequent excavations revealed that this was a major find and told archaeologists more about the Roman way of life on the Isle of Wight.

The restoration team has painstakingly recreated scenes within the villa, and also outside by recreating a Roman herb garden as it would have been nearly 2000 years ago. There is an education room with family activities too.

Explore Newport Roman Villa

Museum of Island History

Museum of Island History

The Museum of Island History at the historic Guildhall on Newport High Street provides a fascinating exploration of Island history from the time of the dinosaurs to the present day.

The Museum provides a fascinating exploration of Island history from the time of the dinosaurs to the present day.

Visitors can view incredible objects highlighting the Island’s diverse historical past; including hands-on displays and the latest archaeological finds, as well as visit a range of exciting, changing exhibitions throughout the year.

Explore the Museum of Island History

Classic Boat Museum

Columbine Building

We are looking forward to your visit at the Classic Boat Museum Gallery when we are sure you will enjoy, learn and come to understand the quintessential Cowes story told through its maritime heritage.

The Boat Shed
The new location for The Boat Shed in West Cowes will complement the existing museum located in East Cowes.

The Boat Shed is now open for visitors on Tuesdays and Fridays (10-4pm). Find out how to get there.

Explore the Classic Boat Museum Gallery

Explore the Classic Boat Museum Boat Shed

Dinosaur Isle

Dinosaur Isle

Dinosaur Isle is Britain’s first purpose-built dinosaur museum and visitor attraction, displaying over 1,000 of the best fossils from its collections.

An introductory exhibition gallery covers the geology and fossils of the Isle of Wight in a walk back through time, taking the visitor from the Ice Age of the recent past, back to the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs lived. This leads to the large dinosaur gallery, which has exciting displays including real fossils, skeletal re-constructions, life-sized fleshed re-constructions and animatronic dinosaurs.

Dinosaur Isle is an all-year-round facility, combining entertainment, education and enjoyment. Displays use clever lighting, artwork, sound, smells and animatronic technology to create an exciting experience. As well as the displays, there is a working laboratory on view, and a room set aside for learning sessions.

We are located next to the sandy beach at Sandown, within a short distance of the excellent geological exposures at Yaverland.

Dimbola Museum & Galleries

Dimbola Museum and Galleries

Dimbola was the home of the celebrated Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron.

It is now a Museum and Gallery dedicated to her life and work, which also showcases contemporary exhibitions from photographers around the globe.

Dimbola Museum and Galleries is also home to Julia’s Tearoom renowned for its high-quality locally-sourced food, tempting homemade cakes, and delicious cream teas. You can enjoy these in our cosy tearoom, once the salon of Julia Margaret Cameron and where she entertained guests, or in our pretty, sunny garden with views to Freshwater Bay and the sea.

Don’t forget to visit our Gift Shop. It is open 10am-4pm Tuesday-Sunday, we sell a range of gifts, books, card and items relating to Julia Margaret Cameron.

Carisbrooke Castle Museum

carisbrooke castle museum

Carisbrooke Castle Museum is an Accredited local history museum run by an independent Charitable Trust, sited within a medieval castle in the care of English Heritage. It was founded in 1898 by HRH Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter, as a memorial to her husband, Prince Henry of Battenberg.

The Museum cares for some 27,000 items connected with the Isle of Wight, including social history, medieval history, King Charles I, ecclesiastical history, costume, military history, photographs, paintings, decorative art, ephemera, and documents.

Explore the museum