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Families, sorted. Three of the best beaches on the Isle of Wight – Shanklin, Ventnor and Sandown – are a swift drive from Rookley Caravan Park, as is the hootingly good fun of theme park Blackgang Chine, the favourite Isle of Wight activity of tasteful Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint. Sister theme park Robin Hill Adventure Park and Gardens is also within a few miles as the crow flies, and the waterfalls of Shanklin Chine ravine, and the farmers’ market of Newport…we do love compact little isles like Wight.
All is caw-some on site at Rookley too: 23 acres of smart parkland crammed with activities and entertainment – indoor and outdoor heated pools (free); family entertainment lounge for kids and up (also free), a kids’ playground and bike hire to pedal off into the 12-mile Sunshine Trail running through nearby Godshill village.
Anglers have two fishing lakes full of freshwater specimens such as pike, carp, perch, tench, bream and roach. (Please bring your own fishing gear and remember to pick up a fishing licence from the Post Office before you line things up.)
Island eats – and drinks – are sorted at the on-site bar, restaurant and takeaway, with many more options available in the pubs, cafés and restaurants of Godshill ‘model’ village about a mile away.
(Please note that entertainment doesn't run from November to March inclusive.)
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Many sites set a maximum occupancy of 6/8 people per pitch, so try breaking your booking down into smaller groups to generate more results. For example, if you’re a group of 10, enter 5 people in your initial search and then book 2 pitches.
However, where the pitch or accommodation occupancy allows it, you can make a booking for up to 30 adults and 30 children in one booking.
To book multiple pitches or accommodation, use the 'Special requests' box on the booking page to ask to be sited together. Complete the booking form for the first booking (you can add a password and save your card so that we remember your details). Then click "Make another booking like this" at the top of the confirmation page to make the next booking.
Large groups: check the listing page for any group restrictions set out in the terms and section titled ‘Please note’.
Large tents/caravans: check the restrictions on unit dimensions to ensure your unit is suitable for the space you will be provided with.
Leisure on site
Bar or club house
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
Amenities on site
Ice pack freezing
Parent & baby washroom
Pick-up from public transport
Gas cylinders available
Touring and motorhomes
Commercial vehicles allowed
Dogs allowed all year
Lake and/or mountain
Leave the car at home
Cycle hire nearby
Horse riding nearby
Indoor pool nearby
Outdoor pool nearby
Single-sex groups welcome
Student groups welcome
Public transport nearby
Large (51-200 pitches)
- Coach stations
Southsea: Clarence Pier Coach Stop — 12.1 miles
12.1 miles Portsmouth: The Hard Interchange — 12.5 miles
12.5 miles Portsmouth: Southsea Coach Stop — 12.8 miles
- Train stations
Shanklin Rail Station — 4.5 miles
4.5 miles Lake (Isle of Wight) Rail Station — 4.9 miles
4.9 miles Sandown Rail Station — 5.1 miles
- Ferry ports
Fishbourne IOW Ferry Terminal — 6.2 miles
6.2 miles East Cowes Floating Bridge — 7.3 miles
7.3 miles West Cowes Floating Bridge — 7.3 miles
Southampton Airport — 20.9 miles
20.9 miles Bournemouth International Airport — 25.8 miles
From ferry terminals, follow directions to Newport. At Coppins Bridge roundabout in Newport, follow the directions to Sandown (A3020); take the turning on the left to Blackwater Road (A3020); enter the village of Rookley and pass the Co-op store on your right. We are approximately 200 yards on the left.
Godshill village was the venue for the very first Isle of Wight festival way back in 1968 and is now best known for its model village, a 1:10 scale of it and the old village of Shanklin. (Such is its detail that it has the model village modelled within the model, and one within that…we wish you great amusement introducing this concept to the kids.)
The village has a couple of very decent family pubs, both seventeenth century: the Taverners with a play area and terrace in the garden (dogs welcome too), and the Griffin, with what we think might be unique in the UK: a griffin-shaped maze in its grounds (Harry Potter fans in particular will consider this magic). Once stomachs are lined, three musts are nearby: the aforementioned Blackgang Chine and Robin Hill Adventure Park, and ancient Carisbrooke Castle, possibly dating back to Roman times and where Charles I was kept prisoner before he lost his head.
Both Blackgang and Robin Hill are Isle of Wight institutions and beautifully bonkers in their mix of activities: expect land, water and pirate barrel rides; mazes, giant snakes and ladders and themed playgrounds for toddlers and up. Both have a considerable countryside and wildlife bent too and include falconry displays, environmental exhibitions and woodland gardens with butterfly garden and Treehouse Woodland Centre at Robin Hill. If the kids are all a flutter after the falconry at Robin Hill, more of the same can be had at the Isle of Wight Falconry Centre at Appuldurcombe House.
South from Rookley Country Park, Ventnor, Shanklin and Sandown are clean, safe and family-friendly beaches stretching for miles and all with seaside amusements for indoors and out. The Isle of Wight Zoo, stonkasaurus Dinosaur Isle, the Garlic Farm, vintage beach huts, freshly caught fish for sale and ye olde shoppes will all be found along these stretches (although do leave a day or two to go north to comely Cowes too).
Westwards, another very-must-do is The Needles Park and beach chairlift at Alum Bay’s multi-coloured sand cliffs (do look down) and the walk along the beach to Alum Bay Chine. The Isle of Wight Coast Path loops through here – as it does all along the coastline – and is part of around 70 miles of coastline and around 500 miles of footpaths to pedal and walk.
- Carisbrooke Castle (2.9 miles)
- Isle of Wight Steam Railway (4.6 miles)
- Blackgang Chine (4.6 miles)
- Brighstone Shop and Museum (5.2 miles)
- Mottistone Manor Garden (6.3 miles)
Find local routes on the National Cycle Network - over 12,000 miles of cycling routes.