As the county town of the Isle of Wight, Newport is the busiest and most bussling town on the Island and home to a fantastic array of shops, pubs, bars, cafes, attractions and other places to enjoy.
If it's a spot of retail therpay that you're after, Newport is the shopping centre of the Isle of Wight. There's a wonderful mix of large chain stores that everyone recognises that sit alongside a number of independent shops. The retail stores are spread across Newport's two main squares, Newport High Street and a few small side streets such as Watchbell lane and Scarrots lane where you can find wonderful shops such as My House and With Love Betty.
Shopping is also on the cards at the weekly Farmers' Market which is helf in St Thomas' Square on a Friday where you can find some excellent local produce from local farmers, producers and bakers.
When your legs get tired from all the walking in and out of shops, there are plenty of places where you can relax and enjoy somewhere to eat. Treat yourself to a full pub lunch at the Bargeman's Rest where you're greeted with beautiful views out across Newport Quay, St George's Inn in the centre of town or the Castle Inn which is noted as one of the Isle of Wight's most haunted pubs! If you're after a relaxing cup of tea and a sandwich, there are some great cafes in Newport including independents like French Franks and Cafe Isola as well as big names such as Love Coffee, Costa and soon to be Starbucks.
Newport is also home to plenty of attractions including the Museum of Island History which is based in the traditional Town Hall, the Quay Arts Centre which has a eclectic mix of exhibitions and performances and the Military History Museum where you can experience live tank displays. If it's history you'd like to experience, Newport Roman Villa is open to the public with some wonderful displays of Roman life and Carisbrooke Castle sits overlooking the town where Charles I was once held as prisoner before his execution. The castle is now run by English Heritage and is a great educational attraction.
On the outskirts of Newport sit a number of other places to visit including Arreton Barns where you can watch local craftspeople at work, Robin Hill Adventure Park and Gardens, Butterfly World, the Owl and Monkey Haven and Isle of Wight Lavendar. For something a little bit different, the Postal Museum which sits just outside the town centre is quite possibly the largest collection of vintage postal eqipment and post boxes in the world!
There are plenty of outdoor spaces to relax in too like Church Litten next to Newport Library and Seaclose Park which plays host to the world-famous Isle of Wight Festival one weekend every year, bringing thousands of visitors to the town to enjoy great music and entertainment.
With so much to do and see, Newport is the ideal palce to start any exploration of the Isle of Wight and it's excellent transport links from the bus station means it's easily accessed from anywhere on the Island.