So far on our summer holidays – Isle of Wight series, we have visited East Cowes, Blackgang Chine and Ventnor. Now, we’re off to the west coast to visit the famous Needles and Tapnell Farm for some fun.
Date Visited: 12th July 2021
Location: The Needles, Totland Bay and Tapnell Farm, Yarmouth
Getting There: Like the other destinations on Isle of Wight, a nice leisurely drive, slight longer at around 30 minutes from our accommodation in Newport to the edge of Totland Bay for The Needles. It’s then a short drive from Needles to Tapnell Farm.
West side story
Aboard the ferry on the way to Isle of Wight, there were ads on repeat about Tapnell Farm. Usually, we don’t take much noticed as the ones that advertise tend to do so to lure in unexpected tourists. However, after reading positive reviews on Google for it, we decided to head out there and made a day from it. Due to Covid restrictions, we had to pre-book our tickets for Tapnell Farm soft play area for an afternoon session. To burn time in the morning, we decided to check out the famous Needles landmark.
I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I thought it would just be a lookout point towards the rocks. The good news, there was an entire attraction and visitors centre. If you’re driving there, there’s a small charge for parking, but no fee to walk around. There’s a few things to do there if you so wish, but it will cost you for each activity. Mainly targeted for kids, there’s a small carting track, mini-golf, merry-go-round, and amusement arcade. For the more mature visitors, there’s a few gift shops, a candy store where you can also watch them make it, and a glassware manufacturer which Cara enjoyed visiting to see them make vases. There’s also a look out deck and amenities such as bathrooms and a cafe.
The main attraction however is the chairlift. You do have the option to walk up or down the stairs to the shore, but the chairlift is a fun experience. Not for those with acrophobia! It takes you from the top down to the shoreline where you can walk around and explore the area. We spent about 5-10 minutes at the bottom before taking the chairlift back up. After popping in to pick up some sweets, we headed for lunch just as the rain clouds opened up.
Ratings for The Needles Landmark:
Burn Time: 3 out of 5 – Depending on the activities you choose to do, you could spend the entire day here if you wanted to. During out visit to the Needles, we stayed for a couple of hours.
Value: 4 out of 5 – Besides parking if you’re driving, you don’t have to spend anything to visit. It’s only once you add on the extras for the activities like rides, games, chairlift or souvenirs. It is a summer holiday after!
Overall: 4 out of 5 – Nice, quiet part of the Isle of Wight. Great views and feels like you’ve gone back in the past.
We stopped by The Waterfront Bar and Restaurant for lunch before making our way to Tapnell Farm. The reviews for the farm were fantastic and we weren’t disappointed. Within the farm, there’s the aqua park, The Cow restaurant, and lodgings if you so choose to stay on site. We just came for the fun. When we visited, the soft play area required booking with 45 minute slots. Cara had a ball climbing around and there’s plenty of space and refreshments available for the parents. There’s no extra cost for the soft play on top of the standard entrance fee.
Once her time slot was finished, we worked our way through the other activities. First off, the obligatory visit to the pets. Goats, mice, bunnies, guinea pigs and ferrets. Cara loved the furry guinea pigs. We then wandered into the barn for some hay play, pedal carts and trampolining. Lots of trampolining. With the sun still out, Cara skipped over to the outside climbing frames and air trampoline for more bouncing. There’s also a mini-sledge and football area. Something for everyone!
To catch her breath, we made a short walk to check out some more animals. Donkeys, pigs and an unexpected surprise, wallabies. Random. The best part of all is that you get to feed them as they roam wild in their own little enclosure. Mind the poop. We then went around the farm again, inspected the guinea pigs to make sure they were still there, and spent another 15 minutes on the trampoline. We also played in the sand pit, beach area next to the aqua park. Building sand castles for 10 minutes before it started to rain, we then headed back into the barn for the reliable trampoline. It’s a great farm because although it bucketed down outside, we were able to stay dry and continue to have fun. Similar to Peppa Pig World, we stayed until closing time!
Ratings for Tapnell Farm:
Burn Time: 5 out of 5 – If this was open 24 hours, I’m sure we’d still be there. .
Value: 5 out of 5 – For the variety of play, great value.
Overall: 5 out of 5 – Loads of fun and memories at Tapnell Farm. Great way to spend the day on the Isle of Wight.
Is there anything similar to Tapnell Farm closer to London? If so, let us know below as we’d love to visit!
Be sure to check out the other posts of our 2021 summer holidays below:
And some other summer holidays ideas from previous years: