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Discover Secret Wight this February half term

25th January 2011 Print
Isle of Wight

With 10 Secret Wight discovery challenges to choose from, parents booking a half term break to the Isle of Wight with Wightlink can set out on foot to find wild landscape, monster vegetation covering huge expanses of rock pools, Britain's oldest lighthouse and even the elusive red squirrel.

The ideal guide for an adventurous half term holiday, Secret Wight includes a series of off-the-beaten-track family adventures - loved by locals but hardly known to visitors, and all free of charge!

To make the most out of a Secret Wight half term trip, cross-Solent ferry operator, Wightlink has come up with a trio of packages to choose from - all under £500 for a family of four - from a five-star holiday park to self-catering in a converted farm building or log cabin.

Close to one of the Island's great beauty spots, Newtown Estuary, The Orchards in Newbridge is Wightlink's top choice for a pound-stretching family staycation this half term. Set within 15 acres of countryside with indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools and a children's play area, one-week at the holiday park costs from just £220 for a family of four (£55pp). Departing on 19 February, the Wightlink Green Getaways holiday includes return car ferry crossings from Portsmouth or Lymington and seven nights in an onsite Holiday Caravan - complete with toilet, shower, fridge, TV, cooker and microwave.

SECRET WIGHT: Head to nearby Parkhurst Forest and go nuts to find an elusive red squirrel on a two-mile 'Squirrel Safari' woodland trail, or walk over water on the Bridge of Adventure at Newtown Estuary to see the wild landscape of mudflats, salt marsh and ancient woodlands.

If the idea of hiding away in deepest countryside with only cows for neighbours appeals, stay at one of the Isle of Wight's secret gems: Gotten Manor. Set in a sheltered hollow at the foot of St Catherine's Down in South Wight, the self-catering two-bedroom Cart House is an ideal base for a family on a Secret Wight holiday. Departing on 18 February, a one-week Wightlink Green Getaways holiday costs £496 for a family of four (£124pp) including return car ferry crossings from Portsmouth or Lymington.

SECRET WIGHT: A footpath leads from Gotten Manor up to the Hoy Monument and on to the old lighthouse, Pepper Pot - the two towers to discover on the Towers of Adventure challenge. The towers share a strange, other-worldly quality - one looking like a medieval rocket ship and the other like a homing beacon to attract aliens.

For a half term adventure close to the water, families can make the most of the east coast with a self-catering break at Harbour Farm Lodge, set within an RSPB Nature Reserve in Bembridge. Part of the Isle of Wight Farm & Country Holiday Group, the log cabin sleeps four in two bedrooms and has a fully-equipped kitchen, sitting room and verandah overlooking a lake. Departing on 18 February, a one-week Wightlink holiday costs from £416 for a family of four (£104pp) including self-catering accommodation and return car ferry crossings from Portsmouth or Lymington.

SECRET WIGHT: A short walk will take families to the beach, where at low tide there are a vast number of rock pools to explore on the Ledge of Adventure - home to a multitude of curious creatures and other-worldly marine algae. Discover what the waters reveal and look out for porcelain crabs, sea anemones and periwinkles.

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Isle of Wight