Attractions at Fort Victoria
Fort Victoria Country Park is the Isle of Wight's largest and most popular country park, owned and managed by us. It is a great place to visit and experience the Island's unique ecosystems.
Fort Victoria attractions
Privately run attractions at Fort Victoria are open to the public throughout the summer season. Countryside staff work closely with businesses, particularly when providing education services to schools and other groups visiting the Fort.
Visit our Education and Outdoor Learning page for more information.
If you’d like to enquire about group bookings, contact us or visit the Fort Victoria country park website.
To make a school group booking, you can complete our online application form.
Main attractions at Fort Victoria
Attractions have their own individual opening times and prices. You can find out more on the website or by calling the phone numbers provided.
- Reptilarium and Terrapin Sanctuary, phone 01983 761582
- Island Planetarium, phone 01983 761555
- Fort Victoria Model Railway, phone 01983 761553
Verdi’s Café, phone 01983 761777
There are also gift shops with Island artworks and the HMS Gladiator exhibition. Some of these attractions are only open during the summer.
We have installed three purpose-built barbeques for family or small group use at Fort Victoria. At peak times, the barbeque facilities are in great demand. Reserve your place by booking in advance.
- Family barbeques (up to 12 people) – there is no charge for the use of the barbeques for small parties, but the barbeques cannot be booked if you choose this option. Also, you may have to share the site with others or wait your turn. It is not necessary to use the booking form for a family barbeque. But, if you do wish to guarantee your place, you can make a party barbeque booking.
- Party barbeques (for 12 to 60 people) – party barbeques can only be authorised by us. Bookings guarantee exclusive use of barbeques required for your party.
- Large parties (more than 60 people) – the Fort can be hired for private events and parties.
Contact us to find out more.
Fort Victoria is a great location for outdoor events.
- To book a BBQ or event, contact the Park Manager on 01983 760860 or by email.
- For onsite catering, contact Verdi's Café. No other caterer is permitted to use the site without prior consent.
- The fort has a room for hire, and there is free parking, toilets, and a green area.
The Corner Room at Fort Victoria Country Park is available for small meetings, craft displays, training workshops etc. The room is a blank space with chairs and tables available so is suitable for a range of purposes.
Cost to hire
- Half-day £15.00
- Full-day £35.00
To find our more about park services, tours, and to hire amenities, contact the Park Ranger on 01983 760860 (May-October only), or contact the Countryside department. You can email us, email@example.com.
Nature activities at Fort Victoria
The park has 22 hectares of woodland, with the Island's Costal Path following the old Military Road running though the park. It is a leisurely walk to Yarmouth from the paths connecting Yarmouth on the eastern side of the Yar Estuary and Totland to the west.
The park has approximately 1km of beach, which is close to the Fort, and its car park and facilities. The sea wall and beach is popular for fishermen and for visitors who enjoy watching the passing yachts and boats. What an excellent place to watch the annual Round the Island Race too. Swimming is not advised due to the fast-flowing currents.
Beachcombing and bird watching
The shore at Fort Victoria has a reputation as one of the Island’s best for beachcombing especially for fossils amongst the shingle with crocodile skin and turtle shell being regularly found. Sconce Point is popular among Island birdwatchers for its seabird passage in the spring and autumn.
With free parking, public conveniences and spectacular views across the Solent towards Hurst Castle and the New Forest National Park, the Country Park also has several attractions in the fort buildings including a marine aquarium, a planetarium, a café, the Underwater Archaeology Centre run by Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology and a model railroad layout display
The Country Park has a ranger base that is manned all year. While the rangers work around the site to look after the Fort, Park and Beach, they are on site to provide information and assistance. In the summer months, the rangers run educational visits for Island and Mainland Schools, with over 1,000 pupils enjoying a school visit to the Country Park every year.
The Country Park featured on the Good Dog Campaign’s list of the top 10 favourite dog walking spots in the UK in 2006. Dog walkers are attracted to the site by the sea views, parking and all-year-round opening. There are no restrictions on dogs in force on the beach at any time of year.
Some of the information on this page links back to our council website (iow.gov.uk)