Things to Do in Brading on the Isle of Wight

things to do in Brading

Things To Do in Brading

One of the Island’s most charming and historic towns, Brading offers a host of unique activities for visitors. From a visit to the Roman Villa to a walk across Brading Marshes RSPB Reserve, there is something for everyone.

When visiting Brading, be sure to pack comfortable shoes for walking the streets and exploring historic buildings. You will also want to bring a camera to capture all the stunning scenery and beautiful architecture.

1. Visit the Roman Villa

Located in Brading on the Isle of Wight, this is one of the most important Roman villa sites in Britain. Its beautifully conserved mosaic floors illustrate the wealth and sophistication of the Romans who lived here.

The villa was first excavated in 1879 by Mr Munns, a farmer who struck some tiles while digging holes for a sheep pen. His discovery was soon augmented by Captain Thorp, and the site eventually became a full-scale Roman villa with a range of impressive mosaics.

Today, the villa is protected in an ecological cover building that serves as a museum and also reveals the landscape of the archaeological area. It’s a great place to bring the kids and learn about Roman life. The villa is home to some of the best preserved mosaic floors in Northern Europe.

2. Walk the Down

The Down is a local nature reserve with stunning panoramic views and a wealth of habitats to explore. It is the home of many chalkland plants and butterflies and is an important site for the raptor species.

Leaving the west-most car park you can walk along Brading Down Road and across the wetlands of Brading Marshes. The path through the wetlands can be quite muddy in winter. You will then come to a junction, take the path that goes downhill towards Centurion’s Copse.

This is a lovely walk with some very steep slopes, but it is suitable for most abilities. There are two site Information Pillars with a QR code that links to an audible description creating a mind’s eye view of the site for visually impaired visitors.

3. Visit the Marshes RSPB Reserve

Once used as a military firing range, the Marshes is now a nature reserve with something for everyone. It’s home to breeding wading birds in spring and summer and during winter, large flocks of wild ducks. There’s also a cafe, boardwalks and wheelchair access.

You can walk gently along the trails, past woodlands of birch and heath, or over open grazing marshes. Flocks of wigeon can be seen here in winter, while cetti’s warblers are recent colonists of the UK and breed on the reserve.

You can also spot harriers, kestrels and water voles. The reserve is free to visit and the cafe is open throughout the day. You can also book tours and admission tickets online.

4. Take a Tour of Brading Castle

Brading’s castle is one of the most impressive and intriguing sights on the Isle of Wight. It’s a historic landmark that has many features to see and explore including a museum, ruins, and other special displays. It also has a picnic area where you can spread out a blanket to enjoy a meal with your family.

The castle is a great place to learn about the history of the island and how it was once an important port town. The museum and ruins of the castle will make you feel like you are stepping back in time. Other sights to see include the Brading Experience Wax Works and Museum and the Roman Villa. There are also plenty of historic buildings, beaches, and hiking areas in the area.

5. Visit the Museum

Brading’s Museum features one of Britain’s best Roman Villas, a meadow trail and garden plus the Lilliput Doll and Toy Museum. The town’s Roman Villa is a designated site of special scientific interest and offers visitors a unique insight into life on the 3rd Century Roman island.

A throwback to the past, the Brading Experience Waxworks is reopening this weekend (11th March) after 8 years. Visitors will be able to rekindle their childhood memories of this famous attraction that once stood in the High Street of Brading.

The quaint little historic market town of Brading sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s a favourite with visitors who enjoy walks, the vista from Brading Down and bird watching at the Brading Marshes RSPB Reserve.

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