It’s around this time of year that the majority of the Isle of Wight’s tourist attractions shut up shop for the winter. A fair few stay open all year round (see our winter guide) but most decide to put the lid back on the mint choc chip and have a holiday themselves.
And let’s be honest, English seaside holidays in winter can be a bit hard going, particularly with children.
However, I’ve confidently said on several occasions that there are significant advantages – such as not seeing another soul, parking for free and the cost being a fraction of summer holidays.
But how much cheaper is it really? I set myself the challenge of finding the cheapest Isle of Wight holiday for a week, for a family of four (two adults, two children). I assumed both children were pre-school so could travel in term time.
In the height of summer I've seen return ferry fares as high as £200 for a car full of people, although there are usually discounts if you do a bit of research and aren't rigidly stuck to one time. I searched for a week in late November 2016 and found Red Funnel offering a week on the Island with a car for £62.04, once you'd factored in a discount code.
I reckon you could get that cheaper if another offer came along, as I've certainly paid less than that in winter, but let's plough on (there was a £50 return offer a while ago, and there's a £35 short break offer which has been running for a while - see our ferries guide). Wightlink was slightly more expensive on this occasion.
And what about accommodation?
If you're completely barmy then you could try camping in November at Nodes Point for £39 for a week. It says you could bring up to 6 people, although you'd have lost a couple to frostbite by the end of the week.
If you're slightly less mad, you can get a bronze caravan for up to six people for £193 (at Nodes Point). Even if there are only four of you that works out as £6.89 each per night.
So, your grand total for the week is £255.03 for 4 people.
The cheapest equivalent holiday in August came out as £807 for the accommodation and £145 for the ferry - a total of £952.
So, how much cheaper is an Isle of Wight holiday in winter? Well, based on my 10 minute study, I'd say about £700.
Right, where are my long johns? I'm off on holiday...
If you want more on low cost hotels, holiday parks and camping on the Isle of Wight, we've got a guide to the Isle of Wight's cheapest accommodation.
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog