Godshill is the quintessential English Village boasting some of the oldest buildings on the island. Dominating the village and visible for miles around, is the delightful medieval church of All Saints. Scattered beneath are the charming thatched-roofed cottages and a narrow high street, traditional tearooms, interesting small shops and a world-renowned model village. This picture-postcard village throws you back to bygone eras making it a ‘must visit’ destination for both young and old. Its more modern claim to fame is that, within its parish, the first ever Isle of Wight Festival took place at Ford Farm in 1968 – now over 50 years ago!
Godshill has a little something for just about everyone who takes advantage of the free car park and heads up the main street taking in the little passageways and side roads. With probably more traditional tearooms than any other village on the Isle of Wight, Godshill offers an interesting range of shops where you will find local crafts and produce of just about every imaginable kind. The major attraction, right on the High Street, is the Model Village, spread over more than an acre, a labour of love for the family and descendants of Robin Thwaites for well over half a century. The medieval All Saints Church is the most visited on the island and the short but steep climb up either the old steps or the gentler Church Hollow road will reward you with a wonderful site to behold.
Whether you are looking for a pint of local ale, a traditional cream tea or a top quality lunch or evening meal there is an excellent selection to be had in Godshill. The tearooms are of worldwide renown and for many, reason alone for visiting the village. The local pubs are family, dog, walker and cyclist friendly, with many of the characteristics you’d expect to find in an ‘olde-worldy’ location – the food is both top quality and award-winning.
This website tells you most about what Godshill has to offer and is open 24/7! For those wishing to pick up a leaflet or two about attractions in and around the village or somewhat further afield on the island, the village store/post office is the place to visit. They act as the local tourist information point. They are open most of the week but, unfortunately, close at 1pm on Saturdays and do not open on Sundays. Besides a range of free leaflets and brochures there are more detailed maps and guides which can be purchased. This Godshill Tourist Information Point is in the Post Office which is on the High Street opposite the Model Village, Woods Kitchen and Chocolate Island.
Being near the centre of the Island, two bus routes, 2 and 3, pass through the village, northwards to Newport, south and east to Ventnor, Shanklin and Sandown and further afield to Ryde. If you are travelling by car, you are only 6 miles from Newport and the coastal towns of Ventnor, Shanklin and Sandown are between 4 and 6 miles away, Bembridge, Ryde, East Cowes and Cowes are all just 10 miles distant, with Yarmouth and the Needles out west at about 16 miles away.
If you are looking for centrally located accommodation for your Isle of Wight holiday then Godshill and surrounding villages is the perfect location. Close enough to the main towns for all the national shops and facilities you might require and also close enough to the countryside and coast to enjoy the scenic and fun sides of the Isle of Wight. Self-catering is the most popular form of accommodation and you will find most of those in Godshill and close by listed on this website here.
Godshill is one of the ancient parishes that existed before the compilation of the Domesday Book in 1086. The first recorded spelling was Godeshulle. The hill on which the church stands was once a place of pagan worship and legend tells that the building of a church was begun at the foot of the hill but that on three successive nights the stones were removed unseen to the site of the present church. Work was restarted on the first two mornings but on the third day it was assumed that God wished the church to be built on the hill, hence the name Godshill. All Saints Church, the largest medieval church on the island, dates largely from the 14th century and is the fourth on this site. It is renowned for its mid-15th century mural of the Lily Cross, the only one in the UK. Painted over during the Reformation, it was rediscovered in 1842. The cluster of cottages by the church are reputed to have been built in the 15th century, possibly to house the masons rebuilding the church. The railways arrived in 1875 but ceased running through Godshill in 1952 when the Merstone to Ventnor West line was closed under Dr Beeching. Godshill’s famous tearooms probably pre-date the motor car. Princess Beatrice, daughter of Queen Victoria, brought her daughter, Queen Ena of Spain, to take tea at the Griffin. During World War 2, British soldiers were billeted at the Hollies in the High Street whilst Italian prisoners-of-war were housed at Godshill Park. Whilst the village of Godshill is famous as a tourist destination, the majority of the parish is farmland. CLICK/TAP HERE for the history page.