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Isle of Wight Mini Guide
Why Visit the Isle of Wight?
The largest island off the coast of England, the Isle of Wight has a vast history spanning millennia. The Isle of Wight was once home to the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson and TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh was the High Sheriff of the island in 2008/9.
Where is it and How Can I Get There?
A small island in the English Channel the Isle of Wight is located around three miles off the south coast of Hampshire. The easiest way to get on to the island is from Southsea. There are a number of ferry routes and a hovercraft service. Southampton
and Portsmouth are two of the main points of crossing the Solent.
What’s the Story?
The Isle of Wight is the largest of the islands around England and has been a holiday destination since Victorian times. Until 1890 it was part of Hampshire until it gained independence and became a county in its own right. During World War II it served as an observation post and was used during the beginning of the Normandy landings as a pipeline for fuel.
An Island of Many Attractions
The Isle of Wight Festival is an annual music event that has taken place on the island since the 1960s. There are many other annual events that take place including the Isle of Wight Walking Festival and for those who like the festive season there is the Newport Illuminated Christmas Carnival which celebrates the start of the Christmas season.
If you are feeling fit then why not take part in the United Kingdom’s oldest Marathon? First run in 1957 the Isle of Wight Marathon treks through the main towns on the island before finishing at the starting point in Ryde. If running a marathon is too much hard work then there are other things to do including the Amazon World Zoo or the Botanical Gardens at Ventnor.
Hiring a Car
Despite being an island, there are 787km of roads on the Isle of Wight with the main road linking the island towns and smaller roads to the numerous villages. There are many places of interest on the island including Fort Victoria and Yarmouth Castle.
Shopping and Entertainment
As with most places there are big name stores but on the Isle of Wight there is a wonderful range of small boutiques, antique stores and small family run shops so you will be hard pressed not to find something interesting to buy.
Heading out to smaller villages on the Isle of Wight is a great way to find some wonderful places to eat. The Fisherman’s Cottage in Shanklin has a mixture of hot and cold food and is located on the beach. The nightlife is mainly concentrated in Newport but there are other clubs like Balcony in Ryde or Colonel Bogey’s in Sandown.
- Cowes Week 2012 is on between 11th - 18th August and promises plenty of racing action on the waves. There are usually around 1,000 boats competing, 8,500 competitors and it attracts over 100,000 visitors. Let's hope the weather behaves itself for the event!
26/02/13 - This years' Isle of Wight Festival, one of the UK's biggest, is to be held on a long weekend from the 13th to the 16th June. Last year severe flooding caused chaos but the organisers are hoping for better luck this year!