Why Visit the Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is an island county, located in the English Channel, approximately 3 miles off the UK South Coast. With approximately 57 miles of coastline, a variety of interesting towns and villages and an incredibly diverse range of landscapes, the Isle of Wight is often referred to as 'England in Miniature'.
With over half its land mass designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and with a naturally mild climate, the Isle of Wight has been a popular holiday destination since Victorian times. The stretch of water between the mainland and the Isle of Wight is known as the Solent; a vitally important commercial waterway, as well as being a scenic playground for watersports enthusiasts and host to the annual world-famous Cowes Week sailing regatta.
The Isle of Wight is steeped in history and for a brief spell was as an independent kingdom in the 15th century. It was home to the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Queen Victoria built Osborne House, her much loved summer residence at East Cowes. It is also one of the richest locations for dinosaur fossils in Europe and home to many of the UK's last surviving Red Squirrels. The Island also has its own unique species of snail and butterfly.
The Island's maritime and industrial history encompasses boat building, sail making, the manufacture of flying boats, the world's first hovercraft and the testing and development of Britain's space rockets.
The Isle of Wight is home to Cowes Week and the legendary Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970, was one of the largest rock music events ever held. The Isle of Wight also hosts the UK's largest Walking Festival and even has a Garlic Festival where you can taste garlic ice cream, lovely.