Below we have given links to two videos to whet your appetite for your holiday!
More on England's Largest Island
The Isle of Wight (or The Island as it is known locally), is approximately 25 miles East to West and 13 miles North to South so you’re never more than a few miles from the sea. It has 57 miles of coastline (or 69 miles if you’re following the IoW coast path) and over 500 miles of walks. Just over half of the island’s 148 square miles have been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and in June 2019 the whole island was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (whatever that is!)
The coastline varies enormously from towering cliffs to river estuaries, secluded coves for rock-pooling and beautiful sandy beaches perfect for sun-bathing. There are vast windswept swathes of sand perfect for dog walking and marinas full of boats if you prefer to gaze longingly at the wealth of others. Odd facts; some parts of the North coast get 4 high tides a day! Whilst often thought part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight is England’s smallest county...but only at high tide! Once the tide falls back to its lowest, the county of Rutland reclaims its mantle.
Since the 19th century, when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osbourne House, the Island has been a popular holiday and short break destination. That trend continues today with up to 300 ferry crossings a day helping an annual 2.5 million visitors to start their holiday adventure. After Queen Victoria’s death in 1901 Osbourne House was given to the nation and has been one of the island’s favourite tourist destinations ever since.
Nowadays the island is as well known for its other attractions:
- Isle of Wight Festival...the infamous 1970 festival was attended by an estimated 600,000 people and was to be the last performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival takes place annually in June, see isleofwightfestival.com/ for line up and booking details.
- Cowes Regatta...better known as Cowes Week, now nearly 200 year’s old, it’s the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world. See visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/cowes-week-p1464171 for more information.
- The Needles...the world’s first radio station was set up by Marconi, where the Needles Battery is located, in 1897. In the following year, the first paid telegram (then called a Marconigram!) was sent from there. See theneedles.co.uk/
- Red Squirrels...with no grey squirrels, the island is the largest haven in England for these delightful mammals. Did you know that you’ll only see them with ear tufts in the winter? iowredsquirreltrust.co.uk/
- Garlic...do you know the UK’s biggest garlic producing region? You’ve guessed it, the island; producing 150 tons a year The Garlic Farm in Newchurch is a must for, well, anything garlicky really! thegarlicfarm.co.uk/
- Hovercraft...you’ve probably seen (and heard) the hovercraft arrive or leave from Ryde seafront but did you know that it’s the last remaining commercial hovercraft service…(Jeremy Clarkson impression at the ready)…in the world? visitisleofwight.co.uk/information/product-catch-all/isle-of-wight-hovercraft-hovertravel-p146451