Isle of Wight Destination Guide
An island of contrasts, this idyllic corner of England ranges from the rolling downs and broad estuaries of the north to the sea-beaten cliffs of the south.
Whether you are looking for a holiday which is energetic or relaxing or a combination of both, the Isle of Wight has something to suit all tastes.
Renowned as a sailing venue, you can try your hand at the sport, play a round of golf, stroll along its 67 miles of coastal path, indulge in fine food and wine in superb restaurants or simply put your feet up by the fire in a country pub.
Select a heading below for more information:
- The events
Isle of Wight Events 2012
The Isle of Wight is host to a variety of events throughout the year and whilst it might be renowned for the sailing, there are a range of other reasons to visit the island.
May - Isle of Wight Walking festival
June - Isle of Wight Festival
June - Yarmouth Old Gaffers Festival
June - Round the Island Yacht Race
July/August - Osborne House Concerts
August - Cowes Week
August - Garlic Festival
September - Cycling Festival
September - Bestival
- The facts
Lying 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire separated by the Solent, the Isle of Wight is a county of England and Englandís biggest island. It is 27 miles long at its widest point.
There are a variety of routes to reach the island, but the car ferry from Portsmouth to Ryde takes around 40 minutes whilst the foot passenger catamaran from Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde takes 22 minutes. A second car ferry route between Lymington in the New Forest and Yarmouth takes 30 minutes.
On an island the size of the Isle of Wight, you wonít be surprised to know that most hotels are no more than 30 minutes from the main ferry ports.
Itís part of England, so you donít need one!
- The place
The Isle of Wight boasts superb scenery and endless variety. With over half the island designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you are guaranteed to be dazzled by its abundance of flora and fauna.
Take in the sights by strolling along some of the 67 mile Coastal Path or the 500 miles of inland footpaths and bridleways. Stunning sandy beaches, several of which have European Blue Flag awards, will tempt you to picnic on a sunny day, whilst the island is renowned as a sailing venue, so water sports opportunities are second to none.
- The sights
The town boasts spectacular views over the long, sandy beach of Sandown Bay, whilst the peaceful Rylstone Gardens will tempt you to linger.
Shanklin Old Village is a chocolate box delight with thatched cottages, tea rooms and quirky shops, where you can while away a pleasant afternoon. Donít miss a visit to Shanklin Chine to admire the gorge with its rare plants and dramatic waterfall.
Famed for its golden sandy beach and traditional seafront with its Victorian pier, the area around the bay is renowned for having the highest concentration of dinosaur fossils.
Take a stroll along the dramatic coastal path and at the little village of Culver, youíll be able to take in the stunning panoramic views over the bay, the east coast and out to sea.
One of Britainís most famous Victorian health resorts, Ventnor is famed for its microclimate. The town is build on a series of zigzag terraces and is steeped in history. Donít miss the peaceful Botanic Gardens Ė a 22 acre tropical paradise.
The gateway to the island boasts several miles of sweeping sandy beach and east of the town, youíll find some interesting coastal villages.
Walk to Seaview, a busy sailing centre or trek to Bembridge, another sailing village with a pretty harbour and beach. The National Trust windmill at Bembridge is the only remaining one on the island.