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Isle of Wight   For Seaside Holidays and Trips to the Coast

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Overview Video of Isle of Wight

Welcome to Isle of Wight's, Coast and Seaside...

At the mouth of Southampton Water is Englandís holiday isle. Known as Vectis to the Romans, the Isle of Wight was adopted as a resort by the Victorians and has remained a favourite holiday destination. It has a mild climate, spectacular coastal views, pretty villages and interesting geographical features. The commanding chalk downs of the south culminate in a series of impressive chalk stacks, the Needles, as they reach the sea. In nearby Alum Bay, the cliffs are renowned for their multi-coloured sandstone, often included in local souvenirs. The south coast is split by chines, picturesque deep and steep clefts in the downs running to the sea.

On the east coast of the island is a chain of resorts dating from Victorian times, with sheltered sandy beaches, piers and promenades. Ventnor is sheltered by St Boniface Down, the highest point on the island (785 ft). Shanklin, Lake and Sandown share an east-facing sandy bay, and further east is Bembridge, its harbour popular with sailing enthusiasts. Shanklin is linked to the end of Ryde Pier by the Island Line which runs ageing former London Underground electric trains. A preserved steam railway branches off at Smallbrook and runs five and a half miles through unspoilt country to Wootton.

Facing the mainland is Ryde, one of the ferry termini, linked to Portsmouth by hovercraft and catamaran. Nearby Fishbourne is terminus for the largest ferries. Nestling in the woods to the west and overlooking The Solent is Osborne House, a stunning palace built as a holiday home by Queen Victoria and now open to the public. At the northern tip of the island astride the River Medina is Cowes, the world famous sailing centre, home of the Royal Yacht Squadron, where Cowes Week, the worldís longest running regatta, is held each summer.

The islandís capital is now Newport, 3 miles inland, at the head of the River Medina but the former capital was nearby Carisbrooke, which has an impressive 12th century castle. The island has many literary connections; Tennyson lived at Farringford in Freshwater from 1853 to 1867, and wrote much of his best work there. Dickens, Thackeray and Macaulay stayed in Bonchurch, near Ventnor.

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"HOTSPOTS" from Seaside Towns to Beaches & Covers in Isle of Wight

Ryde & Seaview
Ryde & Seaview
Britains oldest and 4th-longest pier crosses Ryde's wide beach, with trains running to connect to ferries. It has 5 carnivals through June, August and December. Seaview is a quiet seaside village, the white sand beach at Priory Bay is ideal for swimming.
Famous for 'Cowes Week' where the ocean-sailing fraternity compete, Cowes is on a narrow inlet, and is the birthplace of the hovercraft.
Yarmouth & Totland
Yarmouth & Totland
Yarmouth is over 1000 years old, a ferry port and has the longest timber pier in Britain still in use today. Nearby are the Needles, a line of three chalk stacks marking the western end of the Island. Alum Bay is famous for its multi-coloured sands

Blackgang & South Coast
Chalk cliffs riven by deep valleys or chines typify the southern coast of the Island. At Blackgang Chine is a large and diverse amusement park with displays and rides for all ages.
Ventnor is a Victorian resort sheltered by St Boniface Down. It has a mild micro-climate with more sun than most of England, and interesting botanical gardens.
Shanklin esplanade along its sandy beach is occupied by hotels and restaurants. It has beach huts, amusements and a theatre.

Sandown's easily-accessible beach is wide and sandy. The town has gastro-pubs, cafes, tearooms, pubs and restaurants.
Bembridge is a large village at the eastern tip of the island. It has a significant lifeboat station situated at the end of a walkway, assisting vessels caught out by the Bembridge Ledge, an undersea rocky outcrop.

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