Isle of Wight Tourist Information and Tourism

(Isle of Wight, England, UK)

Isle of Wight Information and TourismThe Isle of Wight is the perfect place for a relaxing break at any time of the year, and the island's extremely mild climate is well suited to outdoor activities. These include numerous golf courses, water sports, yachting regattas, popular sailing festivals and important boat races. Situated just 3.5 km / 2 miles from the Hampshire shoreline, there are approximately 400 ferry and hovercraft crossings each day, the fastest of which take less than ten minutes from nearby Portsmouth.

The Isle of Wight has a surprising variety of landscapes and coastal scenery on the island, including rivers, woodland areas, sand beaches and chalky downland. There are an enormous number of appealing attractions here, which attract many thousands of tourists during the summer season. Cowes is one of the largest and most important towns on the Isle of Wight and lies on the northern coast, where it is home to an official Tourist Information Centre, located in the Arcade. There are a total of five more tourism outlets spread around the towns of Newport, Ryde, Sandown, Shanklin and Yarmouth.

The range of hotels and accommodation located on the coastline of the Isle of Wight is extensive to say the least. Many holiday makers choose to stay in Cowes, where the sailing scene is especially well developed. On the southern coast, Ventnor is a fairly sizeable town and a pleasant place to base yourself, being in close proximity to Shanklin and the family orientated Blackgang Chine amusement park. Alum Bay is another particularly popular spot for Isle of Wight hotels and lies on the western side of the island, near to Freshwater, Totland and Yarmouth, while directly east is Nettlestone, Nunwell and Sandown.

Isle of Wight Information and TourismThe Isle of Wight has numerous popular beaches, combined with sheltered, clear bathing waters. With over 40 km / 25 miles of clean and unspoilt beaches, these have always been one of the major tourist attractions here. During the summer, the sunny beaches provide the perfect place for sunbathing, building sand castles, paddling, swimming, and general seaside fun. There are also a large number of cycle trails and over 800 km / 500 miles of well-marked walking paths and bridleways, which surprisingly make this relatively small island one of the best spots in the United Kingdom for walking. Impressively, over half of the Isle of Wight is actually designated as an 'area of outstanding beauty'.

With many picturesque coastal towns and villages, the island has a wide variety of attractions to offer tourists. These include the palatial Osborne House - built for Queen Victoria as a country retreat, remaining one of the most remarkable and famous landmarks on the entire island; the Isle of Wight Steam Railway - in the small village of Havenstreet, travelling between Wootton and Smallbrook Junction; Yarmouth Castle - an impressive, historic castle now owned by the English Heritage; the Needles - near Alum Bay, one of the most spectacular natural sights, consisting of three huge towers of chalky rock jutting out from the sea; the Newport Roman Villa - featuring of a corridor that leads to eight rooms, three of which have well-preserved mosaics; the Needles Old Battery - a restored Victorian fort with a 60 metre / 197 feet tunnel and spectacular sea views; Sandown Zoo and Big Cat Sanctuary - with tigers, black panthers, leopards, pumas and many other exotic animals; and Flamingo Park - home to more than 100 flamingos, a colony of Humboldt penguins and one of the largest waterfowl collections in England. More information about Isle of Wight Tourist Attractions and Isle of Wight Landmarks.

Isle of Wight Information and TourismThe Isle of Wight also has innumerable excellent museums and art galleries throughout the towns, providing interesting local information and exhibitions. Some of the most noteworthy include the Shipwreck and Maritime Museum - featuring a large number of nautical exhibits recovered from surrounding waters, and the Cowes Maritime Museum - which displays the yachts of sailing enthusiast and boat designer Uffa Fox.

There are a range of important festivals and events taking place throughout the year on the Isle of Wight, These events include the annual Sailing Regatta - with many impressive boats, held in the town of Cowes, on the north coast; the Walking Festival - attracting more than 15,000 people from around the world; and the Round the Island Yacht Race - an acclaimed yacht race held annually in mid-June.

More Isle of Wight Information / Fast Facts and Orientation