Quiet, quaint and very rural, the Isle of Wight’s numbers swell in the summer when visitors come to wander the picturesque seaside towns, sail in the Solent and treat kids to sandy beaches and fun days out.
The inland villages meanwhile have an untouched quality about them, woven between rounded chalk downs or atop sandstone ravines. In June tens of thousands of people descend on the island for the Isle of Wight Festival, which began with Hendrix, Dylan and co. in late-1960s and still puts big names on the bill. And in August is Cowes Week, a world-renowned regatta that draws thousands of spectators and competitors.
Lets explore the best places to visit in Isle of Wight:
1. Cowes & East Cowes
For most travellers Cowes will be the first thing you see from the Solent.
The town is on both sides of the Medina Estuary, with a ferry terminal in the east and a more traditional settlement in the west.
Idle along the meandering, car-less high street for cute shops and cafes with nautical themes.
Seafaring is intrinsic to Cowes’ culture and the town is the HQ for the Royal Yacht Club, amongst other prestigious institutions.
Be here at the start of August for Cowes Week, a regatta that started back in 1820 and is one of the largest maritime events in the world, with 40 races a day and more than 1,000 vessels.