The Isle of Wight is a perfect choice for a traditional vacation, even though it’s expensive. It is populated with towns and beaches which have been very popular with middle-aged vacationers. It has also been the choice of place for youngsters with an outdoorsy bent of mind. A lot of people also visit the islands for participating in some thrilling water sports.
Isle of Wight is often referred to as “England in Miniature”. This is because of its culture, general way of life and the atmosphere. The climate of the island can be compared to that of Portsmouth or Southampton.
The best thing about Isle of Wight is that it offers a variety of landscapes which tends to change every few miles. Each village and each town offers something different to travelers. The experience keeps changing from place to place as you go on exploring the island.
How to get in
Access to Isle of Wight is available by ferry services amongst other options. Many of them also carry cars but charge heavily for it. Not taking a car to the island means that you have to use trains and buses for getting around. This might restrict opportunities for fully exploring the island. There are also Fast Cat (http://www.wightlink.co.uk/go/isle-of-wight-ferry-routes-destinations/portsmouth-ryde-catamaran/) and Hovercraft
services (https://www.hovertravel.co.uk/) available for getting to the island. It is to be noted here that the latter closes much earlier than the other options.
Time taken by the various services is as follows:
Southampton to Isle of Wight – About half an hour if you are using ferry
Portsmouth to Isle of Wight – About 40 minutes if you are going by ferry, 10 minutes if using hovercraft and 15 minutes if using fast cat.
Most parts of Isle of Wight experience a mildly sunny climate. The hottest temperature recorded so far has been 27C in May 2008.Average summer temperatures hover around 20C and during winter it is around 10C. June to September is the hottest period of the year.
Exploring the island
As mentioned before, the island can be explored via bus and trains. The bus service on Isle of Wight is a bit expensive and covers most parts of the island.
A single train line goes to the island. Its tickets can be booked from any railway stations in the UK.
Cycling around the island is an ideal way of going around. The countryside and the long roads are best explored on a cycle. There are designated routes for cyclists.
Isle of Wight offers a vast selection as far as accommodation is concerned. There are seaside hotels like “The Royal”, holiday parks and bed and breakfasts.
But that isn’t all!
There are also holiday apartments and cottages. Campsites are available too. Most of the accommodation options are located near to restaurants and beaches.
More info can be found at the following link
For people who want to take their pets along, Isle of Wight offers plenty of pet-friendly accommodation options. Pets are of course allowed on the hovercraft and the ferry.
What to see
At one time, this house used to be the summer residence of Queen Victoria. It became her main residence for a short period after the death of her husband, Prince Albert.
Most of the house has been preserved well and is open to visitors all around the year.
Most visitors choose to visit both Osborne House and the Carisbrooke Castle. It was used as a prison for Charles I and he was held here for some time. The castle happens to be centrally located and is a popular tourist destination.
The Needles is so popular with tourists that it has its own website. The name has been derived from a rock which is believed to have crashed into the sea many centuries ago (1764). The shape of the rock was like a needle and hence the name. It is believed that the sound of the rock crashing into the sea was heard from miles away. This rock was about 20 feet in height and its stump is still visible on the sea.
The Needles Rocks
They are a group of rocks which are featured in almost all images of the island. They are part of a chalk ridge which was apparently connected to “Old Harry Rocks” at one time. They seem to be jutting out at the sky when looked at from a distance. The river Solent is believed to have created these Needles rocks when it had breached the ridge on 5000 B.C. These rocks being made of chalk, they have remained resistant to erosion.
Part of the needles, this lighthouse is the most important landmark of the island. Standing 80 feet above water, it can be seen from as far away as 14 miles. The light is green, red or white, depending on from where the ship is being observed. The foghorn can be heard every 15 seconds when there is minimum visibility.
When the lighthouse was built, it had about four men looking after it. At any point of time, there were at least three men who were on duty. But this practice was discontinued in 1994 when the lighthouse was automated.
The beaches at Isle of Wight are known for their water quality. The most popular beaches are as follows:
The Welcome or the Shanklin beach is extremely safe for bathing. It is a part of the Sandown Bay and offers water sports like kayaking, surfing and jet-skiing.
The Whitecliff Bay is located at the eastern part of the island. It gets its name from the “Culver Cliff”, which is located at the south of the beach. The beach is especially popular because it is surrounded by two holiday parks, the “Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park” and the “Sandhills Holiday Park”.
This is one of the pet-friendly beaches in Isle of Wight. It is a sandy beach interspersed with rocky pools. The “Bembridge beach Bridge” can be seen when there is low tide.
List of pet-friendly beaches in Isle of Wight can be found at the following link: