The Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is a small Island located around four miles off the coast of Hampshire and separated by a stretch of water called the Solent.

The Island is a UK County, and has holiday resorts that have been visitor destinations since Victorian times. It is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines.
The Island has been home to the poets Swinburne, Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home, Osborne House at East Cowes. It has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat building, sail making, the manufacture of flying boats, hovercraft, and Britain’s space rockets.

Living and working on the Isle of Wight.

The Isle of Wight is host to an annual music festival which, in 1970, was the largest rock music event ever held. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.

The island has played an important part in the defence of the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, and been near the front-line of conflicts through the ages, including the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain. Rural for most of its history, its Victorian fashionability and the growing affordability of holidays led to significant urban development during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Apart from a shared police force, there are few administrative links with Hampshire. The fastest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea, while three ferry and two catamaran services cross the Solent to Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.