Isle of Wight - Sandown beach with pier 2010
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The Isle of Wight is a county in South East England and an island off the southern coast of England, close to the major ports of Portsmouth and Southampton. It is separated from the county of Hampshire by the Solent. It has a population of around 140,000 which swells during the summer months due to its popularity as a tourist destination.
Sights and Activities
- Carisbrooke Castle - Carisbrooke Castle is a motte-and-bailey castle located centrally on the island, and dates back to the 12th century. Arguably the castle's most famous resident was Charles I, who was imprisoned there.
- Osborne House - The former royal residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, located in East Cowes.
- Blackgang Chine - A quirky, eccentric theme park located at the site of the old, now largely destoryed chine near Ventnor.
Events and Festivals
- The Isle of Wight Festival takes place between the 10th and 12th of June. It is an annual pop and rock festival held at Seaclose Park, Newport.
- The Garlic Festival - 20 - 21st August, Fighting Cocks Crossroads, Bathingbourne Lane, Sandown, PO36 0LU. The world famous festival with a focus on garlic and other local produce.
- The Bestival - 8 - 11 September, Robin Hill country park. The Bestival is an annual pop and rock festival with a varied lineup. It was the winner of Best Major Festival Award 2010.
The Isle of Wight is located just off the south coast of Southern England and is linked to the mainland ports of Lymington, Southampton and Portsmouth by vehicle ferries, high speed passenger catamarans and hovercraft. The main operators are:
- Wightlink - Lymington - Yarmouth car ferry, Portsmouth - Fishbourne car ferry and Portsmouth - Ryde passenger only ferry
- Red Funnel - Southampton - Cowes passenger only ferry and Southampton - East Cowes car ferry
- Hover Travel - Southsea - Ryde passenger only ferry
Island Line runs a train service which extends part way along the east coast of the island. It is not extensive however and makes 7 stops between Ryde and Shanklin.
Southern Vectis is the company that run the local bus service on the island.
- Olivo - Reasonably priced quality Italian food, with restaurants in both Ryde and Newport.
- Fisherman's Cottage - Esplanade Shanklin, PO37 6BN. A traditional thatched pub at the foot of Shanklin Chine, overlooking the beach. It has a selection of real ales, good food and also presents live folk music. It is open from March to October.
- The Village Inn - Church Rd, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, PO37 6NU. An atmospheric pub with a good selection of drinks and food, situated in the heart of the old Shanklin village.
- The Wight Rock Bar Lind St, Ryde, Isle Of Wight PO33 2NE. A late-night opening bar dedicated to live music.