The Isle of Wight, England’s largest island, is an extremely popular self-catering holiday destination for those looking to stay in the UK. This is due to its warmer climate, golden sand beaches, superb sailing and notable events such as Cowes Week and the Isle of Wight Festival in Newport. Food festivals, jazz festivals and outdoor concerts also regularly take place on the island. Travel to the Island by car of passenger ferry from Lymington, Portsmouth or Southampton on companies such as Wight Link. For a more peaceful experience, experience, pedal the many idyllic cycle paths that have recently given the Isle of Wight the status as one of the top cycling destinations in the world, with over 500 miles of cycle tracks. Relax in quaint Victorian resorts - now much restored, such as Yarmouth, Ventnor and Freshwater.
The Isle of Wight has a constant programme of events and is home to some of the biggest festivals in England. The music festivals; The Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival, draw in huge crowds and famous artists year after year during the summer period. If music isn’t your thing the Isle of Wight Walking Festival, currently the biggest in the UK, takes place in Easter where you might just find some incredible walking routes that are hidden away from society. After a hard day’s walk, what can be better than to return to the comfort of a well equipped self-catering cottage and luxuriate in a hot bath or shower.
Two major English historical characters made their home here - the Poet Laureate, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Queen Victoria whose final home was Osborne House at East Cowes. The house and gardens have been beautifully preserved and are open to viewers daily.
The Isle of Wight is also renowned as one of the richest areas for Dinosaur discovery in Europe, which has subsequently earned it the title “Dinosaur Island”. This history has meant that some of the best Dinosaur museums are on the Isle of Wight, including the award winning Dinosaur Isle. You can even get involved with fossil hunts where you can discover your own fossils, ideal for a family day out. If you’re looking for something more adventurous for your holiday, you can paraglide, race around in land yachts along the golden sands or go-kart across the all-weather track at Wight Karting.
Being surrounded by the English Channel and separated from the mainland by the Solent means that there is a great opportunity for some incredible beaches across the 57 miles of coastline. Over 17 of them have blue flag and seaside awards in 2013 – more than any other destination in England. With miles of award winning sand and shingle beaches, rugged cliffs, hidden coves and clear waters, a trip to the beach is an essential part of any visit to the Island. Water sports are also particularly popular, and there are endless places to hire surfing equipment or kayaks. The first hovercraft was developed on the island, so for a truly unique experience hop on the Hovertravel, Isle of Wight’s Hovercraft service between the Island and Portsmouth.