Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is an island off the South coast of England. Until the 1974 local government reorganisation, it was part of Hampshire, but is now a county in its own right.

Known locally as simply "The Island" it is roughly in the shape of a diamond, and measures 23 miles by 13 miles.

The main industry is tourism. There is a passenger ferry from Portsmouth to Ryde, and car ferries from Southampton to East Cowes, Portsmouth to Fishbourne and Lymington to Yarmouth, while there is a fast hovercraft crossing from Southsea to Ryde.

Osborne House was Queen Victoria`s family home, and Carisbrooke Castle was where Charles I was imprisoned.

The Needles are a series of chalk stacks at the Western extremity of the island.

Cowes is England`s best known yachting centre.

Newport (Isle of Wight) is the island`s capital and main shopping centre.

Ryde is a flourishing seaside resort, and the main port of entry for many holidaymakers. England`s first pier, constructed in 1814, has a railway.

Sandown is another seaside resort, and has a Geology Museum and pier.

Shanklin, also a seaside resort, has a steep cliff, in which is the delightful Shanklin Chine.

Ventnor is a smaller seaside resort.

Yarmouth is an old town with a castle built by Henry VIII.