• Isle of Wight – culture, yachting and lots more

    Date: 2011.09.15 | Category: Been there | Tags: ,,

    The Isle of Wight, on the English south coast, is a great family holiday destination offering a safe, clean and friendly environment, with sandy beaches and seaside towns.

    A small island in the English Channel – it measures just 23 miles across – the Isle of Wight first came to prominence in the Victorian era when it was popular with leading names of the times such as Dickens, Tennyson and even Royalty.

    Prince Albert, along with his designer Thomas Cubitt, built Osborne House at East Cowes in the late 1840’s. Although it has many formal rooms for the visiting dignitaries, Albert was keen to develop it as comfortable family home and so much of the “non official” house feels more like holiday apartments. The Royal family stayed at Osborne House regularly and after Albert’s death, Queen Victoria made it her permanent residence.

    Since her death in 1901 the house has remained unchanged, as she wished, but Osborne House is now open to the public and is well worth a family visit. You can explore the grounds including the Royal children’s Swiss Tree House, gardens and the house and get a real feel for Victorian family and royal life.

    As an island, it is not surprising that the Isle of Wight has a close affinity with the sea and over the years it has become the focal for much of the UK’s yachting and sailing fraternity with the World famous Cowes Week being staged first week of August each year.

    Cowes Week is an exciting time to visit the island as you can watch the racing and enjoy the great party atmosphere that descends upon the town. There are lots of entertainments events organised during the week including a big firework display on the Friday.

    It is worth noting that around Cowes Week accommodation gets very booked up so it is worth considering staying in Southampton and travelling across on the ferries – there are also late night ferries home. You will find a number of good Hotels in Southampton.

    Although Cowes Week takes place during the first week of August you will find it remains a lively area for yachting and sailing throughout the summer holidays and definitely worth a visit.

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