Isle of Wight

Overview

Introduction

The Isle of Wight is a quiet, scenic and sunny island, only 23 mi/37 km across and located 5 mi/8 km south of Portsmouth. It offers a relaxing environment, but it takes at least two nights to get into the rhythm of the island (four nights—two in the north and two in the south—would be ideal).

Among the island's attractions are the 18th-century Appuldurcombe House (immaculate grounds), Osborne House (once the home of Queen Victoria), the Ventnor Botanic Gardens, Carisbrooke Castle, St. Catherine's Lighthouse, the Needles (rocks jutting into the sea), Shanklin Chine (a wooded glen), Tennyson's Memorial (at Tennyson Down), the Roman villa in Brading, Quarr Abbey (an Arts and Crafts church) and scenic Godshill village.

To get to the island, catch a ferry or hovercraft in Portsmouth, Southampton or Lymington; tour the isle by rental car, by bicycle or on foot. Cliff-top pathways follow much of the island's coast.

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