The best towns on the Isle of Wight

Newport Guildhall, photo by Simon Haytack/Flickr

Being the largest island of England, the Isle of Wight is also a county in the United Kingdom. The island can be found in the English Channel, situated about 3 to 7 km offshore, nearby the county of Hampshire. The Solent Strait separates the island from the mainland. The Isle of Wight is a popular tourist destination, having some gorgeous resorts which have been famous since Victorian times. To help you make a better image about the island, in the following article there will presented the best towns of the Isle of Wight, most of which are also popular resort towns.

 

Newport

Being the county town, Newport used to be an important port town until the 19th century. It is today the major shopping spot of the island. The town is situated almost in the centre of the island, at the head of the River Medina. It is considered that Newport was established by the Romans. As a proof to this, there is a Roman villa excavated in Newport which is open to the public. The main highlights of the town are the spectacular shopping centres and the magnificent art galleries. The River Medina raises the attractiveness of the town, making the landscape breathtaking.

Newport Guildhall, photo by Simon Haytack/Flickr

Ryde

Located on the north-east coast of the island, the town of Ryde is a popular seaside resort. Ryde owns the fourth longest and also the oldest pier in the country. Besides the spectacular beach, there are numerous other tourist attractions in the town. Ryde has a castle named Ryde Castle which was built in 1840. Today it houses a fantastic hotel. As for the religious buildings, there are beautiful churches in Ryde. The All Saints’ Church with its 177 feet tall spire is the most beautiful in the town. Other churches are the Roman Catholic St. Mary’s Church or St. James’ Church. Ryde is also famous for its carnivals. “The Carnival at Ryde” is considered the oldest carnival in England.

Sandown

It is a fantastic seaside resort owning a magnificent sandy beach. The wonderful Sandown Bay is shared between Sandown and the nearby town of Shanklin. There were built spectacular forts in or nearby the town, such as the lost Sandown Castle, the Diamond Fort or the “Granite Fort” which today houses the town’s zoo. The town is very popular among tourists and its beach attracts a large number of visitors.

Cowes

The town of Cowes is also a great seaside resort on the Isle of Wight. The town is linked with a smaller one, named East Cowes, by a chain ferry named Cowes Floating Bridge. Cowes is home to numerous spectacular buildings and houses. Some of these used to be the homes of famous families, such as the Ward family. The house was donated to the town and the grounds of it are today the grounds of the Northwood Park.

Mouth of River Medina, Cowes, photo by ronsaunders47/Flickr

Ventnor

Probably the most popular seaside resort on the Isle of Wight is Ventnor. It is known as a resort town since Victorian times. The town was built on cliffs and slopes, being set in a spectacular landscape. Besides the gorgeous beach, there are numerous other attractions in the town of Ventnor. These include the Cascade Gardens, the Ventnor Brewery, the Ventnor Park and numerous antique stores. As you can see, Ventnor is a great tourist destination for anyone.

Ventnor Beach, photo by Alan_D/Flickr

 

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