Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a very special
place, located in the Southern part of the country and not by chance was chosen by Queen
Victoria as her summer residence. She lived here the best years of her life in company of her beloved
Prince Albert and her nine children. In her own words... “is it impossible to imagine a prettier
No trip to this island would be
complete without a visit to Osborne House, even for those who are not interested in Royalty, as the architecture is
quite interesting; tall towers help to give Osborne House the appearance of an Italian villa.
As a result of Queen Victoria’s
presence on the Isle, it became a major holiday resort for fashionable Victorians including Alfred Lord
Tennyson, Julia Margaret Cameron, Charles Dickens (who wrote much of
David Copperfield there) and members of European royalty. Memories of less illustrious episodes in the
island’s past are recalled by a very interesting and well stocked Museum of Smuggling.
Inland from the beaches that lure
the summer visitor, the isle of Wight offers a wealth of year round attractions that between them span England’s
history. At Brading and Newport the Romans have left signs of their presence and Arreton Manor has
been owned by eight English monarchs, while the castle at Yarmouth was built by Henry VIII to defend the South
coast of England against the French. The isle’s rich history even includes a brief status as an independent kingdom
in the 15th century!
For the technology lovers, the Isle
of Wight is the birthplace of the world’s very first hovercraft and the manufacturing place of flying
boats, other than the testing and development area of Britain's space rockets. For the nature lovers,
the Island has some exceptional wildlife and is one of the richest locations of dinosaur fossils in
One of the isle’s main attractions - meaning the one that
gathers the most people - is the International Jazz Festival: Bestival, held at the Robin Hill country park. It was attended by 55.000 souls in 2010 and
it keeps growing. Obviously the type
of people attending a Jazz festival are not quite the same as those going to a techno festival, so relax and
enjoy your Jazz!
In the island’s gentle climate
vineyards thrive and trees and flowers blossom in Ventnor Botanic Garden, while more exotic forms of wildlife are
on display at Flamingo Park.
Basically if I had to chose a
holiday destination in England, I would probably go to this island, which is only about three hours driving
distance from both London and Bristol. The whole of London goes to Brighton on the weekend, while the elite will
invest in the extra travel time to enjoy a truly special place.
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