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The Isle of Wight

For an island of just one hundred and forty-seven square miles (half of it designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), the Isle of Wight is unusually rich in things to do.

From Mole End you're within easy striking distance of it all, and the enormous variety of activities will keep you occupied throughout your stay, whether you're an outdoorsy type or of a more sedentary inclination.

Families are especially well catered for, with adventure parks, beaches, a steam railway, zoos and wildlife parks, and crazy golf galore. And let's not exclude the dinosaur fans.

But it's not just for kids – the island has much to offer visitors of all ages. There are over 500 miles of footpaths – stroll down the road for a couple of minutes and you're on the 67-mile coastal path, or head inland for one of the many tranquil woodland or downs walks. Or go for a bike ride on the island's extensive network of cycle paths.

Maybe you prefer riding, birdwatching, fishing, water sports, paragliding, golf or even tree climbing — the island is a paradise for outdoor activity enthusiasts.

And for those with more gentle tastes there's Queen Victoria's residence Osborne House, Carisbrooke Castle, St. Catherine's lighthouse, Brading Roman villa, Godshill model village and much more.

It never rains on the Isle of Wight, of course, but on those rare occasions when it does, you still won't be lost for things to do, as the excellent Isle of Wight Guru explains.

When the day is done you'll want to eat – seafood is obviously on the menu (the hunt for the best crab on the island continues, with many worthy contenders), but whatever your tastes you'll find something that fits the bill, from family-friendly pubs to top-notch haute cuisine. And with the island's wealth of fresh produce, home cooking is also a delight.

Festival fans will know about the Isle of Wight Festival (June) and the achingly trendy Bestival in September (which is now preceded by the Lost At Sea arts festival). And of course for the budding Ben Ainslies there's Cowes Week (August) and the annual Round The Island Race (June).

Music and arts lovers also have the Ventnor Fringe (August), the Rhythm Tree World Music Festival (July), the Newport Jazz Weekend (July) and the literary festival (October).

But there are celebrations throughout the year of many of the things that make the Isle of Wight so exciting, including walking, cycling, old boats, scooters, VW camper vans

For foodies there's a wealth of events, including Cowes Food Week and celebrations of the island's garlic, chilli, hops and even sweetcorn crops.

In short, you won't run out of interesting and fun things to do. We've been coming for years, and we've only just scraped the surface.
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The imposing entrance to Carisbrooke Castle

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The south coast, Tennyson Down in the distance

She thinks of nothing but the Isle of Wight, and she calls it 'the island', as if there were no other island in the world.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
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Up on the downs the air is clear

"…that beautiful island, which he who has once seen never forgets, through whatever part of the wide world his future path may carry him."
Sir Walter Scott, The Surgeon's Daughter
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Ventnor

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Borthwood Copse

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The Pepperpot at St. Catherine's

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Chuffing marvellous

Images on this page courtesy of www.visitisleofwight.co.uk and Peter Pritchard.

The Isle of Wight

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The south coast, Tennyson Down in the distance

For an island of just one hundred and forty-seven square miles (half of it designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), the Isle of Wight is unusually rich in things to do.

From Mole End you're within easy striking distance of it all, and the enormous variety of activities will keep you occupied throughout your stay, whether you're an outdoorsy type or of a more sedentary inclination.

Families are especially well catered for, with adventure parks, beaches, a steam railway, zoos and wildlife parks, and crazy golf galore. And let's not exclude the dinosaur fans.

But it's not just for kids – the island has much to offer visitors of all ages. There are over 500 miles of footpaths – stroll down the road for a couple of minutes and you're on the 67-mile coastal path, or head inland for one of the many tranquil woodland or downs walks. Or go for a bike ride on the island's extensive network of cycle paths.

Maybe you prefer riding, birdwatching, fishing, water sports, paragliding, golf or even tree climbing — the island is a paradise for outdoor activity enthusiasts.

And for those with more gentle tastes there's Queen Victoria's residence Osborne House, Carisbrooke Castle, St. Catherine's lighthouse, Brading Roman villa, Godshill model village and much more.

It never rains on the Isle of Wight, of course, but on those rare occasions when it does, you still won't be lost for things to do, as the excellent Isle of Wight Guru explains.

When the day is done you'll want to eat – seafood is obviously on the menu (the hunt for the best crab on the island continues, with many worthy contenders), but whatever your tastes you'll find something that fits the bill, from family-friendly pubs to top-notch haute cuisine. And with the island's wealth of fresh produce, home cooking is also a delight.

Festival fans will know about the Isle of Wight Festival (June) and the achingly trendy Bestival in September (which is now preceded by the Lost At Sea arts festival). And of course for the budding Ben Ainslies there's Cowes Week (August) and the annual Round The Island Race (June).

Music and arts lovers also have the Ventnor Fringe (August), the Rhythm Tree World Music Festival (July), the Newport Jazz Weekend (July) and the literary festival (October).

But there are celebrations throughout the year of many of the things that make the Isle of Wight so exciting, including walking, cycling, old boats, scooters, VW camper vans

For foodies there's a wealth of events, including Cowes Food Week and celebrations of the island's garlic, chilli, hops and even sweetcorn crops.

In short, you won't run out of interesting and fun things to do. We've been coming for years, and we've only just scraped the surface.
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Up on the downs the air is clear

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Borthwood Copse

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Ventnor

"…that beautiful island, which he who has once seen never forgets, through whatever part of the wide world his future path may carry him."
Sir Walter Scott, The Surgeon's Daughter