5 Reasons to Visit The Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight has recently been voted the UK’s second best Island by Trip Advisor and had a great write up in Olive magazine for its gastronomic delights. Discover what else the Isle of Wight has been hiding other than great beaches and Cowes Week.

It has been a literary magnet for hundreds of years
Many great names have come to the Isle of Wight for its tranquillity and beauty.  Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield while he was staying in Bonchurch;  Darwin wrote the first chapter of his Origin of Species while holidaying in Sandown; Tennyson moved here for a number of years and Keats and D H Lawrence both found inspiration while visiting the island.   And although not a writer, the real Warrior, the horse the Germans could not kill, lived and exercised on Brook Beach on the Isle of Wight.

Tennnyson Down - a beautiful walk on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight plays host to the UK’s largest walking festival every year
For 2 weeks in May, volunteers offer their time and knowledge to take you on over 243 walks.  Some are guided, some are unguided but most of them are free.  There are ghost walks, alpaca walks, food walks and pub walks; long distance treks and family and pet friendly trails.  So popular is the May walking festival that you can come back in the autumn for a walking weekend in October where you can take your pick from over 40 walks.

Isle of Wight Waking Festival May and ctober

The Chinese have given the iconic Needles a Chinese name
Since Chinese tourism is booming in the UK and many of the UK locations and events don’t yet have Chinese names, Visit Britain decided to ask the Chinese what they think these UK icons should be called.  They came up with names like Warriors Special Skirt Party for the Scottish Highland Games and Poseidon’s Trident for the Isle of Wight Needles, the chalk columns that lie to the west of the island. 

Poseidon's Trident or The Needles

Surfers play in the coastline that once claimed the lives of so many mariners whose ships were wrecked on the formidable rocks just off the coast.  Until 100 years ago smuggling was a lucrative business on the Isle of Wight and stories abound that smugglers even lured ships into the bay on the promise of shelter from the storms. Today, if you’re brave enough, you can still find hidden caves and secret passageways lurking in ancient woods around West Wight.  

Cycling Festival
Its varied terrain of narrow lanes and ample flat cycle paths, undulating bridleways and hilly chalk ridges are some of the reasons why Lonely Planet voted the Isle of Wight as the number one place in the world for cycling.

Great cycle trails and is part of Route 23 on the Sustrans National Cycle Network

If you’ve got a cycling bucket list, the IoW Cycling festival must be on it. For three weeks in September, there’s a programme of rides for the fittest through to the least fit with challenging rides, rural rides and family friendly rides.

Old railway line car free cycle ways

So the next time you’re wondering what to do at the weekend, why not revisit the Isle of Wight. It’s only a few miles from the mainland and only two hours from the centre of London and from May to October, the Isle of Wight calendar is full of festivals including Jazz, Walking, Cycling, Music, Art and Literature.

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