Isle of Wight travel guide and information

The island is big enough to get lost in, but small enough that it doesn’t matter: just keep walking and that cove you’re walking along will eventually lead to a village pub or, failing that, another slice of a part of the world. it’s easy on the eyes.

Mark Rowe author of Slow Travel: Isle of Wight

At the narrowest point of the Solent, between Hurst Castle in Hampshire and Fort Albert on the northwest edge of the island, the Isle of Wight floats barely a mile off the coast of the British mainland. Yet, with no commercial airport or tunnel, you have to take to the sea to reach it: this requirement alone demands that, in a literal sense, you have to slow down and begin to shake off the hectic pace of daily life before you’ve even arrived. Then, once on dry land, you’ll find little reason to pick up your pace.

The island is big enough to get lost in, but small enough that it doesn’t matter: just keep walking and that cove you’re walking along will eventually lead to a village pub or, failing that, another slice of a part of the world. it’s easy on the eyes.

There are so many wonderful reasons to visit the Isle of Wight. From the haunting coast around Newtown and Shalfleet, where the edges of the woods have their roots in shallows and mudflats, to the Normandy town of Yarmouth with its fine cafes and delicatessens. Red squirrels just about everywhere you look, the extraordinary jumble of geology that makes up the Undercliff or dawn flooding the Solent, seen from the pebble spit that keeps Seaview dry. Then there’s the sight of a peregrine falcon zipping along the guillotined edges of Tennyson Down, the mournful call of a nightjar in Brightstone Forest or stumbling over dinosaur fossils. Each has a strong claim on visitors’ heart strings.

Nature plays by jowl of seaside paraphernalia and natural drama on the island often borders on surrealism. Just a short cycle ride from the archetypal resort town of Sandown, you can lean your bike against a hedge and watch an egret hunt for fish in a serene quagmire; you might catch a red squirrel out of the corner of your eye, furiously climbing upside down along an overhanging branch. Elsewhere, you could pull yourself up the dizzying slopes of Ventnor Downs, admiring a wide coastline that recedes halfway. But while at one point you may get carried away with the “be one with nature” philosophy, the next you may encounter a Victorian seaside amusement park. Some visitors may find a such an intrusive combination; others have certainly been known to sneer. To me – and to most islanders – they seem to get along just fine. Far from being mutually exclusive, they are all part of the island’s DNA.

Bradt on Great Britain – our Slow Travel approach

Bradt’s coverage of parts of Britain makes ‘Slow Travel’ his focus. For us, Slow Travel means ditching the tourist lists – deciding not to try to see “too much” – and instead taking the time to really get into the shoes of a special region. You don’t have to travel at the speed of a snail: just allow yourself to savor the moment, appreciate the local differences that create a sense of place, and celebrate its food, people, and traditions. .

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