Isle of Wight - seaside resort steeped in history and fantasy

The Isle of Wight became one of the top seaside resorts in Britain in the late 19th century, as thousands of Victorian and Edwardian families enjoyed their annual holidays on the Island. Today, the Island of Weight is an ideal place for a relaxing break or longer vacation at any time of the year with its mild climate, variety of landscapes and scenery and numerous choices of outdoor activities

The Isle of Wight has an impressive variety of landscapes and coastal scenery on the island, including rivers, woodland areas, chalky download and romantic gardens of the Blackgang Chine Fantasy Park, occupying an enormous territory on the South Coast. More than a half of the total area of the Isle of Wight is designated as an "area of outstanding beauty".

The Isle of Wight is a cradle of tourism and active rest, featuring numerous golf courses, water sports, yachting regattas, famous sailing festivals and boat races. Numerous beaches of the Isle of Wight, occupying over 25 miles of the coastal area, have always been major tourist attractions. Clean and unspoiled sandy areas and crystal clear coastal waters provide an ideal place for swimming and sunbathing, building sand castles and having fun. A large number of cycling trails and over 500 miles of walking paths and bridleways make the Isle of Wight one of the best walking spots in Britain.

There is a wide variety of attractions and historic landmarks. The Osborne House, built for the Queen Victoria as a country retreat, is one of the most remarkable and famous landmarks on the Isle of Wight. The Yarmouth Castle is a magnificent historic castle, now owned by the English Heritage. The Isle of Wight Needles, located near the Alum Bay, is one of the Isle of Wight's most spectacular natural landmarks, consisting of three huge towers of chalky rock, jutting out from the sea. The Isle of Wight Wax Works is one of the most visited tourist attractions on the Isle of Wight with many themed exhibits, based on historic scenes. The Needles Old Battery is a restored Victorian fort with a 197 feet tunnel and panoramic sea views.

The Blackgang Chine Fantasy Park is an unsurpassed family attraction on the Isle of Wight. This is a complete fairytale world, consisting of the Sleeping Beauty's Castle, Dinosaur Land, Pirate Fort and Ship, Nurseryland and numerous other thematic areas, aimed at development of the kids' imagination and fantasy. Perhaps, each fairytale that you tell your child before he or she goes asleep is present here, while some displays of the park, such as the St. Catherine Bay, combine a frolic playing with an intensive learning. The other "must sees" for families are the Sandown Zoo and the Big Cat Sanctuary with tigers, black panthers, leopards, pumas and many other exotic animals, and the Flamingo Park, which is home to more than one hundred flamingos, a colony of Humboldt penguins and one of the largest waterfowl collections in England.

An extensive collection of museums houses numerous historic artifacts and displays on the Island of Weight's amusing history. The Isle of Wight art galleries show the most important and wonderful collections of the Isle of Wight's art. The exhibitions range from local to world famous and international and from modern to classic. The Cowes Maritime Museum is one of the Island's most historic museums, the Isle of Wight Dinosaur Farm Museum displays the brachiosaurus skeleton among many other interesting things, the Isle of Wight's Nostalgia Toy Museum has over two thousand Dinky, Corgi and Matchbox toys, dating back to the 1930s. Those are only a few to name.

A variety of accommodation impresses the most discriminating visitor. There are working farms with self-catering holiday cottages and super five star hotel rooms, beautiful Victorian lodgings and caravan holiday parks with private sandy beaches. Cozy apartments and award-winning bed & breakfasts are available in numerous variants. Whatever your budget is, the Isle of Wight has plenty of options to suit it.

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