Archive for the ‘Isle of Wight’ Category

Weird & Wonderful: 10 things you didn’t know about the Isle of Wight

Sunday, January 11th, 2015
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To most mainland folk, not much is known of the Isle of Wight, a relatively tiny island lying twenty or so miles off the Hampshire Coast. They’ve probably heard about its annual music festival, which has drawn some of the world’s biggest performing artists. They might have heard that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert used to spend their summers there, or that it’s a haven for the endangered red squirrel. But apart from these few things, what’s really known about the island of the Solent?

To illuminate you mainlanders of the joys of this remarkable little isle, we scoured the web to bring you ten weird and wonderful facts about the Isle of Wight. So let’s get to it.

  1. The Isle of Wight is the sunniest place in the UK, with 1,800-2,000 hours of sunshine each year – more than some parts of Spain! Why not rent a cottage on the Isle of Wight for a sunny summer break?
Via Flickr

Via Flickr

  1. Garlic has been produced on the island for centuries and is one of its most important exports. Islanders are so besotted with their crop of this wonderful superfood, they created the Isle of Wight Garlic Festival, a celebration of all things garlicky.
Via Flickr

Via Flickr

  1. In Victorian times, the Isle of Wight was home to several high-profile “celebrities”, including Alfred Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria. Other famous faces who’ve graced the isle include Winston Churchill and Karl Marx.
Via Flickr

Via Flickr

  1. Despite its size, the Isle of Wight is said to be the most haunted island in the world, with an assortment of spectres lingering among the living. Supernatural sightings include phantom monks, marching Romans and grey ladies.
Via Flickr

Via Flickr

  1. Speaking of Romans: during their occupation, the Isle of Wight was known as Vectis. Surprisingly, this name is still used widely to this day, despite being dropped after the Romans left in the 5th century.
Via Flickr

Via Flickr

  1. At high tide, the Isle of Wight becomes England’s smallest county. When the tide is low, the historic county of Rutland near Leicestershire reclaims this title.
Via Flickr

Via Flickr

  1. The Isle of Wight is home to what is thought to be the world’s oldest amusement park: Blackgang Chine. Built in 1843, the park was named after a former chine (coastal ravine), and provided entertainment for Victorian holidaymakers.
Via Flickr

Via Flickr

  1. Throughout the year, the Isle of Wight receives over twenty times more overseas visitors than its permanent population. In 2011, the population of the Isle of Wight was around 140,000, but the island received over two million visitors.
Via Flickr

Via Flickr

  1. Due to its location, the Isle of Wight was considered an excellent location for housing some of the UK’s most infamous prisoners. Notorious names incarcerated on the isle include the Kray Twins, the Richardson Brothers, and king of England, George I.
Via Flickr

Via Flickr

  1. In 1896, Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi established the world’s first radio on the Isle of Wight. His invention was placed near the Needles, and went on to be distributed throughout the world.
Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Whether you’re interested in renting a holiday cottage on the Isle of Wight, or are just swatting for Friday’s pub quiz, we hope this has shed some light on this fascinating little isle. The Isle of Wight is a timeless destination for both young and old, with great beaches, charming countryside, and a warm, island welcome – why not give it a go on your next getaway?

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Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.

Enjoy the Isle of Wight this Winter

Saturday, November 8th, 2014
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With its milder climate and stunning coastline, it’s no surprise the Isle of Wight is such a popular summertime holiday destination – but what about the rest of the year? Well, with many of its attractions staying open year-round, the isle certainly doesn’t shut up shop during the chillier months and is as fantastic a winter getaway destination as it is for a summer holiday. Read on to find out just a few of the Isle of Wight’s fantastic attractions that you can enjoy year-round!

Dinosaur Isle

Dinosaur Isle

Image via Flickr

Featuring real fossils as well as animatronic dinosaurs, Dinosaur Isle aims to be as fun as it is educational. The introductory exhibition gallery takes visitors from the Ice Age through to the Cretaceous period whilst the displays combine lighting, smells, sound and artwork to create an enjoyable experience for all visitors. If you’re planning a visit to Dinosaur Isle this winter, don’t forget to book a space on one of their fantastic fossil walks.

Wiggle Wight Winter Sportive

Cycling

Image via Flickr

Created to give entrants a further reason to delay the hectic Christmas shopping and to keep cycling during the winter is the Wiggle Wight Winter Sportive. If the name alone isn’t enough to make you want to enter, this cycling event has two shorter routes to reflect the time of year, stunning views and also two feed stations along the route providing participants with festive mince pies and hot drinks (but no mulled wine – safety first!) This year’s Wight Winter Sportive takes place on Sunday the 30th November. For more information and to sign up take a look at the official website.

JR Zone

Ball Pit

Image via Flickr

For a place where children can let off steam whilst mum and dad relax, nothing beats JR Zone; an indoor playground where both the young and young at heart can enjoy themselves or relax in a safe environment. The best part of course is that JR Zone is indoors, so the whole family can enjoy themselves whatever the weather!

Enjoy a scenic coastal walk

Isle of Wight Coast

Image via Flickr

The Isle of Wight’s beautiful coastline never closes, and any time of year is as good as any to go for a wander! Wrap up warm, grab a flask of tea and get into the great outdoors of the island. The colder weather can really make the coast come alive and you can enjoy the natural beauty without the need to dodge the summer crowds.

Book yourself a winter getaway on the Isle of Wight

The Coach House

The Coach House | Property reference 20405

To visit these attractions as well as many more that are open year round on the Isle of Wight, why not book yourself a winter getaway? At Sykes Cottages we have a number of stunning properties on the island that are still available for stays during the winter months. Take a look at our website or give us a call on 01244 356695 to book your winter getaway today!

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Sykes’ Spotlight on The Isle of Wight

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
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With much better weather than mainland Britain and some award winning beaches to soak up the rays, it is no wonder that the Isle of Wight is one of Britain’s most popular tourist destinations. In 1963 half the Isle of Wight was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and taking a look at the soft cliffs, woodlands and unspoilt coastlines boasted by the county it’s not difficult to see why. Within this beautiful scenery however, The Isle of Wight plays host to a number of activities to make your holiday truly memorable! Just don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy the views…

Theme Parks

Tea Cups at Disneyland

Fun for both families and couples alike, the Isle of Wight plays host to a number of theme parks that are perfect for fun-filled days out. Take a trip to Blackgang Chine to play a game of snakes and ladders, or if you fancy a thrill take a ride on the Cliff Hanger; a rollercoaster positioned near the edge of vertical cliffs!  Another brilliant day out can be found at The Needles Park in Allum Bay. Take a look around the on-site shops to buy a souvenir or two, get a hole in one at Jurassic Golf or just take a sit back and relax in one of the parks tea rooms.

Zoo

Owl portrait

Animal lovers will be in their element with the variety of animal related attractions available on the Island. A must have is a visit to the Owl & Monkey Haven; home to a number of rescued primates and birds of prey, and with full charity status, visitors to the Owl & Monkey Haven can see and learn about these wonderful animals in an environment that has been created with the animals in mind. A trip to Amazon World Zoo Park is perfect if you want to see a huge variety of animals. From Degu’s and Lemurs to Toucan’s and Snails, this zoo is bound to bring enjoyment to any animal lover.

 Museums

Dinosaurs Alive! @ Dorney Park

If you want to spend a day learning or doing then you’ll be spoilt for choice on the Isle of Wight. With a large number of museums and galleries across the Island, there really is something for everyone. The Island Planetarium is perfect for stargazers who want to take a look to the skies. Take in one of the planetariums shows at the theatre then have a look around the exciting space displays and exhibitions. Prehistoric fans will love Dinosaur Isle, Britain’s first purpose built dinosaur museum and attraction. Playing host to both life size models and also fossils, a trip to Dinosaur Isle is sure to be enjoyable and educational for the whole family.

If our activities short-list has left you yearning to pay this enthralling island a visit, then you can browse our selection of holiday cottages in the Isle of Wight here.

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Travelling By Public Transport To Your Holiday Cottage

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
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Apparently getting there is half the fun. Here at Sykes, we hope that all of the fun happens at your cottage but still believe that travelling should be an enjoyable part of your time away. Whilst it may seem like the easiest way to travel to your holiday cottage is by car, here at Sykes we think that using public transport to travel to your holiday destination can be just as simple.  We have compiled a list of some of our favourite ways to travel to your UK holiday destination with no car keys in sight.

By Rail

Day 1: A train from Euston to Liverpool Lime St

Image via Flickr

With tracks reaching even the furthest corners of the UK, you will find that many of our cottage destinations can be reached by train. Not only is travelling by train usually quicker than by car, but the views are often  better; swapping the car for a train means swapping views of grey tarmac for views of rolling green hills and countryside. Browse our selection of properties that are close to a railway station.

By Ferry

Ferry turning

Image via Flickr

If you want to head a little further afield and across the water, then a ferry is the way to go. Whether you’re heading over to Ireland, or to the Isle of Wight you can take a ferry and not only travel, but get your holiday started. With many ferries now containing places to eat, bars and entertainment for the kids; the whole family can enjoy the journey.

By Bike

Bicycle

Image via Flickr

If you’re not heading too far away, like to feel the wind in your hair and have no problem with packing light, then travelling by bicycle to your holiday destination could be a great idea. With no transport timetables or road traffic to get in your way, cycling could be a great way to take away the usual stresses of travel. We have a choice of holiday cottages that are perfect for cyclers.

Stay in a Converted Carriage

If you never want your travel time to end or just want to spend your holiday in truly unique accommodation, staying in a converted railway carriage could be the way to go. Converted to a high standard, yet still having original features means that with this accommodation your holiday truly will be first class.

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Summer holidays on the Isle of Wight

Friday, July 12th, 2013
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For our third instalment of summer holiday inspiration, this week we bring you the Isle of Wight. Located just a few miles from the south coast and easily accessible by ferry and hovercraft, a holiday on the Isle of Wight leaves you feeling like you’ve left everyday life behind. Add to this one of the best climates and glorious beaches and it’s easy to see why the Isle of Wight is one of our most popular holiday destinations year after year. Here’s just a few things to add your holiday itinerary…
Isle Of Wight Needles

Brilliant Beaches

It comes as no surprise that the Isle of Wight is blessed with fantastic beaches.  Whether you’re a sun worshipper looking to top up the tan or a surfer wanting to catch a few waves, you can be sure you’ll find the perfect beach for you.  Try the sandy beaches at Sandown and Ryde for a day out with the family, surfing in Compton Bay and Gurnard near Cowes to catch a glimpse of sailing clubs racing.  There’s also a 67 mile coastal path which snakes its way around the edge of the island and deliver breathtaking views of the coastline at every turn.
GURNARD BAY NR COWES. ISLE OF WIGHT UK.

Festival Fever

For a small island, the Isle of Wight sure knows how to throw a party with a great choice of festivals throughout the year.  Music fans should head to Bestival in early September which this year sees a headline performance from Elton John and Fatboy Slim as well as fan favourites like Bombay Bicycle Club and Franz Ferdinand.  If you don’t fancy slumming in a tent, one of our Isle of Wight cottages is the perfect way to relax and get your fill of the festival atmosphere.  For a more energetic festival experience, the Isle of Wight Cycling Festival which takes place in mid September is a good bet.  According to Lonely Planet, the island is one of the best places to cycle in the world and with more than 200 miles of unspoilt countryside and dramatic coastal scenery, it’s not hard to see why.  The festival offers a good mix of routes for aspiring Bradley Wiggins’ (Hills Killer, anyone?) and those new to the world of Lycra and panniers so it’s a great way to explore the Isle of Wight during your holiday.
i heart bestival

History and Heritage beckon

Lying just off the Hampshire coast and offering views of incoming attacks over the centuries, the Isle of Wight has a real sense of history worth exploring on your holiday here.  In the centre of the island lies the well-preserved Carisbrooke Castle, where Charles I was imprisoned, and has lived through more than 800 years of history seeing off a French invasion and the Spanish Armada.  Today you’ll find the Edwardian-style Princess Beatrice Garden, a donkey sanctuary and an impressive collection of Charles I memorabilia.  The Isle of Wight has also been given the royal seal of approval by Queen Victoria who used to holiday here and today you can visit her former residence, Osborne House, in East Cowes.
Carisbrooke Castle
With so much on offer on the Isle of Wight, why not start planning a getaway to this fantastic island.  Take a look at our website where you’ll find a great selection of holiday cottages on the Isle of Wight from thatched cottages, timber-framed lodges and coastal retreats.  Happy holidays!

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