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Things to do in Cowes

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Discover the best attractions and activities that Cowes has to offer

The vibrant coastal town of Cowes rests in the north of the Isle of Wight, perched on the west bank of the estuary of the River Medina. It’s known for its bustling atmosphere and extensive range of things to do.

Things to do in Cowes

The Cowes Floating Bridge is a ferry welcoming people into town and is a great way to explore the island. Cowes boasts a very dog-friendly environment, with lots of parks populating the town. Northwood Park in particular is a beautiful 19th-century park with elevated views of the coast.

Stroll through the pretty woodlands or get yourself stuck into the many activities, including tennis and pitch and putt. Renowned for its maritime heritage, visitors to the area must explore Cowes Maritime Museum. Learn all about the local history, from shipbuilding and sailing to all aspects of yachting, both past and present.

For more cultural things to do in Cowes, pay a visit to Queen Victoria’s country home, Osborne. This offers the opportunity to enjoy Victorian opulence and extravagant interiors and extensive grounds. Afterwards, catch a show at Trinity Theatre, which is owned by one of the oldest amateur dramatic societies in Britain before visiting the town’s plethora of eateries.

If you’re looking for active things to do in Cowes, head to the UKSA’a waterfront campus and try your hand at sailing and watersports. Alternatively, head to the Cowes Yacht Haven, where you can admire the striking boats bob at anchor before finding the high street lined with shops.

Other things to do in Cowes include; The Wight Military & Heritage Museum, Sir Max Aitken Museum and the 1912 Cowes Hammerhead Crane.

Continue reading our guide to things to do in Cowes…

Photo of Osborne House by Martin Robson

  • Cowes Beach Feature

    Cowes Beach

    Dog Friendly

    Parking Available

    This shingle beach rests to the north of Cowes, and is well-known for its yachting events, taking in superb views of the Solent.

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  • Eyam Museum

    Cowes Maritime Museum

    A small but fascinating museum situated in Cowes library. The Cowes Maritime Museum displays all sorts of nautical paraphernalia and charts the history of the town’s maritime heritage.

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  • View to East Cowes Feature

    East Cowes Beach

    Dog Friendly

    Parking Available

    This stretch of shingle beach runs along the northern edge of East Cowes, offering superb views back across the town.

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  • Gurnard Beach

    Dog Friendly

    Parking Available

    Despite offering a short stretch of sands, Gurnard Beach just outside of Cowes is a fabulous spot for a family day out.

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  • Northwood Park

    A beautiful landscaped park spread over 17-acres, located just South of the coast. The parkland is dog-friendly and offers tennis courts, a children’s play area, a bowling green and fantastic views of Northwood House.

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  • Osborne House
    Image Credits: Loz Pycock - CC BY-SA 2.0

    Osborne House

    York Ave
    East Cowes
    Isle of Wight
    PO32 6JX


    Queen Victoria’s holiday home, Osborne house is a palatial structure with commanding views over the Solent, modelled in the style of an Italian Renaissance palazzo.

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