The term Isle of Wight Tourism conjures up images of sunny beaches, dramatic coastlines and glorious countryside. Isle of Wight tourism brings in an estimated £350 million plus per year, which is vital to the Island’s economy. With more people visiting each year, that figure can only rise. The Isle of Wight is the perfect place for a holiday as there are so many things to see and do. Whatever your interests, you will be spoiled for choice and will find that one visit to this special place is never enough. Most people that visit this wonderful island find themselves coming back time and time again which is great for Isle of Wight tourism.
The Isle of Wight is the smallest of England’s counties, with the resident population being around 130,000. To the north lies the Solent and to the south is the English Channel. Known as "The Garden Isle", this jewel of England indeed resembles a diamond in shape, measuring 23 miles west to east and 13 miles north to south, an area or 147 square miles. The Island is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK, with around one million visitors each year. There is over 60 miles of coastline which ranges from award winning beaches to spectacular chalk cliffs. The Island, which is divided into two boroughs - Medina & South Wight, was known as “Vectis” by the Romans. Newport is the county town, although Ryde is the largest town. The exact centre of the Island is at Shide Corner, on the outskirts of Newport and the highest point is St. Boniface Down at Ventnor.
Walking on the Isle of Wight is a popular past-time and there are over 500 miles of public footpaths including dramatic coastal paths. The climate here is almost sub-tropical and Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor are regularly at the top of the UK sunshine table. Over 50% of the Island has been designated an “Area of Outstanding Beauty” with about half of the coastline named as “Heritage Coast” - an honour only awarded to the finest stretches of coastline in the country. Red squirrels have a particular penchant for the surroundings (due to the lack of grey squirrels) and are widely prevalent on the Island - almost the final stronghold in the south of the country.
The most famous landmark here on the Isle of Wight is “The Needles” - three jagged chalk projections running out to sea at the extreme west of the island at Alum Bay, which is also renowned for its multi-coloured sand cliffs, which are caused by a mixture of minerals in the sand. There is a lighthouse here too, clinging to the base of the most westerly rock of the Needles group. It originally became popular here with tourists over 200 years ago when they used to visit by paddle steamer from the mainland. Another popular landmark is the Bembridge Windmill, the only existing windmill on the Island. It is located at the opposite end of the Island, was built around 1700 and still has its original machinery intact.
Martin Ager, Isle of Wight tourist guide caters for all the tourist needs on the Isle of Wight. It is an extensive guide for all tourism and leisure activities. Martin Ager is the author, please see www.isleofwighttouristguide.com.