Isle of Wight is a large county (England’s largest) situated on the Solent, facing Hampshire on the south coast. Depending on whether the tide is in or out, dictates if this or Rutland is England’s smallest county! Home to many popular seaside resorts including Ryde, this is true bucket-and-spade holiday heaven! The Needles is a series of three rocks that protrude from the sea next to the lighthouse (there were four, until one crashed into the sea in a storm).
Our Jurassic coast is home to the fossils of many of our ancient dinosaurs, especially on Isle of Wight and Dorset. At Weymouth Museum, there is the fossil of a dino that was so big and fierce, he could eat you in two bites!
Isle of Wight Hovercraft is the last remaining commercial service of its kind in the world. Hovercrafts ‘fly’ on a cushion above the waves, so are not affected by tides and unlike boat rudders, are safer for marine wildlife (and swimmers) as they don’t drag the ocean surface. A short ferry trip away is Gosport, home to the world’s Hovercraft Museum!
Lots of local food and flowers are grown here, there are garlic and lavender farms, which have become tourist attractions in their own right. Also popular is the local donkey sanctuary, where abused donks have come here to live out their lives in peace. Read more on how to help our donkey friends!
Queen Victoria had a holiday home on Isle of Wight, where she would entertain guests with a slice of Victoria sponge, when visiting. There’s a lovely railway line that criss-crosses the island, though most people prefer to walk around it, hopefully not arriving near Parkhurst, a prison situated on the island (which houses many dangerous criminals).