Isle of Wight
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Just six miles off the coast of southern England lies the Isle of Wight or ‘England in Miniature’, known for its seaside appeal. Brits have been holidaying on the Isle of Wight’s charming beaches and seaside towns since the Victorian era, but it’s becoming increasingly popular with young people now too. The opportunity for water sports and outdoors activities is drawing in a new crowd, with Cowes being particularly popular with Londoners with a penchant for yachting. Opportunities abound for cyclists, with over 200 miles of cycle ways on the island. Perhaps the best loved route is the Sunshine Trail, which is a 12 mile ride passing through New Church, Horringford, Godshill, Shanklin and Sandtown, some of the islands prettiest spots.
The Isle of Wight has a similar atmosphere to that of Jersey and Guernsey, but it’s much more accessible – frequent ferries cross from Portsmouth and Southampton – making it an ideal spot for a weekend getaway. There’s more than enough to do to fill a week’s holiday though, especially if you time your visit to include one of the world-famous music festivals like the Isle of Wight Festival or Bestival. As you’d expect from a lovely holiday destination, there are plenty of great restaurants and cafés to choose from, as well as fun events like the annual Isle of Wight Garlic Festival. Isle of Wight is revered for its garlic- you can even visit the garlic farm all year round, hire a cottage and purchase some garlic beer, pork scratching with garlic and chilli or chilli, garlic and herb popcorn.
Obviously the seafood is wonderful and fresh, though perhaps no more so than at The Crab & Lobster in Bembridge. Situated right on the coast, the restaurant’s own fishermen deliver the seafood straight from the sea- what could be better?