Carisbrooke Castle pictures
Separated by the River Medina, these towns are also serviced by ferry crossing services to the Mainland. Cowes is best known for its Yachting activities and famous for Cowes Week. During this week the population expands dramatically, as yachting crews from around the world descend on the town. East Cowes is more industrial and the home of one of the Island's largest employer GKN Westland. East Cowes is the location of Osborne House, the holiday home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Osborne House is open to the public (seasonal).
See Cowes and Postcards from the Past
Near to Freshwater is Alum Bay, renowned for its coloured sands and the Needles. The Needles light house is no longer manned.
Churches St Agnes, All Saints
Newport is the Island's County Town. It is the main shopping centre of the Island and is its administrative centre. Newport has a tidal Quay.
Ryde is one of the gateways to the Island due to its links to the mainland. It has a tidal marina.
Ryde is the start of the Isle of Wight Railway, running from Ryde to Shanklin. The trains are ex-London Underground rolling stock. There is a connection to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway at Smallbrook, which operates from Smallbrook to Wootton. The line is run by volunteers (limited service).
Sandown is a coastal town with good sandy beaches. It has one of the few remaining piers on the Island with a pavilion theatre and amusements. There are a number of Hotels and Guest Houses within the area.
Churches Christchurch, Good Sheperd (Lake)
Shanklin is a popular beach resort with the main shopping area only a short distance from the beach. Following the storms of 1987 Shanklin can no longer boast a pier. As with Sandown, there is a wide selection of holiday accommodation.
Churches St Saviours, St Balsius
Ventnor is a Victorian town on the southern coast with a pleasant beach. Near Ventnor is the Botanical Gardens, where a number of plants, trees and shrubs from various parts of the world are grown. There is a temperate house where more tropical species are housed.
Yarmouth has a car and passenger ferry service linking the Island to Lymington within the New Forest. It is the home to one of the Island's RNLIs, providing a valuable service to those sailing in the Solent and English Channel. Yarmouth Pictures