Isle of Wight

Map of the Isle of Wight Area

Map of Isle of Wight Area

County Council

Isle of Wight

The largest island in England, the Isle of Wight is located in the English Channel. The island has been a popular holiday destination from Britons since the Victorian era, including Queen Victoria herself. Briefly an independent kingdom in the 15th century, the island is today an independent county. Covering an area of 384 square kilometres or 148 square miles, the island is home to approximately 138,400 people according to the 2011 Census. Its administrative centre is Newport, while Ryde is the island's largest town. Other major towns on the Isle of White include Cowes, East Cowes, Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor.

Situated approximately an hour and half from London, the island is linked to mainland England by boat. With connections across the Solent to Portsmouth, Southampton and Lymington in England's southern coast, the Isle of Wight Ferry operates from five towns on the island. Major visitors' activities on the island include walking, cycling, horse-riding, and bird watching. Isle of Wight beaches are also renowned and the island's beaches were awarded 17 Blue Flag and Seaside Awards in 2013. Each year in June, the Isle of Wight Festival in Newport brings a rich line-up of music legends and up-and-coming acts. The island is home to a wealth of attractions, including the Isle of Wight Zoo, the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, the scenic Hamstead Heritage Coast and Tennyson Heritage Coast, and the Dinosaur Experience at Blackgang Chine.

Tourism is the Isle of Wight's largest industry. The island welcomed 121,611 overseas visitors and over 2.3 million domestic visitors in 2010/11, according to Visit Isle of Wight. Visitors spent an estimated £403 million on the island in 2010/11. Much of the island's economy is driven by the service sector, including business services, retail, personal services, transport and communications. In addition to construction, manufacturing is also a major sector and employer. The island's maritime heritage has also supported various economic activities on the Isle of Wight's economy, including boat-building, sailcloth manufacturing and other maritime industries. Other major industrial sectors include the manufacturing of composite materials. The island also has a strong agriculture sector, including sheep and diary farming.


Media and Newspapers

  • Isle of Wight County Press
  • Brannon House 123 Pyle Street Newport Isle of Wight PO30 1ST

Tourism - Official Site