Interesting Facts About The Isle Of Wight
11 June 2020 -
While ‘sofa surfing’ this week (sat in an armchair wishing it was a deckchair and scrolling through the holiday destinations we’d like to visit when we’re allowed) we started daydreaming about the glorious Isle of Wight, where fun and vintage arcades are served up by the bucket (and spade) load!
We have also discovered some little known facts that you may not know about this tiny island...
The World's Only Commercial Hovercraft
Let’s start with travelling to this pocket-sized paradise. The easiest and fastest way to get there is by hovercraft, which also happens to be the last remaining commercial hovercraft service in the world!
This remarkable and majestic journey takes just ten minutes as passengers ‘fly’ from Southsea on a cushion of air. Established in 1965, the hovercraft has been transporting passengers for more than 50 years and it can even run in low tides as it can hover right up to the terminal.
Fit For A Queen
The isle provided the perfect antidote to escape mainland life for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who used to summer here. You can still explore the house and gardens of her summer house; Osborne House is situated in East Cowes and was completed in 1851, in a classic Italian renaissance style. Nowadays, the property is managed by English Heritage and visitors are welcome all year long - perfect for a nose around the main house and gardens, not to mention the private beach too.
A Shoreline Stroll
Boasting the UK’s oldest, and second longest pier at a whopping 681 metres, it was built in the summer of 1814 so that Victorian tourists would not need to walk along the wet sand when the tide was out (heaven forbid)! It’s a stunning structure and provides panoramic views on a bright day.
While most famous for its temperate climate and stunning shore lined with beaches, dramatic white cliffs and quirky fishers’ cafés, the island was actually rather active during World War One and World War Two. Two batteries can be found at Alum Bay, which were built for defence against enemy ships and aircrafts and manned throughout both world wars. After many years the anti-aircraft guns used were causing the beautiful white cliffs to crumble, however the site is still managed by the National Trust and is open daily for visitors six months a year.
Let The Sun Shine
The Isle of Wight is said to be the sunniest place in the UK and it receives an average of almost 2000 hours of sunshine each year – more than some parts of Spain!
Would you like to discover more facts about this fascinating island for yourself, and soak up the old-fashioned charm of the elegant resort towns and spotless beaches?
Why not check out our stunning range of Isle of Wight coach tours here.