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An island off the Dorset coast, the Isle of Wight is a contrasting combination of country villages, seemingly unchanged since the 1950s and trendy contemporary bistros serving plateau de fruit de mer and other culinary delights.
Although the Isle of Wight is only 146 square miles in area, it has a rich historical heritage. Osborne House was built for Queen Victoria as an escape from the bustle of London court life. Alfred Lord Tennyson also lived on the island and his house has been recently restored to its original Victorian splendour with an original recording of Tennyson reciting The Charge of the Light Brigade. Also located on the island is Carisbrooke Castle, where Charles I was imprisoned prior to his trial and execution.
Yarmouth is situated in West Wight and its harbour and small traditional houses have immense charm. It is a very popular sailing hub and boats and ferries cross from Lymington on the mainland to Yarmouth and back. There are several old pubs and some new restaurants with excellent food. If you fancy a luxury stay there is always the George Hotel with its beer garden stretching down to the harbour.
The Isle of Wight Festival is an annual event held in June that has hosted famous names, such as Emmerson, Lake and Palmer, Jimi Hendrix and the Moody Blues. In 2018 it celebrated its golden anniversary.