The Island has been popular from Victorian times as a holiday resort being renowned for its natural beauty. For this reason it is perhaps no surprise that its’ motto refers to ‘All this beauty is of God’. However, it also has the dubious distinction of being the last part of the British Isles to convert to Christianity; almost a century after the rest of Great Britain in 686AD.
The Island possesses a rich history including its own brief status as a vassal kingdom in the fifteenth century. It was home to poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Queen Victoria had her much loved summer residence and final home Osborne House built in East Cowes. Its maritime history encompasses boat building and sail making through to the manufacture of flying boats and the world’s first hovercraft. Its space history includes the launch of the Black Arrow and Black Knight space rockets. More recently it has become home to the Bestival and the recently revived Isle of Wight Festival, which, in 1970, was one of the largest rock music events ever held.
Medina Quay, Newport
Newport is the county town of the Isle of Wight and is located in the centre of the Island. It is the administrative center for the Island and has in the recent past become the main shopping area on the Island. Recent developments include a new bus station with retail complex and a new retail park on the outskirts of the town. Located next to the Medina River, Newport was once a busy port until the mid-19th century. However a process of gentrification during the late 1980’s has transferred the old Port area into a complex of art galleries, apartments and other meeting places.
If you wish to know more about the Isle of Wight you are invited to visit the Isle of Wight Council’s website at www.iwight.com.