The small coastal town of Cowes sits on the northern tip of the Isle of Wight, closest to Southampton. The Solent has unusual tides which wash in and out of the estuary making it an interesting challenge for sailors. Cowes is known for its annual sailing regatta which draws yachts and crews in their thousands to this delightful port town. The beginning of the event is marked by the firing of 22 brass cannons on the West Parade.
The town is a great centre all year round for exploring this small but charming island. It has good shopping and great pubs, many with a nautical theme, and a busy harbour.
Cowes draws sailors of all abilities to enjoy this challenging sport. Charter a boat and enjoy the towns many sea-based events along with the excellent social life in this yachting mecca. Beaches
The Isle of Wight is known for its gorgeous sandy beaches and there are plenty just a short drive from Cowes. Sandown and Shanklin both have large family-friendly beaches with plenty of amenities and water sports. The quieter Freshwater Bay is on the west side of the island. Walking
The Isle of Wight has some beautiful scenery and sea views from the coastal paths. It is an ideal place for walkers and cyclists to enjoy a holiday rental. Woodland walks are popular in Parkhurst Forest; take a walk to St Catherine’s Lighthouse or enjoy a stroll around St Boniface Down.
This lavishly appointed stately home was the favourite residence of Queen Victoria. After a tour of the magnificent interior with its opulent furnishings and historic artworks, spend time in the delightful gardens and enjoy the gorgeous sea views.
This ancient fortress now managed by English Heritage is remarkably well-kept with battlements, a keep and an Edwardian inspired garden.
This interesting area has amazing coloured sands and cliffs which look across the bay to the interesting formation of the Needles Rocks. There are boat trips around the coast, a chairlift and a theme park with rides for the children to complete an action-packed day.
The island location gives the Isle of Wight exceptionally mild winters with temperatures averaging 40-47°F (4-8°C) in the winter. Summer months are warm and dry, averaging 72°F (22°C) in August.
The easiest way to reach Cowes on the Isle of Wight is by car or airplane to Southampton Airport which is just 14 miles from the port of Cowes. From Southampton there several car ferries which sail into Cowes. Other ferry services run from Portsmouth and Lymington.