16 Fantastic Facts about the Lovely Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is an amazing place. It goes far beyond being just a place to visit for its beaches, though that is fair enough. There is a lot of history, mystery and things to explore and do. Here are 16 fantastic Isle of Wight facts. We are sure we have a few here even the regular visitors to the island might not know!
Fun facts in no particular order…
1. The most haunted island on earth! If you love ghost stories and investigating haunted places this is definitely the island to come to visit! Despite its small size the Isle of Wight has had more sightings and hauntings than anywhere else on the planet! From all walks of history too, Roman soldiers marching, monks and grey ladies just to name a few.
2. It has the oldest pier in the UK. Ryde pier was made during Victorian times and is the oldest pier still in use in the UK. Great place to walk along.
3. Known once as Vectis. During the times long ago when the Romans came and occupied parts of Britain the island was called Vectis. You can actually find this name still in use in some places, despite the Romans had left, back in the 5th century.
4. A favourite place for Queen Victoria. Her home, Osbourne House is somewhere you can visit and enjoy today, and was where she summered and also where she died. She is not the only famous Victorian to have treasured the island. Other famous Victorians that loved the Isle of Wight are Charles Darwin, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Charles Dickens.
5. It hosts a famous music festival once a year. Tens of thousands come to the summer music festival every year. The year Hendrix played in the early 70s, that was hundreds of thousands.
6. The sunniest place in the UK. Now Britain is not especially known for its reliable summer and sunny days! But if you are looking for the places that get the most sun in the year then that is the Isle of Wight! One of our great Isle of Wight facts is that it gets 1800 to 2000 hours of sun which actually works out more than some of Spain.
7. The smallest county in England…sometimes. When the tide is in it is the smallest county. When the tide goes back out Rutland county gets its title back again!
8. Perfect place for fossil and dinosaur hunts. It is rich in dinosaur history and there is evidence that over 20 dinosaur breeds once hung out on the island. You can even go footprint hunting on some of its beaches.
9. It has the only commercial hovercraft. Sir Christopher Cockerell invented the Hovercraft in the 1950s on the island.
10. More people holiday there than live there. About 140,000 people live on the island and about 2 million people visit for their holidays.
11. Has one of the last manned lighthouses. Our next tip in our Isle of Wight facts is about the Needles Lighthouse, a famous British landmark that was built in 1850, and gets lots of visitors each year. It had a keeper until 1994.
12. Look for thriving red squirrels. For a long time now in Great Britain, the grey squirrels have been wiping out the native red squirrels until it has become rare to see them. On the Isle of Wight though they are still thriving likely thanks to the island nature which has protected them.
13. It has Britain’s oldest phone box. Phone boxes are disappearing from Britain’s streets but if you are interested in one the oldest ones still around, that is on the Isle of Wight in Bembridge. It does not even accept the currency currently used.
14. It loves garlic so much there is a garlic festival. Garlic is farmed on the island, there is a garlic themed restaurant you can visit, a farm you can visit and camp on and even a garlic festival all garlic lovers must attend.
15. It is where the first radio was set up. Guglielmo Marconi in 1896 set up the first wireless radio on the Isle of Wight close the Needles. From there it went out all around the world.
16. It has the oldest theme park. Blackgang Chine is the UK’s oldest theme park that still receives many visitors each year and it is on the Isle of Wight. It was built in 1843 and its name comes from a coastal ravine. Popular with Victorians then, it has continued to entertain families over 170 years later.
Whatever reason you have to take an interest in Isle of Wight facts there are many great reasons to head there for your holidays. That is why it sees so many visitors from all over the world. Whether you are into history, sunny beaches, sports, nature and something else, you will likely find a lot of fascinating things to see and do.