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Famous people who have visited the Island

    The late HRH Prince Philip, has been a frequent visitor to the Island Photo: Macaulay Media   The Isle of Wight has been a magnet for famous people for almost 200 years. It was made popular in Victorian times, when Queen Victoria built her holiday palace, Osborne, and the movers and shakers of the day joined her. But the Isle of Wight has been seeing a huge rekindling of interest by contemporary celebrities since the turn of the 21st century. In the past 20 years or so we have had some very big names visiting the Island, mostly incognito, and often to visit friends

A short history of Blackgang Chine

  When Alexander Dabell acquired Blackgang Chine in 1842 it was a unique and picturesque chine leading down to the beach, and he knew that Victorians would love to visit this atmospheric coastal location. Amazingly, the amount to which his land extended was decided upon his ability to throw a stone, with the agreed the point at which it landed becoming the furthest reach of the lease. The sides of the chine were predominantly black, due to mineral deposits of iron in the soil, and this is what is thought to have led to the name Blackgang – with ‘gang’ probably meaning

New Smuggling Trail Launched

The Isle of Wight has a rich smuggling history that goes back hundreds of years, and many Island families were involved in the import of illicit goods, mainly brought by boat from France. These were especially ‘tubs’ of brandy and fleeces of wool. Niton, and the villages closest to the southernmost point of the Island, were perhaps the most notorious areas for this illegal trade, and a new Smugglers Trail has been devised by Niton and Whitwell Parish Council, following the pathways and hiding places favoured by smugglers in days of yore. By 1830 most of Niton village was involved in the

Incarcerated Isle – Isle of Wight Prisons

  We all feel a little like prisoners at the moment, unable to go out of our houses, except to exercise and shop. But did you know that the island has one of the most notorious prisons in the country, HMP Isle of Wight, which over its history has housed a number of famous prisoners?   The prison was originally three prisons, Parkhurst, Albany and Camp Hill prisons. Camp Hill was a category C low security prison, but the others were both high security prisons holding the most dangerous criminals.   Parkhurst began in 1778 as a military hospital and children's asylum and by 1838,

Queen Victoria’s Island

Queen Victoria visited the island on various occasions before becoming queen. As a young girl she stayed at Norris Castle in East Cowes in 1831, when she was 12, and again in 1933, aged 14, with her mother. Mother and daughter visited attractions of the day around the island, including the Sand Rock Spring Hotel in Niton to take the reputed health-giving waters from the nearby chalybeate spring. Later it was renamed the Royal Sandrock Hotel for her visit, but it sadly burned down in the 1980s. The Buddle Inn Is close to the site of this former hotel. The Isle of

Our Ancient Island – Barrows and Burial Mounds

  Discover the Isle of Wight’s ancient history by walking to the various barrows, or burial mounds, that remain here.   The Longstone The most impressive ancient monument has to be the Longstone above Mottistone Manor. This site is thought to date from the Neolithic (New Stone Age) era and archaeologists believe that the Longstone was an earthen long barrow (burial mound) with a stone revetted entrance. The barrow is long gone, having been looted over the centuries, but the two large blocks of local greensand, one upright and the other lying next to it on the ground, are believed to be the remains of

Movie History on the Island

This makes us want to "zig-a-zig-ah!" Has anyone yet to visit the famous Spice Bus on the Island? It's changed location a few times, but is has been situated at Island Harbour Marina since 2014, where you can take a look at the historic movie prop. The actual Spice Bus from the Spice Girls’ 1997 movie Spice World is a Spice die-hard fan favourite and it has been available to stay in for small vacations. The Spice Girls - Emma Bunton (Baby Spice), Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice), Melanie Brown (Scary Spice), Melanie Chisholm (Sporty Spice) and Victoria Addams (Posh Spice) - took

Our Guide To The Best Historical Isle Of Wight Tourist Attractions

  The Isle of Wight has been a popular holiday destination since Victorian times and of course, the Island is known for its picturesque beaches and seafront promenades, but there is more to it than people realise. Whilst it measures just 23 miles by 13 miles and it is the second smallest county in the country, the Isle of Wight is steeped in history, from the Royals to the Romans and fossils to architectural wonders.   There are actually a number of historical Isle of Wight tourist attractions to visit and you can travel back in time to soak up the past and

History Of The Isle of Wight Festival

The Isle of Wight is known for being one of the most amazing places to visit in the United Kingdom and it has lots of incredible tourist attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Whilst there are so many different things to see and do on the Isle of Wight all year round, from visiting beautiful beaches and animal sanctuaries to exploring heritage sites and picturesque villages, the island commonly welcomes more visitors in June than any other time of year when the Isle of Wight festival is on. If you’ve heard of this festival before but you don’t really know


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