A - Z of the Isle of Wight; Part Two
If you caught our first post, you'll know we're collating our favourite snippets about the Isle of Wight into a handy A-Z format. As we said before all our entries have simply been chosen as a bit of fun, we would love to hear your choices and whether you agree with ours!
J is for J.M.W Turner (a slight stretch, we know!)
Throughout his career, Turner searched endlessly for the perfect landscape to immortalise in paint. It is therefore no surprise that he found the Isle of Wight a source of great inspiration. Turner completed several artworks on the Isle of Wright, including drawings, watercolours, and oil paintings, with his Isle of Wight sketchbook being housed at the Tate.
Of all his paintings, we love East Cowes Castle, the Seat of J. Nash, Esq., the Regatta Beating To Windward!
K is for King Charles
During the English Civil War (1642-1651), King Charles fled to the Isle of Wight, believing he would receive sympathy from the Governor Robert Hammond. Instead, Hammond imprisoned the King in Carisbrooke Castle!
L is for Level (Sea level that is!
Did you know at high tide, the Isle of Wight becomes the smallest county in the UK? However, when the tide is low, the historic county of Rutland near Leicestershire reclaims this title. The sea level around the island is rising by 6mm per year!
M is for Motorway
The Isle of Wight is a fairly unique part of England in that it does not contain any motorways! The only dual carriageway is about half a mile long and it only has a national speed limit for a very limited part!
N is for Newport
The county town of the Isle of Wight and arguably the most famous spot, Newport has plenty to offer locals and tourists alike! With signs of a Roman villa, the exciting history of the town provides a fascinating journey for lovers of the past!
O is for Osborne House
This former royal residence was bought by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1845. When they discovered the property was too small for their needs, they replaced the house with the version you can see today. Prince Albert himself designed the house together with architect Thomas Cubitt and participated directly in the laying out of the estate, gardens, and woodlands, to prove his knowledge of forestry and landscaping.
Osborne is now one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island.
P is for Pier!
Did you know the Isle of Wight is home to the oldest pier in the UK? Ryde pier was opened in 1814 and is the oldest pier still in use in today!
Q is for Queen Victoria
The future Queen Victoria spent childhood holidays on the island and became fond of it. When Queen she made Osborne House her winter home, and so the island became a fashionable holiday resort. The resulting boom in tourism, spurred by growing wealth and leisure time, and by Victoria's presence, led to significant urban development of the island's coastal resorts.
Queen Victoria died at Osborne House on 22nd January 1901.
R is for Red Squirrel
Unlike other areas of the UK where grey squirrels are dominant, the Isle of Wight has a thriving red squirrel population likely due to the island nature which has protected them!
Tune in next time for the third and final part of our A-Z!!