Isle of Wight, island county pop. 140,000, 381 sq km, England, across the Solent and
Spithead channels from Hampshire.
The administrative center is Newport. The island is 37 km long from the eastern Foreland
to the Needles (detached chalk formations at the western extremity) and 21 km wide.
The climate is mild, and the scenery, as a result of the contrasting geological strata,
Quaint villages, such as Ventnor, Shanklin and Godshill, and a beautiful coast line make the island a
popular resort. Shanklin, a village on a cliff, is very popular with 'The Old Village' and its
beautiful beaches on a long promenade. Visitors can reach the beach with a beautiful 'cliff lift'.
Ryde appears to have the oldest pier built about 1814 for the landing of the ferry
from the mainland.
Cowes is an important port.
Queen Victoria's seaside home, Osborne House, is near the famous yachting center at Cowes.
Parkhurst, a major British maximun security prison, is on the island.