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Most people have heard of the Isle of Wight, if only for the associations with the 1970 Isle of Wight festival, which has come to rival Woodstock as the rock festival everyone wishes they could have attended. At the time, it was the largest concert in history, attracting 700,000 revelers and such musical greats as Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Who, Free and Miles Davis. The festival was such a shock for the residents of this quiet holiday island that no more music festivals were held here for 32 years! Although the festival was relaunched in 2002, most modern-day visitors are drawn here by the English-seaside charm, the gorgeous rolling ...

Most people have heard of the Isle of Wight, if only for the associations with the 1970 Isle of Wight festival, which has come to rival Woodstock as the rock festival everyone wishes they could have attended. At the time, it was the largest concert in history, attracting 700,000 revelers and such musical greats as Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Who, Free and Miles Davis. The festival was such a shock for the residents of this quiet holiday island that no more music festivals were held here for 32 years! Although the festival was relaunched in 2002, most modern-day visitors are drawn here by the English-seaside charm, the gorgeous rolling countryside and beaches, and the spectacular sailing, windsurfing, sea-kayaking and paragliding off the coast at Cowes. Separated from the mainland by the Solent, the island is an easy 10-minute hovercraft ride from the port of Southsea near Portsmouth, yet it still feels like stepping back into the England of 50 years ago.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located 3-5 miles from the south coast of the mainland, in the English Channel.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Pound Sterling
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April to October, though the seaside resorts get crowded from June to August.