West Wight is full of interesting places to go and things to do and is approx 40min by car or is serviced by the No 7 or 12 bus routes. One of West Wight’s main attractions is the stunning landscape, with rolling downs, undeveloped coastline and unspoiled countryside making up an area of outstanding natural beauty.
In the quiet corner of the Isle of Wight you’ll find every opportunity to rediscover the simple holiday pleasures. One of the most popular walks on the Isle of Wight is the Tennyson Trail, which starts by Carisbrooke Castle, and runs along the central ridge of West Wight. Some of the most beautiful Isle of Wight beaches are found over this side, with Compton Bay and Brook Beach offering a combination of sandy beaches.
Yarmouth has been a settlement for over a thousand years, and is one of the very earliest on the Isle of Wight, it is a town, port and civil parish in the western part of the Island. The town is named for its location at the mouth of the small Western Yar river. Yarmouth is a crossing point for the river, originally with a ferry, replaced with a road bridge in 1863. The river rises near the beach at Freshwater Bay, on the south coast of the island and flows only a few miles north to Yarmouth, on the north coast, where it meets the Solent. Most of the river is a tidal estuary. Its headwaters have been truncated by erosion of the south coast. Yarmouth Castle was built in 1547. It survives, and is now in the care of English Heritage. It is effectively a gun platform built by Henry VIII to strengthen the Solent and protect the Isle of Wight, historically an important strategical foothold for any attempted invasion of England.
The Yar estuary is part of the Isle of Wight’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which stretches from Freshwater to Yarmouth. The estuary consists of a number of important habitats, including saltmarsh, reedbeds, mud flats and sand dunes, and these in turn host a rich abundance of wildlife, particularly over-wintering wildfowl and waders.
The estuary is also a 132.4 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest. In addition the upper reaches of the river are designated an SSSI called Freshwater Marshes, and a large part of Freshwater Marshes are also a Local Nature Reserve called Afton Marshes. The Western Yar circular walk is approx 3.8 miles.
Fort Victoria was a single tier battery with defensible barracks west of Yarmouth. It was built in the 1850s, later used as a submarine mining centre and training area for military purposes the Island Planatarium, Aquarium and the model railway are all situated at the site which is now a country park.
Dimbola Lodge was the home of the celebrated Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. It is now a museum and gallery dedicated to her life and work, which also showcases contemporary exhibitions from photographers around the globe. Theres lots to see and do. They have a permanent exhibition of Julia Margaret Camerons's life and work, vintage camera displays and a fun Victorian dressing up room.
Isle of Wight Pearlhouses the largest collection of pearl jewellery in the UK. With over 20 years experience in the pearl industry, Isle of Wight Pearl are the pearl specialists.