The Isle of Wight is an island in the English Channel at a distance averaging between two and five miles off the coast of Hampshire; the body of water that separates the island from the mainland is called the Solent. The Isle of Wight is a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve which is a label recognising a balanced relationship between people and nature, one of the reasons why the island is such a unique location.
The Isle of Wight became popular as a holiday destination in the Victorian era led in part by Queen’ Victoria’s patronage Queen Victoria had holidayed on the island from her early childhood and built a house there, Osborne House, between 1845 and 1851. This house is built in the Italianate style, an architecture which echoes across the island.
The Isle of Wight features some stunning coastal scenery and has a mild climate with a rich rolling landscape of downland, fields, farms and chines. A chine is a steep-sided gorge with a river running through it to the sea and typically surrounded by cliffs of sandstone when it reaches the coast. Just under 150 square miles in size, the island offers a selection of wedding venues which reflect its beautiful coastline and rolling, rural landscape.
The Isle of Wight offers the ultimate blend of wedding destination and holiday location which your guests will love, with a wide selection of different venues to suit the tastes and wish lists of even the fussiest of brides. The island is popular with holidaymakers so summer weddings need careful planning particularly during and around Cowes Week which is one of the largest sailing regattas in the world and runs during the first week of August. However, the Isle of Wight still retains a quintessentially old-fashioned English charm and a steadier pace of life which makes it an attractive destination for couples who want a wedding with style but less hype and pressure.
The island offers lots of smaller venues for weddings with a huge array of coastal and stylish country house hotels plus beach weddings and garden weddings which take advantage of the mild climate that the island enjoys – there is even an apple farm. These venues are select and intimate with a more laidback pace and vibe. There are several attractive small towns on the island including Ryde, Sandown, Cowes and Shanklin offering a different backdrop if you are looking for something other than a coastal or country venue.
The Isle of Wight is two hours from London by train and there are around two hundred ferry crossings a day from Portsmouth, Southampton and Lymington some of which carry vehicles whereas others are just for foot passengers. These services run to five different locations on the island. All the ferry ports have good rail links to London and across the UK and most of the ferry services time with train arrival times. Regional flights across the UK into Bournemouth and Southampton can cut down on journey times.