Isle of Wight
Capital: Isle of Wight
Population: 140,200 thousand
Currency: British sterling
The Isle of Wight, an island near the English county of Hampshire, shares one thing with the English county; it’s generally very rich. It’s here that people flood to buy their summerhouse, renting them out in the high season, and spending time their themselves when the tourists leave. For young people, bar an annual music festival, there is little to do. For older people and families, it is a serene place with pretty beaches and some stunning rock formations.
The most famous people on the Isle of Wight have most been visitors- though often highly prestigious visitors. When Queen Victoria bought Osborne House in the 19th century, it became a fashionable holiday destination, or even a quiet spot to finish one’s opus. Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield here and Lord Tennyson was a regular visitor.
The Isle of Wight Festival first came to prominence when Bob Dylan played there in 1969- Dylan first performance after his motorcycle accident. In 1970, Murray Lerner's documentary of the festival was nominated for an Oscar. It didn’t do it too much good, because despite the 600,000 attendance, the festival was stopped until 2002. The festival is now smaller than it used to be, but still attracts big names. In 2007 Pulp, Kings of Leon and the Foo Fighters all headlined.
Alum Bay’s multi-colored sand cliff has made it one of the island foremost tourist attractions. At the top of the cliff is a family fun fair, running throughout the summer. Those wanting to explore the pebbly beaches below can take a chairlift down to the shore.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osborne House in 1845. Initially, it was too small for their needs, so they pulled it down and reconstructed in it the style of Italian Renaissance- an era for which Albert felt great appreciation. The house did not hold the same mystery for Queen Victoria’s children, so against her wishes, they opened it to the public. Today the house is under the care of the English heritage. They rent out the old cricket pavilion as a holiday cottage and occasionally hold picnic style music festivals on the grounds.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
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