Portal:Isle of Wight

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Isle of Wight

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The Isle of Wight is an English island and county in the English Channel three miles from the south coast of Great Britain. It is situated south of the county of Hampshire and is separated from mainland England by the Solent. Popular since Victorian times as a holiday resort, the Isle of Wight is known for its natural beauty and for its world-famous sailing based in Cowes.

The Island has a rich history including its own brief status as a nominally independent kingdom in the fifteenth century. It was home to the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Queen Victoria built her much loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. The Island's maritime and industrial history encompasses boat building, sail making, the manufacture of flying boats, the world's first hovercraft and the testing and development of British space rockets. It is home to the Bestival and the recently revived Isle of Wight Festival, which, in 1970, was one of the largest rock music events ever held.[1] The island has some exceptional wildlife and is also one of the richest fossil locations for dinosaurs in Europe.


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Osborne House is a former royal residence in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, England.

The house was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Prince Albert designed the house himself. The builder was Thomas Cubitt, the London architect and builder whose company also built the main façade of Buckingham Palace. An earlier, smaller house on the site was demolished.

The house was always the favourite of Victoria, who spent many summer months there. It became the nearest thing to a family home her children were to know. The grounds include a 'Swiss Cottage' complete with rooms built on miniature scale for use by the Queen's children. The children also had their own adjoining garden.

Following Albert's death in 1861, it continued as one of her favourite homes. As a widow, Victoria always spent Christmas at Osborne. Marconi later transmitted some of the first radio messages to Victoria at Osborne to keep her abreast of the state of health of her son Edward, when he was seriously ill at Sandringham.


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Dame Ellen Patricia MacArthur, DBE (born 8 July 1976) is an English sailor from Whatstandwell near Matlock in Derbyshire, now based in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight. She is best known as a solo long-distance yachtswoman. On 7 February 2005 she broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe, a feat which cemented her international renown. Francis Joyon, the Frenchman who had held the record before MacArthur, recovered the record again in early 2008.


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  1. ^ Isle of Wight Festival history