Seaview, Isle of Wight
Seaview is a small Edwardian resort located on the north-eastern corner of the Isle of Wight, overlooking the Solent. The village is popular with tourists and is only a 15-minute drive from the town of Ryde, where most tourists reach the island by ferry or hovercraft. Together with Nettlestone, it forms a civil parish of Nettlestone and Seaview.
The High Street is perpendicular to the shore. On the seafront lies the The Old Fort pub, a drinking spot popular with both residents and summer visitors. The Salterns Cottages used to house salt pan workers. One street is named Rope Walk, because long sections of rope for rigging ships were laid out there.
The well-known Priory Bay is approximately a ten-minute walk from the village. This stretch of beach can only be reached at low tide. It is filled with white sand and offers excellent swimming conditions. In addition, Seagrove Bay, between the village and Priory Bay, is quite popular. Some of the largest houses in the area are along Pier Road and Bluett Avenue, and this is partly responsible for the nickname "millionaires avenues". Further large period houses, now largely divided into flats, can be found in Ryde Road.
Seaview is home to the Seaview Wildlife Encounter, formerly Flamingo Park. No Man's Land Fort, formerly part of the coast defences and now a luxury residence, is visible in the Solent one mile from Seaview.
Seaview has many holiday homes including some with sea views. This leads to a seasonal variation in the activity in the village - with many second-home owners visiting only in the summer months or holiday periods. There are two hotels, the Seaview Hotel and the Northbank Hotel. There is a pizza place, a Post Office, stationery shop, pharmacist, grocers and an art gallery.
The village is home to the Sea View Yacht Club, founded in 1893. In summer, the village hosts the Seaview Regatta, during which locals and tourists can take part in many traditional activities, such as the greasy pole where people line up and see how far they can slide along a pole covered in grease. Once they have slipped off, they drop into the sea below. There is also a diving competition and a firework display concludes the event each year.
In 1877 the Seaview Pier Company was formed to build Seaview a promenading pier, and approval for a 350-yard-long pier was given by Parliament in 1878. The suspension pier was designed by Frank Caws, a Seaview-born engineer/architect then working in Sunderland. The pier was finished in 1881, and was 1000 feet long and 15 feet wide. There were four towers from which the pier deck was suspended.
In its heyday, the pier received passenger ferries from Portsmouth and other south coast towns. At the entrance to the pier was the Pier Hotel, which catered for holidaymakers.
The Pier was still in use after World War II, but was destroyed in a storm in late December 1951.
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