Sport and song on the Isle of Wight

January 20, 2013 No Comments »

Cowes Week

This post is brought to you by Sykes Cottages, a great company to book a holiday cottage in the UK with.

As you journey across the Solent towards the Isle of Wight, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the former summer residence of Queen Victoria is a peaceful idyll just off the south coast of the UK. Think again. While you’ll find plenty of tranquil spots on the Isle, this bustling island is a haven for sporty and musical visitors alike.

Given it’s an island, it’s no surprise that the Isle of Wight is a paradise for water babies with opportunities to try out a variety of watersports across the island. Find which watersport floats your boat with a choice of windsurfing, scuba diving, waterskiing and canoeing. If you’re a newcomer to the water, you couldn’t choose a better place to learn with gentle conditions and excellent instructors. For those looking to challenge themselves, the ever-changing weather conditions on the Isle of Wight are sure to test old hands.

If sailing takes your fancy, where better to seek inspiration than at Cowes Week? The week-long regatta is not only a huge draw for visitors and sailing professionals but also a key part of the British sporting summer. With as many as 40 races a day and more than 1000 boats, Cowes is the largest regatta of its type in the world and even sailing novices will want to get involved after a day spent watching from the shore. Choosing a holiday cottage means you can easily explore the island during your holiday and Sykes Cottages has a great selection throughout the UK including on the Isle of Wight.

If you’re happier with two feet on dry land, try a summer music festival. Considering the size of the island, it comes as a surprise that the Isle of Wight manages to pack in as many as five festivals over the summer. The Isle of Wight Festival, certainly the most well-known of the island’s musical offerings, has been held every June since the 1960s and offers a mix of mainstream music with The Stone Roses, Killers and Bon Jovi headlining this year. If you’re looking for something smaller and more diverse, try Bestival in September organised by a Radio One DJ. In 2010, Bestival achieved the world record for the most number of people in fancy dress at the same time when 55,000 festival goers donned a costume.

Music festival

For something further off the beaten track, look to one of the island’s more independent festivals. July’s Rhythm Tree festival on the west coast offers a unique mix of folk, blues and afrobeat. Look forward to a genuinely friendly atmosphere and with a real emphasis on local food and drink it’s a great opportunity to get a flavour for the Isle of Wight. Newer still is the Ventnor Fringe Festival, an entirely student-led take on the Edinburgh Fringe which aims to promote the island as a place for creative discussion. There’s also family-favourite FolkStation held in July with plenty to keep music fans of all ages entertained.

Whether you get your adrenaline pumping in the water or chill out at a festival, look forward to a great summer on the Isle of Wight.

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