A world-renowned yachting centre with an internationally respected major sailing event named after it, Cowes, is one of the UK’s premier tourist destinations. The main port of the Isle of Wight, it is situated around a natural harbour at the mouth of the Medina River. Originally a busy fishing village constructed around two coastal forts built by Henry VIII, the town has a fine tradition for shipbuilding and is home to dozens of chandlers. As you would expect the marinas are world-class and play host to some of the finest cruisers and yachts money can buy.
The town with it’s colourful, narrow streets is famous for its vibrant thoroughly hospitable atmosphere and many lively drinking establishments; there are actually more pubs per square mile in Cowes than any other town in the UK. The High Street is a delight for shoppers, with its superb array of fashion outlets, gifts shops, and delicatessens. There is also a splendid choice of restaurants and cafes serving tasty local seafood and speciality dishes. For culture vultures there are plenty of historic places of interest to visit, the 19th century Northwood House & Park, St. Mary’s Church and East Cowes’ magnificent Osborne House, the former holiday home of Queen Victoria.
Cowes predominant attraction is of course the sailing and the main calendar event is Cowes Week, which is considered by many to be the premier event of the maritime year. But for those who are looking for a truly fascinating short break or daytrip the town has an awful lot to offer. It may well even tempt you back for more.