Positioned around a natural harbour on the western side of the Isle of Wight and guarded by a castle built by Henry VIII, Yarmouth was the first town on the Island to be granted a Royal Charter in 1135. The town’s proximity to the River Yar Estuary has turned it into popular all year round destination for yachts and motor cruisers. It is also where the Wighgtlink Ferries dock from Lymington. On the quayside there are fishing boats for hire that will take keen anglers on expeditions in the Solent or off the Needles. You can even get a view of the lovely Isle of Wight from the sea by taking the round trip on the splendid Waverley paddle steamer. But the highlight of Yarmouth’s nautical year has to be the Old Gaffer’s Festival in late May and early June, during which over 100 gaff rigged boats compete against one another in a variety of contests.
The square in the town centre is a bustling hub of community and tourist life. Strangers to the town may have a sense of déjà vu as the TV series ‘Rocket to the Moon’ was filmed there. The pride of Yarmouth’s architecture is it’s unique Victorian timber built pier, which was constructed in 1876 and received a full restoration job during the 1990s. The town’s impressive promenade is a lovely place to stroll and take in the magnificent views across the Solent or if you prefer something more tranquil you can enjoy a leafy walk along ‘The Causeway’, which is actually a disused railway track.
Accommodation in the town is universally excellent with a wide choice of holiday centres (including an adults only establishment), campsites, guesthouses and hotels. And as you would imagine from a harbour town there is a vibrant nightlife with plenty of fine restaurants and friendly pubs to choose from. Steeped in history and totally in touch with the 21st century, Yarmouth has a personality all of it’s own. Atmospheric, entertaining and always hospitable it’s a year round treat for anybody wanting to break away from the day-to-day routine.