Sandy beach cove on the Isle of Wight
With a slower pace of life and a sunnier climate, the Isle of Wight offers luxury hotels, fine restaurants and two major music festivals.
Take your car on the Isle of Wight ferry and the Island’s network of country roads opens out before you.
Try Freshwater Bay to the west, the sandy beaches of Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor on the southern coast or Cowes in the north.
Foot passengers can make the most of a go-as-you-please Rover Ticket and explore from the top deck of a Southern Vectis bus. A London tube train runs the Island Line rail service from Ryde to Shanklin.
If hotels seem too tame, visitors can stay in a Mongolian-style yurt, complete with wood-burning stove and double bed; alternatives are nights in a VW campervan or American airstream caravan, an icon of the 50s and 60s.
Charles I was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle, which was also the official residence of the Island’s Governor, Princess Beatrice, right up until 1944.
The Round the Island Race is an annual one-day yacht spectacular, attracting more than 1,700 boats and 16,000 sailors, making it one of the biggest such events in the world.
The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival is the chance to taste garlic-flavoured mussels, sausages, ice cream and beer (if you dare), as well as watch sheep dog trials and enjoy some live music.