Away from the water, the Island is a patchwork of small towns, tiny villages and even smaller hamlets dotted across unspoilt rolling countryside, nestled under forest and downland, with stunning views all the way along the south coast of England into Dorset and beyond. The Island has more pubs per square mile than any other English county, all serving traditional ales, many with thatched roofs and log fires. The Island County Town of Newport is located in the centre of the Island – built in the valley below Carisbrooke Castle. Now run by English Heritage and open to the public, this historic 10th century moat and bailey castle was where king Charles 1st was kept imprisoned for 14 months leading up to his execution by the Parliamentarians in 1649.
Royalty aside, the Island has been home to many famous figures from Alfred Lord Tennyson at his home Farringford in Freshwater, to Charles Dickens sojourn in Bonchurch at The Winterbourne while writing David Copperfield.