Why Visit Cowes

Cowes and East Cowes face each other over the River Medina at the northern-most tip of the Isle of Wight and are linked by a chain ferry affectionately known as the “floating bridge”, one of only a handful still operating in the UK.

Originally, the name ‘Cowes’ is thought to be derived from the ‘cow castles’ that were built by Henry VIII as part of his 16th-century fortification of the Solent area, although the place name existed for a long time before the castles were constructed. The Royal Yacht Squadron has made its home in the remaining castle on the west side of the River Medina and ‘Cowes Castle’ has become a landmark in its own right since the club moved there in 1858.

Today Cowes is a bustling sailing, cycling and walking destination, attracting people with its great bars, fabulous restaurants and unique shops. Cowes Week is a major event that takes place in early August, where every year the town becomes the world home of sailing.

Even if you do not sail Cowes is a perfect place to base your trip to Isle of Wight, as a holidaymaker, a walker or a cyclist. Cowes provides easy access to the rest of the island and Newport. Close proximity to the many walking trails and cycle routes that cross the island and plenty to do and enjoy in the evenings.  Queen Victoria’s beautiful holiday home, Osborne House is only a few minutes away and whether you have a full day or a few hours to explore this is a great place to discover.

A perfect Isle of Wight destination for you to enjoy.

"Breakfast was excellent with exceptional fresh fruit salad and home made bread. All the breakfast ingredients were listed and locally sourced"

- Philippa T, TripAdvisor