There are many reasons why we love to live on the Isle of Wight – and we aren’t the only ones!
Benedict Cumberbatch and his wife Sophie Hunter married and honeymooned here and are rumoured to be building a second home on the island.
Film director Anthony Minghella was born in Ryde, and the family has been making Minghella’s ice cream on the island for the last 60 years.
The actor Jeremy Irons was born in Cowes and still has a home on the island, and Queen Victoria loved it so much she had the palatial Osborne House built to be her family holiday home.
So, what is it that makes the Isle of Wight such a special place to live? The reasons are countless, but here are just a few:
1 - Its sense of history. Osborne House is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island – “It’s impossible to imagine a prettier spot,” said Queen Victoria. Then there’s Carisbrooke Castle, where King Charles I was held captive, the Dinosaur Isle museum with fossils dating back 126 million years, and the National Trust’s Mottistone Manor and Gardens – where the newly-wed Cumberbatches held their wedding reception.
2 - The weather’s better here. Yes – really! The Isle of Wight is officially one of the sunniest places in the UK. Ventnor has its own microclimate, with an average of over 37 hours of sunshine a week, compared to the national average of 29.7 hours.
3 - There’s so much to do, whether you want to lie back on a gorgeous beach, walk or cycle the coastal paths, sail, surf, hop on a stream train or visit a host of local attractions, this really is the island of adventure.
4 - Great food. If you’re on the Isle of Wight, you’ll have access to some of the best produce in the country. The island has fantastic ice cream, cheese and wine producers, and is famous for its tomatoes, asparagus, honey, seafood and garlic – it even has its own annual garlic festival. Add in a variety of award-winning restaurants, and you may need to invest in larger trousers!
5 - The music. The island has made a name for itself as a great place for live music. As well as the world-famous Isle of Wight festival, there’s the Ventnor Fringe, which sees a range of gigs popping up in quirky venues around Ventnor, V-Dub Island, an affordable family-friendly festival for lovers of both V-Dubs and live music, and the Wight Proms, celebrating the island’s music food, people – and even the native red squirrels!