East Cowes - ISLE OF WIGHT

What's around East Cowes?

chain ferry east cowes

East Cowes is a town and civil parish in the very northern tip of the Isle of Wight, next to the town of Cowes and on the other bank of the River Medina. It is a small but thriving town, a yachting centre and one of the first places that visitors to the island will see if coming from Southampton by ferry, which is just over the Solent.

Osborne House for a good day out near East CowesThere is a lot to see and do in East Cowes, and one of these must-see places in Osborne House which was a former residence for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Built especially for the royal couple between 1845 and 1851, Osborne House was a summer home for the Queen to escape to, with Prince Albert himself being the designer of the house.

Queen Victoria died at the house in 1901 and today is fully open to the public to visit, with art displays, photographs and other artefacts. Set in a pretty garden and with a lovely tea café, it makes a great day out in East Cowes and is one of the most interesting places to see on the Isle of Wight.

A chain ferry connect East Cowes with the larger town of Cowes. Local people use the free passenger service to go shopping. Taking a car across saves a long drive and is a worthwhile and inexpensive experience, something which adds to your holiday memories.

A large new Waitrose supermarket is located close to the chain ferry. There is free parking in its spacious car park for 2 hours with a purchase from the shop.

Around East Cowes


yachts in cowes isle of wightAnother place of interest in East Cowes is Norris Castle, although it is not open to the public as of present. This historic castle looks majestic from the outside and was visited by King George IV in 1819.


The nearby town of Cowes is home to the Cowes Maritime Museum which is interesting to visit, especially if you love all things nautical! The museum has an extensive collection of model boats and information about the shipbuilding industry in Cowes, and is free of charge.


Cowes is also home to the world’s oldest regatta during the first week of August, Cowes Week, which dates back to 1826. With 40 races a day, 8,500 competitors and over 1,000 boats, it is an exciting and historical regatta and wonderful to visit if staying in East Cowes, or taking a trip to this part of the Isle of Wight for a visit to Osborne House.

East Cowes is home to lots of lovely self-catering cottages which are perfect to rent if wanting to stay in the northern part of the Isle of Wight with your loved one or friends. The island is quite small, so the island’s other attractions and events are never too far away from East Cowes.

Self catering accommodation

near East Cowes


Best of Isle of Wight

East Cowes offers more than sailing breaks

It is always nice to be around boats. Bobbing yachts look very pretty en-masse out at sea and the Solent is never free of boats- there is always one craft or another making its way across.

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Facts about East Cowes, Isle of Wight

The chain ferry is an interesting experience if you have never been on one. There is hardly any sense of movement and the whole process is incredibly efficient.

Buy tickets at the ticket office to board. Arrive early because it can get quite busy.

There is a large Waitrose with an enormous car park not far from the chain ferry. Perhaps not supposed to be used for holiday parking but most useful for parking whilst exploring the river and for the purchase of snacks.

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