Exploring the UK

An overview of: Isle of Wight

Where is the Isle of Wight?

The Isle of Wight is located off the south coast of England, in the English Channel. It’s to the south of the county of Hampshire and is the largest island in England.

The IoW is a popular tourist destination known for its natural beauty, seaside resorts, and historical sites.

  • You can find the Isle of Wight on Google Maps here.

About the region

The Isle of Wight is part of the region known as South East England. This region encompasses the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, and West Sussex.

The South East England region is quite diverse, containing everything from bustling cities to peaceful coastlines and countryside. It includes several well-known and culturally significant locations, such as the historic city of Oxford, the iconic white cliffs of Dover in Kent, and the vibrant seaside city of Brighton in East Sussex.

Specifically regarding the Isle of Wight’s immediate vicinity, the island lies off the coast of Hampshire. Hampshire is a county known for its beautiful countryside, including the New Forest National Park and part of the South Downs. Cities in Hampshire include the major port city of Southampton, which has a rich maritime history, and Portsmouth, home to the Royal Navy. Both of these cities have ferry links to the Isle of Wight.

The Isle of Wight itself is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscapes, making it a popular tourist destination. It’s also famous for its annual music festival, the Isle of Wight Festival, which attracts visitors from all over the world. Historical attractions on the island include Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s seaside retreat, and Carisbrooke Castle, which has roots dating back to the Roman period.


The Isle of Wight is well-served by a variety of transport options, although it’s important to remember that as an island, the final part of your journey will need to be by water or air.

  • By Car: If you’re driving, you can reach the ferry terminals at Portsmouth, Southampton, or Lymington (in the New Forest) via the UK’s motorway network. The A3 connects London to Portsmouth, the M3 connects London to Southampton, and the A31 connects the M27 to the New Forest. Once you’ve reached the ferry terminal, you have a couple of options for getting to the Isle of Wight:
  1. Car Ferries: Wightlink operates car ferry services from Portsmouth to Fishbourne (near Ryde) and from Lymington to Yarmouth. Red Funnel also operates car ferries from Southampton to East Cowes.
  2. Passenger Ferries: For foot passengers, there are also high-speed catamaran services operated by Wightlink from Portsmouth to Ryde and by Red Funnel from Southampton to West Cowes. Hovertravel also operates a hovercraft service for foot passengers between Southsea (in Portsmouth) and Ryde.
  • By Air: While there isn’t a commercial airport on the Isle of Wight itself, the island is easily accessible from several airports in southern England. The closest are Southampton Airport, Bournemouth Airport, and London’s airports. From any of these airports, you can take a train or coach to a ferry terminal to reach the Isle of Wight.
  • By Train: You can take a train to one of the port towns in southern England, and from there, take a ferry to the Isle of Wight. South Western Railway operates regular services from London Waterloo to Portsmouth and Southampton, which are the two primary ferry departure points for the Isle of Wight.
  • By Bus: National Express operates coaches to Portsmouth and Southampton from a range of locations across the UK. From there, you can catch a ferry to the Isle of Wight.

Living in the area

Living on the Isle of Wight offers a unique blend of tranquil countryside, beautiful beaches, and a strong sense of community spirit. The island boasts a rich history and culture and, despite its relative seclusion, the Isle of Wight is well connected to the mainland, with regular ferry services making commuting or mainland visits straightforward.

The Isle of Wight offers a diverse range of housing options, from charming seaside cottages and modern apartments in the island’s towns and villages, to large country houses.

The cost of housing on the Isle of Wight can vary significantly depending on the location and type of property. As a general rule, properties with sea views or in more popular tourist destinations tend to be more expensive. However, on average, house prices on the Isle of Wight can be lower than those in many parts of South East England.

Living costs on the Isle of Wight can also be more affordable compared to other parts of the UK, particularly London and other major cities.

In terms of utilities, costs are relatively comparable to the rest of the UK. Groceries can be a bit more expensive due to the additional cost of transporting goods to the island, but this is somewhat balanced by the availability of local produce, particularly seafood, dairy, and vegetables.

Overall, the Isle of Wight offers a more relaxed pace of life and often lower living costs compared to other parts of the South East.


  • Primary Schools: There are numerous primary schools scattered across the island, ensuring that children have access to education close to their homes. These schools follow the National Curriculum and provide education from Reception (starting at age 4) to Year 6.
  • Secondary Schools: At the secondary level, there are several options, including community schools, academies, and independent schools. They offer education from Year 7 to Year 11, culminating in GCSE examinations.
  • Post-16 Options: For those seeking education beyond GCSEs, the Isle of Wight has colleges and sixth forms that offer a range of A-levels, vocational qualifications, and apprenticeships. The main provider of post-16 education is the Isle of Wight College.
  • Special Educational Needs (SEN): For children with special educational needs, there are dedicated provisions within mainstream schools, as well as special schools that cater to children requiring more specialised support.

  • Further Education: The main further education provider is the Isle of Wight College, which offers a wide variety of courses, including A-levels, Vocational qualifications, Apprenticeships, Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs), Access to Higher Education courses. The college also has partnerships with universities, which means students can sometimes progress to degree-level courses without leaving the island.
  • Universities: There are several universities within a reasonable distance of the Isle of Wight, for example, both the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton, have universities offering a comprehensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs.


The Isle of Wight, nestled off the south coast of England, offers a splendid range of leisure activities. With its pristine beaches like Sandown Beach and Compton Bay, it’s a haven for sun-seekers and surf enthusiasts.

Nature lovers can relish in walking and hiking along trails like the Tennyson Trail, or cycling through routes such as the Red Squirrel Trail. Historical sites abound, including Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s former residence, and Carisbrooke Castle, a medieval stronghold. For family-friendly fun, the Isle of Wight Zoo and Blackgang Chine amusement park beckon. Gardens like Ventnor Botanic Garden and wildlife parks like Amazon World captivate visitors. The island comes alive with festivals like the Isle of Wight Festival and sailing regatta Cowes Week, while art and craft enthusiasts can explore venues like Quay Arts. Foodies can delight in local produce, cheeses, and even attend the Isle of Wight Garlic Festival.

With its multifaceted attractions and stunning landscapes, the Isle of Wight is a true leisure paradise.


The Isle of Wight NHS Trust is the only integrated acute, community, mental health and ambulance health care provider in England.

Established in April 2012, it provides a full range of health services to an isolated offshore population of 140,000. These services are provided at St. Mary’s Hospital in Newport along with a number of community sites across the Isle of Wight. Despite being relatively small, the trust is responsible for delivering a wide variety of services, striving to offer high-quality, person-centered care. Like any NHS trust, it has faced challenges but continues to work towards improving outcomes and experiences for the residents and visitors of the Isle of Wight. The trust also works closely with local partners to coordinate care and services, and is central to the health and wellbeing of the island’s community.

  • You can visit the trust website here.

Relocation support

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Our dedicated team is readily available to address any concerns or queries that you have along the way, ensuring that you feel supported and confident throughout your relocation.

With our guidance, you can confidently navigate the relocation journey, focusing on your professional and personal growth in the UK.

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