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The history of the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is known as the dinosaur isle, giving you the first clue as to how old the island is and just how much history it is steeped in. Of course, long after the dinosaurs were gone, the Isle of Wight witnessed a whole bunch of events that resulted in various iconic landmarks being left behind, just waiting for visitors of the future to come and experience.

Dinosaur Isle

The Isle of Wight is thought to have some of the best dinosaur remains in the whole of Europe. As well as an array of fossils and bones, there are also casts of footprints to be found at Hanover Point. The island offered an ideal environment for the dinosaurs and their main food sources 120 million years ago and their remains were all preserved in the cliffs, as well as all over the island.

The Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown is a great day out, especially if you have children with you. As well as featuring lots of information on the dinosaurs, there are also several collections in the museum. Around 30,000 specimens are in the museum and it has various education sessions for children as well.

Carisbrooke Castle

Located in Newport, Carisbrooke Castle is probably most famous as being the prison of Charles I but it dates back to around 1100. The castle saw off a siege from the French in 1377, as well as the Spanish Armada in 1588, becoming the home of Charles I after his defeat in the English Civil War from 1647-1648.

The castle is still in place today, with an on-site museum full of artefacts and memorabilia. There are daily demonstrations at the donkey centre, as well as the Princess Beatrice Garden, which is a key attraction of the castle. There are various events running throughout the summer, so if you're on holiday on the Isle of Wight, make sure Carisbrooke is on your to-do list.

Osborne House

While you're already reading about royal residences, why not check out Osborne House? The holiday home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert is now open to the public, with the luxurious interiors available for viewing.

The private rooms of the queen can now be seen, while a stroll down to the beach is easy, with a direct path from the house. There are even horse and carriage rides to the house, which make for a great trip with or without the children. If you're into your history, Osborne House is a must-see on your holiday to the Isle of Wight.

The Needles Old Battery

Built on the exposed headland, overlooking the iconic rocks of the Needles, the Old Battery dates back to the 1860s. Designed as a means of defence for the dockyards in Portsmouth, the Old Battery was a base to keep a look out for the French.

However, with no invasion ever taking place, the Old Battery was closed and decommissioned. It's now open to the public and you can find out what life was like there. You also get the chance to experience a stunning view of the Needles rocks, with some fantastic photo opportunities.

The Isle of Wight has a long, detailed history, with many original monuments and landmarks still standing today. A lot of these are open to the public so you can find out what it was like to live on the island centuries ago. One thing you can be sure of is that the Isle of Wight is certainly not short of things to do. Whether you're on holiday with friends, the family or on a romantic getaway, the island is just waiting to be explored, so make the most of it.