Being an island, it should come as no surprise that the Isle of Wight has a rich history in seafaring and maritime affairs. The island is also intrinsically linked to yachting and pleasure sailing. There are plenty of museums and attractions for those who enjoy such pastimes.
East Cowes Maritime Museum
East Cowes is packed with history and is the unofficial historical capital of the island. The Maritime Museum was opened by staff within the town’s library in the 1970s and has grown slowly but steadily over the years. The museum offers free entry and displays model boas as well as photographs of the yacht and ship building industry in the Isle of Wight. It can be found on Beckford Road in East Cowes.
St. Catherine’s Lighthouse
This lighthouse can be found at the Southern tip of the Isle of Wight. It was established in 1323 and is one of the oldest lighthouse sites in the United Kingdom. It was originally part of a Catholic Oratory, but was demolished and rebuilt in 1838 and fitted with a stronger light to help pierce the often thick fog that can blanket the area. In 1932 fog horn was also installed. They are now redundant, but kept in working order. Visitors can rent out cottages near the lighthouse. You can also take a guided tour of the lighthouse itself, which are organised by the Trinity Trust.
This museum is dedicated to shipwrecks and anything that is found on the seabed. It is found within Fort Victoria and was opened in 1990.
The museum displays artifacts that have been recovered from ships that have sunk in the seas around the Isle of Wight. It is open between Easter and Autumn, but dates and times are announced in the local newspapers and on the radio.