Isle of Wight

island, county and unitary authority area of England

The Isle of Wight is an island county that is just off the south coast of England. It is about 40 kilometres (25 miles) by 20 kilometres (13 miles) in size. About one hundred and twenty thousand people live on the island.

Flag of the Isle of Wight
A satellite photograph of the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is a county. This means that it has a council of people who make decisions about some things that affect the people who live there. Until 1890 it was part of the administrative county of Hampshire. The county town of the island, which is the place where the council work, is Newport.

Many people like to go on holiday on the island. There are many hotels and tourist attractions. Queen Victoria often visited the Isle of Wight where she owned a large mansion called Osborne House. Tourism is the most important industry on the island.

Over half of the island is officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is widely recognised as the most important site in Europe for finding dinosaur remains, and is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.