The historic yachting mecca of Cowes is a great place to explore. In the summer there are numerous sailing regattas to watch. The pedestrianised and quaint High Street hosts many lovely shops, pubs and restaurants. All year round it is lovely to stroll along the seafront, continuing on to beach walks towards the village of Gurnard. Cowes also makes a great base to explore the Isle of Wight
Cowes is a wonderful town and has many moods. Cowes Week, Little Britain and the Red Funnel event at Easter are the headline events, though there are many other sailing regattas from March to September each year but Cowes is more than that. There are excellent eateries from traditional pubs to Indian, Chinese, Italian, or even take a river taxi in the summer to the Folley Inn on the Medina River near Whippingham, for a great night out.
Cowes has narrow streets and as well as many shops selling the latest sailing gear there are a number of local craft shops too. Shopping in the narrow pedestrianised High Street is a delight, with some excellent shops, many catering for the yachting fraternity. The town also has an array of fashionable clothing shops, gift shops, delicatessens, cafes, restaurants and lively pubs.
Within the vicinity of Cowes are opportunities for cliff walking, swimming and wind surfing at the sandy beaches, sailing and fishing, boat trips and bird-watching trips on the river.
The sea is never far away, and a walk through a narrow alley will take you to the marina, where you can stand and admire the cruisers and yachts which help to make Cowes what it is. The harbour is busy with yachts, sailing dinghies and fishing boats of all descriptions, with a full racing schedule throughout the year.
Cowes Week is an 8 day sailing regatta that usually take place in the first week of August on the Isle of Wight. It is one of the longest-running sporting events in UK history, dating back to 1826, Cowes Week today attracts up to 1,000 boats, and is the world’s best-known sailing regatta.
During the event the Solent makes for a truly spectacular sight, with 100 year old wooden day-boats sharing the waters with ultra-modern machines made of carbon fibre, and with small dinghy’s racing alongside maxi yachts.
There are up to 40 races taking place daily during the week with a varied range of experience across the 8,000 competing crews, with World and Olympic Champions racing against amateur weekend sailors and beginners. The atmosphere across the town of Cowes is transformed into that of a festival during Cowes Week, with 100,000 spectators who come to watch the sailing and enjoy the parties and live entertainment.