Introduction : The River Medina splits the North point of the Island, separating the two Cowes' and running its way down to the Island's capital, Newport.

Cowes is an extremely popular site for sailors with the internationally recognised Cowes Week attracting competitors from around the world every August as well as many other events including the Round the Island Race and the Power Boat Race.

Both West and East Cowes have excellent marinas and numerous facilities to cater for all levels of sailing experience as well as those who just like to watch. If sailing is not your thing then there is still plenty to do, with many good pubs and restaurants that particularly come alive during the summer season.

East Cowes is also the home of Osborne House, which of course was the famed residence of Queen Victoria. English Heritage oversees the running and upkeep of the house and most of the rooms have been frozen in time, preserved, as they were when the Queen herself lived there.

Newport is the Island's principle town. Being near to the centre with excellent connections offered by the river it has historically been the centre of trade and commerce. The Quay, now more modest in its industrial value, still offers an ambient taste of what it was like in its heyday. Many of the old warehouse buildings are under heritage protection and appear today much as they were then.

The Quay Arts Centre is situated in one such building and holds regular exhibitions, as well as offering a theatre, cinema and a café. The town is the most popular shopping area on the island and has several cafés and restaurants to suit all tastes.