The position of Newport, at the centre of the island and at the navigable head of the River Medina, has made it a natural market place for the island's mixed agricultural produce since Saxon times. Newport still retains many of its old riverside warehouses, including the Classic Boat Museum, which tells the history of Newport as a once busy shipping centre.
The central square and Guildhall of Newport were the work of John Nash (1752-1835), who designed London's Regent Street. To the south, on the outskirts of the town, sits the formidable Carisbrooke Castle. Where Charles I was held prisoner before his trial and execution in 1649.
Built on the site of a previous 8th-c. Saxon fort, its Norman stone replacement is still a impressive fortress with a surviving keep, curtain wall and moat. The twin towered gatehouse was added in the 14th century.
In November 1647 Charles I went to the castle with some friends, hoping they could win the governor over to the royal cause. However, Charles soon discovered he was a prisoner! not a guest. He made two unsuccessful escape attempts, but finally left in November 1648, on the way to his trial and execution in London.
The old governor's lodge, located within the castle grounds, houses the county museum, which tells the history of the castle and the island. There is also the excavated remains of a Roman villa in the castle grounds.
Location: Castle Hill, Newport, IOW PO30 1XY
Tel: 0370 333 1181
Contains a collection of vintage buses, coaches and other old transport vehicles that were once used on the island.
Location: Park Road, Ryde, Isle of
Wight, PO33 2BE
Tel: 01983 567796
An award winning museum located on the waterside in the Isle of Wight. Contains a collection of over 50 craft, including sailing boats, power boats, canoes, rowing boats and a lifeboat.
Location: Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2EH