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East Cowes town guide


East Cowes is separated from its sister town, Cowes, by the River Medina. East Cowes is best know for its industrial heritage and for the fact that Queen Victoria lived at Osborne House which is a short distance from the centre of the town. The town is familiar to visitors to the Island as the terminal for the Southampton car ferry.


The chain ferry floating bridge is one of only a handful of such operational vessels in the UK. The bridge is the only direct link between East and West Cowes (which saves a drive to Newport) and has been run by the Isle of Wight Council since 1901. The first steam driven floating bridge was introduced in 1859.

Floating Bridge
Floating Bridge by Wight Index


Osborne House was designed by Prince Albert, the Queen's Consort, and built by Thomas Cubitt in 1845-48 as a retreat and family residence for Queen Victoria. Osborne House was the Queen's favourite residence after the death of Prince Albert in 1861 and she died at the House in 1901. Osborne House, with its two large towers and balconies reflected Prince Albert's interest in the Italian architecture of the period. The House was opened to the public in 1904 after Edward VII donated it to the nation. The State and private apartments used by Queen Victoria are open to the public as are the newly restored gardens which were opened to the public in 2000. From the House a path leads for half a mile to the Swiss Cottage which can also be reached by a free pony and trap service. The Swiss Cottage, a playhouse for the Royal children, was built by estate carpenters in the style of a Swiss chalet in 1854. Further details about Osborne House are available from English Heritage.


East Cowes websites in the Isle of Wight Index:-


Kathy's OnlineEast Cowes Card and Gift Shop
East CowesA local guide
Island Harbour MarinaOver 200 berths for permanent moorings and visiting yachts
Cowes ApartmentsApartments overlooking E Cowes marina
Machine Shop Beach Fishing ClubShore angling on the IW
No.1 Seymour Court - East CowesWaterside self-catering holiday home in East Cowes
Bubbles N BitsHandmade soaps and products from the Island
Crossways HouseDinner, Bed and Breakfast in one of Queen Victorias Commissioned Houses
Olivers Estate and Residential lettings AgencyEstate Agency and Residential sales and Property Management
York Avenue GarageThe Islands premier used car sales site.
Bramble Bank HouseBed and breakfast accommodation, East Cowes
Licensed coffee shopFriendly, smart East Cowes non-smoking licensed coffee shop
Wight Elephant Antiques & CollectablesWide range of antiques and collectables in East cowes



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