Explore Cowes, Isle of Wight


Cowes is a pretty little town located on the west bank of the estuary of the River Medina, facing the smaller town of East Cowes on the east bank. The two towns are linked by the Cowes Floating Bridge, a chain ferry.

Soak up the history of Cowes and East Cowes with monarchs, museums and churches and tread in the footsteps of time, there's plenty of activities to do with children such as cycling and exploring the beautiful beaches. Here are some top things to do in Cowes. 


Osborne House

Queen Victoria’s home is on the outskirts of East Cowes, so you will need to catch the floating bridge across if you’re in (West) Cowes or drive back towards Newport for a few miles.

Walk to Gurnard

The Esplanade walk from Cowes to Gurnard is a simple one to attempt with a pushchair. It’ll take you about 20-30 minutes. Once you get to Gurnard there’s a mid-sized playground which is good for younger children. There’s free parking in Gurnard and along the Esplanade, so thrifty visitors may prefer to do the walk in the opposite direction.


Cowes Yacht Haven

You cannot visit Cowes without seeing some yachts! Cowes Yacht Haven is a world-class marina based in the heart of Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Its town centre location allows for easy access to a high street full of pubs, restaurants and shops within seconds.


Sir Max Aitken Museum 

This magnificent 18th Century, Ratsey and Lapthorn sail maker’s loft, was acquired and restored by Sir Max Aitken in 1947.


Cowes Maritime Museum

Cowes Maritime Museum displays a selection of objects and images which help to tell the story of Cowes and its important maritime heritage.

Cycle to Newport

The former railway line linking Cowes and Newport is now a cycle track which goes alongside the River Medina. It’s generally pretty flat and is a good one to attempt with children.



Cowes is the kind of place which mostly avoids grotty pound shops and the like. Instead, there's quite a few nice yachty retailers as well as some independent shops selling pretty things you didn’t realise you needed.


Trinity Theater

Trinity Theatre is owned by one of the oldest amateur dramatic societies in Britain. It seats only 200 people and is now also used for cinema viewings. 

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