The Isle of Wight is an island off the south coast of England opposite Southampton. It had a population of 132,731 according to the 2001 census (126,600 in 1991). It is approximately diamond in shape and covers an area of 147 square miles (381 square km). The terrain is chalk downland. The river Medina flows north into the Solent.
The principal towns on the island are:
- Newport - The county seat.
- Cowes - A famous yachting town, at the mouth of the river Medina.
- Ryde - A seaside resort, with a long pier.
- Brading - Close to the ruins of a Roman villa
- The Beatles' "When I'm Sixty-Four", written by Paul McCartney, refers to a rented summer cottage on the Isle of Wight.