The crowning glory of summer on the Isle of Wight, Cowes week is the ultimate sailing regatta. An entire week dedicated to sailing, water activities and catching up with friends, this is an island event worth attending.
The main event of the week is of course the sailing. You can watch the races from the shore or get out on to the water on a rib if you fancy something to get your adrenaline pumping. The Solent is a sight during this week; filled with yachts, dinghies and catamarans all sharing the water trying to get a good view of the sailing. If you’d rather stay on the shore to spectate, find a space on any beach to the north of the island, some of the racing goes as far as Newtown. Head out for the afternoon to somewhere like The Little Gloster, in Gurnard, and make the most of its incredible view over the Solent while enjoying a cold drink in the sunshine.
Away from the racing, Cowes comes alive with live music, food stalls and plenty to see and do. Visit for a day or stay for the entire week to join in with the festivities. The music line ups are different every day and every pub, restaurant, shop and cafe in town gets involved with the week. The atmosphere is electric and is enjoyable for everyone, especially those who aren’t so bothered about the sailing.
The Tuesday of Cowes week is Ladies Day and is filled with women dressing up and celebrating one another. Everyone is encouraged to wear their navy and white sailing stripes for the day and then gets dressed up in the evening. There are awards for the best dressed and, of course, photographers to capture your best side. This is a fun celebration and the perfect excuse to get dressed up while you’re on holiday.
To end the week, there's a spectacular firework display that everyone flocks to see. Visitors and locals alike stand together to watch the fireworks light up the sky. This is one of the best displays we've ever seen. It's an amazing welcome or farewell for your holiday, depending on when you choose to arrive and leave.
Treat yourself to a private view of the races by staying in a holiday cottage with sea views. Stay away from the masses and enjoy a glass of wine in the garden while keeping up with the action. What better way to celebrate this fantastic moment in the island’s busy social summer calendar?