Cowes can date its history back to at least early 15th century, when Henry VIII founded castles there to defend against the French. The west fort in Cowes still survives to this day, albeit without the original Tudor towers, as Cowes Castle, now home to the world famous Royal Yacht Squadron. Much of the architecture of the Old Town dates from the Georgian & Victorian periods. During the reign of George IV, Cowes began its career as the 'yachting capital' of the world. In 1826 the Royal Yacht Squadron organised a 3 day regatta, the king attended the following year & presented a cup, the event is now the Cowes Regatta. For the outdoor enthusiast, there are many beaches, golf, water sports, walking, cycling or riding. Carisbrooke Castle, Osborne House, various NT homes & gardens, animal/wildlife centres & country/adventure parks all make good days out. Beach 500yds. Shop & pub 200yds, restaurant 300yds.