Cowes

If you embark from Southampton, your ferry crosses the Solent channel and docks at Cowes, near Queen Victoria's Osborne House. Cowes is a magic name in the sailing world because of the internationally known Cowes Week yachting festival (www.aamcowesweek.co.uk), held each July or August. At the north end of the high street, on the Parade, a tablet commemorates the two ships that sailed from here in 1633 carrying the English settlers who founded what later became Maryland.

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