The small town is over a thousand years old. The castle was built by Henry VIII as a gun emplacement to defend the Solent. Now it is the terminus for one of the ferry services to the island, and this, a relatively small yacht harbour, and tourism are its main raisons d’etre.
Opened in 1876, and in its earlier years subject to occasional damage from ships, this is the longest wooden pier in the UK.
For that reason, it has needed costly restoration every decade or two in the last 40 years.