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Isle of Sheppey, Travel Britain

The Isle of Sheppey is a small island 9 miles long and 5 miles wide off the northern coast of Kent, in the Thames Estuary.

The land mass referred to as Sheppey comprises three main islands: Sheppey, the Isle of Harty and the Isle of Elmley. It is connected to the mainland by two bridges. The Sheppey Crossing, opened in July 2006, is the island's first fixed link with the mainland. The old Kingsferry Bridge is still used as a lifting bridge and the railway line crosses it.

The largest town on the island is Sheerness. Other places include Minster, which has a pebble beach, and Leysdown-on-Sea, which has a sandy one. Leysdown has plenty of fish and chip shops and is dotted with caravan parks and holiday homes.

Sheerness is a commercial port and the capital of the Isle of Sheppey. The Sheerness Heritage Centre documents the town’s great maritime history. The area of Bluetown is named from when occupants decorated their homes with the blue paint they pinched from the Admiralty, but today it’s best known as the South East's concrete garden ornament centre. Sheerness has a curved high street with a distinctive clock tower, a sports centre and indoor swimming pool, banks, supermarkets, and small specialist shops.

Queenborough is the oldest town on the island and its marina has many boat builders and chandlers. The Guildhall Museum in the tiny high street documents its past.

Minster is Sheppey's highest point with fantastic views, a hilltop church and twelfth century Abbey Gatehouse, today a museum of Sheppey's history.

The village of Eastchurch has a memorial to aviation, situated opposite the All Saints Church. The origins of aviation began on Sheppey where Britain’s first recorded flight took place on an airstrip at Muswell Manor in Leysdown. Soon after this the world’s first aircraft factory opened at Eastchurch.

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On this day:
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