A visitor to Niton in 1860 said, ‘The whole population here are smugglers.’ The same was true of Brook and Mottistone, where smuggling was a core part of the village economy.

Read more tales of smuggling here



Coastguards were stationed at Brook from 1817, mainly to combat brandy smuggling from the Channel Islands, Cherbourg and Barfleur.

Read more about the coastguards here


The villages on this coast originally developed as small fishing and agricultural communities with a few farms and fishermen’s cottages.

Read more about fishing here.