The Solent is the piece of water that seperates the Isle of Wight from mainland England.
Because of its complex tidal pattern, it's made Southampton a very successful port. It's also home to many types of water activity, including yachting, sailing and motor-boating.
In addition to being quite physically beautiful, the Solent is bordered by a number of conservation areas, including The New Forest National Park and the Isle of Wight AONB.
Originally a river valley, the Solent has gradually widened and deepened over many thousands of years. The River Frome was the source of the River Solent, with three other rivers - the Rivers Avon, the Itchen and Test being tributaries of it. Seismic sounding has shown that when the sea level was lower the River Solent incised its bed to a depth of at least 46 metres (151 ft) below current Ordnance Datum. The Purbeck Ball Clay contains kaolinite and mica, showing that in the Lutetian stage of the Eocene water from a granite area, probably Dartmoor, flowed into the River Solent.