Isle of Wight

England, United Kingdom

Heard of the beautiful Isle of Wight in England? Just off the coast of Hampshire lies the hidden gem of the English Channel, full of imposing cliffs, scenic beaches and picturesque villages. Sounds interesting?

Check out the best travel tips about the Isle of Wight on Ferryhopper, including the best beaches, villages, activities and all the ferries to get there!

Panoramic view of the village of Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight

The fairylike and evergreen village of Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight

Holidays on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is one of the most ideal holiday destinations for families, lovers of nature and thrill-seekers! While the island is great for year-round excursions, we highly recommend visiting the Isle of Wight from late spring to early autumn to make the most of the available outdoor activities.

Here, you can choose between vacationing in the island’s main towns or recharging your batteries in seaside resorts and tranquil villages.

How to get to the Isle of Wight

You can easily get to the Isle of Wight by ferry. After all, it’s the most appropriate way of visiting the English Channel and getting in the right mood for your holidays there!

Your ferry journey begins at one of the following ports: Lymington, Southampton and Portsmouth (including Southsea), all located in Hampshire in southern England. To learn more about the ferries to the Isle of Wight, check out our section below.

If you wish to travel by plane, the nearest regional airports to the connected ports are those of Southampton and Bournemouth. For international flights, consider flying to the London airports of Gatwick and Heathrow, and then reach one of the ports in Hampshire to resume your journey by ferry.

What to do on the Isle of Wight

Here, the beautiful nature and culture of the Isle of Wight are yours to explore in countless ways. From hiking and stargazing to water sports and energetic festivals, the multi-faceted character of the Isle of Wight unfolds wherever you go!

It’s important to note that most outdoor activities are family-friendly, while solo travelers can find numerous opportunities for nature exploration. Key places to visit include amusement parks and animal sanctuaries.

Whatever you choose, check out the best of the Isle of Wight below and find the best recommendations for what to do and see on the island!

The beaches of the Tennyson Down hill, Isle of Wight

The famous Tennyson Down hill and its secluded beaches

Sightseeing and activities on the Isle of Wight

Bring your comfy shoes and warm clothes! The many attractions and corners of natural beauty and rich history await you on the Isle of Wight. Here, it’s normal for locals and visitors alike to spend countless hours outside and enjoy all the island has to offer.

Some of the best attractions on the Isle of Wight include:

  • The otherworldly Osborne House, a former royal residence
  • Shanklin Chine, a paradise of natural beauty, green vegetation and waterfalls, and one of the oldest attractions on the Isle of Wight
  • Dinosaur Isle, for those eager to learn more about the history of these marvelous beasts
  • Blackgang Chine, the oldest amusement park in the United Kingdom and a wonderful recommendation for families with children
  • Robin Hill, a place full of gardens, wildlife and adventurous outdoor activities
  • Carisbrooke Castle and Yarmouth Castle

Such beautiful landscapes and locations also provide visitors with several activities to try out! To explore some of the best settings of the island, consider the Victoria’s Island Trail or the Literary Heroes Trail.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to get your feet wet, head to one of the many beaches of the Isle of Wight, where you can even try water sports! In fact, many thrill-seekers choose the Isle of Wight for its surfing and kayaking spots!

Nightlife on the Isle of Wight

What good is an English holiday destination without warm pubs, atmospheric bars and cozy bistros? In the main towns of the island, you can find numerous entertainment options, refreshing drinks and local beers!

Fun fact: the Isle of Wight is also known as the carnival capital of the United Kingdom! Make sure to check what events are taking place when planning your ferry trip to the Isle of Wight.

Food on the Isle of Wight

The cuisine of the Isle of Wight knows how to make the best of both worlds: pure plant-based delicacies and fresh, top-tier seafood!

One of the island’s signature ingredients is crabmeat, used in numerous recipes, such as the famous crab pasty. For those with a sweet tooth, check out the island’s cream-filled delicacies (or the unique case of cream tea).

Whatever you're hungry for, don’t miss out on the island’s traditional pubs! Our personal favorite is The Stag, a family-owned pub that also offers accommodation options!

Useful information about the Isle of Wight

As there are multiple ports and harbors on the Isle of Wight, we recommend finding accommodation close to your port of arrival. Most accommodation options on the Isle of Wight, which include hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, campsites and holiday homes, are located in Ryde and Newport.

Across the island, you can find all essential visitor amenities for a pleasant stay. The main towns of Ryde and Newport have the most to offer, including medical services and entertainment options.

Important phone numbers for your stay on the Isle of Wight

We have gathered a few useful phone numbers for your stay on the Isle of Wight:

  • Isle of Wight NHS Trust (hospital): +441983822099
  • Hampshire & Isle of Wight police: +441962841534
  • Southern Vecti (bus services): +443300539182
  • Urgent health advice: 111
  • Emergency phone number: 999

Transportation on the Isle of Wight

You can get around the Isle of Wight by all means imaginable! On foot or by bike, you can explore beautiful paths with amazing views!

Alternatively, there is a well-connected bus network (Southern Vectis) throughout the island, with schedules between most points of interest. There are also train services, which make for a great way of getting to/from the ports of the Isle of Wight.

Lastly, you can move around by car and explore every hidden corner of the Isle of Wight at your leisure! On the island, you can find car rental services for your convenience.

 View of Shanklin Esplanade on the Isle of Wight

The famous resort of Shanklin Esplanade on the Isle of Wight

Ports on the Isle of Wight

There are numerous ports on the Isle of Wight that are connected to mainland England, varying in size and convenience. The 4 main ports are the following: Fishbourne, Yarmouth, Cowes and Ryde, all situated on the north coast of the Isle of Wight.

Whatever port on the Isle of Wight you choose to travel to by ferry, there are available transport services to most points of interest around the island.

Tip: in Cowes, specifically, you can find two ports: East Cowes and Cowes (or West Cowes).

Isle of Wight ferry: schedules and tickets

You can find direct ferries to the Isle of Wight from 3 ports on the coast of Hampshire in southern England. All connections are direct, available year-round and operated by the ferries and hovercrafts of 3 companies: Red Funnel, Wightlink and Hovertravel

Here, you can find more information about each ferry route to the Isle of Wight:

  • Portsmouth - Isle of Wight (Fishbourne) ferry: for €17, you can catch a ferry from Portsmouth to Fishbourne every day, with around 2 ferry departures in the morning. The total travel duration is around 45 minutes.
  • Portsmouth - Isle of Wight (Ryde) ferry: the ferry route from Portsmouth to Ryde lasts around 20 minutes. You can find at least 1 daily connection that costs around €20.
  • Southsea (Portsmouth) - Isle of Wight (Ryde) ferry: the fastest ferry route to the Isle of Wight is from Southsea in Portsmouth, lasting around 10 minutes. Ferry tickets to Ryde cost around €22.
  • Lymington - Isle of Wight (Yarmouth) ferry: there are usually 2 daily ferries to the Isle of Wight from Lymington that arrive in about 40 minutes, with tickets costing around €17.
  • Southampton - Isle of Wight (Cowes) ferry: you can find daily ferries from Southampton to Cowes on the Isle of Wight that last around 1 hour. Ferry tickets cost around €12 per passenger.

Sunrise over the coast of the Isle of Wight, England

One-of-a-kind sunrise over the coast of the Isle of Wight

Where to book ferry tickets to the Isle of Wight online

At the moment, it’s not possible to book ferry tickets to the Isle of Wight on Ferryhopper. As we focus on including more routes, check out our interactive Map of ferries, browse all available ferry schedules in the United Kingdom and book ferry tickets for your next trip!

Frequent ferry connections

Nearby destinations

Isle of Wight has direct ferry connections with 8 ports :

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