Isle of Wight

England:

3 Day Guide to the Isle of Wight

Our 3 day guide to the Isle of Wight will show you some of the amazing hikes and stunning views this place has to offer. This small island off the southern coast of England is absolutely breathtaking, and is a wonderful place to relax.

Molly and I (Josh) were fortunate enough to have sunny weather everyday while we spent a few days with some of my family here.

Day 1: Ryde and Seaview

The first day to our 3 day guide to the Isle of Wight will take you around one of the more populated but quaint portions of the island. We stayed in the town of Ryde during our stay, which reminded me a lot of my hometown of Annapolis, MD. Maybe it was something about the dated style of the row homes or being close to the water, but it gave me a nice sense of comfort and nostalgia during our visit.

Walking the Coastal Path

A great way to get around the Isle of Wight is via the coastal path, which spans 65 miles (105 km) across the island [1]. We don’t suggest walking the entire thing, unless you’re my Uncle Bob who is a hiking enthusiast, but there are some parts of it that are amazing. One of the first walks we did was through downtown Ryde to the Quarr Abbey along the coastal path.

3 Day Guide to Isle of Wight: Coastal Path
Isle of Wight Coastal Path

Quarr Abbey

During our walk along the Coastal Path we decided to stop at the Quarr Abbey, roughly 2 miles (3.2 km) from Ryde. The Abbey used to be located near a stone quarry, which is how it got its name. This quarry contributed to the construction of many medieval buildings, including parts of the London Tower Bridge [2].

The original Abbey was built in the 12th century, but now remains in ruins. Rebuilt in 1912, the modern day Abbey is much bigger with a surrounding garden.

There’s even a small café/restaurant to enjoy a coffee and a sandwich, perfect for a pitstop on an afternoon stroll. The modern day Abbey is also home to nearly a dozen monks that you might see during your visit.

3 Day Guide Isle of Wight Coastal Path - Quarr Abbey

There’s even a small café/restaurant to enjoy a coffee and a sandwich, perfect for a pitstop on an afternoon stroll. The modern day Abbey is also home to nearly a dozen monks that you might see during your visit.

Seaview at Sunset

After you’ve visited Quarr Abbey, you can follow the coastal path the opposite way (depending which way you came) to Seaview. This lovely village on the sea is perfect for enjoying a pint during sunset. Along the way there are several bars/restaurants to choose from. However, we recommend either The Old Fort or the Seaview Hotel. The Old Fort offers a better view, but was closed when we went. Nonetheless, the Seaview Hotel has a great happy hour deal (£5.50 for 2 beers).

Seaview Ryde Sunset Isle of Wight
Seaview Ryde Sunset Mobile - 600 16x9

Day 2: Shanklin and Ventnor

The credit for the second day of our 3 day guide to the Isle of Wight goes to my Uncle Bob. He’s an avid hiker and routinely goes on long walks each day.

We asked him to take us on one of his favorite hikes so he took us on a 10 mile (16 km) loop from Shanklin to Ventor, and back.

First things first, how do you get to Shanklin? Well there is a small train line called the Island Line that runs from Ryde to Shanklin. Tickets can be bought online or at Ryde pier; a return trip is £4.70/person.

Isle of Wight Coastal Path Hiking Ventnor and Shanklin

First things first, how do you get to Shanklin? Well there is a small train line called the Island Line that runs from Ryde to Shanklin. Tickets can be bought online or at Ryde pier; a return trip is £4.70/person.

We got off the train at Shanklin and began our hike on the walking path outside Lower Hyde Holiday Park. Following the trail for about 2 miles, we exited here at the small road intersecting Shanklin Rd. Following the path to the small walking bridge, we hiked up to the highest point on the Isle of Wight.

From this point we could see from one end of the island to the other. We even got to see a few horned sheep grazing along the hiking path. It was amazing, and afterwards we were exhausted.

3 Day Guide Isle of Wight - Ventnor
3 Day Guide Isle of Wight - Ventnor

After a couple more miles of hiking we arrived in Ventor by the sea. Walking down the winding hills to Ventnor we stopped at The Spyglass Inn for a well-deserved pint and some lunch. Afterwards we followed the Coastal Path back to Shanklin, but not before stopping for another pint at The Village Inn.

Isle of Wight Shanklin
Isle of Wight Shanklin

Day 3: The Needles

The last day of our 3 day guide to the Isle of Wight will take you to one of the most iconic points on the island, the Needles. These crazy rock formations are are entirely made of chalk, which is what gives the cliffs their white color.

Though they don't look very tall from the viewpoint above, these three rock stacks that rise about 100 ft (30m) out of the sea. They get their name from a fourth needle shaped pillar that collapsed in 1764 during a storm, but the name has since stuck [3]. Now the entire land is owned and maintained by the National Trust.

Isle of Wight - The Needles
Needles pano - 600 16x9__2

When we asked Bob how to get to the Needles he told us it's about an hour drive from Ryde, 2 hours by public bus, or a 3 hour bike ride. However, we warned us that it's an intense bike ride (~22 miles/35km each way). We felt up to the challenge and planned to get an early start making it into a full day excursion. Starting off confident, we made our way uphill through Ryde.

Needles 3 - 600 3x2
Needles 2 - 600 3x2_2

15 minutes into the trip we were feeling winded, wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. Needless to say, we didn't make it. A few minutes later Molly's chain broke and we laid on the sidewalk contemplating what were going to do. We walked back to Bob and Helen's; he chuckled and offered to give us a ride. Thank God. After driving nearly an hour on the very narrow and hilly roads through the island we finally realized what the bike ride would have entailed.

How to get to the Isle of Wight

If you’re wondering how to get to the Isle of Wight, you’ll have take a ferry. Though ‘the Solent’, the straight of water separating Wight from the mainland, is only 2 miles wide there is no bridge over the water. Apparently the people on Wight are very adamant about maintaining their separation from main landers.

That leaves taking a ferry as the only way how to get to the Isle of Wight. The main ferry companies that run to and from the mainland are Wight Link, Red Funnel, and Hover Travel. They cover routes from both Portsmouth and Southampton to the Isle of Wight.

Photo Credit: https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk
Photo Credit: https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk
Photo Credit: https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk

Portsmouth ↠ Ryde

  • Foot Passengers Only*
  • Time: ~20 minutes
  • Cost: £15.60/person

Portsmouth ↠ Fishbourne

  • Time: ~45 minutes
  • Passenger Cost: £13.20/person
  • Vehicle Cost: £62.00+ (depends on vehicle size)

Lymington ↠ Yarmouth

  • Time: ~45 minutes
  • Passenger Cost: £13.20/person
  • Vehicle Cost: £62.00+ (depends on vehicle size)

Southampton ↠ East Cowes

  • Foot Passengers and Vehicles
  • Time: ~1 hour
  • Passenger Cost: £10.10/person

If you want an unconventional boat ride then you can check out the the only commercial hover craft service that runs from Portsmouth to Ryde. Instead of taking 20 minutes on the normal ferry, it only takes 10 minutes. However, it's a bit pricier at £18.70/person and is only valid for foot passengers. We decided to not pay the extra £3.10 each and just took the normal ferry like peasants.

How to get around the Isle of Wight

The most eco-friendly way to get around the Isle of Wight is to either walk or bike. With over 500 miles (805 km) of public paths and roadways on the island, getting around on your own is easy and scenic. If you have a car then it's easy enough to drive around the island, but we didn't have one of our own.

However, public transport on the island is pretty good compared so some of the places we’ve been. There are bus lines and a small railway allowing you to get to virtually everywhere on the island.

The public buses are run by Southern Vectis, click here to view their timetables and stops. Daily, Weekly, and Monthly tickets can be bought on their website. A 24 hour pass is £10/person while a weekly pass is £25/person.

How to get around the Isle of Wight
Island Line on Ryde Pier

The public buses are run by Southern Vectis, click here to view their timetables and stops. Daily, Weekly, and Monthly tickets can be bought on their website. A 24 hour pass is £10/person while a weekly pass is £25/person.

The Island Line is the only train on the Wight, which runs along the east coast of the island from Ryde pier to Shanklin. It has 8 stops in total; a return ticket from Ryde to Shanklin costs only £4.70/person.

Where to stay on Wight

Luckily, I have some family on the Isle of Wight who was willing to put us up for a few days. My step-dad is British so most of his family still live in the UK, and he happens to have a brother and sister on the Isle of Wight. We stayed with my Uncle Bob and his wife Helen who were more than happy to show us around. However, if don't have any family here and you're wondering where to stay on the Isle of Wight we have a few suggestions below.

There are no hostels on the Isle of Wight, so we suggest looking on Booking.com or Airbnb. Clicking on either of the icons will give you a deal with either of the sites, but are affiliate links so we earn a small commission.

Location: Shanklin

Private Rooms: £60.00+ ($73.00+ USD)

Amenities: Free Wifi, Free Breakfast, Free Parking

Photo Credit: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk
Photo Credit: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk

Location: Ventnor

Private Rooms: £78.00+ ($95.00+ USD)

Amenities: Free Wifi, Free Breakfast, Free Parking

Photo Credit: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk

Location: Seaview

Private Rooms: £99.00+ ($120.00+ USD)

Amenities: Free Wifi, Free Breakfast, Bar/Restaurant

Photo Credit: https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk
Photo Credit: https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk

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By |2019-08-06T03:00:30-05:00May 16th, 2019|England, Europe|0 Comments

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