Our Travel Guide
Isle of Wight Travel Guide
The Isle of Wight at the southern most tip of the UK is also know as the Garden Isle and is noted for its warm welcome, warm climate and stunning scenery.Made popular in the Victorian era, when Queen Victoria made Osborne House her permanent home following the death of Prince albert, many towns on the Island still maintain their Victorian heritage in architecture, lighting and signage.
The Isle of Wight is home to more than 60 attractions, offers miles of sandy beaches, unspoilt scenery, a wealth of accommodation and dining venues. From wildlife parks, historic buildings, theme parks, museums and galleries the Island offers something for everyone.
We've added as many places to visit, things to do, where to dine and stay as we can think off plus we've asked our regular customers and visitors to the Island to share some of their secrets. Here are some of their top recommendations:
Best Place to:
1) Enjoy a drink by a log fire - The Boathouse, Seaview www.theboathouseiow.co.uk. You can reach the Boathouse by taking a walk along the seafront from Hovertravel in 20 mins.
2) Experience the best Hot Chocolate - The Chocolate Apothecary, Ryde www.chocolateapothecary.co.uk. Our neighbours opposite the terminal, always offering a warm welcome.
3) Pub with the best live music - The King Lud, Ryde www.kinglud.co.uk. A 5 min walk from the terminal 'a versatile little pub, offering local musicians frequent opportunities to show their wares'
4) Buy the Best Fish & Chips - Chipmunks, Ryde. A short stroll from the Terminal, just along from the beach.
5) Find the best local beer - Simeon Arms, Ryde 21 Simeon Street, Ryde. Tucked away but not just a locals secret.
6) Build Sandcastles 'yes we know its winter but on a dry day the kids will still love doing this!' - Appley Beach, Ryde - 5 min walk from Hover Terminal
7) View the sunset - Sandown Cliffs & Culver Bay, OS grid reference · SZ600843 (Easily reached by train or bus)
8) For adrenalin seekers on the Island to have fun - Compton Bay, OS Grid Reference: SZ350855 (SWW of Island)
The Island is home to over 60 attractions from theme parks, wildlife parks, castles, Royal homes, galleries, vintage transport, attractions and are suitable for all ages. Check out our attraction pages for more detail and great value deals on combination travel and attraction entrance tickets.
Donald McGill Saucy Seaside Postcard Museum in Ryde
This small delightful museum pay homage to National treasure Donald McGill who created over 12,000 comic postcards for the then booming postcard industry from 1904 until his passing in 1962
Donald¹s postcards were famous for often depicting humorous social situations. During the 1950?s Donald was prosecuted under the 1857 Obscenity Act for producing some cards deemed unsuitable for the public to see, in which the museum follows and helps illustrate the trial and tribulations he faced.
The museum has 1000's of cards on display and also interactive displays are in evidence. A large collection of original artwork from 1907-1914 which is some of his rarer work is now available for all to see.
The museum also boasts an award winning cafe called The Orrery, in which you can compliment your visit to the museum, if you step into the Orrery, you are in fact stepping in to a model of our universe and above your head is one of the UK's finest planetariums which rotates showing a model of our solar system. 5 minutes walk from the Hovercraft Terminal. Click the images below to enlarge.
Ryde Heritage Centre
Created and run by volunteers, Ryde Heritage Centre opened to the public in August, 2011, in the basement of the Royal Victoria Arcade, Union Street, Ryde. For a very small charge, visitors will be transported back to an earlier time, through photographs, videos, and artefacts. Come and support Historic Ryde Society - Giving Ryde's Past to the Future.
The Isle of Wight is a unique place for shopping with family-run shops and stylish boutiques nestled in between larger high street stores. Throughout the Island in many towns and villages you will find craft shops, farm shops with local produce and galleries.
In Ryde just near the Hovercraft Terminal, Ryde offers a variety of stylish boutiques, wedding specialists, skincare and lingerie specialist outlets as well as traditional book stores, souvenir & memorabilia shops.
Food & Drink
The Island boasts a great variery of places to eat and drink,a from sophisticated restaurants offering top chef specialities to characterful Tea Rooms.
Many local eateries offering local produce including meats, poultry, dairy and local fruit and veg.There is a dining place to suit everyone including country pubs, wine bars, family friendly establishments, award winning restaurants, seafont cafes and quaint tea rooms.
Hovertravel currently promote special offers at Michelin Star Chef Robert Thompson's 'The Hambrough & The Pond' restaurants in Ventnor & Bonchurch and great value meal deals with Joes' of Ryde and the Pavilion Bar, Ryde. See more on our Special Offer pages.
Accommodation - Wight Locations
Whether you're looking for a family seaside villa, boutique retreat or apartment with stunning Solent views, Wight Locations can accommodate you.
In association with Hovertravel, Wight Locations guests can enjoy an exclusive 20% discount. So why not leave the car at home, take the fast train toPortsmouth and fly over to the Island. Did you know you can take up to 30 kilos per passenger?
To Book your Self Catering Holiday call Wight Locations on 01983 811418, email: email@example.com or click here
Hovertravel operate a special scheme with selected accommodation providers on the Isle of Wight who provide quality half board and Bed & Breakfast service. Hovertravel allow all guests of these accommodations to gain a 10% discount on travel to and from the property and throughout your stay. Here are some of the accomodations to date:
The Bay Royal Esplanade Hotel. tel: 0844 4999356 The Bay Royal Esplanade Hotel is conveniently located on the esplanade and this Victorian hotel has unique sea-views from its level seafront position. There are some wonderful views from the restaurant and lounges.
Seahaven guest House, tel: 01983 563069 A warm friendly welcome awaits you at the seahaven a family-run business that offers sea-views and is ideally placed for ryde's pubs restaurants bars and shops. Seahaven house is a traditional old victorian building which faces ryde pier and has views directly across the sea and western beach.
Sorrento Lodge tel: 01983 812813 With fantastic views out over the Solent and harbour, right across to the Spinnaker Tower at Portsmouth. Sorrento Lodge Bed & Breakfast is a Grade II listed early Victorian building and has recently been totally refurbished to an extremely high standard.
The Town House tel: 01983 629576, www.thetownhouseryde.co.uk. The Townhouse, Ryde offers boutique bed and breakfast accommodation. The Town House offer something a little bit different. Luxury accommodation, special little touches and a relaxed atmosphere. A couple of minutes walk from the house is the beach where at low tide, the sand goes on for miles. This late Victorian four storey townhouse is located amongst the little stretch of shops on Monkton Street with the best fish and chip shop in Ryde on their doorstep!
In partnership with their little beach cafe, The Beach Hut Bembridge, The Town House are offering a dine and stay weekend deal of 2 nights accommodation and dinner either the Friday or Saturday of your stay at our little beach cafe in Bembridge specialising in seafood. Call to ask for availability.
Appley Manor Hotel. tel: Built in 1850 as a magnificent Victorian residence. Appley Manor offers comfortable accommodation with the Manor Inn serving home cooked food throughout the day attached to it and a short walk to Ryde's glorious sandy beaches.
Priory Bay Hotel
Park Resorts, Nodes Point
The Lawns Guest House
Mersley Farm Cottage
The Esplanade Hotel
The Grange Tel:01983 867644. The Grange is one of the most beautiful Isle of Wight hotels. Situated in Shanklin's Old Village, it is just a short walk from picturesque thatched cottages, pubs and restaurants and only a couple of minutes from the sea. The train station is just a few minutes away.The Grange has the AA's Four Star Guest Accommodation grading and has been awarded a 2012 Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor.
Park Resorts, Languard
Park Resorts, Lower Hyde
Channel View Hotel
Royal Pier Hotel
The Royal Hotel
The Lake Country Manor. The Lake bed & breakfast in Bonchurch village near Ventnor,just 400 yards from the sea, offers good comfortable 4 star accommodation with hearty healthy breakfast. Good pub and restaurant close by.