Isle of Wight – Activities, Things To See, How to Get here, maps and more

  • Post category:England
  • Post last modified:November 7, 2020
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Isle of Wight is located off the south coast of England on the English Channel. It is the largest island in England and only 2 hours journey from London. This makes it a perfect holiday destination within easy reach.

There are 6 ferry routes connecting Isle of Wight with the mainlands with over 340 daily ferry journeys which makes Isle of Wight one of the easiest to get to islands.

Isle of Wight is packed with adventures and activities including countryside walks, Sailing, Rowing, and Music Festivals only to name a few.

Read our review of Top Beaches in Isle of Wight with directions, facilities available and other useful information that you may need to know.

Some interesting facts about Isle of Wight

Area – 148 sq miles (380 sq km)
Population – 140.500 (2010)
Location – South of England on English Channel
Famous for
Cowes Week (Yachting event)
Isle of Wight Festival (music festival)
The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival
Garden Isle – Home to many rare plants
Walks – Over 1400 public rights of way and 514 miles of walking trails
Haunted! – Believed to be one of the most haunted Islands in Britain
Yarmouth – Population 1000 and smallest town in Britain
The Garlic Farm – 100 acres and largest specialist garlic grower in UK!
Eight Wonders of Isle of Wight! (A series of landmarks, by W. J. Nigh)
– ‘Freshwater’ you cannot drink
– ‘Cowes’ you cannot milk
– ‘Needles’ you cannot thread
– ‘Lakes’ where there is no water
– ‘Ryde’ where you walk
– ‘Newport’ that you cannot bottle
– ‘Newtown’ which is very old
– ‘Winkle Street’ where there are no winkles

Activities in Isle of Wight

Walking in Isle of Wight

Walking is one of the most popular activities that draws visitors to the island due to its near 500 miles of beautiful footpaths with clear directions.


If you are looking for a scenic walking holiday, then look no further as you have already stumbled upon one of the most famous walking holiday destinations in the UK.

Isle of Wight is also home to the biggest Walking Festival in the UK, The Isle of Wight Walking Festival which is held twice a year, Autumn and Spring. The festival comprises of many types of walks including speed dating and sing about stroll!

Sailing in Isle of Wight


Sailing events are held throughout the year offering beautiful views of the island. It is home to some of the main Sailing events in Britain due to favourable sea waters. The world’s leading sailing regatta, Cowes Week, is held in Isle of Wight with over 1,000 yachts and 8,000 participants.

The event draws a wide range of contestants from all around the world including amateurs as well as Olympics champions.

Isle of Wight Music Festival

The festival is held once a year since 1968. In November 2007, the Isle of Wight Festival attained the award ‘Best Major Festival’ at the UK Festival Awards. This is a festival definitely worth visiting for fantastic line ups and exciting festival environment.

How to get to Isle of Wight

Getting to Isle of Wight by car

To get to Isle of Wight by car, you will need to use one of the three routes to cross the Solent.

Portsmouth – Fishbourne route (7 miles, 45 mins approx.)
Southampton – East Cowes route (11 miles, 55 – 60 mins approx.)
Lymington – Yarmouth route (40 mins approx.)

Wightlink Ferries operate the routes from Portsmouth and Lymington.

Southampton to East Cowes route is operated by Red Funnel.

Travelling south from London to Isle of Wight by car, A3 is considerably the easiest route. You will then take the ferry from Portsmouth Gunwharf Ferry Terminal to Fishbourne in Isle of Wight.

The journey time from Gunwharf Terminal to Fishbourne is approximately 45 minutes. You can book the tickets online or by phone in advance and return journeys are often cheaper than booking single journeys.

Link to Wightlink ferry website –

You are also able to buy tickets when you arrive at the terminal but the prices tend to go up and there will be a longer waiting time if it is busy season.

Driving distance from London to Portsmouth Gunwharf Ferry Terminal – 77 miles (1 hr 40 mins)

Postcode for GPS/Satnav for Portsmouth Gunwharf Terminal – PO1 2LA
Postcode for GPS/Satnav for Lymington Ferry Terminal – SO41 5SB

Address for Wightlink ferry Terminals
Portsmouth Gunwharf Ferry Terminal
Gunwharf Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire

Lymington Ferry Terminal

Undershore Road
SO41 5SB

Isle of Wight Car Ferry ticket prices

It will cost you approximately £35 to £45 each way for 1 car and 4 passengers on a Wightlink Ferry on Portsmouth to Fishbourne route.

For a return journey you can expect to pay £75 to £90 on peak seasons. It is always a good idea to book in advance with Wightlink as the prices go up closer to sail date. You’re also able to book a slot which will make your trip easier minimising wait time.

Getting to Isle of Wight by train

A typical train journey from London to Isle of Wight will involve taking the a train from London Waterloo station to Southampton Central Station (Journey time – 1 hr 20 mins)

The rest of the journey from Southampton Central station to East Cowes in Isle of Wight will involve taking a 7 minute bus ride to Southampton Town Quay.

You will then take a Red Funnel Passenger Ferry (usually takes approximately 55 minutes) to East Cowes.

You can book the tickets all together with the train tickets from London using National Rail website or South West Trains services. This often works out cheaper than buying individually.

Train ticket prices to Isle of Wight from London tends to be £46 – £58 on average. This will cover the train journey to Southampton Central Station, bus ride to Southampton Town Quay and finally Red Funnel ferry ticket to East Cowes.

For unto date times and ticket prices, you can visit National Rail website here –

Map of Isle of Wight Ferry routes

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