Isle of Wight travel guide

Isle of Wight travel guide
Are you looking for your next car journey with the family? If so, the Isle of Wight could be a great option for you.

The island is located off the south coast of England, and has been a tourist destination for generations.

No matter the time of year, it is popular with many Brits looking to take a staycation.

This guide looks at what all drivers will need to be aware of before they head off on their next holiday to the island.

But before you set off, make sure you are fully prepared for a road trip, and have enough everything you need for travelling with the family.

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Can you drive to the Isle of Wight?

As the Isle of Wight is an island located off the south coast of England, it is not possible to drive there directly.

However, the most common way to reach the Isle of Wight is by ferry.

Ferries operate from various ports on the south coast of England, such as Southampton, Portsmouth, and Lymington.

The journey takes around 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the departure point. There are passenger ferries as well as car-carrying ferries available.

If you are looking for a faster option, you’ll have to leave the car on the mainland.

A hovercraft, which runs from Southsea in Portsmouth to Ryde on the Isle of Wight is available and takes less than 15 minutes.

Regardless of the option you choose, there are also other travel options once you are on the island, including buses, taxis, and rental cars.

How long does it take to drive around the Isle of Wight?

As the Isle of Wight is a relatively small island, driving around it can be done in less than two hours. However, there are many great places to stop along the way – so taking your time is advised.

The entire coastline stretches for about 57 miles.

What are the main tourist destinations on the Isle of Wight?

Aside from the beautiful scenery, there are many amazing places for you and the family to enjoy when travelling around the Isle of Wight.

The Isle of Wight is a popular tourist destination with a variety of attractions and historical sites to visit.

One of those attractions is Osborne House, once the royal residence of Queen Victoria. It is a palatial home and garden with spectacular views of the rest of the island.

There is also a second iconic garden – Ventnor Botanic Garden – and is a very popular spot for tourists.

Another site with a royal history is Carisbrooke Castle. This medieval castle has a rich history dating back over 1,000 years. It's famous for imprisoning King Charles I during the English Civil War.

There are several waking routes that are fun for all the family. The Needles are three distinctive chalk stacks that rise out of the sea off the western coast and can be viewed by a chairlift ride or a coastal walk.

Shanklin Chine is a tree-lined gorge leading to the sea, with walking paths for visitors.

If you aren’t up for a walk, there is also a steam railway that takes visitors through the island's countryside.

There are also spots to take the kids for days out when on the Isle of Wight. Blackgang Chine is the island’s theme park, and is Sandown, there is the zoo with several rara animals. As it is with the towns on the mainland, the island is a hotspot for fossils, and the Dinosaur Isle Museum has many on display.

Have you travelled to the Isle of Wight before? And have you taken your vehicle via the ferry? Leave your travel tips in the comments below. If you are looking to visit another of the UK's amazing islands - check out the Isle of Man.

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Visit the Isle of Portland

The Isle of Portland is located of the South Cost of Dorset – and only a short trip from the Isle of Wight.

The island is popular with tourists due to its stunning coastal scenery, limestone quarries, and the famous Portland Bill Lighthouse.

It is also part of the historic Jurassic Coast – and many visitors comb the beach for fossils.

Importantly, it is also UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Can you drive to Isle of Portland?

Yes, you can drive to the Isle of Portland.

The island is connected to the mainland by a causeway called Chesil Beach, which provides road access. The road itself is called Portland Beach Road, which carries on from the A354.

The A354 road runs along this causeway, connecting Weymouth on the mainland to the Isle of Portland.

However, all drivers need to be aware of the potential problems they could face on their journey to the island.

Local weather and sea conditions can impact road access to the island. These can sometimes impact the causeway.

Isle of Portland guide

Aside from the iconic Portland Bill Lighthouse, there are several tourist destinations for you to check out on your next visit.

More than 21km of the South West Coast Path runs along the island, providing opportunities for scenic walks and hikes.

Other locations to visit include Portland Castle, a well-preserved artillery fortress with a rich history; and Portland Museum, which brings to life the history and heritage of the island.

Have you visited the Isle of Portland? What attractions or beaches did you visit? Any advice for holidaymakers? Leave your comments below.