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Visiting the Isle of Wight

For visitors from the UK mainland wanting to gain access to the Isle of Wight there are a number of options operated by 3 ferry/hovercraft operators leaving the UK mainland from 4 different points on the south coast, these include Portsmouth, Southampton, Lymington and Southsea, arriving at either Ryde, Fishbourne, Yarmouth or Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

Visitor Combined Tickets

There are combined ticket offers available which includes both foot passenger ferry crossing with inclusive bus and train fares from WightLink, one of 3 ferry operators to the Isle of Wight. They have 3 ferry routes from the UK mainland:

  • Portsmouth to Ryde

  • Portsmouth to Fishbourne

  • Lymington to Yarmouth

Foot passengers may purchase a through ticket which depending on which combination is purchased includes the ferry journey across The Solent as a foot passenger, use of buses both on the mainland and on the island and the use of the islands trains, both the mainline and the heritage steam railway.

Packages available include:

  • Triplelink Packages There are a number of Triplelink packages combining Stagecoach travel from anywhere on the mainland, day return FastCat crossing, unlimited travel on the Islandís trains. (Tickets must be purchased from the Stagecoach bus driver).

  • Wight Rover Day return travel from Portsmouth to Ryde or Lymington to Yarmouth and unlimited travel for the day on Southern Vectis buses on the island.

  • Steam Liner tickets allow for return passenger ferry crossing and unlimited travel on Island Line trains and the IOW Steam Railway.

  • Island Express Day return travel from Portsmouth to Ryde  and unlimited travel for the day on Island Line trains.

A couple of examples of the types of tickets you can get are:

The Steam Liner Ticket - This all day ticket includes the return Catamaran journey, plus unlimited travel for the day on Island Line's Ryde-Shanklin trains and on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway and costs Adults £20, Children £10. (+ supplement in  steam events). See our location guides  on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway   and the Island Line, Isle of Wight  for what you might expect to see when you get there.

Island Express - A Combined day return FastCat crossing and unlimited day rover travel on Island Line trains. Adults £15.50, Children £7.75, Family £35 and Seniors £14

Take a look at Wightlinks website for full details of what is on offer, latest prices and to purchase online.

Getting Across from Southampton

For trips from Southampton across to Cowes then these services are provided by Red Funnel Services. They have a Red Jet High-Speed service for foot passengers only to West Cowes taking just 23 minutes to cross and they run 7 days a week. The passenger/vehicle ferry going to East Cowes runs 365 days per year and has daytime and evening crossings which take 55 minutes.

Take a look at their website for full details of what is on offer, latest prices and to purchase online.

Taking a Hovercraft Route from Southsea

There is also a Hovercraft route for foot passengers only running from Southsea to Ryde which takes just 10 minutes and provided by HoverTravel. It takes you directly to the shore at Southsea or Ryde. It also connects you to the Hoverbus on the mainland to get to you other points of call, and to bus and train connections at Ryde. As well as standard and day return fares, they also do some special offer combination tickets with some of the attractions on the island.

Take a look at their website for full details of what is on offer, latest prices and to purchase online.

For more details on the Isle of Wight for attractions, living there, accommodation, getting there and travelling around once there and more.... visit the Isle of Wight website.

For up to date prices and offers always check their websites.


By: Tracey Park Section: Islands Key:
Page Ref: IOW_pass Topic: Islands    Controlling costs Last Updated: 04/2010

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