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Isle of Wight trip advice needed


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Will you be going by car or without.....this makes a lot of difference in both ferry choice initially and how you plan your trips!!

By far the nicest crossing is from Lymington to Yarmouth but this is passenger only......but it does run till very late in the summer.

If it's by car then from Portsmouth there's only one crossing really. If no car then you can take the hovercraft as well......which is very fast.


If on the Yarmouth side then you can get the bus to the start of the Tennyson Down walk to Freshwater Bay which is a lovely walk.


There is also a lovely walk from Shanklin to Ventnor along the coastal path.

I like it around Bonchurch and there's a rather beautiful little cove there with a nice cafe doing sea foody things etc.

In August you might catch the big garlic festival which is fun and there is also an interesting lavender growing place....forgotten the name now.......all easily got if you write or email the tourist office.....they'll send you loads of brochures and leaflets etc.

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Sorry, just to correct something LinMM said above:  you CAN take your car on the ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth....I have been going there for work for a few years and have taken my car many times!  It is not only the nicest crossing, but also the shortest at 30 minutes.  Yarmouth is a very pretty little place with some good pubs and restaurants.  If your son is going to be on West Wight let me know and I can give you a few suggestions on where to eat/drink/stay.  LinMM is right about that lovely walk to Freshwater Bay.

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We went by ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth a couple of years ago for Easter - a good and easy crossing.  We stayed in the centre of  island as a whole - at Rookley Park in a cottage (Island View holidays) but we had a car and did not expect the weather to be good so planned trips out in a different direction every day.  Staying in a resort might be a better option.  One place we visited and thoroughly enjoyed was "Waltzing Waters" in Ryde.  This is an indoor show with fountains that dance and change colour to the music.  It was spectacular.

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Yes I was wrong about the Lymington Ferry ......you can take your car! It's just that we never have from there.

We've done a couple of nice day trips over from Lymington ......one the Tennyson Down walk and then the other direction towards Shalfleet in the Newtown area there is a really nice Nature Reserve with a couple of interesting buildings there. The train goes right down to the ferry at Lymington so easy by train too. It's very cheap for just passengers though.

This Ferry must be great for locals as I think it runs up to nearly midnight in summer.


The cove over in the Ventnor side is called Steephill Cove and we keep intending to stay at the B and B there above the cove there but always are too late to book!!

In Ventnor itself there is a B and B called Hillside where you can watch the foxes and badgers being fed at night from their conservatory as they come down off the down behind. There is also Ventnor Botanical Gardens which has lovely views of the sea from apart from being interesting in itself.

In the centre Godshill is worth a trip there's a really nice old church there and it's very pretty.


Ive still not done Osbourne House so a good excuse to go back!

I love it there but it is a step,back in time a bit and restaurants tend to close earlier so don't get caught out!! Even the tea rooms seem to close at 4pm around Freshwater anyway but probably Shanklin is the place for tea rooms!!

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The last time I went, I went from London to IOW, then did the Tennyson walk, before heading off to the hotel we had booked for the night.


We only just made it in time for the evening meal, which they "held over" for us until we had grabbed a quick shower.  The last serving time was 7.00pm......


So yes, the walk was wonderful, and I love the IOW, but it isn't the place for night owls.  (At least, not where I was staying, anyway).

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Seriously, let me know a few more details so that I can help! The IOW is completely different all over (and has plenty of hotels completely unlike Fonty's experience!) so there's not much point telling you what I like as there may be something far more suited to your son. Which ferry to get (you have six options) will depend on where you're coming from, whether you're bringing a car and where you're staying. Whether you're bringing a car will also determine where you stay. I've lived here for 15 years so there's not much I don't know about the island!

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