Travel to the Isle of Wight is primarily by boat, although there are two airfields on the island for small planes. From anywhere in the world, you can fly into Heathrow (LHR) or Gatwick (LGW) and plan your route from there.
Once in mainland England, one of the more unique ways to reach the island is via hovercraft. Hovertravel takes passengers from Southsea at Portsmouth to the town of Ryde in the northeast corner of the island.
From Ryde, it is possible to travel by rail to Shanklin or by bus to other points of interest. Taking the hovercraft is the speediest way to reach your destination and, some say, the most exciting.
Ferries, operated by Wightlink and Red Funnel are by far the most popular way to reach Cowes and Yarmouth. You can take your vehicle, your bike or both on board and enjoy a leisurely trip to your vacation destination.
From Cowes, it is a short trip to Newport and points south, via car or bus. Yarmouth is one of the westernmost points on the island and the closest to Lymington in Hampshire, England.
Once you have planned how to travel to the Isle of Wight, you will need to decide how to get around on the island. The island is a haven for hikers and cyclists, with hundreds of miles of trails and routes maintained exclusively for foot and two-wheel travel.
The Coastal Footpath is one of the most popular destinations for hikers. If the seashore and cliffs are among your interests, you won’t miss a thing when you travel by foot. The path is a circular one.
You can begin wherever you like and walk all the way around the outside of the island in about a week, assuming you can log a little more than 15km per day and still have time for photographs. A better plan might be to take 10 days.
If you plan to travel to the Isle of Wight for one of the festivals, you will find that the ferry wait from the mainland is longest on Fridays. From the island, the waits are longest on Sundays. You can plan to leave a day early and stay a day late to avoid the long queues.
If you want to travel light, you can rent a bicycle at a number of convenient locations, although like rental cars, they are a little harder to come by during the festivals. The best advice is to plan ahead to make your travel to the Isle of Wight fast and easy.