Ryde is the largest town on the Isle of Wight, and with its prominent
position along the seafront and hovercraft and passenger ferry links -
it is little wonder it is often referred to as “The Gateway to the Island”.
In addition to an expanse of sandy beaches which stretch right along
the town, Ryde has a great selection of boutique shops, museums and
galleries for you to visit along with lots of other things to see and
do along its esplanade.
Things To Do in Ryde
Ryde offers a great variety of things to do which will interest all ages, not least of which are the hovercraft and catamaran ferry from which you can travel to and from the mainland. Hovertravel are the world’s oldest hovercraft operator and operate the last remaining hovercraft passenger service in Britain, whereas a trip on the Wightlink catamaran service will take you down Ryde’s recently restored early 19th century pier, which carries both vehicle traffic and train services. Head along Ryde esplanade and you will encounter a number of great places for family entertainment, including the ice rink and superbowl. Further along there is a fun fair for young children and a very popular canoe lake which leads on to Ryde’s sandy beaches. At low tide the sea goes out a long way making it a popular place for sports and outdoor activities, and a regular venue for beach soccer tournaments. Continue along the seafront and you will discover the imposing Appley Tower, which is situated at the back of Appley beach, and even further along this #walk you will reach the Victorian Fortification Battery at Puckpool Park.
Newport is the principal town of the Isle of Wight, which is located in the centre of the Island and often referred to as its capital. This historic town centres on two elegant squares with Georgian and Victorian architecture surrounding them, with the town’s quay a short distance away. The Isle of Wight Festival takes place every June at Seaclose Park in Newport, which runs adjacent to the River Medina.
Things To Do in Newport
Newport offers plenty of things to do and is a great place for shopping with a number of well-known chain stores mixing with smaller independent shops across the two main squares, Newport High Street and the side streets. There is a regular market which is based across the town on a Tuesday, with a highly rated farmers market (which is a regular stop on The Queen’s Isle of Wight visits) selling a good range of local produce on Fridays. There are also a good selection of attractions around Newport with the Museum of Island History, Quay Arts Centre and the Newport Roman Villa all within walking distance of the centre. Newport Minster is the church in the centre of Newport. Whether you like history, church buildings, concerts, exhibitions, services of worship or simply a place to be quiet the Minster has something to offer you. With fascinating historical links, Newport Minster is also part of the Victoria's Island Trail. Newport also offers a good range of entertainment both during the day and most evenings. There is a multi-screen cinema just outside the town centre, with the Medina and Apollo Theatres both offering a range of shows at various times of the year, and there are also a number of late night venues located on the High Street. A short distance outside of Newport you can find some of the most popular ttractions on the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Castle to the West of the town centre is the 12th century fort most famous for imprisoning Charles I after his defeat in the English Civil War. Robin Hill Country Park is set within the heart of the Island's beautiful landscape on the outskirts of Newport. With a downhill toboggan ride, woodland gardens and amazing falconry displays, it makes a fantastic destination for the whole family.
Things To Do in Cowes
There’s nowhere better than Cowes for sailing and water activities. This is the home of Cowes Week, the oldest and biggest sailing regatta in the world. Cowes is a vibrant, exciting place at any time, with sporting and cultural events throughout the year. It’s a sophisticated resort you won’t want to miss. The town stretches across the mouth of the river Medina estuary, where the famous chain ferry shuttles pedestrians and cars from one side of the river to the other, in just a few minutes. Explore our rich and fascinating history by visiting maritime museums or Queen Victoria’s seaside palace. Enjoy a stroll along the seafront and see boats of every shape and size, or head for the nearby beaches to soak up the sun. Browse the town’s famous shopping streets and pick up everything from designer socks to artisan cheese and wine. Pretty pavement cafes, bars, boutique shops and galleries can be found in East and West Cowes, Relax over a glass of fizz and then choose somewhere special for dinner, there’s nowhere like Cowes after dark. Stay in Cowes or the surrounding area to take full advantage of everything this resort has to offer, and when you know Cowes, head off to explore more of the Isle of Wight.
Bembridge is situated on the most easterly point of the Isle of Wight, lying behind the spectacular headland of Culver. It is also claimed to be the largest village in England, with a population of approximately 4,000 residents. Bembridge stretches around most of the Eastern tip of the Isle of Wight which includes its harbour and three beaches, and has its own airport.
Things To Do in Bembridge
As the village runs along the coast many of the things to do in Bembridge are related to the sea.
The three beaches Lane End, the Ledge and Bembridge Beach are very popular for exploring with contrasting coastlines, rock pools and stunning panoramic views out to sea.
With its substantial harbour Bembridge is a very popular destination for sailing.
On the Lane End Beach you will find the new Bembridge Lifeboat station which stands
offshore to form a striking image.
The natural timber building was only completed in 2010 but has become one of the most
iconic and most photographed structures on the Isle of Wight in recent years.
Another of the Isle of Wight’s most recognisable pieces of architecture is Bembridge Windmill, on the outskirts of the village, which is maintained by The National Trust.
A short distance from Bembridge is Culver Down, the white cliffs of which can be seen from Sandown Bay all the way through to Shanklin.
The chalk down of Culver has a fascinating mixture of wildlife and natural features, mixed with several remaining military features including a monument with the adjoining remains of a former barracks, a substantial fort owned by The National Trust and a 2nd world war anti-aircraft battery at the end of the cliffs.
Beneath Culver on the Bembridge side is the magnificent Whitecliff Bay, a sheltered cove well worth exploring and best accessed through the Whitecliff Bay holiday park.
Places To Eat in Bembridge
At the heart of Bembridge village there are a number of independent shops and eateries.
Most of the places to eat in Bembridge serve locally caught fish, and there are a number of
small restaurants with very high reputations for their food.
If you are looking for something more traditional the pubs in Bembridge also offer a good selection of English food.