Saturday 28 January 2023

Car-free Holidays to the Isle of Wight

Four stories about holidays by rail, ferry and bus

Our annual visit to the south coast is now planned, hotels and restaurants, anyway; the train tickets will have to wait for a bit. We shall visit Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, again this year before moving on to Chichester. I thought readers might be interested in our four previous visits to the Isle of Wight, as this really is a great place to go car-free. Indeed, I'd say that the Isle of Wight is actually better without the car, which is a bit of a rave to get onto the island in the first place and can be a bit of an encumbrance when you are there (we took two cars one year, some time ago, when there were six of us); the ferry queues are not much fun.

So here are the four visits we have done in the past, all great:

The secret to enjoying these holidays is:

  • Book the accommodation in advance (and restaurant the first night - we always regretted when we didn't do this)
  • Allow plenty of time for the journey to make it relaxing, no rushing across London
  • Think carefully about packing and try to keep it to one modest suitcase and a small backpack each
  • Book train tickets early and go First Class; book through to the Isle of Wight destination so that the ferry is included in the ticket - that makes it both simpler and much cheaper
  • Download in advance the Southern Vectis bus map and install their app on your smartphone, and use their day rover tickets
Southern Vectis buses will take you all over the east or west sides of the Island without a change of bus, and to go from one side to the other involves a simple change at Newport bus station. We also do a lot of walking, and bicycles can be hired if you like cycling. We love the buses; almost all of them are double deckers and the views from the top deck are wonderful. Even from the bottom deck the views are better than from a car.

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