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Visiting the Isle of Wight England

Updated on June 16, 2019
ethel smith profile image

Eileen loves to travel as much as possible both at home in the U.K. and abroad with local places of interest high on her to visit list.

Heading to the Needles

South-west coastline of the Isle of Wight
South-west coastline of the Isle of Wight

Where is the Isle of Wight?

The Isle of wight is that small island that sits in the middle of, about halfway across, the south coast of England.

As locals on the Isle of Wight call England the North Island perhaps we English should reciprocate and call Wight the south island?

However the Isle of Wight is English.

The currency is the same as England and the language is English however the island’s location gives it a more distant feel.

The Isle of Wight sits close to England

About the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is classed as part of the county of Hampshire.

It is separated from mainland Britain by a deep strait known as the Solent.

Newport is the capital and administrative centre of the Island.

Politically the island and mainland Britain are the same. Westminster rules the Isle of Wight as it rules England

At the last census in 2010 the population of the Isle of Wight was around 140,500.

The climate is similar to the rest of southern England but it can be windy at times.

Today’s Isle of Wight weather forecast for the coming week

Source

On the buses

Although our coach holiday included some trips around the island we also travelled around on local buses.

The main bus station is in the island’s capital Newport.

Some buses operate an almost circular loop service. This gives good access around this small island.

A bonus for us was our free bus passes were valid on these buses.

This enabled us to hop on a bus, visit a place, and then hop on again to go to the next resort, village or town.

How we got there

We opted for a seven-day package coach holiday.

The price included our coach journey to the island, a ferry crossing, travel to our hotel in Sandown, accommodation at the hotel, including breakfast and an evening meal and also included were a couple of coach trips around the island.

It was a long day travelling to this island

We set off around 7am and were not in our hotel until after 5pm and we had made good time.

The ferry crossing is only a little over an hour but it depends on the weather. Then there is the ferry timings and we were lucky as we arrived early and took an earlier than scheduled ferry.

The package price was pretty good but the hotel was tired and in need of refurbishment. These coach holidays often use such hotels.

We enjoyed our holiday but plan to return to the Isle of Wight as independent travellers. That may cost a little more but will be even more enjoyable.

One of our day trips was to the Needles

Click thumbnail to view full-size
View from the visitor centreEntrance to Needles visitor centreOn the way to the NeedlesWe travelled along the south west coast of the islandYou can take a ride on this for a better view of the Needles but the day we visited it was very windy
View from the visitor centre
View from the visitor centre
Entrance to Needles visitor centre
Entrance to Needles visitor centre
On the way to the Needles
On the way to the Needles
We travelled along the south west coast of the island
We travelled along the south west coast of the island
You can take a ride on this for a better view of the Needles but the day we visited it was very windy
You can take a ride on this for a better view of the Needles but the day we visited it was very windy

Travel options

From England-

  • Cross the Solent on a Red Funnel car ferry sailing out of Southampton arriving at Cowes
  • Cross over from Portsmouth to Ryde by hydrofoil
  • Via Wightlink Ferry for vehicles and foot passengers with a choice of three routes between Portsmouth to Fishbourne, Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde Pier and Lymington to Yarmouth
  • Fly from various U.K. airports to the Isle of Wight
  • Sail your own vessel or fly your own small plane to this island

Godshill model village

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Morning trip to Godshill

Our first organized trip was Monday but the weather was grey and it was drizzling. We expected to be disappointed but were not.

Godshill is a charming if somewhat touristy village.

There is a long road and a path with a variety of shops and cafes.

The shops have a great range of goods.

The model village

The model village has a large gift shop attached.

We thought the model village would not be anything special but we were wrong.

It was a fascinating place with a lot of detail. There were tiny models of people in this village and they are moved around by staff daily.

The tiny trees and shrubs are exceptionally well maintained.

There is even a model of the model village and its surroundings on display.

It is a pay to enter attraction but is not expensive.

There are reductions for family tickets, children and seniors plus if you keep your ticket you can visit again during your Isle of Wight stay.

Godshill church and old thatch roofed cottages

The final attraction here is by way of a steep path and some steps. It is the village church and its nearby thatch roofed cottages.

The area is very pretty and well worth the steep walk up.

Godshill church and thatch roofed cottages

Click thumbnail to view full-size

What we loved

  • Ryde on the north east coast of the island. It is a large coastal town with plenty on offer. It would be a great place to stay
  • Ventnor in the south of the island. Another seaside resort but a quirky one. I loved this place
  • Godshill as detailed above
  • The Needles. We loved the journey to the Needles and the sight of the Needles but were not so keen on the attached visitor centre which was very commercial
  • The theatre at Shanklin where we took in a show
  • Yaverland near Sandown which has a long stretch of beach and some good coastal walks. This is also a good area for fossil hunting and there is a dinosaur centre

First Isle of Wight festival 1969

There is more and here are just a few

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2018 Ethel Smith

Comments

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    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      3 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks Paula. We would love to go back as independent travellers and explore further.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 

      3 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Eileen, I would love to visit the Isle of Wight someday. I always thought it sounded so interesting. I enjoyed hearing what you loved and seeing the photos! Thank you for sharing, Paula

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      3 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks Audrey. So many places around the world to discover

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I had not heard about this Isle. So glad for the opportunity to learn about its history, and view these lovely pictures. I hope to take a trip here one day. Thank you!

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      3 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks Liz. Loved the model village. Much better than expected

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      3 years ago from UK

      This is an interesting article. We spent a week near Bembridge many years ago. I recall having a cream tea in Godshill, after visiting the miniature village.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      3 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks Peggy.

      Yes I ned to check what other images I have. The Needles is not easily accessible but is a famous landmark of the Isle of Wight

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This sounds like a great place to spend a week and discover all of the charms of the island. Thanks for sharing your photos of the thatched roofs, the church and grounds, the model village plus the photos of the water and those outcroppings of rocks called the Needles. It looks like there is a lighthouse at the end of the Needles.

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