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WesternChannel1

Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

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Hello,

 

I am looking for a day out by ferry to the Isle Of Wight -

 

I will be leaving Honiton (Devon) and probably buying a joint rail + ferry ticket.

 

I would like a 'transporty' kind of day - i'm interested in trains and in particular ferries (you may think i'm a sado!)

 

I would like to know which crossing you would recommend to me for

 

a) value

 

b) length of time on ferry (longer the better)

 

c) nice destination

 

d) be able to see cross-channel ferries

 

any help would be appreciated

 

many thanks

 

WesternChannel1 8-)

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

For length of voyage and interest it is hard to beat going down Southampton Water with Red Funnel - free City Link transfer bus from rear of Southampton Central Station to Red Funnel terminal. Change at Salisbury for Southampton.

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

Off the top of my head...

 

Southampton would probably be easiest/quickest for you to get to, as Millsy says, change at Salisbury. The crossing is around an hour and there will no doubt be shipping activity. Cowes is good for a wander too. You can always pay the excess and get the Red Jet back if you feel like a change or don't have time on your side

 

Portsmouth would be the best for cross-channel ferries, that said, you won't see many in the daytime now... I'd recommend taking the Portsmouth > Fishbourne ferry over the Portsmouth Harbour > Ryde Pier fast cat. Only thing being you'd want to get the bus from the Fishbourne terminal as there's not much around. You'd need to change in Salisbury (and if you can, get seat reservations because the service is often crowded)

 

Lymington is actually my favourite option for a trip to the IoW... it's a bit long-winded from Honiton, you'd have to go to Basingstoke, Brockenhurst (worth a wander) and then get the preserved slam door trains to Lymington which drop you right at the terminal. Yarmouth Terminal is right in the town too

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

Brockenhurst (worth a wander)

 

Is it????? lol, never liked the place myself. Would rather push on to Lymington and spend the time there. If you do go there have a look in an estate agents window and see the 'ahum' prices!

 

That said, each to his own, different people like different things.

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

If its transport then its got to be Old & New. Modern train followed by heritage train followed by brand new car ferries (we hope)!!!! Lymington-Yarmouth. Yarmouth is a nice little town with a couple of nice pubs selling the only drink worth while..real ale and brewed in Goddards Brewery Isle of Wight. You have the pier with all the sponsored planks on, the castle and buses right by to take you to other areas of interest.

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

When on the island consider a trip to Shanklin and back.It used to be run by ex London Underground stock. When I was a lad I saw the first trials Nine Elms to Woking and back.

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

erm, if i was you i'd train to salisbury, then onto southampton. free bus to the ferry, ferry to cowes, bus to ryde, train to (can't remember the name) then bus to bembridge on the east of the island. if you get there by half 12 you will have plenty of time to see the Norman Voyager, and will get the afternoon BF crossing to caen. after that the next ferry inbound is the Commodore goodwill on the freight from the C.I.

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

Red funnel's conventional goes out down the Southampton channel - so quite frequently you're avoiding large container ships!

 

There are no restrictions on ferry times from what I'm aware, though, obviously using 2 different routes needs more than 1 ticket - also there can be some premiums (eg for Red Funnel's fast route)

 

Where's Phil 'National Rail Enquiries' K when you need him?

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

 

Where's Phil 'National Rail Enquiries' K when you need him?

 

He was at work announcing trains, and managed to get a station near Newbury confused for a European country.

 

If opting for the Yarmouth option, a through ticket should available, and might be quicker changing trains at both Salisbury & Southampton, rather than going through to Basingstoke. Best bet is to look at national rail enquiries and/or National express East Coast (best online booking engine).

 

I'm not sure if through rail tickets are valid through on the Portsmouth Car Ferry if the Fast Cat is running. Also not sure if they are available on Red Funnel at all.

 

For me the Southampton / Yarmouth options are the most interesting, probably seeing as I have done Portsmouth so many times.

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

Via Portsmouth all through rail tickets are either to Ryde Esplanade or stations on Island Line. Bus add on rovers are available. Through sea-rail tickets are also available to Cowes but if using the National Rail journey planner be aware that the bus transfer time allowed is far longer than it would take a fit person to walk. Leaving the station go for the exits marked To West Quay and the stops are found by turning left...

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

Is it during the Summer time you're thinking of going?

If it is then buses are more frequent on the Island and you can get a 'Rover' ticket that allows you to jump on and off any bus as many times as you like. You might of course be able to do the same 'out of season' but like I say I'm not sure on the frequency.

Again, if you are planning this for the Summer months then you stand a good chance of seeing some cruise ships in Southampton, should you choose the Southampton-Cowes route. The chain ferry across the Medina (Cowes) is free for foot passengers.

 

In Ryde there is an excellent little 'touristy' type shop just at the inshore end of the pier by the bus station, and in here there is a brilliant selection of books for the transport enthusiast, mainly on ships/ferries, so be sure take a wander in there. I've never yet left that shop without having bought something! Just a few yards from there is a footbridge over the railway to the hovercraft terminal. The footbridge is a fantastic vantage point for watching (photographing) the hovercraft come and go just a few yards away!

 

Lots of good advice from others of course. Just thought I'd contribute too!:D!

 

Doug

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

... and to make it cheaper, use a family and friends railcard to book your through rail / ferry ticket. then you get discount travel on the ferry ticket as well! as for the newsagent / bookstore at ryde, i think they have closed as part of the refurbishment of the railway / bus terminal... but it was a fantasic place to shop!! :) :)

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

... as for the newsagent / bookstore at ryde, i think they have closed as part of the refurbishment of the railway / bus terminal... but it was a fantasic place to shop!! :) :)

 

Oh no! End of an era!:(

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

Yes, that's a real tragedy, I loved browsing in there. Have they just moved perhaps?

 

The newsagents shop at Gosport near the ferry pontoon also does a good range of ferry and shipping publications. Not as good as the Ryde one but worth a visit nevertheless.

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

I live in Cowes and barely see any cross channel ferries. For someone who lives that close don't see that much (bring back Stena Normandy... LOL).

 

I'd agree, Southampton is a better option for general shipping. Would only suggest the Red Jet if you're in a rush but may be an option at busy times in Summer (Fri, Mon and Sat in particular) as the car ferries really do not have enough space for all the passengers that the cars loaded on board will have spew out (you can't stay in your car away from the kids like you can on Wightlink).

 

At Cowes, you can get right to the seafront to see the car ferries and jets come in quite close. The Waterfront pub is pretty close to the ships coming in and does HUGE portions of food at a reasonable price. There's also China China which has good views of the ships coming in, if youre into Chinese food!

 

About 5-6pm on a Saturday evening tends to be good as the cruise liners are off on their way out. Legend of the Seas, QM2, the P&O fleet all get pretty close as they turn out of Southampton Water to head off past Portsmouth. Saga Rose seems to be the only ship that sails past the Needles so get good views off Cowes.

 

Most cruise ships moor in Southampton at the cruise terminal near Mayflower Park (and our new prime attraction - Ikea!) but on the RF ferries you sail right past the Cunard terminal. Had excellent views of the QM2 one afternoon.

 

The views from the Fastcats to Ryde aren't that good and on the hovercraft anything you see will be for about 30 seconds as it moves too fast (plus, there's all the spray).

 

Have never managed to get close enough on a Wightlink ship to ever get a decent ferry view (the Wightlink terminals are a long way from the continental ferry port). Fishbourne is no good for seeing shipping. Ryde sea front is okay if you want to see them for a distance of a couple of miles or have binoculars. Just hanging around Portsmouth or Southsea early morning or very late in the evening are your best bet.

 

The view from one of the pubs in Ventnor is great though... at about 4.30pm you can see Bretagne coming over the horizon as to the left Normandie or MSM are sailing away as NEX cuts between the middle of them heading out to Cherbourg. Good views from Shanklin beach, St Helens or Bembridge of the ships sailing past.

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

Wightlink, Hovertravel and Red Funnel often do 2 for 1's on their fast ferries - going to their website is the best bet. Wightlink tend to only do it with a coupon from the IOW County Press, Red Funnel tend to be a bit sporadic but Hovertravel have it on their homepage at the moment.

 

They do day returns for the car ferries, but have a feeling it is out and back on the same route with Wightlink. Red Funnel and Wightlink tickets are totally non-interchangeable.

 

There was more local uproar last week when Wightlink announced that they are not going to honour Hovertravel season tickets on the FastCats any more when the hovercraft are off service because of the weather. You can clearly see why they would do that - why by a ticket with a less reliable operator if being able to commute is so important? - as it is likely that when the hovercraft aren't running the FastCats are full anyway.

 

One option is to perhaps look at the Wight Line cruises (depends when you're going). They often tend to go from Cowes and Portsmouth but don't be fooled, it may look like a fast ferry but have overtaken Wight Scene on the St Faith before! As it tends to meander around the Solent, it would be good for ship spotting.

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Re: Isle Of Wight Ferry Day Out

 

Wightlink, Hovertravel and Red Funnel often do 2 for 1's on their fast ferries - going to their website is the best bet. Wightlink tend to only do it with a coupon from the IOW County Press, Red Funnel tend to be a bit sporadic but Hovertravel have it on their homepage at the moment.

 

Wightlink used to regluarly have 2-for-1 vouchers on their site, but can't see anything at the moment

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