Isle of Wight, UK

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Mar 3rd, 2011, 09:50 AM
  #1
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Isle of Wight, UK

I am looking at several coach tours to Isle of Wight in June. I was on the island many years ago based in Ryde. The tours Iam considering are based in Shanklin (Shanklin hotel) and Sandown. I would like to hear some opinions on the best areas before I book tour and hotels that are popular .

I am active, retired senior who enjoys hiking and have traveled independently in Europe but since the tour would include halfboard and R/T travel, with some excursions, I would save some money taking the 7 day tour. I want to be in area near the water for walking. If I decide not to take a tour and go independently I would go on ferry from Plymouth and use the buses to travel around some areas. Would I need to book ferry ticket in advance for foot passenger?

Any help much appreciated. Thank you.
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 10:00 AM
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It's a small island and I understand that public transport is good. So i would suggest going independently, try contacting the tourist information office on somewhere like Sandown or Shanklin if you like older prettier towns. Oh and please don't go to Plymouth for the ferry I think you meant Portsmouth. Can't advise about advance booking for foot passengers but google Isle of Wight ferries and I'm sure you be able to find out
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 10:12 AM
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You certainly shouldn't mess with Plymouth, which is hundrds of miles from where you want to be.

Whether you want Portsmouth, Southampton or Lymington depends on where you're starting from. There's no need to book ahead for getting on: but this is just about the world's most expensive ferry, in costs per mile travelled, and those extortionate costs drop a lot if you book an inflexible ticket in advance
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 10:31 AM
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Since you say you enjoy hiking (walking in Brit-speak), have you looked at the guided walking holidays with HF Holidays for part or all of your week?

http://www.hfholidays.co.uk/holidays/isle-wight

I did a week's holiday with them at this location about a decade ago, and can try to answer any questions.
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 10:47 AM
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The Isle of Wight is beautiful, but I found the eastern coast including Shanklin and Sandown to be pretty shabby. I walked the IOW coastal path which circumnavigates the island in 2006. If it's beauty and hiking you are after, then the western and southern coasts are nicer. I like Yarmouth (ferry from Lymington on the edge of New Forest) as a base. I also liked Brighstone along the southern coast for hikes into the Downs. There's also a little hamlet along the southern coast where Alfred Noyes's farmhouse is still lived in by his grandson's family and run as a B&B. It was a truly memorable stay, but unless you have a car not many amenities nearby.
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 12:05 PM
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There are ferries from Portsmouth, Southampton or Lymington. If you're not taking a car, there is no need to buy a ticket in advance: fares are exactly the same whether you buy a ticket in advance or at the port, and the ships will not be full. There are through fares by train and ship so you can buy a ticket from London (or anywhere on the mainland) to Ryde or any island port.
There are trains on the island from Ryde to Sandown and Shanklin, connecting with boats from Portsmouth.
Southern Vectis buses go to most places on the island (www.islandbuses.info). They have passes for 24 or 48 hours, or for seven days.
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 01:10 PM
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Thank you. I mistakenly typed Plymouth, would take ferry from either Portsmouth or S'Hampton. I might consider some time in Southampton just to see memorials for Titanic victims. Thanks for telling me to consider west coast towns. When you say Yarmouth, is this Great Yarmouth as I saw tours that include Gt. Yarmouth. I will do more research and perhaps avoid the tours as I prefer to move along at own pace once I know I can do it without car. Much appreciate your advice.
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 02:01 PM
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Great Yarmouth is in Norfolk on the east coast of England. The town on the Isle of Wight is simply Yarmouth. It's a small town towards the western end of the island and is a pretty place noted for its pubs and restaurants.
The easiest way to get there is to take the train to Lymington Pier (from London or Southampton, change trains at Brockenhurst) then the Wightlink ferry to Yarmouth. You can buy combined train and ferry tickets to Yarmouth.
If you take a ferry from Southampton to Cowes, there are buses from Cowes to Newport then to Yarmouth.
www.wightlink.co.uk
www.redfunnel.co.uk
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 03:09 PM
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To be different, you could take the hovercraft from Southsea:
http://www.hovertravel.co.uk/
A lot quicker than the ferry.
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