Island Insights

Ferries, trains, buses and a hovercraft – Isle of Wight public transport

Getting to, from and around the Isle of Wight without a car is simple and easy to do.

Getting around the Isle of Wight

By train

Island Line operates in the east of the Island, between Ryde and Shanklin, stopping along the way at Smallbrook Junction, Brading, Sandown and Lake. During the summer, the Island Line train connects with the Isle of Wight Steam Railway at Smallbrook Junction – see Route 1.

The total length of the track is 8.5 miles and journey time from north to south is around 25 minutes. The northerly terminus is at Ryde Pier Head. For the Hovercraft and buses there is another stop at Ryde Esplanade.

Perhaps the most distinctive thing about the line is the trains that run along it, which are vintage 1938 London Underground stock.

Island Line train at Ryde St Johns Road station. Slow Travel Guide to the Isle of Wight

By bus

Southern Vectis operates the buses on the Island. The Island has led the way compared with much of the UK. Buses services reach almost all corners of the Island and are well supported in a way that is no longer the case in many rural parts of Britain (the Island was also where Britain’s first electric car was designed by John Ackroyd). Be sure to buy a rover or multi day ticket as you will save a good deal over the standard single fares.

Southern Vectis bus overlooking Alum Bay, Slow Travel Guide to the Isle of Wight

Getting to the Isle of Wight

Getting to the Isle of Wight by train from London takes just over two hours and there are regular services on SWR to Portsmouth, Southampton and Lymington.

Departing Hovercraft, past Ryde Pier. Slow guide to the Isle of Wight.

The mainland ports, there are frequent, daily crossings to the Isle of Wight on Red Funnel, Wightlink and Hovertravel. Some of the Slow Travel Guide to the Isle of Wight routes connect directly or run close to ferry terminals.