Ryde is the largest town on the Isle of Wight, and with its prominent position along the seafront and hovercraft and passenger ferry links it is little wonder it is often referred to as “The Gateway to the Island”.
In addition to an expanse of sandy beach which stretches right along the seafront, Ryde has a great selection of boutique shops, museums and galleries for you to visit along with lots of other things to see and do along its esplanade.
Ryde offers a great variety of things to do which will interest all ages, not least of which are the hovercraft and catamaran ferry from which you can travel to and from the mainland.
Hovertravel is the world’s oldest hovercraft operator and operate the only hovercraft passenger service in Britain, whereas a trip on the Wightlink catamaran service will take you down Ryde’s recently restored early 19th century pier, which carries both vehicle traffic and train services.
Head along Ryde esplanade and you will encounter a number of great places for family entertainment, including the ice rink and superbowl.
Further along there is a fun fair for young children and a very popular canoe lake which leads on to Ryde’s sandy beaches.
Unlike many beaches, at Ryde the tide never covers all the sand, and at low tide the sea goes out a long way making it a popular place for sports and outdoor activities at all times, and a regular venue for beach soccer tournaments – the Isle of Wight’s largest and sandiest beach, and one of the largest expanses of sand on the south coast.
Continue along the seafront and you will discover the imposing Appley Tower, which is situated at the back of Appley beach, and even further along this walk you will reach the at Puckpool Park.
Tucked away on the south-west side of Ryde you will find the Play Lane Millennium Green, a tranquil beauty spot, perfect for relaxing with a picnic.
Places To Eat in Ryde
Both Union Street and Ryde High Street offer cuisines from around the globe as well as a good range of bars and pubs for more traditional “pub grub”. For advice on where to eat in Ryde and across the Island visit Matt and Cat’s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide.
Events in Ryde
As the largest town on the Isle of Wight it is little surprise that Ryde is the venue for some of the biggest events that take place annually, with Isle of Wight Pride being the newest and largest!
Every August bank holiday thousands of scooter enthusiasts descend upon Ryde for the Isle of Wight Scooter Rally, and only a few weeks later Ryde Esplanade can be seen covered in cherished classic cars for the International Classic Car Show.
Ryde also holds one of the UK’s oldest carnivals, which is traditionally held at the end of the summer and forms the end of the Isle of Wight carnival season which travels across the Island.
Ryde’s collection of late night bars and clubs also tend to make it one of the most popular spots for nightlife.
Places To Stay in Ryde
As a long established seaside resort Ryde has a number of traditional hotels and guesthouses available to those looking for accommodation.
Ryde Local Information
If you are looking for information on Ryde and the rest of the Isle of Wight then call into the Ryde Tourist Information Point. Located at Kollective Gifts, opposite Ryde Pier, they stock a range of brochures and leaflets, and their staff can offer help and advice where possible.
Getting Around Ryde
Buses to all parts of the Island depart from Ryde Esplanade.
Alternatively catch the train to Shanklin via Smallbrook (for the IW Steam Railway), Brading, Sandown and Lake.