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Options for travel to the Isle of Wight by public transport


Car ferries to the Isle of Wight are run by Red Funnel from Southampton and Wightlink from Portsmouth and Lymington.  

Fast hydrofoil services for foot passengers are operated by Red Funnel as Red Jets from Southampton to Cowes and by Wightlink as Fast Cats from Portsmouth to Ryde Pier Head.
Hovercraft services for foot passengers are provided by Hovertravel from Southsea to Ryde Esplanade.

The Fast Cat terminal in Ryde is adjacent to the local Pier Head Station and one train stop  away from the Ryde Bus Terminus. The local bus terminus is adjacent to the Red Jet Terminal in Cowes The Hovercraft Terminal in Ryde is adjacent to the Esplanade Train Station and also the Bus Terminus.  

Red Funnel Ferries – 0844 844 9988
Wightlink Ferries –   0871 3761000
Hovertravel –   01983 811000

CHEAPER FARES – many accommodation providers are able to provide discounted ferry travel when bought as part of a holiday package. Ask about ferry inclusive prices and deals when you book.

By Coach

National Express

National network of interconnecting coach routes. Regular coaches throughout the day from London Victoria and Heathrow Coach Stations to Southampton and Portsmouth.

Book by phone with a credit/debit card call: 08705 80 80 80 Lines open 8 am to 10 pm, 7 days a week (Please allow 4 working days for posted tickets) 


Local Bus Services

Shanklin is served by two bus routes, the number 2 runs from Newport Bus Station to the Ryde Terminus via Godshill, Shanklin, Sandown and Brading; the number 3 route overlaps much of the number 2 route, but between Godshill and Shanklin it diverts via Wroxall and Ventnor.

Website: Bus Times: 0871 200 22 33  (Please note – calls from landlines cost 10p per minute, calls from mobiles might be considerably more)


South Western Railway run services that connect to the Island via Portsmouth Docks, Southampton and Lymington, The network map can be found at  

SouthWest Trains link with other regions on the rail network and tickets can be booked from any UK main line station to connect with Isle of Wight Ferries. If coming from, or connecting via London, trains for Portsmouth, Southampton and Lymington leave from Waterloo, and go via Clapham Junction.

Portsmouth  Harbour

Portsmouth Harbour trains coming in from London, come into Platform 1, at the end of this platform is a ramp to the Wightlink Fast Cat. Take the Fast Cat to Ryde Pier Head. Local trains on Isle of Wight run from Ryde Pier Head at one end to Shanklin at the other. There is a Taxi rank outside of Shanklin Station.

Southampton Central

Mainline trains come in to Southampton Central  Station. There is a free shuttle bus from the bus station outside of the Train Station that links with the Red Jet and Red Funnel Car Ferry Terminals at Pier 7. 

There is an Island bus service that meets the Red Jet at Cowes, which will take you into Newport to change buses for Shanklin.


The station at Lymington is adjacent to the Wightlink ferry terminal. For South Western Railway information check  0345 6000 650

For general train information check – 08457 484950 or – 0871 244 1545

NB. it is cheaper to book train tickets in advance and to book the ticket from your local station to Shanklin, which can include the ferry crossing.

Regional Airports

Bournemouth Airport  01202 364000
Southampton (Eastleigh) Airport  0870 040 0009

Island  Airports

You can fly to the Isle of Wight with a private plane, the Isle of Wight has two small airfields, 
Bembridge 01983 873051 and Sandown Airport 01983 408374.  Plane and helicopter charter is available from the Island.

Local Taxi Firms

Not all taxi operators run a 24 hour service. It is advisable to pre-book taxis for late night or early morning travel wherever possible.

AKAR Taxis        01983 401233
‘A’ Cabs         01983 866772
Ace Taxis        01983 868666
Macs Taxis        01983 862344
Door2Door        01983 404554

Shanklin Railway Station  

Shanklin railway station is the only station serving Shanklin on the Isle of Wight. It is the present terminus of the Island Line from Ryde, the station has one platform with a ticket office and a small shop with the second platform now in use as a flower bed boat display. The former subway has been filled in.

Passengers can change onto Southern Vectis buses to Ventnor and St Lawrence.

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