Where is The Isle of Wight?

The Isle of Wight is 23 miles wide by 13 miles high and is a diamond shaped Island. It is situated at the far South of Great Britain being sandwiched between France and the UK.  However it is a lot nearer than you think, - just 3 miles from Portsmouth's coastal edge and a similar distance from Southampton.


Ordnance Survey Map of The Isle of Wight.


The three Car Ferry routes are shown on the map by a red line amongst blue dotted lines.
Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service.  Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.


There are 3 main Car Ferry routes to choose from if your travelling from the mainland and all are competitively priced, Southampton, Portsmouth and our favourite Lymington. 
We have also used the catamaran some years ago and then hired a car on the Island, and we have used both the Wightlink ferry from Lymington and Red Funnel ferries from Southampton. We used to favour the one hour break {crossing time} from driving by using the Southampton service, but recently have preferred the Wightlink ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth, I.O.W.

Wightlink Ferries:

Lymington to Yarmouth:   
Car Ferry crossing 30 mins.

Porstmouth to Fishbourne:   
Car Ferry crossing 35 mins.

Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde Pier Head:   
Catamaran Fastcat Service foot passengers only 15mins.

WIGHTLINK: Tel:  0870 5827744

Red Funnel Ferries:

Southampton to East Cowes:  Car Ferry crossing 55 mins.

Southampton to West Cowes: Catamaran Red Jet Hi Speed Service foot passengers crossing only 22 mins.


Tel:  023 80334010


Southsea {Portsmouth} to Ryde:  Hovertravel.  Hovercraft crossing 10 mins.
West Cowes to East Cowes:  Cowes floating bridge chain ferry 5 mins. Tel:  01983 293041

Crossing times are only approximate, during very busy times the ferries may take longer to load/unload.

Booking is strongly advised at summer time and other peak times although it is still possible to just turn up and pay on the day, especially if you are travelling late at night or very early in the morning - otherwise just book.

WARNING - On our return journey last year once we were on The Mainland for 10 miles we have seen the other side of the road heavily congested and at a near standstill for 2-3 miles {travelling SW to Lymington area} at around 12.30, this was not due to road works or an accident it is a bottleneck for the large volume of traffic. Travelling in the other direction {returning from our holiday} we experienced queues at Lyndhurst for 20 mins.