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“Ryde Harbour on Isle of Wight”
Review of Ryde Harbour

Ryde Harbour
Ranked #12 of 38 things to do in Ryde
Attraction details
Ryde, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Ryde Harbour on Isle of Wight”
Reviewed April 13, 2013

Ryde on the Isle of Wight is such a lovely clean & safe beach town. There is something for everyone in Ryde & as the crime rate is very low, it is a safe place for all. The harbour is easy access with the Cat boat, the Ferries & quick Hovercraft running from the early hours of the morning till very late at night. So the mainland is always at hand for those who find the peace, ,beach & rural life of of the island too relaxing! The Ryde Harbour puts you right at the centre of all that is happening in Ryde, there is so much fun for everyone.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank Shawdiane U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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149 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
96 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“three stars as average for IoW, two compared to rest of world”
Reviewed April 13, 2013

Although evidence suggests that the local town council try hard to make Ryde attractive, the place is run down with tatty boarded up buildings not far off the main areas, litter is bad, particularly in the morning when late night drinkers discard rubbish in the streets.

Ryde beaches is not that clean, when playing with the children there are discarded cigarette lights, bottle tops etc. I would strongly suggest children wear flip-flops to protect their feet on the beach and not go barefoot.

Ferry prices are quite high (hotel operators get special rates so check with them, book hotel before ferry!). Bus travel is a bit more expensive than you'd expect (compared to say, Cambridge) considering it's the only public transport. Parking in Ryde is a problem, and/or expensive.

Customer service on the island is also relatively poor compared to the mainland, it's like going back in time 8+ years, but it is getting better.

There are many nicer, quieter, cleaner, smarter places to stay on the IoW. Do your research, and book early, the quality places at fair prices get booked up quickly.

Visited March 2013
Thank Paul M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventnor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
101 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
“The attraction is in the views”
Reviewed March 20, 2013

I would not claim that Ryde Harbour itself was attractive. but if you walk around the concrete walls, the views from the far end are most rewarding, even on a hazy day in late March. It was cold and few people were about, but it wasn't peaceful. As I gazed across the Solent to Portsmouth's iconic landmark, the Spinnaker Tower, hovercraft, engines roaring, were departing and arriving in such quick succession that they had to take turns to circle round, waiting for space to land. As hovercraft are such a rare sight in Britain nowadays, they have become a tourist attraction in their own right here on Ryde seafront. And quite rightly so, as the hovercraft was first developed on the Isle of Wight some fifty years ago. It takes only ten minutes to cross to Southsea.

To my left I had a full view of Ryde's long Victorian pier and a train running along it towards the pierhead, bringing passengers from stations between Ryde and Shanklin for the next fast catamaran service to Portsmouth Harbour.

To my right I could see two round forts rising out of the sea, surely an amazing feat of engineering in about 1860, when a number of these forts were built on land and sea to guard Portsmouth and our naval fleet from a threatened French invasion. With hindsight they were named 'Palmerston's Follies', as their garrisons never had to fire in anger.

Ships pass in the distance, using the deep channels on the Portsmouth side. At Ryde the sea is shallow, even when the tide is out a long way,to reveal large expanses of golden sand. This beautiful beach starts right outside the harbour wall.

Looking inland, across the harbour and towards the town, I could see spires and turrets dotted about the hillside, rising above the many stately Georgian and Victorian villas that make Ryde such an elegant town.

In warmer weather tourists and locals alike bring a picnic or buy a snack or ice-cream from one of the kiosks beside the harbour, and sit on one of the many benches around the wall. There are public toilets a few hundred yards along the seafront and a 'Jungle Jim's' adventure park for children. There is a cafe in the nearby Pavilion, as well as slot machines and a bowling alley.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Maggie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Lots to see”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Very busy and lots to look at. The Hover service can take you to Portsmouth in only ten minutes and it is well worth the ride.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Ray78dtv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Banbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
709 reviews
525 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 320 helpful votes
“it probably looks different in the Summer”
Reviewed February 7, 2013

Having spent time there in the colder months it was rather windy and chilly however it is still a sweet little harbour to visit. There are tea shops and snack type places plus the obligatory rock /fudge/burger produce - proper sea side eh. Poeple are really friendly and you can walk dogs which is a good thing.

Visited March 2012
Thank Rebecca M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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