Discover the Charm of the Isle of Wight

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17 Jul 202311 min read

Nestled off the southern coast of England, the Isle of Wight is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With its golden sandy beaches, historic landmarks like Osbourne House, and a thriving event scene, this island offers a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement. In this blog post, we will delve into the upcoming sporting events, South Island Sevens and Wight Wave Fest, while also highlighting other major attractions and local recommendations to make the most of your visit.

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Image credit: Laela | Unsplash

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Upcoming events:

South Island Sevens

South Island Sevens

Dates: 22 - 23 July 2023

Nearest rail station: Portsmouth & Southsea
Connect via the Hoverbus service to the Southsea  terminal. You will need to book your hoverbus service and crossing separately. 


Book a rail-through ticket to Ryde Hoverport, and the Hoverbus fare is free of charge.

The South Island Sevens on the Isle of Wight is an extraordinary sports festival that promises an unforgettable experience. With its convenient location, diverse events, and vibrant atmosphere, this event is a must-attend for sports enthusiasts. Let's explore the key highlights that make the South Island Sevens and the town of Ryde an exceptional destination.

  • Convenient Location and Athlete's Village: Located just minutes away from the passenger ferry terminal and hovercraft, the South Island Sevens' athlete's village is right on the beach, ensuring easy access for participants. Experience the thrill of the competitions against the picturesque backdrop of the Isle of Wight's stunning coastline.

  • Diverse Sporting Events: The South Island Sevens offers a range of exciting events for athletes and spectators. From the NUKU Challenge and SUP to Beach Rugby 5s and Kite Foiling, the beach venue provides the perfect setting for thrilling sports action. Skateboarding and Mountain Biking enthusiasts can showcase their skills at exceptional venues, including the Canopy Skatepark and the Isle of Wight Mountain Bike Centre.

  • Accommodation and Camping: Stay close to the action with convenient camping facilities just a short walk from the beach venue. Immerse yourself in the festival atmosphere and connect with fellow participants. Classic Buses are available throughout the weekend, ensuring easy transportation within the town.

  • Vibrant Nightlife and Dining: Ryde, the hub of the South Island Sevens, offers a vibrant nightlife scene with a variety of restaurants, bars, and dining options. After a thrilling day of competitions, unwind and socialize in the town's lively atmosphere. Public transportation runs until 3 am, allowing you to explore the local establishments and make the most of your evenings.

  • Sundowner and Private Party: Saturday night at the South Island Sevens is a highlight not to be missed. Join fellow athletes for a sundowner on the beach, accompanied by stunning views and live performances. Later, head to "The Balcony" for an exclusive private party, creating unforgettable memories in a unique setting.

Enjoy the thrill of the competitions in a stunning coastal setting, stay close to the action with camping facilities, and immerse yourself in Ryde's vibrant nightlife and dining scene.

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Image credit: Jonathan Ridley | Unsplash

Wight Wave Beach Fest

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Dates: 28 - 30 July 2023 | 09:00 - 19:00

Location: Appley Beach, Ryde Isle of Wight

Get ready for an adrenaline-charged extravaganza at the Wight Wave Beach Fest on the picturesque Isle of Wight. This three-day event brings together a diverse range of competitive sports, lively music, delicious local food and drink, and a fun-filled beach atmosphere. With a lineup including Beach Volleyball, Beach Footvolley, Beach Tennis, and more, this festival is a haven for sports enthusiasts of all ages. Join us as we dive into the highlights of Wight Wave Beach Fest, the largest beach sports event of its kind in the UK.

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  • A Multitude of Beach Sports: Wight Wave Beach Fest showcases an impressive array of beach sports, including Beach Volleyball, Beach Soccer, Beach Running, Foot-volley, Beach Netball, Beach Tennis, Beach Rugby, Paddle Board Racing, and Open Water Life Saving Competitions. Whether you're a participant or a spectator, the festival offers non-stop action and a chance to witness top athletes in their element.

  • Lively Music and Entertainment: The festival atmosphere at Wight Wave Beach Fest is enhanced by a carefully curated selection of quality music. Groove to the beats and enjoy live performances while immersing yourself in the energetic ambiance of the event. The eclectic mix of music adds to the overall excitement and creates an unforgettable experience for attendees.

  • Locally Sourced Food and Drink: Satisfy your taste buds with a delectable range of locally sourced food and drink options. Indulge in delicious treats and refreshing beverages, all while enjoying the beach vibes and soaking up the festival atmosphere. From mouthwatering snacks to delightful culinary creations, the food and drink offerings at Wight Wave Beach Fest will keep you energized and satisfied throughout the event.

  • Family-Friendly Fun Beach Environment: Wight Wave Beach Fest is designed to cater to all ages, making it the perfect family-friendly event. Bring your loved ones and enjoy a weekend of thrilling sports action, beachside relaxation, and entertainment for everyone. With a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, the festival ensures that both participants and spectators have a memorable experience.

Don't miss out on this thrilling celebration of sports and fun in a truly stunning setting.

Cider & Cheese Festival

Isle of wight steam railwayImage credit: ©John Faulkner | Isle of Wight UK

Dates: 9- 10 September 2023

Location: Isle of Wight Steam RailwayThe Railway StationHAVENSTREETIsle of WightPO33 4DS

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Isle of Wight Steam Railway Cider & Cheese Festival. This captivating event combines the nostalgic charm of steam trains with the tantalising flavors of local ciders and cheeses. Get ready for an unforgettable culinary journey amidst the scenic landscapes of the Isle of Wight.

Getting to the Festival

Getting to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway is a breeze. Begin your adventure with a short ferry ride from Portsmouth, Southampton, or Lymington. Here are the convenient transport options available:

  • Hovercraft from Southsea: Cross the Solent by Hovercraft from Southsea to Ryde. Once you arrive, take a 6-minute journey on the Island Line to Smallbrook Junction for a seamless connection to the Steam Railway.

  • Fast Cat from Portsmouth Harbour: Cross the Solent by Fast Cat from Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde Pier Head. Upon arrival, head up the ramp to the adjacent railway station. From there, it's just an 8-minute journey on the Island Line to Smallbrook Junction for a convenient connection to the Steam Railway.

Don't miss out on this delightful festival that celebrates the best of food, heritage, and locomotion.

Looking for more events this summer on the Isle of Wight?

See Visit Isle of Wight for inspiration -

Local recommendations for dining -

Local recommendations for accommodation -

Top tips for visiting the Isle of Wight -

Special offers -

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Exploring the Isle of Wight: Beyond sporting events

Discover the Island's Natural Beauty

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Image credit: Paul Arky | Unsplash

Beyond the sporting events, the Isle of Wight is blessed with natural beauty that captivates visitors year-round. The island boasts glorious golden sandy beaches, perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, or building sandcastles with the family. Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque coastal paths, breathe in the fresh sea air, and embrace the tranquility of the island's unspoiled nature. Don't miss the opportunity to explore Osbourne House, the former summer residence of Queen Victoria. Experience the rich tapestry of history as you explore the grand rooms and meticulously manicured gardens of this English Heritage site, fully immersing yourself in its captivating ambiance.

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Osbourne House  Image credit: Robert Anderson | Unsplash

Getting To and Around the Island

Getting to the Isle of Wight is a breeze. Regular Hovertravel and ferry services operate from various mainland ports, including Southampton, Portsmouth, and Lymington. These services allow both foot passengers and vehicles, providing convenient options for all travellers.


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Hovertravel offers a one-of-a-kind way to travel between the mainland and the Isle of Wight. As the world's only year-round passenger hovercraft service, it provides a smooth and scenic journey across the Solent. With its fast and frequent service, you can reach your destination in just under 10 minutes. The convenient connections and discounted combined tickets make it an excellent choice for exploring the island. Experience the beauty of the Isle of Wight from a unique perspective as you glide over the waters. Experience an unforgettable travel adventure with Hovertravel on your Isle of Wight visit.

  1. Speed and Efficiency: Hovertravel takes pride in its fast and efficient service. With an average crossing time of just under 10 minutes, you'll be amazed at how quickly you can reach the Isle of Wight. Say goodbye to long travel times and hello to more time exploring the island.

  2. Seamless Connections: Hovertravel's Southsea HoverPort is conveniently located and well-connected to major transportation hubs. The Hoverbus service provides easy and quick connections to Portsmouth's main rail and coach stations. You can also access bus and train connections at Ryde, making it convenient to explore different parts of the Isle of Wight.

  3. Ample Parking: If you're travelling by car, both the Southsea and Ryde hovercraft terminals offer large car parks. This ensures that you can easily park your vehicle before boarding the hovercraft, providing a hassle-free travel experience.

  4. Scenic Views: As you glide across the Solent, you'll enjoy breathtaking views of the Isle of Wight's coastline. The unique perspective from the hovercraft offers a fantastic opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the island and its stunning sandy beaches.

To ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience, make sure to book your Hovertravel reservations in advance. You can do so easily by clicking on the "Reserve Your Seat" button below. You will need a copy of your rail/ bus ticket number so make sure you have this handy. 


Whether you're a visitor or a local, Hovertravel offers a convenient, fast, and scenic way to reach the Isle of Wight. Embrace the thrill of hovercraft travel and make your journey to the island an unforgettable adventure.

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To access the hovercraft and hoverbus timetables, please visit the links below:
View here

Hoverbus: View here

Hovertravel Locations

Ryde Esplanade, situated on the North East side of the Isle of Wight, is a vibrant hub for transportation and leisure activities. As the main transportation hub in Ryde, it offers easy access to various modes of transport, including the Ryde Hoverport. From Ryde Esplanade, you can take a few minutes' walk to reach the shops, bars, restaurants, and beautiful sandy beaches in the area.

Ryde Hoverport, located on the North East side of the Isle of Wight, offers a convenient gateway to the island. Situated just a short walk away from shops, bars, restaurants, and beautiful sandy beaches, it provides easy access to all the attractions Ryde has to offer. For onward travel, you have multiple options available, including rail, bus, hire car, or go-taxi services. If you're traveling by vehicle, the Council car park is conveniently located next to the terminal, providing convenient parking facilities.

Southsea Hoverport, situated on the UK South Coast, is another access point for your journey to the Isle of Wight. From the terminal, you can hop on the HoverBus, which operates outside the terminal, allowing you to reach Portsmouth rail and coach stations and the town center for further onward connections by rail or coach. If you're traveling by vehicle, simply follow the signs for Isle of Wight ferries, Seafront, and Historic Waterfront. Once you arrive, follow the signs for the Hovercraft. Across from the terminal, you'll find the Council car park, providing ample parking space for your convenience.

Both Ryde Esplanade, Hoverport and Southsea Hoverport offer easy access to transportation options, ensuring that your journey to and from the Isle of Wight is smooth and hassle-free. Whether you prefer to explore the island on foot, use public transport, or bring your own vehicle, Hovertravel has you covered with convenient facilities and onward travel connections.

Exploring the Island's Transportation Options

Once on the island, public transportation, including buses and trains, can take you to different parts of the Isle of Wight. Alternatively, renting a car or bicycle gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace and discover hidden gems off the beaten path.

Local Recommendations for Dining and Accommodations

When it comes to dining, the Isle of Wight offers a delightful range of options. Sample fresh seafood dishes in quaint seaside restaurants, savor local produce at farm-to-table eateries, or indulge in traditional English pub fare. The island's culinary scene caters to all tastes and budgets, ensuring a satisfying gastronomic experience.

For accommodations, the Isle of Wight offers a diverse range of choices. From luxury hotels and charming bed and breakfasts to self-catering cottages and campsites, there's an option for every preference. Consider staying in popular towns like Cowes, Ryde, or Shanklin, which offer a mix of amenities, proximity to attractions, and stunning coastal views.

The Isle of Wight is a captivating destination that combines sporting excitement, natural beauty, and historical intrigue. Whether you're a sports enthusiast, a nature lover, or a history buff, this island has something to offer everyone. From the South Island Sevens and Wight Wave Fest to the golden sandy beaches and Osbourne House, the Isle of Wight invites you to explore, indulge, and create unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, hop on a hovercraft or ferry, and embark on a journey to this enchanting island oasis.

Note: Please remember to check event schedules, accommodation availability, and travel schedules before planning your trip, as details may change.

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Image credit: Tom Wheatley | Unsplash

Top Tips for Visiting the Isle of Wight

  1. Plan ahead to maximize your time and make necessary bookings in advance.

  2. Explore the breathtaking coastal beauty, from the iconic Needles to secluded coves, the island offers breathtaking views and picturesque walks along its cliffs and beaches.
  3. Engage in outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and thrilling watersports.

  4. Sample the local cuisine, including fresh seafood and renowned island produce.

  5. Visit historical landmarks like Osbourne House and Carisbrooke Castle. 
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    Carisbrooke Castle Image credit: Robert Anderson | Unsplash

  6. Experience the nostalgia of vintage transportation on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway and vintage buses.

  7. Attend local events and festivals to immerse yourself in the vibrant island culture. From music festivals to cultural celebrations, the Isle of Wight hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Engage with the vibrant island culture by attending local events and festivals.

  8. Discover the charm of quaint villages and towns, each with its own unique character. From the maritime heritage of Cowes to the Victorian elegance of Ventnor, each place has its own unique character and attractions to discover.
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    Ventnor Image credit: Pauline Bernfeld | Unsplash

  9. Enjoy the Island's Wildlife: The Isle of Wight is home to diverse wildlife, including rare birds, red squirrels, and seals. Visit nature reserves and wildlife parks to observe and appreciate the island's natural inhabitants. Keep your camera handy for capturing memorable encounters.
  10. Finally, relax and embrace the slower pace of life on the Isle of Wight. Take moments to soak in the tranquility, appreciate the natural beauty, and enjoy the island's laid-back atmosphere. Allow yourself to unwind and savour the unique charm of this captivating destination.

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