Full Day Tour – Island tour including Ferry from Southampton to Cowes, The Needles, Alum Bay, Freshwater Bay, Osborne House and Ryde
Over 60: £43
Under 16: £38
- The day starts with our morning drive to the City of Southampton to catch the 9:00 am ferry down The Solent to Cowes.
- The ferry leaves from the heart of the Port of Southampton, one of the UK’s busiest ports. You are likely to see cruise ships, container ships and other cargo vessels alongside or passing through this bustling waterway.
- There are lots of sights to see as you pass down the channel and your guide will be on hand to point out things of interest. The ferry itself is very comfortable with plenty of reasonably priced food and drink options.
- The crossing takes approximately an hour and delivers us right into the heart of Cowes.
- On arrival we head straight off on our island tour taking us to the western tip of the island to The Needles and Alum Bay.
- Although close to the mainland, the Isle of Wight has a very different feel, a county in its own right it is England’s largest island.
- You will have about two hours at The Needles and you can chose to walk out (20mins) to the headland itself with The Needles Battery, build to defend the entrance to this important waterway, or spend time in Alum Bay at the Needles Park. This tourist attraction has a variety of things to do, the most famous is the chairlift to the beach and the brightly coloured sands.
- When we leave the needles we then drive around Tennyson Down through the villages of Freshwater and Freshwater Bay, then along the military road that hugs the southern shore of the island.
- After stopping to enjoy the views at Compton Bay back toward Freshwater Bay, the tour then takes you north across the island to Osborne House via Newport (the “capital” of the Isle of Wight), where you can visit the house and gardens, (entrance not included, free for English Heritage members). Osborne House is recommend as it is the main attraction of the island. It is used to be Queen Victoria’s holiday retreat. You can have a look at the Swiss Cottage as well, where her children used to play.
- Alternatively you can choose to be dropped down to Ryde, a pretty seaside resort with small shops, cafes and pubs and a chance to see one of the few passenger hovercraft services in the world.
- Osborne House is the royal seaside palace of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, she said of it “It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot”. Priority entrance is available online with this tour. English Heritage members enjoy free entrance.
- We catch the 5:30 pm ferry back up The Solent to Southampton, returning you to Bournemouth for about 7:00 pm.
We pick up from many hotels and language schools in the Poole – Bournemouth area as well as from a number of convenient landmarks shown on this map. The following list indicates the approximate time the bus will be picking up in each area. When you book you will be presented with a full range of pick up options and your booking confirmation will indicate where you need to be and when to meet your guide.
For the convenience of tourist travelling from Southampton or London to the Isle of Wight, we pick up at the Red Funnel Passenger Terminal at 8:30 am before boarding the ferry.
07:15am Westbourne / West Cliff
07:20am Central Bournemouth
07:30am Bournemouth Station
07:35am Winton / Charminster
08:30am Southampton, Red Funnel Passenger Terminal
Itinerary details change from time to time when attractions open or close or when we think of ways to improve the tour so if there is something you particularly want to experience please contact us to make sure it will be part of the tour on the day that you travel.