The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England

# Itineraries

Located in the English Channel off the south coast of England, the Isle of Wight has been a top holiday destination since the Victorian Age. Today, the island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is just as popular! But it now draws a more diverse crowd of people seeking an affordable holiday that’s remote, fairly easy to get to and features a wide range of attractions for people of all ages. It’s only two hours away from London, so it’s the perfect destination if you want to get out of the city for a day or two. We’ve picked some travel tips for your Isle of Wight holiday in a Campervan.

The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England
The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England

The island is known for its stunning landscapes, its shipbuilding past and the annual Isle of Wight Festival. Whether you’re into beaches, history, the great outdoors, or scenic drives, there’s something for everyone on the Isle of Wight. The island is fairly big, but the population is only just over 100,000, so there’s plenty of space to roam and enjoy a quiet getaway.


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Why travel to the Isle of Wight in a Campervan

 

There are many reasons why you should travel to the Isle of Wight in a Campervan.  First, it’s a very Campervan friendly place to travel.  The ferries accommodate these types of vehicles, the roads are wide enough in most places to be safely travelled, and there are plenty of campsites around the island

The Isle of Wight is a great add-on if you’re already road-tripping in the United Kingdom and want to go somewhere a little more off-the-beaten-path. It’s also a family-friendly destination with many things to do for all ages. 

One of the biggest draws for visitors to the Isle of Wight is how affordable it is to travel around the island. Many things are much cheaper than you would find in mainland England or the rest of the United Kingdom. 

The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England
The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England

Enjoy the lack of crowds

 

Sure, London is a great place to visit and road trips through the British countryside are epic, but there are those crowds to deal with! Not so on the Isle of Wight!  Look forward to deserted beaches and wide-open spaces where you can move freely without line-ups and crowds.  

Some fascinating attractions you’ll find on the Isle of Wight include Carisbrooke Castle, the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Wildheart Animal Sanctuary, Robin Hill Nature Park and Ventnor Botanic Garden. Osborne was once Queen Victoria’s home, and Dinosaur Isle is where you can see interesting fossils and geological features. If you’re travelling with kids, Blackgang Chine features an assortment of thrilling rides and amusements. 

A popular activity for visitors to the Isle of Wight is embarking on scenic drives, and the island has quite a few! Middle Road takes drivers through the centre of the island through stunning countryside, the Esplanade of East Cowes is a beautiful coastal drive and Military Road is a historic route along the southern coast.

The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England
The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England

Travel Tips Isle of Wight in a Campervan or Motorhome

 

To get to the Isle of Wight in your Campervan or Motorhome, you’ll need to take a ferry from mainland England. The route from Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde is the quickest sail, but you can also get to the island on several other routes including Lymington to Yarmouth, Portsmouth to Fishbourne and Southampton to Cowes

Once on the island, it’s important to be aware that the same rules that applied to Campervans and Motorhomes elsewhere in England also apply on the Isle of Wight. That means that wild camping is illegal without permission from the landowner.  

If you find a place that you really like and would like to camp there, try to find the owner and get permission to set up on their land. Often times, they’ll allow you to stay, but you’re expected to keep the noise to a minimum and clean up before you leave.

The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England
The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England

If you choose to do some wild camping, never park anywhere where there are signs saying, “no parking” or “no camping” and be sure to arrive late, leave early and only stay one night in any one placeIt’s also important to keep to not be disruptive to anyone living nearby and to set up as far away from view as possible. Try to stay away from areas that are close to homes, businesses, or farms. If fires are permitted when you are visiting, never leave any fire unattended and make sure it’s completely out before you leave the site. If you need somewhere to park your Campervan for the day while you explore on foot, there’s metered parking at Bonchurch, Smugglers Haven between the hours of 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM.

Campsites on the island

 

If you prefer to stay at a campsite with comfort amenities, there are plenty of these family-friendly sites on the Isle of Wight. The Orchards Holiday Park in Yarmouth, Ninham Country Holidays in Shanklin and Nodes Point Holiday Park in Ryde have nice views and swimming pools.

Old Barn Touring Park in Sandown has a gaming room. Grange Farm is home to a working farm with friendly domesticated animals such as ponies and donkeys. 

If roughing it is more your camping style, but you want to stay connected to some modern amenities without breaking any laws, nearly wild camping is available at Park Farm Camping in Calbourne.

Some travellers have reported having luck wild camping at a few sites around the island, including Culver Down near Bembridge and some of the car parks along the Military Road. In Yarmouth, you might be able to park overnight at Fort Victoria, where you’ll find 24-hour toilets.

The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England
The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England

Things to do outdoors on the Isle of Wight

 

No article about travel tips Isle of Wight in a Campervan is complete without mentioning the many outdoor activities that you can participate in during your visit. One of the main attractions on the island is its beautiful sandy beaches and with a mild climate, swimming is possible in the warmer months between July and September. Some of the best beaches on the island include:

  • Sandown Beach
  • Cowes and Gurnard
  • Ryde Beach
  • Bembridge Beach
  • Brook Beach
  • Compton Bay
  • Shanklin
  • Freshwater Bay

Another popular outdoor activity on the Isle of Wight is hiking. The Coastal Path is a great trail to do if you want to see some of the most stunning coastal scenery on the island. Ridge Walk begins in the centre of the island and travels along a chalk ridge, where you’ll see unique plant life and have a chance to spot some wildlife.

The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England
The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England

The Stenbury Trail is one of the easier hiking trails on the island. Warrior Trail is a short historic trail that takes you along a route that was once used by a great warrior as an exercise trail to help him prepare for battle. You’re seeking a more challenging route to hike on the Isle of Wight? Top of the Wight trail will lead you to the island’s highest point. 

Do you like kayaking? The southwest coast of the island at Compton Bay is the most popular area for this activity. Isle of Wight Adventures offers an amazing, guided kayaking tour that includes paddling around the iconic lighthouse of the Needles. You’ll also see caves, beaches, unique rock formations and even do some snorkelling! If you prefer paddleboarding over kayaking, the best places to paddleboard on the Isle of Wight are Appley Beach, Springvale Beach and St. Helens Beach.

The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England
The Isle of Wight in a Campervan – An island escape off the coast of mainland England

Exploring the Isle of Wight on a bike

 

The Isle of Wight is also home to some excellent cycling routes. There are more than 200 miles (ca. 322 km) of these routes around the island. Some of the most scenic ones include the challenging Round the Island Route, Red Squirrel Trail, Quarr Abbey Loop, Havenstreet Steam Cycle and The Pier Pedal from Sandown to Shanklin. Other popular outdoor activities include sailing, surfing and horseback riding.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed our travel tips for exploring the Isle of Wight in a Campervan! So pack your bags and let’s get ready for an amazing island adventure. All that is left to do is renting the right Motorhome with us:

 

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