With long, spacious stretches of gorgeous sandy beach, a thriving independent shopping scene and fabulous eating out, Ryde is a quirky mix of a traditional seaside fun, Victorian architecture, and unexpected hidden gems!
One of the England’s original seaside destinations and adored by Queen Victoria, a trip on the Hovercraft or FastCat is part of the experience of a visit to Ryde. The town is quick and easy to get to from the Portsmouth - it's perfect for a day out or short break. If you're already on the Island you'll find Ryde easy to reach by bus, car, on foot or bicycle, or even train from Shanklin Sandown via Lake and Brading.
Visitors throughout the centuries have been seduced by Ryde’s relaxing coastal vibe, why not pop over and look for yourself.
If you’re looking for a sandy beach, Ryde is the place!
Appley Beach, east of Ryde pier, is one of the finest on the Isle of Wight. It’s a 20-minute flat walk from the pier past beach cafes, a marina, and other sandy beaches.
Appley Beach is a magnificent beach of fine golden sand, bordered by a leafy green park with a playground for younger children. The beach slopes gently into the sea, making it perfect for a family day out. In Summer the tide laps in over the hot sand, and the water is some of the warmest on the Island.
Keep heading east and you’ll find Puckpool Park with tennis courts, crazy golf, and a playground. All a level walk from the esplanade.
The beaches of Ryde are also a haven for birds including the elusive sanderling.
Shopping in Ryde
At the heart of the town is a fantastic range of independent shops. Ryde is famed for its diverse mix of shops run by passionate, informed, and hospitable staff. Not only will you find something special you didn't even know you were looking for, but you'll have a great experience doing it.
Discover a fantastic range of specialist shops selling anything from comics, jewellery, photographic equipment to vintage clothing, skateboards and fruit and veg. There's even a specialist year-round Christmas store. It's so easy to spend a few hours strolling in and out of the shops, pausing for a coffee on the way.
Union street is the main street that leads up from the coast. Follow this past the intersection with Cross Street and Lind Street (well worth checking out for shops) into the High Street, where you'll find even more independent shops to surprise you.
Eating Out in Ryde
If you fancy enjoying the customary fish and chips at the seaside, Ryde's got it, but Ryde's dining out scene has developed over the past few years. Vegan pizza, gourmet burgers, stylish cocktails? You'll find them all in Ryde. The range of quality international cuisine from Turkish mezze to Thai, offers more than enough eating out occasions to last throughout your holiday.
A growing coffee culture sits alongside traditional cafes serving full English breakfasts, delicious cakes accompanied by a pot of tea or take away food for your day out. Ryde's independent spirit shines through the town's restaurants - most are local businesses with many serving local food and drink.
There are excellent pubs and bars in Ryde and it’s worth exploring away from the town centre to discover local bars with quality beers on tap and sunny beer gardens to enjoy them in.
Getting around Ryde
The flat walk along the seafront is made for strolling, especially if you’re less mobile or have children, scooters, and buggies in tow. Stop off for an ice cream or a glass of something on route – there's lots of space and plenty of places to rest and enjoy the views across the glistening Solent to the mainland.
Wander further along to the east and you'll come across Appley Tower. This magical tower on the beach is a coastal folly built in 1875 by Sir William Hutt. It's the perfect backdrop for a seaside selfie especially at sunrise! The walk will take you approx. 25 minutes from the bottom of the pier.
If warm sands and sea don't tempt you, head inland from Ryde's transport interchange and take a slow wander up Union Street into the heart and soul of the town. You'll go slow because it's a hill and because you'll want to go in every boutique you see!
Things to do in Ryde
Whatever the weather you’ll find something to do in Ryde.
- Recreational tree climbing
- Go karting.
- A round at Ryde Golf Club or head for the driving range at Westridge, near Tesco’s.
- A playground on the beach
- Bowling and lazer quest.
- A movie at retro cinema The Commodore
- A swim at the Waterside Pool.
- Join the Isle of Wight Steam Railway at Smallbrook Junction, also not far from Tesco’s
- The Isle of Wight Bus and Coach Museum.