Isle of Wight via car ferry
Day trip to Isle of Wight by car ferry
Since it was the 2nd last weekend of my Dad's stay in the UK, we wanted to make the most of it. We planned to go to the Isle of Wight on Sunday noon though it was quite late and though we had quite an eventful evening on the previous day at Battersea fireworks and Bonfire (for Guy Fawkes). We headed to Portsmouth from West London in my wife's car looking for the port where Ferries to Isle of Wight were available. We reached a port but later found that it was the wrong port. The official there told us that it was the international port for sea transport to France and Spain. He told us that the right one was at
Gunwharf. I googled the postcode and found PO1 2LA. Moreover there were plenty of signboards on our way, directing us to Portsmouth Gunwharf port. We read "Car Ferris" and a horizontal blue rhombus shape on its right on the sign boards. There were different shapes for different types Ferris. We followed the blue rhombus as it was for car Ferris. Once there, we saw many car lanes. We queued up at a lane which read 14:00 assuming it was for the ferry which was supposed to depart at 14:00. On enquiring, we found out that we needed to join Queue number 11 as it was for current bookings I guess. There was a different priority queue for prebookings. We bought the tickets which costed us £44 return for 3 adults.The start time was 14:00 Hrs and the return time was 19:30 Hrs. After a while we were instructed to start entering the Ferry in the car. The officials showed where to park. There were about 4 to 5 lanes in the Ferry car park. We were in the lane which was near the wall. Hence the official asked us to park in such a way that there was a little space between the car and the wall which I guess was for people to walk.
We then went upstairs into the café. The café was exactly like a café on the ground ! May be a bit better ! There was a lot of space to sit. After eating we
went upstairs in the open. The view from the "terrace" was very beautiful with dark blue water every where and beautiful structures on the port and boats and ferries passing by. My dad was very happy and excited as this was his first time on a Ferry. I had once been on a Ferry previously to on my way to
Switzerland but that was in the dark. It took us 40 minutes to reach Portsmouth Fishbourne port from Gunwharf. I found the following postcode on Google for Fishbourne - PO33 4EU.
It is better to plan beforehand. We took the 14:00 ferry, which was quite a late start. We reached Fishbourne at around 14:40. So, we had about 4 hours to
spend on the island. We got off the ferry and continued our car trip. On the way we saw the ryde beach but didn’t stop as we decided to come back to it later. I googled for sand beaches in Isle of Wight and found the Sandown beach. I got the following postcode for it - PO36 8QB. After reaching, we parked our car in front of some houses / hotels. It was a free parking zone.
The Sandown beach is a beautiful and clean beach. We strolled over the sand to reach the Sandown pier. There were loads of amusement stuff on the pier. There were seagulls flying around, people walking and some with their dogs, hotels lined up along the coast line and luckily, nice sunshine. While in the car, I read on some website that mentioned, isle of Wight has loads of award winning beaches and 2 or 3 of them have won some special award. I was thinking to myself, I wish I could have been there earlier to visit all or most of them. My wife said "One doesn't have to visit different locations like Brighton
for pebble beach or Bournemouth for sand beach or somewhere else for a rocky beach. One can visit Isle of Wight alone to find beaches of all kinds ! :)"
After taking permission, we used the toilets on the pier which had "Only for customers" written on them. I got me and my dad's pencil sketch done in one of the booths in the Sandown pier. It costed me a just £3. I was glad I spent something on the pier which made me a "customer" there. Hence I was not guilty of using their toilets which had "Only for Customers" written on them :P. After seeing a sand beach I wanted to see a beach with a cliff. I googled and found Whitecliff bay in Bembridge. I found this postcode which should be quite near the top spot on the cliff which has an open parking - PO35 5PL. The view was just awesome. It was very beautiful. Though it was dark, I could see the beach as an arch. On the left of it was blue water and the right was covered with beautiful yellow lights along the coast. We then went to the other side of the hill and could see the sea and the beautiful Spinnaker tower all lit up in lights of various colours on the Gunwharf port. We spend a while taking pictures and enjoying the picturesque view.
After this we headed towards the Ryde beach which is a sand beach. It was quite dark and hence we didn’t spend much time there. Me and my dad just saw the Spinnaker tower using a telescope which charged us just 20p. We were back at Fishbourne quite early at 18:00 and thought of going to a restaurant rather than waiting there for 1.5 hours for the Ferry which would take us back to Gunwharf. The official there was kind enough to let us in the Ferry at 18:00. My wife was quite happy with this as she had to wake up quite early the next day and this saved her 1.5 hours. Overall it was a very good trip though we planned it quite late.