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Isle Of Wight in a weekend

antsmithmkantsmithmk Posts: 717
edited October 2013 in Tour & expedition
Inspired by some reading on holiday, I have decided to do a spot of touring. As a shake down, I am planning on doing a 2 day 1 night lap of the Isle of Wight.

I've bought the OS map, need to buy a 1 man tent, have a sleeping bag and a liner. Obviously will need toiletries. Food wise should I just eat out or should I get a small stove to cook on? My plan was to get an early ferry and be on the Isle by 9am. Including a stop for lunch and general sight seeing, it looks reasonable to think I could get halfway round the island by 5pm and set up camp. Day 2 would see me set off about 8am with a view to catching a ferry back about 4pm, again including a stop for lunch...

I cycle quite often and have completed 100km sportives in the peaks etc so am comfortable with distance and hills.

Any advice? Clockwise or anti? Decent campsites open end of October?


  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,826
    I'm planning on doing the Isle in a day sometime next week. I think anticlockwise is preferred may be due to the prevailing winds blowing you along the southern stretch - the northern part is more broken up.
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  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    edited August 2013
    Post deleted.
  • simonheadsimonhead Posts: 1,399
    Kind of depends where you are crossing as to campsites. I would eat out most of the time, it's been a few years since I lived on the island but there used to be a great cafe called begins in cowed, was a cafe come joke shop with an adult section. There is a nice pub on the Medina called the Folly that does awesome fish finger sandwiches and a great ice cream shop at the far end of cowed towards gurnard.
    Life isnt like a box of chocolates, its like a bag of pic n mix.
  • antsmithmkantsmithmk Posts: 717
    Hi Simon,

    I would be crossing from Portsmouth to Ryde... So Cowes for lunch? I was thinking I could get somewhere near the needles area to camp... But looking at the map that would leave me with the south and east coasts to cover on day 2 and they look hilly. Assuming I go anticlockwise...
  • simonheadsimonhead Posts: 1,399
    Certainly doable but you may struggle with places to eat, Ryde to cowes is only about a n hour and a bits ride if I remember rightly, take the chain ferry across and try and follow the coast down to Gurnard. Try brighstone bay for camping, think there's a couple of sites there
    Life isnt like a box of chocolates, its like a bag of pic n mix.
  • As you might realise, there is a permanently signed round the island route (both directions) to help with navigation.

    A good cyclist-type and easy to find cafe in Cowes would be the Watersedge at Gurnard, on the route along the far west end of the esplanade. There is also the Woodvale pub opposite which does good food for plenty of cyclists and walkers if you want something more civilised.

    For camping, Stoats Farm near the Needles in Freshwater is open in October. Further round the route to the east is Grange Farm (right on the wild south coast but close to Brighstone and Shorwell for good eating pubs). Not sure if it's open in October though. Also on the route closer to Freshwater is Compton Farm camping (again not sure if open in October).
  • narelocnareloc Posts: 11
    Lived and cycled on the IOW during the 70s and 80s, and used to love cycling the lanes and coast raods. Went back last year to start a ride from Sandown to Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides. The one big thing I remember from last year's ride was that the drivers on the Isle of Wight, especially coach drivers were the worst of the whole 1000 mile ride to Stornoway. It is a lovely island with some fantastic sea views (especially the quieter West Wight), but it was spoiled somewhat by the traffic. And that was in September.
  • antsmithmkantsmithmk Posts: 717
    Thanks all. Have got a rough plan together now. Think the plan is to kip here riding anticlockwise. Just hope its not too cold back end of October :-)
  • The round the isle loop is 100 km and 1500m ascent -- could loop it three times in two days. I did the randonnee back in the spring & recall passing a number of pubs. The north side was a bit more populated but it me we seemed to me that finding food would be an issue (say like in north or mid Wales), especially given the short distance.
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