Things to do: Ryde Heritage Audio Trail

The Ryde Heritage Audio Trail is a guided walk around Ryde, starting at Lind Street, going to St Thomas Square, down Union Street to the Pier, along the Esplanade to the far end of the Canoe Lake, then back along the Esplanade and up St Thomas Street ending at St Thomas Church. To walk the whole trail it will take about two hours and we have designed it to be accessible to wheelchair and mobility scooter users.

Along the Trail there are seventeen stops where you will be able to listen to the audio files (on  mobile phones, tablets and other devices). All of the stops are illustrated with historic detail about the town which we have selected from archives and the audio files have been professionally produced by a company called ATS Heritage and sound fantastic!

You can click the green play button next to any of the audio trails to listen to them. Depending on your web browser you can also left or right click the audio trail description to download the mp3 file. You can also download all of the mp3 files here as a zip file.

How to get to the Isle of Wight

Travel to the Isle of Wight By Water

The Isle of Wight is separated from UK mainland by a stretch of water called the Solent, the distance between is only four to six miles. Many ferry services provide transport links, making it easy to fit in a karting day trip!

When travelling by car, Wightlink ( ferry services have routes from Portsmouth to Fishbourne , and Lymington to Yarmouth. While Red Funnel ( operate between Southampton and East Cowes. Crossing times range from 30 to 55 mins.

Foot passengers also have the choice of a few routes, including the Hovercraft from Southsea to Ryde – the world’s longest running commercial hovercraft service, the Fast Cat from Portsmouth to Ryde , or the Redjet from Southampton to West Cowes. Journey times range from 10 to 25 minutes. So whether you travel on the Portsmouth to Isle of Wight Ferry or Southampton to Isle of Wight ferry, you will have a short crossing to sit and ponder our track layout, before setting foot on England’s largest island.

By Bus

Travel to the Isle of Wight is one thing – but what do you do when you get here? Southern Vectis provide bus services on the Island with over 20 standard routes serving the majority of the island as well as having good connections to the main ferry terminals. If you come off the Fastcat or Hovercraft in Ryde, its just a short walk to Ryde Bus Station where the number 3 Bus will take you straight to Wight Karting, get off at Tesco.

By Train

Island Line Trains operate a train service between Ryde Pier Head and Shanklin, connecting directly from the Ryde Fastcat Ferry. If you stop off at Sandown Station you can check out our Kinder Karting Track that caters for children minimum height of just 80cm! Learn more –



With over 500 miles of well maintained paths the Island has a great variety of walking routes – more than any other English county per square mile. Isle of Wight coastline is widely known for its unspoilt beauty, much of it is designated as Heritage coastline in recognition of its high quality.


One of the best ways to get out and explore the Island is on a bike. The Island is said to be a cyclists dream, with over 200 miles of cycle routes and a huge variety of terrain. Quiet narrow country lanes join up the many picturesque villages, sloping hills provide some challenging climbs and fast descents, on the islands south coast the long Military road runs along the shoulder of its stunning white chalk cliffs providing some unreal views. This is perhaps why it was named one of the top 10 cycling destinations in the World by Lonely Planet Travel Guide!

Things to do on the Isle of Wight

What are ‘Wild Wight’ Experiences?

So you’ve seen we get on a ferry to the Isle of Wight.

You’ve heard or been to our Isle of Wight Festival or Bestival.

You maybe came on a family holiday once upon a time, and remember walking on the pier with an ice cream.

You know about our beaches, and the beautiful shorelines that surround us.

Now its time to discover the real treasures the island has to offer:

We have put together our ideas of ‘wild’ experiences, packed with the best places to visit, eat, and enjoy together… Here are our ideas:


Three Day (3/4 night Night) Trips

The Isle of Wight can be enjoyed with or without a car. You can talk to us about Ferry and race packages. We have a booking agreement with both Wightlink and Red Funnel for cars. We also encourage holidays without a car which is possible by foot passenger tickets by rail from London Waterloo and Victoria into Portsmouth Harbour or Southampton Central. Wightlink offer a FastCat ferry route from Portsmouth Harbour with a through ticket to Ryde Esplanade, and Red Funnel offer a free bus from the Southampton Central railway station to their ferries to Cowes or East Cowes from Quay Road. Alternatively, use a National Express coach to Portsmouth Hard Interchange or Southsea Parade which is served by Hover Travel to Ryde Esplanade (use railcards for an even better deal!). With our local knowledge we are happy to advise you about getting the most from your visit .

Here are our suggested days-out, achievable by public transport or by carThey give a taste of Wild Wight:

Day 1

Head to the bus station on Ryde Esplanade, travelling 10 minutes on the No 2 or 3 alighting at the Tesco Extra stop. Following signs to Wight Karting – nationally renown for their excellently technical outdoor 520m race track & a top action attraction on the Isle of Wight (Trip Advisor). Suit-up as a racing driver for a 2-hour motorsport extravaganza!  Finishing Top on the Podium will get you medals or Trophies (group size dependent) and the biggest buzz for the least training on any sport – that’s a promise! Pre-book your lunch at La Babalu Café and have a rewarding pint of San Miguel or one of our speciality Milkshakes.

The Olive Tree Restaurant located at Busy Bee Garden Centre simple fare in pleasant space choose a stone baked pizza, jacket potatoes, or simply a panni. Smaller groups might want to try the Bartletts Green Farm Tea Room for a more ‘country kitchen’ feel. The Artisan Bar & Kitchen on Union Street is also a great option for those looking to enjoy a rustic bar experience in Ryde.

If you’re travelling by car, the options for a spot of lunch are endless – but why not stop at the large Tesco just by WightKarting and take a snack or two to one of the Isle of Wight’s beautiful viewpoints for a picnic lunch?

Following lunch, it’s on to Westridge Golf for the Top Tracer Golf range system for more. Choose one of the 6 modes of play and test your score against the APP Leaderboard. With those with limited golfing skill, the sport is opened up into a fun, relaxing exercise.

Ryde Taxis can be arranged to collect from Golf and deliver you to your accommodation . The bars & restaurants of the town are varied ask for our recommendations and local knowledge.

Day 2

Adventure begins at 10 am : meet at Appley beach for a lesson with Two Elements Kite Surf School if the wind and tide are right. Otherwise another beach will always be notified. Alternatively we can arrange a Solent ‘treasure hunt’ by Rib from Bembridge Power Boats or Fishbourne or Cowes with Rebel Marinewhich is a great option for something a little different. Rebel Marine  offer high speed rib trips and charter in our luxury rib ‘Lightning Rebel’ the fastest charter Rib on the island!  Rebel Marine can Tailor a package to suit your requirements whether its one-on-one, group booking, Family Fun day, Birthday treat or Corporate Team Building.

After a great morning (followed by a refreshing shower!) it’s the bus tour of the Isle of Wight by open-top-bus on a Southern Vectis Downs Breezer with a group ticket and a Packed Lunch on-board. You can also explore by car, and there are plenty of routes that you can take to make sure that you see all of the sights.

Ending the day stopping at Mermaid Gin Distillery at the Wishing Well for ‘Mini Mixology’ lesson and a sampling of this local distillery’s finest selection of spirits. Onto the next bus or back in the car, you’re very ready to eat – and we end your day back in Ryde.

Fancy a delicious curry at ‘Monsoon‘ High Street Ryde, or Ryde Tandoori on Union Street, or dine at Michelangelo’s Italian Restaurant  and gaze over to Ryde Pier- opened in 1814 to accommodate the Victorian pleasure seekers and over half a mile long. A walk down here after supper will give great views of the Ryde Town and the Solent.

Day 3

A Ryde stay means you can walk to Goodleaf Tree Climbing at Appley Park taking in the Harbour,

Canoe Lake and beautiful beaches on the way. The paths are level and easy for bikes or mini scooters. The tree climbing is set in a Victorian park and this family run business takes you high into the treetops for great views of the coastline.

We then suggest a traditional Fish and Chip lunch at Appley Beach Café, or The Harbour HouseYou could choose an upgrade to the Three Buoys Restaurant – all are right on the beach. 

A short 5 minutes walk to Easthill Road Bus stop catching the Southern Vectis No. 8 Bus to St. Helens Causeway using a ‘Day Rider’ ticket– £5 per head (on Groups of 5+ saver) and make your way across the sand dunes of the Causeway to the Tackt-Isle Adventure Activities, where we suggest 1/2 day on either the sea – where you can get wet-suited up for Kayak and Paddleboard (SUP) Games, or a dry-land option – a Speedy Scavenger Hunt and Bushcraft! With lovely beaches to explore you’re guided (when booking a larger group) to the amazingly beautiful Priory Bay. Everything you need is supplied by Ben and his team – just bring your sense of adventure!

After a refreshing shower, it’s back on the Number 8 bus towards Ryde towards your accommodation and to pick up your bags or back in the car, then its home after an unforgettable time! Or for a further evening of fun and an extra late departure you can upgrade to Bowling and/or Laserquest at Ryde Superbowl for the evening, which includes a free drink at the on-site café, bar or restaurant. We advise that the times of the last Hovercrafts and Ferry times are checked in this instance.

Five things to do when staying with us on the Isle of Wight

We’re often telling our guests about the wide array of activities that you can do here on the Island, come rain or come shine. With our prime location, and our knowledge of all the best things to see and do, we’ve been able to pull together a definitive list of things to do whilst staying with us in our self-catering holiday cottage on the Isle of Wight.

From glorious coastal walks, lazy sunbathes on the beach or some monkeying around at the Monkey Sanctuary, there really is something to suit everyone – whether on a couples’ getaway, a retirement break or a family holiday. Take a look at our top five:

  1. A stroll along Ryde Esplanade.

A seaside stroll is really all you’ll need to experience the Isle of Wight in its truest form, and a walk down Ryde Esplanade – stopping in at the cafes and pubs along the way to enjoy a taste of all the Isle of Wight has to offer – can make for the perfect day.

  1. Sample the Shopping.

The Isle of Wight is filled to the brim with boutique, independent shops that are the perfect place to get unique wares, away from the usual high street shops and chain stores. From chic homeware and antiques, clothing and fashion, through to crafty gifts and souvenirs there’s bound to be something in one of the independent shops littered around the Island that will house that hidden gem that you’ve been searching for!

  1. The Isle of Wight Zoo.

The Isle of Wight zoo is unique to most zoos across the UK, as it specialises in big cats and lemurs. Also home to lions, tigers, penguins and hundreds more exotic animals – the Isle of Wight Zoo is the perfect day out for those looking to take part in a Walking Safari, a Meerkat Meet or even a Wildlife Photography crash-course.

  1. Get a Birdseye view of the Island with Goodleaf Tree Climbing.

Based in Ryde, Goodleaf is an attraction that allows visitors to climb safely into the canopies to see stunning views of the Solent, Appley Park and the nearby beaches. Perfect for adults and children alike, Goodleaf allows you to challenge yourself and climb to the highest heights, or simply take a hammock and relax watching the sailboats go by…

  1. Visit the Needles.

Visit the Needles at Alum bay to complete any trip on the Isle of Wight. The Needles Rocks and the Trinity Lighthouse are iconic Isle of Wight landmarks that can be explored by a chairlift or even a boat trip which will take you around The Needles by sea, allowing you to get the entire 360-degree view.

If you’re staying with us this year and would like to know where to head next on your holiday let us know! Here at Tea Tree Cottage, we will be happy to help you make the most of all that the Island has to offer.