Visitor and tourist guide
to Ryde self catering, selfcatering,
Known as the Gateway to the Island because it is so easy to reach,
Ryde is just a short sea crossing from Portsmouth or Southsea. With
the construction of the pier, in 1814, and the establishment of a
regular ferry service in 1825, the town became an elegant Victorian
Sunnycott caravan park
is the ideal base to explore the town from.
Ryde's main attraction is its miles of glorious golden sand and
shallow coastal waters that extend all the way around the coast to
Springvale and Seaview. The tide goes out a long way, leaving firm
sand ideal for beach games. The Esplanade has a marina, beautiful
gardens and activities for all the family, such as bowling green,
children's amusement park, ice rink, tenpin bowling, nightclub,
boating lake, swimming pool with retractable roof and the dotto
train. Stroll along the sea wall to Puckpool Park, with café, tennis
and children's play park.
Appley Park has pitch and putt and the Victorian landmark Appley
Tower. A plaque on the sea wall commemorates the epic voyage of The
First Fleet, which anchored off the Mother Bank, just offshore,
before setting sail for Australia's Botany Bay in 1787.
Regattas have attracted crowds to Ryde for around 150 years. The
town's first carnival was held in 1874 and except for some war years
it has been held ever since, traditionally at the end of August, the
Island's last carnival of the season. In 2001, as part of the Ryde
Arts Festival the carnival will be held over two weeks, from 31st
August to 16th September.
Union Street and the long High Street beyond are packed with
interesting shops, pubs and restaurants Collectors will be
fascinated by the many antique and bric-a-brac shops in the Upper
High Street and the Victoria Arcade in Union Street, with its tiny
boutiques, curio shops, cafe and cellar flea market.
Development to the west of Ryde has spread to engulf Binstead and
Wootton, villages mentioned in the Domesday Book. Wootton Bridge was
originally a causeway built for the monks of Quarr. On the east side
of the creek is the Fishbourne car ferry terminus. To the east of
Ryde are the villages of Seaview, Nettlestone, St. Helens and
Bembridge. Sailing is the main summer activity of Seaview and
Bembridge, whilst St. Helens has its Village Green, where sports and
carnivals are held. The island's only surviving windmill is at