How to have a great cycling holiday on the Isle of Wight

The Lonely Planet has recently named the Isle of Wight as one of the 10 best cycling destinations in the world! With both Red Funneland Wightlink sailing to the Island, the diverse terrain offers a great variety of road cycling, touring and mountain biking. 

Explore the Red Squirrel Trail to see the real Isle of Wight, one of the few places in the UK where you can still catch sight of a red squirrel, whilst passing through areas of outstanding natural beauty.

With over 200 miles of cycle routes within an area of just 147 square miles, the Isle of Wight has long been a magnet for cycling enthusiasts. There are a variety of services available to cyclists, from simple bike repairs to full guided tours, led by passionate staff who live and breathe cycling.

Travelling with a bike attached to a vehicle

The majority of passengers taking ferry holidays with bikes simply strap them onto their cars, caravans, or motorhomes in racks or boxes. That means they can drive to any destination and cycle wherever they go on their holiday. The pricing of taking bikes on a vehicle is simple – passengers just need to include the additional height and length of the vehicle when making the ferry booking.

It’s worth remembering that rear mounted cycle racks can obscure rear lights and number plates so car owners may need a lighting board with number plate and electrical supply to ensure their car and bike racks are legally roadworthy.

How to take a bike on board a ferry as a foot passenger

It’s easy to take a bike on a ferry as a foot passenger and cycle off into the sunset from the port. Passengers travelling with bicycles generally check in at the same time as other foot passengers. They dismount from their bikes for safety reasons and push their bicycle up the same vehicle ramp as that used by cars. Stewards will be on board to instruct cyclists. Once onboard travellers will be shown where to park and secure their bicycle on the deck for the crossing. It may be attached to the floor, wall or a railing for the crossing.

Ferry company policies and charges

Red Funnel accepts bicycles for no extra charge on its route from Southhampton to East and West Cowes. It’s worth noting that bikes cannot be carried on the Red Jet Hi-Speed service because of the design of the ship unless they are of the folding type and carried in a purpose designed bag. Visit or call 02380 248500

Wightlink allows foot passengers to take a bike free of charge on routes from Lymington to Yarmouth, and Portsmouth to Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Its website site is also packed with tips about cycling on the island and cycle festival details. Visit more information.