Birmingham to the Isle of Wight

Getting from Birmingham and the West Midlands to the Isle of Wight is simple and achievable in just 3½ hours if travelling by train to Southampton and then by Red Jet Hi-Speed ferry to West Cowes. This makes the Island closer than Cornwall and the perfect destination for a holiday or short-break travelling by public transport or by car.

Birmingham to the Isle of Wight by train

Cross County Trains operate up to 2 direct trains per hour from Birmingham New Street to Southampton Central station with the journey time taking as little as 2 hours 37 minutes. When connecting with Red Funnel's Red Jet Hi-Speed services to West Cowes, you can reach the Isle of Wight in less than 3½ hours.

Through rail tickets which include the ferry to Cowes East or Cowes West on the Isle of Wight can be purchased from any Birmingham station ticket office and many rail ticket machines.

First and standard class coaches are available on the Southampton route and most trains offer a trolley buffet service and WiFi. All services are non-smoking. Cycles are carried subject to availability.

Birmingham to the Isle of Wight by coach

National Express operates direct coach services from Birmingham Coach station to Southampton Coach station.

There are typically 3 direct National Express coaches per day to Southampton from Birmingham, the fastest taking 4 hours 15 minutes. If required, you can change in Southampton for National Express services to Portsmouth and Southsea.

There are also more frequent coach services between Birmingham Coach Station and London Victoria Coach Station with connecting services to Southampton. The travel time on this routing takes from 5 hours 35 minutes to over 6 hours.

Megabus also operates a cheap direct coach service between Birmingham's Colmore Circus, Queensway (Stop SH8 & SH9) and Southampton's Queensway. There is typically 1 service per day which takes approximately 3 hours 35 minutes. Coaches have toilets & some offer WiFi. Fares can be as little as £1 each way if booked online in advance.

Birmingham to the Isle of Wight by car

The 134 mile journey from central Birmingham to Southampton by car using the A34, M40, A34 and M3 takes about 2 hours 30 minutes depending on the traffic.

An alternative to using the A34 dual-carriageway between the M40 and the M3 is to continue along the M40 towards London, join the M25 at junction 16 and travel anti-clockwise to junction 12 from where you should join the M3 towards Southampton. The 176 mile route will typically take 2 hours 48 minutes. 

Should I travel via Portsmouth? The distance from central Birmingham to Portsmouth is 160 miles using the A34, M40, A34, M3, M27 and M275 and obviously takes longer. To avoid the A34, you can continue along the M40 towards London, join the M25 at junction 16 and travel anti-clockwise to junction 12 from where you should join the M3 towards Southampton. At junction 14 on the M3 take the M27 eastwards towards Portsmouth and then the M275. The 180 mile route will typically take just under 3 hours so it is much quicker to travel to Southampton. 

Birmingham to the Isle of Wight by bicycle

If you don't fancy cycling for 12.4 hours to cover the 144 miles from Central Birmingham to Southampton (see route map below) these are the options:-

Small Foldable Cycles (fold in-half by means of a special link in the main frame and carried in a padded bag or hard case, suitable for the purpose): Such cycles are carried FREE but space is subject to availability (first come first served) on the National Express Birmingham services to Southampton and Portsmouth; Cross Country Trains services from Birmingham to Southampton, Portsmouth and Lymington and on both Red Funnel's routes from Southampton to East Cowes and West Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Hovertravel and Wightlink also carry cycles for FREE.

Non-Folding Cycles: Cross Country Trains carry standard bikes for FREE but a reservation must be made in advance (call 0844 811 0124) on trains from Birmingham to Southampton. Red Funnel carries all types of cycles for FREE on its Southampton to East Cowes vehicle service. Cycles are also free (2 per sailing) on Hovertravel's services from Southsea to Ryde and Wightlink's services from Portsmouth to Ryde & Fishbourne and Lymington to Yarmouth.

Arriving in Southampton by Public Transport

The FREE Quayconnect Shuttle Bus connects Southampton's Central Rail Station (short walk from the coach station) to Red Funnel's ferry ports for IoW ferry sailings to East and West Cowes. Alternatively, there is a taxi rank at the station for the 5-8 minute journey to the ferry terminals. It's about a 12-15 minute walk.