Bournemouth to the Isle of Wight
Travelling from Bournemouth to the Isle of Wight is achievable in less than 90 minutes if travelling by train to Southampton and then by Red Jet Hi-Speed ferry to West Cowes.
The Island is therefore a great place to escape for a weekend break or a longer holiday. The excellent transport links even make it possible for a day trip to see friends or relatives or attend one of the Isle of Wight's many premier events such as Cowes Week.
Bournemouth to the Isle of Wight by train
Together, South Western Railway and Cross Country Trains operate an excellent service with up to 5 trains per hour at peak times from Bournemouth to Southampton. The journey times for direct services can be as little as 27 minutes. Most trains start at Weymouth or Poole and stop at Brockenhurst before reaching Southampton Central.
See the section below on how to get from the station to the ferry terminals. Through rail tickets to Cowes East or Cowes West can be purchased from Bournemouth ticket office and most station ticket machines. Most trains offer First and standard class coaches and a trolley buffet service. All services are non-smoking. Cycles are carried subject to the operator's cycle policy.
Bournemouth to the Isle of Wight by coach
National Express operates up to 2 coaches per hour from Bournemouth Coach Station to Southampton Coach station with the journey taking as little as 45 minutes. See below on how to get to the ferry terminals. Tip: For the cheapest fares book as far ahead as possible.
Bournemouth to the Isle of Wight by car
The 33.5 mile journey from central Bournemouth to Southampton (Isle of Wight Ferry Terminal 1, Dock Gate 7, Royal Pier, SO14 2AQ) by car, travelling east along the A338, A31, M27, M271 and A33 takes about 44 minutes. Car ferry sailings to East Cowes on the Island's northern tip depart on the hour from Southampton. The crossing takes 55-60 minutes so there's time to relax and have a meal or enjoy a drink onboard. From East Cowes it is easy to get to Newport, Ryde and Sandown Bay or further afield to Ventnor or West Wight.
If you don't want to take your car to the Island there are numerous car parks near the ferry terminals, so just park-up and catch the Red Jet to West Cowes or the Passenger Car Ferry to East Cowes.
Bournemouth to the Isle of Wight by bicycle
The shortest cycling distance from Bournemouth to Southampton is 30 miles which will take about 2.5 hours.
If this is too far but you still want to bring your bike (the Isle of Wight is great for cycling) these are the options.
Small Foldable Cycles: (the type that fold in-half by means of link in the main frame and carried in a padded bag or hard case): Such cycles are carried FREE but space is subject to availability (first come first served) on the National Express service from Bournemouth to Southampton; South Western Railway and Cross Country Trains services from Bournemouth to Southampton and on both Red Funnel's routes from Southampton to East Cowes and West Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
Non-Folding Cycles: South Western Railway and Cross Country Trains carry standard bikes. Although carried FREE of charge, space is limited and subject to availability on trains between Bournemouth and Southampton. Red Funnel carries all types of cycles for FREE on its Southampton to East Cowes passenger vehicle ferry service but standard cycles can not be carried on the Red Jet service to West Cowes.
Bournemouth to the Isle of Wight by taxi
The cost of a taxi from Bournemouth to the Isle of Wight ferry ports in Southampton will be in the region of £60 depending on the pick-up point and the traffic. Split the cost between 3 people and it works out about £20 each. If you pre-book a private hire car you could probably easily save money by pre-agreeing the fare.
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.