Brighton & Hove to the Isle of Wight
Getting from Brighton & Hove to the Isle of Wight is simple and achievable in just 2½ 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.
Brighton & Hove to the Isle of Wight by train
Southern Railways and Great Western Railways operate frequent services from Brighton and Hove to Southampton. The journey times for direct services can be as little as 1 hour 41 minutes. Southern also operates frequent services between Brighton, Hove and Barnham where you can change for connecting trains to Southampton - journey times are typically a little longer at 1 hour 56 minutes.
Through rail tickets to Cowes East or Cowes West can be purchased from Brighton or Hove ticket offices 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 a cycle policy - see cycle section.
Brighton & Hove to the Isle of Wight by coach
National Express has 1 direct coach service per day from Brighton Coach Station (calling at Hove) to Southampton Coach station which takes 2 hours 55 minutes. More frequent services operate from Brighton to London Gatwick Airport where you can change for coach services to Southampton. Journey times start at 3 hours 45.
Brighton & Hove to the Isle of Wight by car
The 63.5 mile journey from central Brighton to Southampton (Isle of Wight Ferry Terminal 1, Dock Gate 7, Royal Pier) by car, travelling west along the A27 & M27 and then via the Itchen Toll Bridge takes about 1 hour 35 minutes.
To avoid the Itchen Toll Bridge, simply continue heading west on the M27 to Junction 7 (A344 to City & Waterfront) or Junction 5 (A355 to City & Waterfront). These alternatives only add about 5-10 minutes to your journey time.
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. The latter can be pre-booked but it's not essential.
Brighton & Hoveto to the Isle of Wight by cycle
If you are not up for the 65 mile, 5½ hour cycle from Brighton to Southampton but want to bring your bike (the Isle of Wight is superb 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 Brighton to Southampton; Great Western Railways and Southern Railway services from Brighton 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: Great Western Railways and Southern Railway carry standard bikes. Although carried FREE of charge, space is limited and subject to availability on trains between Brighton and Southampton. There are also some peak time restrictions on Southern services in and out of Brighton. 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.
Brighton & Hove to the Isle of Wight by taxi
The cost of a taxi from Brighton or Hove to the Isle of Wight ferry ports in Southampton will be in the region of £120 depending on the pick-up point and the traffic. If you pre-book a private hire car you could probably easily save money by pre-agreeing the fare. Split the cost between 3 people and it works out about £40 each.
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.