Beach Days Out for Only £20

For a beach day out with a difference  – come to the Isle of Wight! Grab the Red Jet from Southampton and a Southern Vectis bus package and try out one of our wonderful west coast beaches for only £20. 


It's super simple and we've pulled together the key info on the best bus routes and beach combos to make it even easier for you.

Cross the Water

The best deal is to be had coming over to the Island by Red Jet from Southampton, travelling after 11.15am in a pair. A Super Peak Day Return will bring two of you over and back for only £10 each (£5 for children)! 

If you get the 11.15am Red Jet you arrive at Cowes at 11.40 and buy a 24 hour Freedom Ticket for just £10 (£5 for children) from the bus that’s right outside the terminal – the number 1. Take this bus to Newport, which will take no longer than 20 minutes.

Once at Newport you can choose which amazing beach you'd like to visit - wild and jurassic coastline, golden sand, bucket and spade traditional fun? There's a beach for every mood on the Isle of Wight!

Go West

Take the number 7 bus to Alum Bay from stand B. These leave at quarter past and quarter to the hour, and you’ll need to ask the driver to tell you when you get to Colwell Bay. From the main road it’s a short walk down a pretty road to Colwell Bay where there are jewel coloured beach huts, sandy beach, a great café called The Captain’s Cabin and a more upmarket contemporary beach side restaurant called The Hut


South Side

Or you could have lunch in Newport, the Quay Arts do a tasty and reasonable lunch and you can sit outside overlooking the river Medina, and then take the Number 12 bus to Compton Bay. The buses to Compton Beach only run in the afternoon at 1.20pm, 3.40pm and 5.40pm, so you’d be well advised to get that 1.20pm if you want to spend the afternoon on one of our very best beaches. Unspoilt, and with only an ice cream van to supply refreshments, the sandstone and chalk cliffs make a majestic backdrop to this sandy wild beach. Why not use that hour or so to get some provisions for a picnic from one of the supermarkets close to the bus station – the Co Op, Morrisons or M&S – and spend a wonderful afternoon soaking up the rays and taking a dip whenever you get too hot. Paradise.


Visit the Bay

Stay on the number 12 bus and it will take you to Freshwater Bay. Or you could get off at Brook (the stop before Compton) and pick up the Island Breezer for an open top bus ride with amazing views of this dramatic section of our coastline. Of course you have a Freedom Pass so you don’t pay any extra, and the views are to die for – think West Coast of America.

Driving down into Freshwater Bay (on the Island Breezer) is the most breath-taking experience. You look down on the chalk bay with its chalk stacks and caves, and Tennyson’s Down and the 200 foot white cliffs supporting it rise in front of you. This is one of the most stunning views on the island. Get off at Freshwater Bay and jump into the crystal clear waters – it is very pebbly here though so bring jellies or sand shoes if you don’t want to walk on them as you get in and out of the sea. The lifeboat Station has a café and small shop and there’s a café over the road. 

You could take a watersports option with Adventure Activities Isle of Wight, which is probably best booked ahead. This will add to your £20 budget but it’s a good investment. Kayaking around the caves, Coasteering if you’re brave, stand up paddleboarding or surfing if the waves are up.


Thread the Needle

Whilst you’re over in the West Wight make sure to see the sun going down over the Needles at Alum Bay. The Island Breezer will take you there from Colwell, Compton or Freshwater, or the number 12 from Compton or Freshwater and the number 7 from Colwell. The Needles are one of the most iconic views in the whole of the UK, if not the world. The three chalk stacks reaching out into the Solent like the tips of a dragon’s tail, with the lighthouse at the very end, and the sun going down behind them. Superb.


Heading Home

Make your way back from Alum Bay to Newport on the numbers 7 or 12, or take the Island Breezer to Yarmouth and then pick up one of these buses from there. Yarmouth is well worth a wander if you have time. Drop into one of the pubs or restaurants for supper – Salty’s has great seafood, as does The Blue Crab and at the George Hotel you can dine overlooking the Solent, or go for a cheaper pub supper at The Wheatsheaf, Bugle or King’s Head pubs.Take the number 7 from here and when you get to Newport you take the number 1 bus back to Cowes and jump back on the Red Jet.


Jo Macaulay

20 August 2018

By Jo Macaulay in Articles