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Plan your Platinum Jubilee Weekend with Red Funnel’s royal guide to the Isle of Wight

Thu, Nov 3 2022

As the excitement builds ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, Red Funnel, the go-to Isle of Wight ferry service, highlights the many reasons the Island is the perfect royal destination for long bank holiday weekend.

The Isle of Wight can be reached from Southampton in as little as 30 minutes with Red Funnel. The ferry terminals are within walking distance of Southampton Central train station, with trains running from London taking little over an hour, offering a quick and sustainable option for a royal day out or staycation.

Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel, said: “This year’s platinum Jubilee weekend is the perfect occasion to celebrate all things royal, and what better place to do so than on the Isle of Wight, a place steeped in royal history and the seaside setting for a number of royal visits. We look forward to providing the opening and closing act of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations for travellers visiting the Island. We wish all our guests a wonderful visit, and hope they enjoy all the celebrations on offer on the Isle of Wight over this special festive period.”

HRH Queen Elizabeth II visited Cowes on the final stop of her Diamond Jubilee Tour in 2012, where she unveiled a plaque honouring her visit, opened an RNLI lifeboat station and launched a new lifeboat. This was not Her Majesty’s first visit to the island, she also crossed the Solent in 1965 and 1987 for a royal visit, and in 2004 to mark 100 years of Osborne being open to the public.

Looking back, the Isle of Wight has played host to a number of royals over the centuries. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert made the Isle of Wight the destination for their holiday home / summer retreat and visited frequently. Today, Victoria and Albert’s private apartments are still open to the public, providing a glimpse of royal life during Victorian times. Visitors can take a stroll through the stunning gardens, which in spring come alive with daffodils, rhododendrons, primroses, and barberries. The site also hosts Victoria and Albert’s private beach, featuring stunning views across the Solent, and a teashop and ice-cream parlour.

The Isle of Wight is also home to Carisbrooke Castle, used as a royal holiday home in the past, but better known for its more grisly history. Carisbrooke Castle was the place of Charles I’s 14-month imprisonment before his execution in 1649, followed by his two youngest children remaining in confinement in the castle. Nowadays, visitors can explore the fortress’s battlements and buildings, and even take a peek at the very room where Charles I attempted his escape. This Platinum Jubilee weekend, English Heritage is hosting a ‘Kids Rule’ event at the castle, with historic performers and hands-on activities for all the family.

To further entice holidaymakers and daytrippers to take a trip across the Solent, there are a wide range of Platinum Jubilee events taking place over the bank holiday weekend from 2nd – 5th June from Freshwater to Newport. In East and West Cowes, Red Funnel’s island home ports, and the location of the Queen’s most recent royal visit, there are some fantastic free entry events taking place, perfect for a visit with family and loved ones:

  • Thursday, 2 June: Cowes Town Council will be taking part in the official Beacon Lighting Ceremony to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The festivities start at 19:30 with a singer and choir, followed by the lighting of the beacon at 21:45, a fantastic way to kick of the weekend’s celebrations.
  • Sunday, 5 June: In West Cowes, Northwood House and park will host the ‘Jubilee picnic in the park’. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy the live entertainment, dog show, and bar. 12:00-17:00.
  • Sunday, 5 June: East Cowes, will be holding a similar event at the Jubilee Recreation Grounds from 12:00-18:00. Live music, family entertainment and more.

Visitors travelling on Red Funnel’s vehicle ferry service can also enjoy some royal offers and features on traditional ‘Best of British’ fare including full English breakfast, cream tea, fish and chips and gin and tonics.

Visit the Red Funnel website to book your crossing:

For more information on events taking place on the island this Jubilee weekend, please visit: or



For further information, please contact [email protected] / 02380 382 970


Notes to editors

About Red Funnel
Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.

In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and its on board café, ‘ReFuel’.

The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Rhythm Tree, The Great Wonderfest, Wight Proms, Cowes Classics, and Walk the Wight as well as a range of community and niche interest events. Red Funnel’s Charity of the Year, 2022 is Young Lives Vs Cancer.

For more information, visit