The Isle of Wight is a cyclists dream destination. Miles of dramatic coastline to explore, rolling hills to trundle over and plenty of pubs on route to quench that thirst for beer. But the Isle of Wight is often well off the radar of the London cyclist – it’s all the way on an island, after all.
But we say get on that train heading out of the city, arrive in Southampton under 90 minutes later and then hop on a Red Funnel ferry to the glorious island just 5 miles across the Solent. Not convinced? Here are our top three cycle routes on the island (as well as images to stir the microadventurer within).
1. Brighstone circular
Start your 12 mile round-route from the pretty little thatched village of Brighstone. From here, you’ve got miles of country lanes and sea views ahead before finding yourself at the bottom of what has been locally dubbed as Chale Mountain. Chale is the perfect place to stop for a pub lunch or a meander along the beach to get battered by the sea breeze. After hopping back on your bike, head north-west towards Chillerton and along the country roads back to Brighstone. Remember to pack a loaf of bread to feed the ducks at Yafford Duck Pond!
2. Round the island
Not one for the day-trippers, but a route for the weekend warriors out there. The 62-mile cycle route that traverses around the whole island should take 2-3 days at a leisurely pace. Taking in the sights and sounds of island life, you’ll speed through small villages and over breath-taking cliff-tops, all with rewarding views and plenty of places to stop and indulge in delicious local food.
3.Totland, Alum Bay, Freshwater and Yarmouth Loop
A great cycle route if you’ve got the family in tow, this 10 mile circular is easy and takes you over surfaced lanes, concrete paths and well-trodden cycle paths. The going is a little tough as you head out of Totland, but you’re soon rewarded with spectacular views, chocolate-box villages and an easy and enjoyable ride from thereon (oh, and plenty of pubs along the way!)
Bicycles are carried across the Solent free of charge on the Red Funnel vehicle ferry, and there are plenty of cycle stands available at both sides of the crossing, so you can head off to get a coffee knowing your bike is safe!