Round the Island – Cycling the Isle of Wight
On our recent family holiday I spotted that you can easily ride around the Isle of Wight in one sitting.
This cracking 105km ride takes in all the sights of the island in one beautiful loop. Beware, it is surprisingly hillier than I was expecting. Packing in over 1500 metres of climbing in the 105km with lots of short sharp climbs to keep you on your toes.
The route took me just over 3h 45m to ride with an average pace of 27.5km. This route would also lend itself to taking your time and making a day of it. Stopping to take in the sights as you go. All in all the ride took 4h 15m when accounting for coffee stops, toilet breaks and pictures.
My one piece of advice – and probably advice I’d give for anywhere that’s popular – is start early. The roads around the Island get busy in the afternoons with tourists and day trippers, even the little back lanes got busy. I always prefer to get out early and have the roads to myself.
As a bit of background, the route around the Island (or Isle of Wight Randonnee as its official name) was established by the Wayfarers in 1985. The route follows a route around the whole of the Isle of Wight taking minor roads and lanes where possible, enabling riders to see and enjoy the best of the Island’s scenery. The route is signposted, but the signs can be a little sporadic so I would worry trying to follow this alone. Having the route loaded on my Wahoo took out the stress fo getting lost down a dead end.
As I was staying in Bembridge on the East of the Island I decided to take the anticlockwise version of the route, meaning that I could enjoy a nice tailwind on my second half of the ride.
This ride takes in breathtaking costal views, beautiful lanes, a ferry and even a bit of pro-cyclist spotting (Hi Dan Martin!).
The highlights for me had to be:
- Bembridge Windmill – because who does not like a Windmill!
- Taking the floating bridge ferry from East to West Cowes
- The West coast from Yarmouth to Freshwater and Brookgreen – just amazing coastline and views.
- PO41 Yarmouth Coffee house – cracking pitstop for a coffee and amazing cakes.
- The back lanes and winding roads around Alverstone
Ride it yourself
The route is available from Strava here: https://www.strava.com/routes/2862382062721529982. This route starts and finishes in Bembridge, but you can easily start anywhere along the route. Just adapt to where you are getting the ferry in or staying on the Island.
Pictures of Around the Island
Here are a few snaps. They are not the best, but will give you a flavour of what to expect when riding around the Isle of Wight.