Ryde is the largest town on the Isle of Wight.
Ryde is situated in the north-east of the island, with its grand Georgian and Victorian houses, it rises up from the 1/2 mile long pier and into the hills behind. The pier was built in 1814 and now houses the high speed ferry link operated by Wightlink to and from Portsmouth, as well as the terminus for the island's electric railway which runs to Shanklin. The pier is one of only a few in the country that you can drive your car along and park it at the end for the ferry.
The long High street houses a wide variety of shops and boutiques and takes you down to the Esplanade with its golden sand beaches and wide choice of activities. The Esplanade consists of a ten-pin bowling alley, indoor ice rink, swimming pool, and a nightclub as well as numerous amusement arcades and children's play areas.
Further from the Esplanade, is the Promenade which stretches from the esplanade to Puckpool Park. Along the Promenade is Appley Tower, a Victorian Folly and nearby is Appley gardens.
By ferry or hovercraft:
- The Fast Cat operated by Wightlink runs just about every half hour in the summer.
- The Hovercraft run by Hovertravel also leaves every half hour.
Island Line trains run a regular service from the Fastcat terminal at the pier head. this stops at: Ryde Esplanade, Ryde St John's, Smallbrook Junction, Brading, Sandown, Lake and Shanklin. This service operates ex London Underground rolling stock.
Southern Vectis has a bus terminal at the foot of the pier adjacent to the Ryde Esplanade railway station.
- 1 Ryde Pier. 681 m long
- 1 Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Havenstreet Station, ☎ . Open weekends and summer; see website or call telephone number above for precise opening days and times. A former branch line resucitated to accurately recreate the atmosphere of the island's railways in the pre-war era, when the island was the home of already superannuated locomotives and coaches from the mainland. Accessible by car at the steam railway's Havenstreet Station, or by changing from the island's one remaining public service railway (between Ryde and Shanklin) at Smallbrook Junction. £8 (adult); £4 (child); ticket entitles holder to unlimited travel on day of issue.
- Toymaster Isle of Wight, 9 Union Street, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 09:00-17:30. The oldest and largest independent toy store on the Isle of Wight.
- Michelangelo's Italian Restaurant, 30 St Thomas St, +44 1983 811966, http://www.ristorantemichelangelo.co.uk
- Olive, 33 Union St, ☎ . Authentic Italian restaurant, delicious pizzas (£10-20) and very friendly staff
- The Solent Inn, 7 Monkton St, ☎ . A multiple CAMRA award winning pub where the local musical talent can be seen on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons.
- The King Lud, 2 Esplanade, ☎ . Friendly staff, bu fairly basic pub.
- Dorset Hotel, 31 Dover St, PO33 2BW, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Situated close to six miles of sandy beaches, Esplanade, Ryde Shopping Centre & transport routes. Ryde offers a range of restaurants, pubs, night clubs & other entertainment for the young & old. Online booking from £24 ppn.