Ryde is a British seaside town, civil parish and the most populous town and urban area on the Isle of Wight, with a population of approximately 27,000. It is situated on the north-east coast, with its prominent position along the seafront and hovercraft and passenger ferry links it is little wonder it is often referred to as “The Gateway to the Island”.
Ryde Pier is a listed structure which is the fourth longest pier in the United Kingdom, and also the oldest. At low tide the sea goes out a long way making it a popular place for sports and outdoor activities, and a regular venue for beach soccer tournaments. Continue along the seafront and you will discover the imposing Appley Tower, which is situated at the back of Appley beach, and even further along this walk you will reach the Victorian Fortification Battery at Puckpool Park. It is one of the many Palmerston Forts built on the island to protect it in response to a perceived French invasion.
As the largest town on the Isle of Wight it is little surprise that Ryde is the venue for some of the biggest events that take place annually. Every August bank holiday thousands of scooter enthusiasts descend upon Ryde for the Isle of Wight Scooter Rally, and only a few weeks later Ryde Esplanade can be seen covered in cherished classic cars for the International Classic Car Show. Ryde also holds one of the UK’s oldest carnivals, which is traditionally held at the end of the summer and forms the end of the Isle of Wight carnival season which travels across the Island. ttery located at Puckpool Point. It is one of the many Palmerston Forts built on the island to protect it in response to a perceived French invasion.
The Balcony & Bowling Alley. The Pavilion is an ornate cast-iron seaside building on the Eastern Esplanade, built in the Chinese manner. It was the work of Walter MacFarlane of Glasgow, from the same mould as its twin, the Pavilion in Rothesay, Isle of Bute, built two years earlier. It entertained concert parties and a variety of summer and winter entertainment for many years. After the fire at the Theatre Royal, it was the town’s only theatre. It was on one level with a platform stage. A proscenium was installed later. There was no fly tower. In 1991, a bitter local battle developed when it was proposed to demolish the Pavilion. The shell was saved when a bowling alley was built on the seaward side to which the Pavilion itself was coupled, forming an entrance and refreshment area. This development subsidised the restoration of the pleasing exterior.
The Royal Victoria Arcade shopping arcade was built by William Westmacott in 1835-36 at the cost of £10,000. The Arcade was designed to contain fourteen shops and a large room for the exhibition of works of art. The Italianate front to the building is particulary good. The whole arcade is interesting as a period piece which is virtually intact.
Rosemary Vineyard on the outskirts of Ryde, one of the largest producers of English Wine, covering 30 acres, Rosemary Vineyard is ideally placed to make the most of the mild Island climate. All english wine, liqueurs, juices and ciders are made on the estate from grapes / apples grown on the estate. Relax and enjoy a taste of the good life in this peaceful setting.
Quarr Abbey founded in 1132, was the centre of life on the Island until its dissolution by Henry V111. The modern Quarr Abbey belongs to the Solesmes Congregation group of monasteries. The first monks came to the present site in 1907, to once again "sing praises to the Lord," as the psalmist enjoins.
Havenstreet Steam Railway. The railway has several steam locomotives and a small series of diesel shunters, four of which have had notable careers on the island. To compliment the collection, numerous examples of pre-grouping carriages have been recovered and restored. The oldest of these were built in 1864 and the last in 1924. There are also more than 45 units of freight rolling stock, the oldest of which dates from circa 1860.
Haven Falconry .During much of the year, and daily throughout the summer season, we base ourselves Havenstreet Station, the home of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Here you can meet our birds, pose for photographs and enjoy an ‘Owl Encounter’ or a ‘Birds of Prey Experience
Wight Karting. This purpose built 500m all weather track will add junior and adult adrenaline action to the Island’s list of must-do’s. Its located behind Tesco's on the out skirts of Ryde.