Brighton might well be London-on-Sea, but it’s still great to get away for some total relaxation and a change of scenery. The Isle of Wight is close and also a world away in terms of pace of life. Whether driving, taking a coach or travelling by train is only about an hour before you are sailing across the Solent and your short break to the Island has started.
Brighton to the Isle of Wight by train
The main operator is Southern which operates services to both Portsmouth Harbour and Southampton Central:
Portsmouth Harbour (not Portsmouth & Southsea) for Wightlink services to Ryde. Journey times from 1h 18 mins and two direct departures per hour at peak times. The train takes you right to Wightlink’s passenger terminal for the Fast Cat service to Ryde and a short walk (10 mins) to the Wightlink car service which sails from Gunwharf Quays to Fishbourne. If you prefer a hovercraft experience, then you can take the Hoverbus from Portsmouth & Southsea station or Portsmouth Hard to the Hovertravel terminal at Southsea.
Southampton Central for Red Funnel services to Cowes and East Cowes. Journey times are from 1hr 46 mins and two departures an hour at peak times. There is a free connecting bus service from the railway station to the Town Quay for fast Red Jet connections to Cowes and regular Red Funnel car ferry services to East Cowes.
Brighton to the Isle of Wight by car
There really is only one main road which takes you from Brighton and Hove to the Isle of Wight, so it could not be easier. Pick up the A27 outside of Brighton and head west via Worthing, Arundel and Chichester and you will be approaching Portsmouth in about an hour, depending on traffic which can be quite busy at peak times. It takes between 15-20 minutes to drive through Portsmouth to the Wightlink ferry terminal at Gunwharf Quays.
If you are travelling to the Isle of Wight via Southampton then simply continue on the A27 until it becomes the M27 at the junction with the A3 just outside of Portsmouth. Then follow directions from the M27 to Southampton Docks. If you are travelling via Lymington then continue on the M27 past Southampton west towards Bournemouth and take the A337 from the Cadnam Roundabout, signposted to Lymington via Brockenhurst. This journey is at least 2 hours so if you are heading to the West Wight it can be far more pleasant to travel via Portsmouth and continue your journey on the Island.