Last month, we spent a glorious long weekend on the Isle of Wight, at Park Resorts Nodes Point. You can read about our stay here and here. To get to the Isle of Wight, we took a Wightlink ferry from Portsmouth to Fishbourne.
Wightlink operates between the UK south coast and the Isle of Wight, and it partners with Park Resorts for their holidays. So our ferry booking was made through the Park Resorts team; we just gave our preferred date and time of travel, and were told when our ferry would depart (they managed to give us the time we wanted).
Portsmouth’s Wightlink terminal was in a different place to the ferries sailing to the continent (clearly signposted on the entrance to the town). This meant there weren’t so many imposing lines of cars when we were waiting to board (I hate walking off from my car in those queues. I can never find my way back…). There was a cafe at the terminal, and a ticket office, where we had to validate our reservation.
It was my daughter’s first time ever on board a ferry, and my son was only nine months old when he last sailed on one. Cue much excitement, although they were a little confused by the size of the ship (not large by ferry standards, but collossal to them). Austin thought the docked ferry was a block of flats, and Gwen refused to believe we were on a ship (‘this isn’t a ferry, it’s a train!’) when we walked through the inside seating area.
The inside itself was pretty standard ferry fodder: plush seats and a small shop selling papers, sweets, coffee and a bit of booze.
The outside, though, was where the real excitement lay. There was plenty of seating to accommodate all the ferry passengers. On the beautiful, sunny day of our journey out, Portsmouth looked stunning.
Austin and Gwen stayed put for the journey (next to a reassuringly high safety rail), but I had a wander. With a little bit of to-ing and fro-ing, you could look out to sea from all sides of the ferry. My favourite view was from the stern. This part of the ferry was quiet, too, as you had to climb a set of steps to get up to the viewing platform.
The ferry crossing was a pleasant, relaxing way to start the holiday. I hadn’t realised quite how easy it is to reach the Isle of Wight from our home. Portsmouth is just two hours away by car; even with the ferry’s 45 minutes on top, the journey is little more than a long-ish commute. Perfect for a weekend getaway.
The Isle of Wight itself is a charming place. You can read more about it in this post by A Modern Mother. We’d love to return one day.
Wighlink offer several crossings a day. Prices vary, depending on the size of vehicle and time of year. As well as Portsmouth-Fishbourne, they also sail Lymington-Yarmouth and Portsmouth-Ryde Pier Head.
I was invited by Park Resorts to stay at their Nodes Point resort. The break incuded this ferry crossing. All views are my own.