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Ryde viewed from the Solent
Isle of Wight UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within the Isle of Wight
Population32,072 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SZ591923
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town RYDE
Postcode district PO33
Dialling code 01983
Police Hampshire
Fire Isle of Wight
Ambulance Isle of Wight
UK Parliament
List of places
Isle of Wight
50°43′38″N1°09′42″W / 50.7271°N 1.1618°W / 50.7271; -1.1618 Coordinates: 50°43′38″N1°09′42″W / 50.7271°N 1.1618°W / 50.7271; -1.1618

Ryde is an English seaside town and civil parish on the north-east coast of the Isle of Wight. It had a population of 32,072 at the time of the 2011 Census. [1] Its growth as a seaside resort came after the villages of Upper Ryde and Lower Ryde were merged in the 19th century, whose influence can still be seen in the town's central and seafront architecture. The resort's expansive sands are revealed at low tide. The width of the beach means the regular ferry service to the mainland calls for the long listed pier – the fourth longest, in fact, in the United Kingdom and the oldest survivor. [2]



In 1782 numerous bodies of men, women and children from HMS Royal George, which sank suddenly at Spithead, were washed ashore at Ryde. Many were buried on land that is now occupied by the Esplanade. A memorial to them was erected in June 2004. [3]

The town boasts many Regency and Victorian buildings and the townscape is of considerable historic interest with fine buildings such as All Saints Church, designed by the eminent Gilbert Scott, and the Town Hall, which was built in 1829 and is considered to be one of the finest buildings of its type on the south coast.[ by whom? ] Up until the pier was opened in 1814, ferry passengers landing at low tide were brought almost half a mile into the shore by horse and cart. [4]


Ryde Town Council represents the residents of Ryde. Ryde Town Council is a statutory consultee in planning matters regarding Ryde. Their views are taken into account by the local planning authority, Isle of Wight Council.

Ryde residents are represented by Ward Councillors on the Isle of Wight Council.


Hovercraft leaving Ryde Hovercraft leaving Ryde.JPG
Hovercraft leaving Ryde

There is a hovercraft service to Southsea, which takes nine minutes. It is operated by Hovertravel near the Esplanade close to Ryde Esplanade railway station and the bus station. A catamaran service run by Wightlink operates from Ryde Pier to Portsmouth Harbour, which connects with both Island Line trains and mainland trains to London Waterloo.

The Island Line Trains service runs from Ryde Pier Head via Ryde Esplanade to Shanklin, a distance of 8 12 miles (14 km). Ryde St John's Road railway station lies further south in the town.

The bus interchange lies between Ryde Pier and the Hover Terminal on the Esplanade. Ryde is the second busiest stop in the Southern Vectis network after Newport. The busiest route is No. 9 to Newport, running every 10 minutes in the daytime. Others include Nos 2, 3, 4 and 8 and local route 37. [5] An open-top bus service, The Downs Tour , runs in the summer. [6]


Ryde Pier seen from Ryde Rydepier.jpg
Ryde Pier seen from Ryde
Union St Union St, Ryde, IW, UK.jpg
Union St

The town's large and long esplanade area has always been an attraction for tourists, especially those day-tripping from the mainland, as the amenities are all available by walking from the pier. A swimming pool, bowls club, bowling alley, and boating lake are among the attractions, and there are various children's playgrounds, amusement arcades and cafés.

Ryde has few large public open spaces beyond the esplanade, but areas for public recreation include Appley Park, Puckpool Park, Vernon Square, Simeon Street Recreation Ground, St John's Park, St Thomas' churchyard, Salter Road recreation ground, and Oakfield Football Club.

At one time Ryde had two separate piers; the other being the Victoria Pier, no longer in existence. Ryde has its own inshore rescue service which mostly has to deal with people becoming stranded on sandbanks as the incoming tide cuts them off from the shore. The pier is also a feature of the 67-mile (108 km) Isle of Wight Coastal Path, which is marked with blue signs with a white seagull.

Ryde has a small marina located to the east of Ryde Pier. It is tidal and dries out at low water, hence it is more suitable for smaller sailing (bilge keel) and motor cruisers. It has provision for up to 200 boats, either on floating pontoons or leaning against the harbour wall. It has a full-time harbour master, who posts information on the notice board outside the harbour office, including weather reports, tide times, cruise-liner movements and anniversary events.


The town centre is on a hill, with local shops and major retailers.


All Saints' Church All Saints' Church in Ryde.JPG
All Saints' Church

The twin church spires visible from the sea belong to All Saints' (the taller) and Holy Trinity churches. All Saints' Church is located in Queens Road on a road junction known as Five Ways. It was designed by George Gilbert Scott and completed in 1872. The spire is 177 feet (54 m) tall. Holy Trinity Church is in Dover Street. It was designed by Thomas Hellyer and completed in 1845. Holy Trinity Church closed in January 2014 and the building became the Aspire Ryde community centre. [7]

St James' is a further Church of England church in the centre of Ryde, on Lind Street. It was constructed in 1827 as a proprietary chapel and continues to be active, with services at 10:30am and 6:30pm each Sunday and a range of youth and mid-week groups.

The town's Roman Catholic church, St Mary's, stands in High Street. It was built in 1846 at a cost of £18,000, provided by Elizabeth, Countess of Clare. It was designed by Joseph Hansom inventor of the hansom cab. Other churches include the Anglican St James Church and St. Michael and All Angels, Swanmore. There are also Baptist, Methodist, United Reformed and Elim churches in the town. [8] [9] [10]

Ryde Castle Ryde Castle Hotel - geograph.org.uk - 837084.jpg
Ryde Castle

Ryde Castle, situated on the Esplanade, was built about 1840 as a private house in crenellated style and is now a hotel. It was heavily damaged by a fire in 2012 and underwent major restoration in 2013. [11]

Beldornie Tower on Augusta Road was at one point a property of the Earl of Yarborough. Dating back to the 16th or early 17th century, the house was virtually rebuilt about 1840 in Gothic-Jacobean style. A west wing was added in 1880. [12]

Ryde School With Upper Chine stands opposite All Saints' Church. The chief building, Westmont, is Grade II listed.


Sited on the Esplanade are an ice rink and a pavilion. The former is no longer open to the public, leading to the Isle of Wight's ice-hockey team, the "Wightlink Raiders" disbanding. The pavilion houses a bowling alley and night club.

The town's local football team was for many years Ryde Sports F.C. has given way to Ryde Saints F.C. & Ryde F.C. SUNDAY.

Speedway is staged just south of the town at Smallbrook Stadium. The Isle of Wight Islanders started as members of the Conference League before moving up to the Premier League.


Ryde has five carnivals in a typical year: the Mardi Gras in June (established as The Arts Parade from 2003 to 2012); [13] Children's, Main and Illuminated processions at the end of August, and a Lantern Parade in December. The Carnival at Ryde is England's oldest. [14] Ryde Carnival remains the island's largest carnival, with local and visitor crowds exceeding 50,000.[ citation needed ]

Notable residents

In alphabetical order:

See also

Related Research Articles

Sandown Human settlement in England

Sandown is a seaside resort and civil parish on the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom with the resort of Shanklin to the south and the settlement of Lake in between. Together with Shanklin, Sandown forms a built-up area of 21,374 inhabitants.

Yarmouth, Isle of Wight Human settlement in England

Yarmouth is a town, port and civil parish in the west of the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. The town is named for its location at the mouth of the small Western Yar river. The town grew near the river crossing, originally a ferry, which was replaced with a road bridge in 1863.

Shanklin Human settlement in England

Shanklin is a popular seaside resort and civil parish on the Isle of Wight, England, located on Sandown Bay. Shanklin is the southernmost of three settlements which occupy the bay, and is close to Lake and Sandown. The sandy beach, its Old Village and a wooded ravine, Shanklin Chine, are its main attractions. The esplanade along the beach is occupied by hotels and restaurants for the most part, and is one of the most tourist-oriented parts of the town. The other is the Old Village, at the top of Shanklin Chine. Together with Lake and Sandown to the north, Shanklin forms a built up area of 21,374 inhabitants (2011).

Island Line, Isle of Wight Electrified railway line on the Isle of Wight

The Island Line is a railway line on the Isle of Wight, running 8 12 miles (13.7 km) from Ryde Pier Head to Shanklin on the Island's east coast. The line was electrified in 1967. Trains connect with passenger ferries to Portsmouth Harbour at Ryde Pier Head, and these ferries in turn connect with the rest of the National Rail network via the Portsmouth Direct Line. The line also connects to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, a steam-operated heritage railway at Smallbrook Junction. For much of its length the line runs alongside the A3055, criss-crossing this road by means of the Ryde Tunnel and bridges at Rowborough, Morton Common, Lake Hill and Littlestairs.

Brading Human settlement in England

The ancient 'Kynges Towne' of Brading is the main town of the civil parish of the same name. The ecclesiastical parish of Brading used to cover about a tenth of the Isle of Wight. The civil parish now includes the town itself and Adgestone, Morton, Nunwell and other outlying areas between Ryde, St Helens, Bembridge, Sandown and Arreton. Alverstone was transferred to the Newchurch parish some thirty years ago.

Ryde Pier Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33

Ryde Pier is an early 19th century pier serving the town of Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. It is the world's oldest seaside pleasure pier. Ryde Pier Head railway station is at the sea end of the pier, and Ryde Esplanade railway station at the land end, both served by Island Line trains.

Shanklin railway station

Shanklin railway station is a Grade II listed railway station serving Shanklin on the Isle of Wight. It is the present terminus of the Island Line from Ryde, although the line used to continue to Wroxall and Ventnor. The station now has one platform with a ticket office and a small shop with the second platform now in use as a flower bed. The former subway has been filled in.

Southern Vectis British bus operator on the Isle of Wight, England

Southern Vectis is a bus operator on the Isle of Wight. The company was founded in 1921 as "Dodson and Campbell" and became the "Vectis Bus Company" in 1923. The company was purchased by the Southern Railway before being nationalised in 1969. In 1987, the company was re-privatised. Southern Vectis was accused of unfair trade practices and was investigated by the British Office of Fair Trading. In July 2005, it became a subsidiary of Go-Ahead Group.

Seaview, Isle of Wight Human settlement in England

Seaview is a small Edwardian resort located on the north-eastern corner of the Isle of Wight, overlooking the Solent. The village is popular with tourists and is 2 13 miles (3.8 km) from the town of Ryde, where most tourists reach the island by ferry or hovercraft. Together with Nettlestone, it forms a civil parish of Nettlestone and Seaview.

Ryde Transport Interchange or Gateway serves the town of Ryde, Isle of Wight, England.

Ryde Pier Head railway station Railway Station on the Isle of Wight, England

Ryde Pier Head railway station is one of three stations in the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Situated at the end of the town's pier, it is adjacent to the terminal for the Wightlink fast catamaran service connecting the island with Portsmouth on the UK mainland. Passengers can use this to connect with the rest of the National Rail network at Portsmouth Harbour station, which is adjacent to the Portsmouth terminal. Through rail tickets for travel via Pier Head station are available to and from other stations on the Isle of Wight. These include travel on the catamaran service to or from Portsmouth as appropriate.

Isle of Wight ferry services Ferry services connecting the Isle of Wight to mainland England

There are currently three different ferry companies that operate vessels carrying passengers and, on certain routes, vehicles across the Solent, the stretch of sea that separates the Isle of Wight from mainland England. These are Wightlink, Red Funnel and Hovertravel.

Isle of Wight Coastal Path

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path is a circular long-distance footpath of 70 miles (113 km) around the Isle of Wight, UK. It follows public footpaths and minor lanes, with some sections along roads.

Elmfield village in the United Kingdom

Elmfield is a suburb of the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight, in England. It is situated south-east of the town centre on a small hill. St John's Church is a notable landmark on the north side of Elmfield. Oakfield lies directly to the West, Appley to the North, Seaview and Nettlestone to the East and Westridge to the South.

HSC <i>FastCat Ryde</i>

HSC FastCat Ryde is a high speed catamaran ferry which operates between the Isle of Wight and mainland England. The vessel was originally built in Singapore for service in the Philippines as Water Jet 1. She was bought by Wightlink in 2000 and following an extensive refit entered service on the Ryde Pier to Portsmouth route since August 2000 along with her sister ship HSC FastCat Shanklin.

HSC <i>Wight Ryder I</i> Isle of Wight passenger catamaran

HSC Wight Ryder I and her sister-vessel HSC Wight Ryder II are two high-speed passenger catamarans operated by Wightlink on the Ryde to Portsmouth ferry route.

Puckpool village in United Kingdom

Puckpool is a small coastal settlement on the outskirts of Ryde on the Isle of Wight. The area is best known for Puckpool Park, a park with an 18-hole putting green, 12 hole mini golf and two tennis courts. Puckpool Battery is located within the boundaries of the park; this is an old Palmerston Fort built in 1865.

Ryde Inshore Rescue Service lifeboat station on the Isle of Wight, UK

Ryde Inshore Rescue Service is a voluntary run lifeboat station located in the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Ryde Inshore Rescue is an independent lifeboat station within the United Kingdom, is not part of the RNLI and does not receive funding from the RNLI or the government.

Thomas Hellyer (architect) English architect

Thomas Hellyer was an English architect of the mid-Victorian era. He was based on the Isle of Wight and was "the leading Island-based architect of the period", but his works can also be found on the mainland—principally in Hampshire—but also farther afield. Described by Pevsner as a "very individualistic" and "remarkable" architect, his output included churches, houses, schools, and hospitals across the island, during a period of rapid urban development. Many of his buildings have listed status, and he "made important contributions to the appearance of the city" of Portsmouth through his extensive work in the area.


  1. "Town Population 2011" . Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  2. BBC – "Pier-ing into the future".
  3. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  4. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  5. "Southern Vectis route list". Southern Vectis. Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  6. "Southern Vectis Downs breezer". Southern Vectis. Archived from the original on 5 May 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  7. "Aspire Ryde". Aspire Ryde. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  8. "BBC News – Ryde Castle Hotel partially collapses after fire". bbc.co.uk. 18 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  9. "Quick Facts on Beldornie Tower". Go Historic. Go Historic. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  10. "Ryde Mardi Gras". The New Carnival Company. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  11. Ryde Social Heritage Group. "History of Ryde Carnival". Ryde Carnival Association. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  12. Song information – "Ticket to ride"
  13. Laurence, A. E. (November 1985). "Karl Marx on the Isle of Wight". Society. 23 (1): 54–60. doi:10.1007/BF02695870.

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Ryde at Wikimedia Commons