We welcome everyone to the Isle of Wight to enjoy their holidays, whether you’re looking for a relaxing sunshine and beach break or a more vigorous walking holiday.
We also know that lots of people visiting us are looking for accessible information so we’ve put together some information to help out.
Visiting the Isle of Wight gives a mixture of completely accessible accommodation, properties, walks and attractions. However, some of our terrain is rugged and on the wild side, and isn’t all completely accessible for everyone.
We want to make it easy for you to find out where you’d like to go, and when you’re here, how to get around as easily as possible.
We realise that not all accessibility issues are visible, and have endeavoured to give as much information as possible. It’s always worth checking with the individual accommodation, travel or event provider to make sure you will have what you need.
We hope you have a lovely stay on our beautiful isle.
Each of the three ferry companies have their own accessibility policy. You can read in more detail about each crossing with the links below. We’ve summarised some key points for each as well.
Wightlink has an inclusive policy and offers specially discounted fares for customers with disabilities. You can see these here: http://www.wightlink.co.uk/go/tickets-prices/accessible-travel/
When you’ve made your booking, you may need to call their Reduced Mobility Helpline on 0800 0938 236 at least 48 hours before you travel. They will be able to chat with you to find out any specific needs you may have, such as getting to the on-board passenger lounge, or a parking space with lift access for your crossing.
It’s possible that there are some kinds of assistance Wightlink won’t be able to provide, in which case you are asked to bring someone with you to provide the necessary assistance. In this case there will be no extra charge for the person. Again, you will need to call the Helpline to organise this.
If you can’t book ahead, please find a member of Wightlink staff at the terminal who will do their best to help.
Wheelchairs are available at all of our terminals – speak to a member of staff for assistance.
Assistance dogs are welcome, free of charge, in all of Wightlink’s terminals and on board any sailing.
For full details of Wightlink’s accessibility policy see here.
Ref Funnel Vehicle Ferry accessibility
Customers who wish to sail on Red Funnel’s Southampton to East Cowes vehicle ferry route and who require special assistance or who are wheelchair bound must book at least 48 hours ahead of travelling by calling 02380 019192.
Please be as specific as possible with any requests. This may include types of seating, adapted facilities or any medical equipment that needs to be carried. After Red Funnel have had a chat they may require you to bring someone along to provide certain assistance that cannot be provided
At the moment it is not possible to book online for travellers who need special assistance, so you must call ahead.
When you arrive at the terminal, please advise the check-in staff if you are a wheelchair user and would like to be parked near a lift, or if you need any other assistance. All of the terminal areas have ramps and accessible toilet facilities.
Once on board, the cafes, bars and toilets all offer good access to wheelchair users, however the outer deck is not accessible.
For all the details of who to contact and how to make sure your crossing is as comfortable as possible, please see Red Funnel’s policy here.
The Red Jet Hi-Speed passenger ferry is used frequently by customers who need assistance with mobility. Staff are on hand to help out in any way you’d need, so make sure you mention anything on boarding.
The Red Jets land onto floating pontoons, which means their height is affected by the tide. This means that the passenger gangways are sometimes steeper than others. They are wide enough for motorised wheelchairs, but if you need the gangway to be less steep to avoid walking up and down a steep hill, then it’s best to look at the tide tables before planning your trip.
For more information on accessibility on the Red Jet see here.
The hovercraft is the fastest crossing to the Isle of Wight at just ten minutes.
All the crafts have lifts between the hoverport and craft and wheelchair safety belts are provided. Crew members are available to control the lift to make sure all passengers are as comfortable and as safe as possible.
People with any special accessibility requests, or with reduced mobility should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01983 717707 to chat through the assistance required. This will need to happen at least 48 hours before you wish to travel.
One wheelchair can be accommodated on Island Express and Freedom 90 per crossing. Please see here for clear information on the kinds that can be accommodated, and to download a copy of Hovertravel’s Accessibility Guidelines.
You can also download information on reduced fares for those with reduced mobility or those with disabilities.
When you’re on the island, you have several options in terms of transport. If you’re not travelling by car, then we have buses run by Southern Vectis and we have a short train line covering the east of the island run by Island Line.
Our buses run across the island, with some services needing to go through the main bus service in Newport in order to link the whole island up.
Southern Vectis endeavour to make their vehicles inclusive to everyone, including wheelchair users. They are working to make sure the entire fleet of buses and coaches meet these needs. For more information on Southern Vectis and the Codes of Practice of the Confederation of Public Transport, in relation to passengers using mobility scooters, please see here.
Most of their buses and coaches are already able to accommodate wheelchairs and approved mobility scooters, although it is at the discretion of the driver as to whether there is the necessary space on board.
All efforts are made to make sure that Southern Vectis drivers and vehicles comply with the laws applicable to those with accessibility requirements, and if they are not able to provide a suitable vehicle to allow you to get in and off safely, they will arrange for a taxi service when appropriate.
Island Line is part of South West Trains and as such, follow its Assisted Travel policy. To make an Assisted Travel Booking please call the Assisted Travel team on 0800 52 82 1200. There is lots and lots of information available on South West Trains website here, this includes a downloadable leaflet about Assisted Travel, accessible station and train facilities, everything about wheelchairs, scooters and ramps, information on ongoing improvements and much more.
Island Line runs from Ryde, through Brading, Sandown, Lake and Shanklin. You can get the train as you come off the Catamaran from Ryde Pier Head down to the Esplanade and along the east coast. This is the only train line on the island. The rest of the island is accessible by bus and car.