Planning a trip to the Isle of Wight with your motorhome or campervan? Looking for campsites to stay at, places to visit and tips to make the most of your Isle of Wight road trip? Here's everything you need.
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When you're planning a road trip to the Isle of Wight, it can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you're travelling in a larger vehicle like a motorhome or camper. But don't let that put you off- the Isle of Wight is definitely worth the effort (and expense!) of getting there.
Where is the Isle of Wight?
The Isle of Wight is an island just off the south coast of England, near Hampshire and Dorset. It's only 22.5 miles wide and 13 miles from North to South, so it's easily explored in a weekend, although there's plenty to keep you occupied for a week or more.
Map of the Isle of Wight
How to get to the Isle of Wight with a vehicle
Ok, let's tackle probably the worst part of a trip to the Isle of Wight- how to get there! If you're travelling with a car, campervan, motorhome or caravan, there is only one option- ferry. (No, there is no road or tunnel from the mainland to the Isle of Wight.)
Ferry routes to the Isle of Wight
There are three options for ferry routes:
- Portsmouth to Fishbourne (Wightlink)
- Southampton to Cowes (Red Funnel)
- Lymington- Yarmouth (Wightlink)
The ferries run pretty much all day, from very early in the morning to late at night. Many Isle of Wight residents work on the mainland and rely on these ferries to get to work. They run in all weather except severe storms.
Which is the cheapest ferry to the Isle of Wight?
Honestly, they're all pretty expensive. I once read an article on how, for the size of water and duration of the trip, crossing the Solent with a vehicle is one of the most expensive ferry trips in the world. Seriously, you can almost get to France for what it will cost to get to the Island, especially with a motorhome or camper.
The ferries charge per vehicle, not per passenger (for up to 7 passengers, as long as you're in a vehicle, of course!) With Wightlink, you can buy economy tickets which are cheaper, but non-refundable.
Don't forget, if you are a member of a Motorhome club, you can get discounts on ferry tickets (terms and conditions apply- check their websites for more). You can also use Tesco Clubcard vouchers to get savings on your crossings.
TOP TIP: The busiest (and therefore most expensive) times are between 10 am and 4 pm UK time. Book outside these times for cheaper tickets.
How much does a ferry to the Isle of Wight cost?
Here is a guide to ferry prices for a long weekend in June 2021 (4th-7th), travelling in a motorhome up to 7m long, with 2 adults on board, crossing early morning and returning late evening.
Portsmouth to Fishbourne (Wightlink)
One way costs £96.75 economy/ £103.20 standard
Lymington to Yarmouth (Wightlink)
One way before 8am costs £96.45 economy/ £103.20 standard
Southampton to East Cowes (Red Funnel)
Wasn't able to get a quote- think their site was closed due to the pandemic. Will update as soon as possible.
Best Isle of Wight campsites for motorhomes and campervans
So, once you're over on the Island, where do you stay? There are hundreds (or, at least, a lot) of campsites on the Isle of Wight. Most are seasonal, and many farmers open a field in July and August. Some are just for tents, but many of the bigger, more established sites have facilities and hardstanding for motorhomes and campervans.
Of course, choosing the ‘best Isle of Wight campsite' is highly subjective. What's best for us certainly won't be best for a family with young kids. So we've put together a mix a campsites which accept motorhomes, campervans (and often caravans). Some have sea views, some have incredible on-site facilities and some are surrounded by nature and woodland.
I hope some of these inspire you for your next Isle of Wight road trip!
Best Isle of Wight campervan campsites with sea views
Bank End Farm– CS Site
Bank End Farm is on the south coast of the Isle of Wight and enjoys beautiful sea views. There is a members-only Camping and Caravanning Club field, secluded from the road with access directly to the coastal footpath.
The Camping and Caravanning area is on a secluded part of the farm, with wonderful sea views. The camping area is extremely peaceful, but very basic with no toilets. It's best suited to those with their own washing and toilet facilities. They also have yurts and other accommodation options if you wish to meet family or friends.
The site can accommodate up to 10 tents and 5 caravans or campervans at any one time. Visitors must be members of the Camping and Caravanning Club.
ON SITE FACILITIES
– Hardstanding only pitches available
– Chemical toilet disposal point
– Drinking water tap
NOTE: NO ELECTRIC HOOKUP
NO TOILET OR SHOWER FACILITiES
Pitch Fees: £10/ night for up to 4 in one vehicle.
Bank End Farm, Undercliff Drive, St Lawrence, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 1UW
Heathfield Farm Camping
Heathfield Farm is on the west of the island, just 2 miles from Yarmouth. It's set in 9 acres of beautiful countryside and sea views, although you're not near the beach- it's a drive, not a walk. We've stayed here with our motorhome several times and have always been pleased by the standard of the facilities. It's also a great base to explore the island.
Pitches are generous in size, with or without electric. They're marked, but many are set in a field, so in school holidays it might get noisy. Having said that, there are trees and hedges to offer shelter and privacy. If you want a sea view, book a premier view pitch.
- 75 marked pitches, all with electric hook up.
- Limited number of Premier View pitches with great views across the Solent towards Hurst Castle.
- Recently refurbished amenity buildings with showers, toilets, separate wash cubicles, hairdryers and shaver points.
- Separate wheelchair accessible shower and toilet room.
- Laundry room with a coin-operated washing machine, tumble dryer and ironing facilities.
- Large dishwashing area which also has a wheelchair accessible sink.
- Up to 2 dogs on certain pitches. There's a wildflower meadow with lots of space to exercise dogs.
- Large separate playing field is ideal for all ball games and has 2 public BBQ areas with picnic tables.
- Fishing, golf, horse riding, sailing and other water sports are all available nearby.
- Bus stop outside entrance
They sell Camping Gaz and also offer a freezer pack service in return for a small donation to the “Heathfield Tree Plantation Fund”
Park Address: Heathfield Farm Camping, Heathfield Road, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, PO40 9SH
Grange Farm Touring Campsite
I stayed at Grange Farm in the days before motorhoming, with just a trusty tent. But the views over the English Channel are still some of the best I've ever seen.
Motorhomes, campervans and cars with tents are all welcome.
The campsite is a field, so pitches are grass and unmarked. It's pretty level and we loved that we could fid a spot as a group instead of having allocated pitches. It's first come, first served, so arrive early to get the best views.
There are 10 hard-standing pitches, some with electric hook-up, but please be sure to request these and book in advance.
- Amenities block with toilets, showers, baby changing and disabled facilities
- Wifi – additional charge
- Recharging points for phones/ laptops (additional charge)
- Freezer pack hire
- Laundry and dishwashing
- Fresh bread
- Bike hire
Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome. Dogs are allowed on the beach below the campsite. During summer there are restrictions on other Island beaches. You can check which beaches are dog friendly here.
Chine Farm Campsite
Another campsite on the south of the Island with breathtaking views over the English Channel, Chine Farm is a caravan and camping park.
The site is level grassland and has 80 to 100 available pitches for tents, caravans and camper vans.
- Large spacious pitches
- Electrical hook-ups
- Wash basins with hot and cold water
- Free hot showers and flushing toilets
- Hair drying point in the Ladies
- Shaving points in the Gents
- Generous sized washing up room
- Laundry service available at othe sister park at Brighstone
- Chemical toilet disposal for vans
- Children's play area and games field
Dogs are permitted, provided they are kept on a lead and exercised away from the camp site.
Caravan Club members pay £12/ night for an electric pitch for 2 people.
Address: Chine Farm Caravan and Camping Park, Military Road, Atherfield Bay, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 2JH
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Nodes Park Holiday Park
It's close proximity to St. Helen's Beach and Priory Bay makes Nodes Point Holiday Park a popular destination on the Isle of Wight.
- indoor pool
- adventure playground
- horse riding
- variety of live entertainment
- Well-behaved pets are welcome.
Pitch sizes are 6m x 6m (non-electric pitches), 7m x 7m (electric pitches) or 8m x 8m (electric and water).
Nodes Point Holiday Park, Blyth Road, St Helens, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 1YA
Best Isle of Wight motorhome touring sites with good entertainment/ facilities for kids
I'll be honest, nearly all campsites on the Isle of Wight have some sort of facilities for kids, even if it's just a playground. I've included some of the bigger holiday parks, but also some of the quieter sites which still have things for the kids to enjoy.
Thorness Bay Holiday Park
Thorness Bay is a Parkdean Holiday Resort with a mix of touring sites, camping and static lodges. The touring sites are serviced with electric if you wish.
- Indoor pool with slides
- Bar and restaurant
- Evening entertainment
- Kids' club for children up to 11 years old
- All-weather sports court
- Activities include rollerblading, archery, snorkelling, pool
- Laundry room
Address: Thorness Lane, Thorness, Cowes, Isle Of Wight, England, PO31 8NJ
On the east side of the Isle of Wight, Adgestone is the only Camping and Caravanning club site with a heated pool. It has grass only motorhome and camper pitches, with or without electric. Some pitches are sloping.
The site is also near the steam railway and Island Line train, which helps if you don't want to move your motorhome to go exploring.
- heated pool (summer months)
- children’s play area
- dedicated ball game field
- table tennis
- take away
- dog walk
The Orchards Holiday Touring Park
The Orchards is near Yarmouth on the west side of the Isle of Wight. This site has touring fields, surrounded by beautiful countryside views. Pitches are either grass of hard-standing and can be with or without electricity. Size of pitch varies according to size of your unit.
- modern shower and washbasin cubicles, ladies' vanity area, a family shower room and family bathroom, a baby changing room- all with underfloor heating
- modern wheelchair-accessible amenities
- laundry and washing-up area
- heated outdoor pool open from late May to early September
- indoor pool open all season (both free)
- poolside coffee shop
- pool and ping pong tables (pool cost 50p a game; table tennis is free)
- recreation area
- takeaway food bar
- There are two play areas, one for under-fives and one for older kids
- dog exercise area.
Newbridge, Yarmouth, Isle Of Wight, England, PO41 0TS
Lower Hyde Holiday Park
The Lower Hyde Holiday Park is another ParkDean resort, with a mix of camping, touring pitches and static lodges. It's big and crowded in summer and it's highly advisable to book activities (including swimming times) in advance.
- outdoor pool and slide
- paddling pool
- small indoor heated splash pool
- outdoor playground
- amusement arcade
Lower Hyde Holiday Park, Landguard Road, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, PO37 7LL
Quiet/ Adults Only camper campsites on Isle of Wight
Sometimes, you just want to get away from the hustle and bustle and stay on a quiet site. Of course, nothing can be guaranteed (not all campers are considerate of others), but these sites give you the best chance of a relaxing motorhome holiday.
Old Barn Touring Park
Old Barn is 2 miles from both Shanklin and Sandown. This site has proper pitches (not an open field) and the pitches are separated by hedgerows, which is great when you want some privacy. The best thing about this site is that they allow firepits (as long as it's off the ground).
The site has received several awards for conservation and protecting the local wildlife.
- Electric Hook-up
- Showers on Site
- Internet / WI-FI Available (free in communal areas)
- Laundrette on site
- Grade 2 Listed barn used as a games room
- Bottled gas for sale on site
- Children and pets welcome
- Outdoor play area
- Fully tiled toilet block with hot showers (20p required)
- Bus stop 5 minutes walk away
- Shops nearby
- Barbeques and firepits are welcome but must not be left unattended and must be above the grass or on a slab or stand.
Address: Cheverton Farm, Newport Road, Sandown, Isle Of Wight, England, PO36 9PJ
Nature's Haven CS motorhome campsite
Nature's Haven is a small family-run CS site near the centre of the island, just a 10 minute drive from Ryde and within the new Isle of Wight Conservation Harmony Project,
As a CS site, there are only a handful of motorhome or camper pitches available, either with hard standing or on grass. Electric is not available.
The owners pride themselves on providing a peaceful space where guests can experience nature at its finest.
- Showers and toilets
- Nature trails and birdwatching on site
- pub within walking distance (about 1km)
- red squirrel and white-tailed eagle habitat nearby
- Dark skies- perfect for stargazing
- Beaches within 15 minutes
- Pets on leads welcome
Address: Rowlands Lane, Near Havenstreet, Ryde, Isle Of Wight, England, PO33 2DY
Ninham Country Holidays
Ninham is a peaceful site surrounded by woodlands. Only a short drive from Shanklin, it also boasts a heated outdoor pool.
The park has two camping areas set either side of the wooded valley: The Orchard area is a four-star site with modern shower facilities, and accepts dogs in the low season but not during school summer holidays. Willow Brook is ungraded and has more basic shower facilities, but shares use of all the other amenities that Ninham has to offer. Willow Brooks is open only during school summer holidays and allows dogs during this period.
A firm emphasis is placed on nature and conservation- recycling is the norm and not the exception. The park is perfect for families, friends and individuals who scenic and peaceful space among nature.
Large motorhome Pitch guide
- Motorhomes over 6.5m cost around £15/ night
- Grass pitches – minimum 12m x 12m
- 16 amp Electric Hook Up
- Accommodates one motorhome + one awning or sunshade
- Use of on-site Facilities
- Check out 10am
- Up to 8 people per pitch
- Charcoal BBQ’s are permitted
- Open fires are not permitted
- Gazebos are not permitted (awnings are ok)
- heated outdoor pool in season
- bus stop nearby
- bluebell woods full of red squirrels, badgers and woodpeckers
- large duck pond on site
- Close to popular town and beaches of Shanklin
- Dogs are allowed EXCEPT in the main summer school holidays. Max 2 per pitch and be aware of the free-range chickens- dogs must be on a lead at all times.
Address: Ninham Farm, Shanklin, Isle Of Wight, England, PO36 9PJ
Whitefield Forest Touring Park
Whitefield Forest has won several awards for being one of the best campsites on the Isle of Wight. The site sits near Ryde within 28 acres of forest.
There are a mix of traditional grass and all-weather hardstanding pitches, all very spacious with electric hookups.
- amenities block including baby, family and disabled facilities
- laundry and dishwashing facilities
- Kids play park
- forest walks including red squirrels.
- Well behaved dogs on leads
- bus stop ust outside entrance
- beaches and Ryde nearby
Address: Whitefield Forest Touring Park, Brading Road, Ryde, Isle Of Wight, PO33 1QJ
Things to do on an Isle of Wight Road Trip and Motorhome Holiday
There are plenty of things to do on an Isle of Wight holiday. Here are a few ideas for you:
- Visit the Needles and Old Battery (sunset is the best time)
- Alum Bay- the sands are multi-coloured
- Ventnor Botanic Gardens
- Boat trips to the Needles
- Any of the sandy beaches (East coast is more protected from the prevailing winds
- Sandown pier and amusement arcade
- Monkey Haven (primate rescue centre). Also home to owls, kookaburras, reptiles and more.
- The Donkey Sanctuary
- Amazon World Zoo Park is home to a wide range of rare and exotic animals.
- The Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown- over 1,000 fossils, life-sized models and animatronic dinosaurs.
- Isle of Wight Zoo, from tiny bees to magnificent tigers.
- Steam train
Historic Attractions on the Isle of Wight
- Carisbrooke Castle – Edwardian gardens, Norman Keep, royal history and museum.
- Osbourne House- the holiday home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Don't miss the beach where they bathed.
- Brading Roman Villa – one of the best-preserved Roman sites in the UK
- The Shipwreck Centre in Arreton, showing shipwreck finds from around the local coast, early diving equipment, navigational instruments and more.
- Lilliput Antique Doll and Toy Museum – an extensive collection of antique dolls and toys.
- St Catherine's Lighthouse- museum showing history since 1323!
Want more tips for motorhome life?
Here are some more ideas you might find useful:
- Essential Motorhome accessories every van should have
- Best Sat-nav for motorhomes or campervans
- Motorhome Security– tips for at home and on the road
- How to get Internet in a motorhome
- Europe- essential gear for travelling to Europe
- Best gift ideas for motorhome and campervan owners
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