Friday, 6 May 2011


Ryde, the Isle of Wight town with the greatest number of inhabitants, is something of a transport hub. It has two connections to the mainland, by hovercraft to Southsea and by catamaran to Portsmouth Harbour. Having arrived at Ryde, there is then the possibility of an onward journey on the 8 ½ mile railway line linking Ryde with Shanklin, known as the Island Line. The town is a resort with an Esplanade, a swimming pool right on the sea front and the Canoe Lake. At low tide a large expanse of sand is revealed and there are sandbanks which cause occasional dramas when people get stuck on them as the tide starts coming in and they have to be rescued. The town became popular as a resort in the 19th century, and one particularly distinguished visitor was Karl Marx, who came for health reasons in 1874. Much later, in the 1960s the town was visited by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and their trip to the town was the inspiration for their hit song “Ticket to Ride”. Visitors to the area may get the chance to try the award-winning Minghella ice cream. If this name rings a bell, it is because Mr. and Mrs. Minghella, the couple who make the ice cream, are the parents of an equally award-winning son, the late lamented Anthony Minghella, the director of The English Patient, which won nine academy awards, including for Best Picture.

For events in the area, see here.

Map of the area.

Ryde from the pier

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