Wightlink's ferry Victoria of Wight approaches Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight

Eco-friendly breaks on the Isle of Wight

Having introduced our environmentally-friendly ferry Victoria of Wight in 2018, we are proud to be part of a greener era of travel between the Isle of Wight and the mainland. As a hybrid energy ship that runs partly on electricity, Victoria of Wight offers greener crossings every hour, using at least 17% less fuel than her sister ships.

The Isle of Wight is ideal for an eco-friendly escape, and with Wightlink visitors can choose to travel by on foot or with a bicycle. Our FastCat service takes just 22 minutes and you can bring your bicycles on board at no extra cost (just make sure you add them to your booking).

For those wanting to bring their eco-friendly electric vehicles to the Island, there are 17 charging stations spread across the Isle of Wight, as well as our own EV charging points at our Portsmouth, Lymington, Fishbourne and Ryde Pier ports, all part of our Green Agenda.

Here are some of our top suggestions for an eco-friendly escape to the Isle of Wight.

Child descending a tree with Goodleaf Tree Climbing, Isle of Wight

Responsible tree climbing

Goodleaf, an environmentally-focused business, offers two-hour tree climbing experiences. Recreational tree climbing does not harm trees, and instead creates an opportunity to educate climbers on the importance of trees. Goodleaf also removes all equipment from trees when they are not in use, lays wood chip around the canopy to mitigate for any soil compaction on the tree’s roots and serves fair trade refreshments where possible. After an introduction and health and safety session, participants are shown tree climbing techniques before embarking to the tree tops where a birds-eye view of Appley Park and the Solent can be admired.

Produce at a farm shop

Sample the Island’s local produce

The Island prides itself on local produce, with many restaurants serving food grown on the Isle of Wight. Locally-sourced food doesn’t have to travel so far to arrive on your plate, so it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to improving our carbon footprint. You’ll also be supporting local farmers and producers.

Ventnor Botanic Garden is open all year round and boasts over 30,000 rare and sub-tropical plants and trees. The Mushroom Chamber is definitely worth visiting, with home-grown mushrooms available to try in the café or to buy and take home.

The Garlic Farm, located in Newchurch, has plenty to explore and taste in the Arreton Valley. Visitors can take one of the farm walks or a tractor trailer tour through the fields, and there’s also a well-stocked farm shop full of local delights. These include garlic mayonnaise and garlic vodka, and the restaurant also serves garlic-inspired meals. The farm is free to enter and is open seven days a week.

Harvey Browns Food Hall offers a mouth-watering selection of local and speciality foods – much of it grown just minutes away. Whether you’re looking for seasonal vegetables or fresh fruit picked straight from the field, hand-selected artisan cheeses or a tender cut of meat, this is the place to visit.

Alpacas at West Wight Alpacas, Isle of Wight

Walking with Alpacas

Set up by husband-and-wife team Neil and Michelle Payne in 2010, West Wight Alpacas is home to around 60 alpacas, 13 llamas, and many other animals. Set across 23 acres of beautiful countryside in the village of Wellow, visitors can trek with the animals and admire the stunning views. The farm prides itself on biosecurity and high animal welfare standards along with sustainability, as they also breed alpacas and use their fleece, which is spun and made into garments such as jumpers and socks.

Newtown Nature Reserve, Isle of Wight

Explore the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

So, this is a bit of a trick suggestion because in fact the whole of the Isle of Wight (including the waters around the Island) is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – meaning that you’re already ‘exploring’ the reserve when on Wightlink’s ferries!

A biosphere reserve is an area that has been recognised for its unique mix of plants and animals, valued environment and sustainable way of life of the people who live and work within it. So one of the best ways to enjoy the reserve at its best is to interact with nature in a conscious way.

Proof of the Island’s rich ecosystems, stretching back 65 million years, can be found along the coast through fossils and dinosaur footprints. The Island has healthy ecosystems, with rare species; such as, the red squirrels in the woodlands, Glanville fritillaries on the cliffs and plants that occur
nowhere else in the British Isle – so plan a visit to one of the beautiful nature reserves, meander quietly through forests or book a guided walk with an expert.

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