CORONAVIRUS LATEST: ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY. Reduced timetable with fewer sailings

CORONAVIRUS LATEST: ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY. Reduced timetable with fewer sailings

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Isle of Wight – a UNESCO biosphere reserve

We all know the Isle of Wight is a great location to visit for many unique reasons, but did you know that UNESCO recognised the Island as a Biosphere Reserve status in 2019? A few minutes after your ferry departs, you will enter the biosphere – thanks to the strong environmental values and innovation, that has made the Isle of Wight one of seven biosphere reserves in the UK.

What is a biosphere reserve?

The definition for biosphere reserve is an area that has been recognised for the sustainable ways the local community work with their natural environment. The title is awarded to locations across the world.

This is awarded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), meaning that the Isle of Wight is now part of a worldwide network of biosphere zones.

The difference between a biosphere reserve and national parks or wildlife sanctuaries is that human activity on the area is less restricted.

The Island is also an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Combining these two accolades highlights the Island as a true champion of environmental significance.

Explore the Island's landscapes

Find out for yourself why the Isle of Wight is recognised as a biosphere reserve.

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Best places to visit on the Isle of Wight

Compton Beach

Compton Beach

Winner of the Marine Conservation Award, Compton beach on the Isle of Wight is a popular beach for locals, tourists and watersports enthusiasts alike. Known for its clean sands and picturesque views, this beach is a great choice for anyone spending time on the Island.

Newtown Creek

Newtown Creek

At the Island’s only National Nature Reserve, hay meadows are filled with flowers and butterflies, and rare red squirrels jump through the trees of the ancient woodland. It is a beautiful retreat that has something to offer for anyone looking for a peaceful getaway.

Alum Bay

Alum Bay

With the famous Needles Landmark in sight, Alum bay is a popular destination. The bay is also of geological interest thanks to its multi-coloured sand cliffs. The bay is also linked to the Needles Marine Conservation Zone and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Ventnor Botanic Garden

Ventnor Botanic Garden

Ventnor Botanic Garden is one of the great gardens of Britain. With over 30,000 rare and subtropical plants, it’s a must-see for any budding botanist. The exotic selection thrive in a mild climate similar to the Mediterranean.

Green Agenda

Find out how Wightlink’s green initiatives are helping to protect the environment and live harmoniously with the biosphere.

Learn more

Other UNESCO biosphere reserves in the UK

The Isle of of Wight is one of seven locations recognised as biosphere reserves. Here is the list of areas with links for more biosphere information:

  • Isle of Wight
  • Wester Ross
  • Braunton Burrows-North Devon
  • Biosffer Dyfi
  • Galloway ans southern Ayrshire
  • Brighton and Lewes Downs
  • Isle of Man

Find out more information about UNESCO biosphere reserves.

See what's going on

Find out what the Island has to other with our handy Wightlink Explorer tool.

Wightlink Explorer

Find out the size of your vehicle by entering your registration number

At this time, this feature is only available for cars and vans

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E.g CU57ABC
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Please note: vehicle size data is taken from a third party database and is provided here as a guide. As some vehicles may vary from the designed specifications, please ensure that the measurements are correct before booking.

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Choose your vehicle size manually here, you can find your vehicle height and width at Parkers.

Without any roofboxes, towbars, bicycle racks or trailers your vehicle should be:
Vehicle length

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Please note: vehicle size data is taken from a third party database and is provided here as a guide. As some vehicles may vary from the designed specifications, please ensure that the measurements are correct before booking.

Wrong details? Please click here to enter your vehicle sizes manually

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Below you will find all other vehicle types with some information around their size.
We recommend that you measure your vehicle before booking

Dangerous goods (including compressed gas etc. used for medical purposes) must be declared at least 24 hours before travel.

Camping gas canisters must be declared when you arrive at the port.

Please measure your motorcycle from your front wheel to the rear of your bike, including any extras which make the vehicle longer or taller such as a bike rack, towbar or roof box, but excluding a trailer or caravan.
Please measure your vehicle from your front bumper to the rear of your car, and from the bottom of your tyres to the roof of your car, including any extras which make the vehicle longer or taller such as a bike rack, towbar or roof box, but excluding a trailer or caravan.

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