Plan your

Tour of Britain visit

Tour of Britain - a family day out itinerary

On Sunday, 11 September 2022, the biggest professional cycling event in the UK, the Tour of Britain, comes to the Isle of Wight. Stage Eight of the Tour will start in Ryde and work its way around the Island, with the finish line right by the IOW’s most iconic landmark, The Needles.

If you’re keen to watch the best professional cyclists at the peak of their game, then you may be considering visiting the Isle of Wight to catch the final stage of the Tour. If so, we’ve put together a sample day trip itinerary to give you a flavour of what you could squeeze into a single day when visiting the Island.

And if you’re thinking of bringing your bicycles along for the fun, you’re in luck – bikes go free on all Wightlink services if you’re travelling as a foot passenger.

Your family-friendly day trip itinerary

  • 07:15 - 16:45, Sunday, 11 September

  • Portsmouth - Ryde FastCat

  • Ryde, Isle of Wight

Start the day bright and early and head for our port in Portsmouth Harbour in time for the 07:15 sailing to Ryde on the Isle of Wight. You’ll need to turn up at least 15 minutes before the sailing is scheduled to depart.

For a proper cycling-themed day away, you could bring your bikes with you. There’s a dedicated cycle storage section to the rear of our FastCats, so hop on board, head to the back and pop your bicycles in the dedicated bays. If it’s a warm day, head up to the sundecks and relax for your 22 minute crossing – you can expect to arrive on the Island around 07:37.

From there, you can either head up Ryde Pier – the second largest seaside pier in the country – under your own steam or catch one of the Island Line trains up to Ryde Esplanade Station. From here, you’ll already be in the heart of the action for stage eight of the Tour of Britain.

Mingle with the stars in Ryde

As preparations for the race get going, you’ll have the chance to wander around Ryde Esplanade and mingle with the stars around the start line. The race teams will be preparing their bikes and the cyclists will be psyching themselves up for the gruelling day ahead. Take selfies, ask questions and simply revel in the moment.

Before long, riders will take part in the Sign on ceremony on the main stage, not far from the start line, as the race convoy get into place. This is as good a time as any to settle on your place to stand – find somewhere where you can catch the best of the action near the start line.

From your vantage point, watch as the riders set off from the start line and flow through the neutralised section that’s designed to get them up to speed. Eventually, they’ll hit the zero kilometre mark where they can break free from the pack.

Tour of Britain 2022 on the Isle of Wight

Find out more about the Stage Eight of the Tour of Britain, which is taking place on the glorious Isle of Wight. Discover route information, some history about the UK’s most prestigious professional cycling race and details of how to get across the Solent to the Island.

Discover the Tour of Britain
Cycling on Military Road, Isle of Wight
The fun doesn't have to stop there

Once the riders have made their way from the town, the fun doesn’t have to stop. Ryde will be a hub of activity on the day with a whole host of activities going on to keep the family entertained.

Grabbing breakfast will probably be high on the priority list of things to do. For one of the tastiest morning meals on the Island, head to No64, only a few minutes away from the promenade.

After you’ve filled up, you can walk off your morning meal with a stroll up the well-known Union Street, a steep uphill road lined with shops on either side. There are plenty of quirky outlets to check out, from gift shops to coffee lounges, and the kids will definitely want to pop into the toy store.

If there’s still some energy in the tank, head back down towards the promenade and enjoy a leisurely stroll or cycle along the seafront, past Ryde Harbour and down towards Appley Beach. You can catch some lovely views across the Solent while you amble along the coast and, on a clear day, you’ll be able to see the city of Portsmouth on the other side of the water.

Head for the beach

Your next stop should be the beach. Ryde is home to a vast expanse of sandy beach and with one of the warmest climates in the UK, you can be hopeful of some sunny weather.

You’ll find plenty of room to lay down a towel and relax on Appley Beach and if you can get close to the famous Appley Tower, even better. Head to the Dell Cafe, right at the eastern end of the beach, for a snack or some lunch.

After you’ve recharged in the sun, you might be keen to catch some more of the Tour of Britain action. Although it’s difficult to be precise with timings, you can expect the race to be coming to a crescendo in mid-afternoon, around 15:30, so settle down in one of Ryde’s many pubs that are likely to be showing the race, streamed live on ITV4.

And then it’s time to head back to the mainland. As on the outward leg, make sure to get to the port 15 minutes before your chosen sailing is set to depart – there’s a 16:45 crossing from Ryde Pier Head to Portsmouth Harbour but if you want more time on the Island, we have sailings right through to 20:52.

Make sure to pick up a locally-sourced bite to eat at the port and book in your next visit to the Island while you’re at it!