With a whole host of independent retailers, restaurants and, of course, idyllic beaches, there is plenty to shout about when it comes to Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

A gateway to the Island, the esplanade is one of the first things most visitors see as they arrive by boat or hovercraft.

Although the eyesore ice rink remains empty and some businesses have closed, others have popped up and there has been major investment.

Read more: 7 reasons to visit Isle of Wight seaside town of Ventnor

The £10 million Ryde Interchange has seen a new bus station built and the Esplanade station refurbished.

Over the coming years, more money is on the way to regenerate the high street.

We've rounded up a list of reasons to visit Ryde...

Independent businesses

Ryde is home to a mix of independent shops and eateries.

Whether it's Ryde High Street or Union Street, there are plenty of places to grab a bargain or a bite to eat.

Isle of Wight County Press: Ryde High StreetRyde High Street (Image: IWCP)

Yes there may be some empty buildings, but there are many independent shops still going strong.

Some of those include Isle of Wool, Bellissima, Grace's Bakery and charity, Friends of the Animals.


Throughout the year, Ryde transforms into a sea of colour.

Isle of Wight County Press: Photo by Sienna Anderson.Photo by Sienna Anderson.

In August, onlookers are treated to the main carnival, illuminated carnival and the children's carnival.

Isle of Wight Pride is held in July and the Mardi Gras also weaves its way through the town.

Royal Victoria Arcade

Built between 1835 and 1836, Royal Victoria Arcade is named after Princess Victoria shortly before she became Queen.

Described as a 'hidden gem', it was restored back to its former glory in 2011.

Isle of Wight County Press: Royal Victoria Arcade.Royal Victoria Arcade.

Scattered throughout the Victoriana Lanes, visitors will find retro fashions, vinyl music, collectables and memorabilia, textile crafts and gifts galore.

Beaches, Puckpool and Appley

Offering miles of sandy shores, the beaches in Ryde boast picturesque views of the Solent and Portsmouth.

In the summer, they're a great place for a dip and somewhere to amuse the children.

Read more: Popular Isle of Wight beach accessibility plan moves forward

The beaches also have dedicated lifeguards and are more accessible than ever, with the purchase of sand and sea wheelchairs and walkers.

If you're fancying a walk, why not head to Appley and Puckpool.

Isle of Wight County Press: Appley TowerAppley Tower

Along the way, you'll come across cafes, the historic Appley Tower, which has undergone restoration work, and plenty of play parks for the children.

Activities and amusements

From a bowling alley to a pool hall, there is lots to do when it comes to activities.

On the Esplanade, you'll find Ryde Superbowl and LaserQuest and Rocket Ronnies.

Isle of Wight County Press: Rocket RonniesRocket Ronnies

There is also a Game On, on Union Street, which boasts plenty of retro games.


Pubs and bars are aplenty in Ryde.

There is The Star Coffee and Ale House in the high street and on Union Street, you'll find Yelfs, Coburgs and the Blacksheep Bar, among others.

On the Esplanade, there is the Royal Esplanade Hotel bar and the King's Lud.

Bingo and cinema

Commodore Cinema first made its debut in Ryde in 1936 and at the time was the largest cinema on the Isle of Wight.

Isle of Wight County Press: Ryde CommodoreRyde Commodore (Image: Ruby Hendey)

Read more: Isle Of Wight cinema in Ryde remains a family favourite

As Leo Leisure, it is still standing proud today and offers great value for money at just £4 a ticket.

The bingo hall next door is also popular among visitors.