Isle of Wight - Solent & The South Downs

Isle of Wight - Solent & The South Downs

6th July 2019 - 13th July 2019 (8 days)

A circular camping tour starting and finishing at Graffham in the South Downs National Park. Ferry crossing from Portsmouth to Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight, returning from Cowes to Southampton. The route from Graffham to Southbourne is on country lanes, giving the most stunning views of the South Downs. Staying at two different campsites on the Isle of Wight allows both the eastern and western parts of the island to be explored. For history and art enthusiasts a visit to Queen Victoria's island home, Osborne House, will be possible. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert thought the view of The Solent from the terrace looked like the Bay of Naples. The constant comings and goings of ships and sailing yachts on The Solent makes this a place of interest for sightseeing and for photographers.

  • Holiday Type Guided
  • Tour Manager Colin Ward
  • Grade Moderate
  • Booking Status Places Available
  • Accommodation Camping
  • Board Basis Self Catering
  • Travel Arrangements Land Only
  • Road / Off Road Road
  • Holiday Style Moving-on
  • Vehicle Support Carry Own Luggage
  • Holiday Ref 03203


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Isle of Wight - Solent & The South Downs

Saturday 6th July

Meet at Graffham Camping & Caravan Club site from 1pm. Short local ride in the afternoon. Stay 1 night.

Sunday 7th July

Ride to Chichester Camping & Caravan Club site in Southbourne. 25 miles. Stay 1 night.

Monday 8th July

Ride to Portsmouth Ferry. 15 miles. Cross to the Isle of Wight and ride to Adgestone Camping & Caravan Club site. 8 miles. Stay 2 nights.

Tuesday 9th July

Circular unladen ride in the north east of the Island passing Bembridge Aerodrome, Bembridge Harbour, the IOW Steam Railway and Queen Victoria's Osborne House. 35 miles.

Wednesday 10th July

Ride to Stoat Farm Campsite near the Needles. 23 miles. Stay 1 night.

Thursday 11th July

Ride to Cowes Ferry. 20 miles. Cross to Southampton. Ride to Fairthorne Manor Campsite close to the Hamble River. 8 miles. Stay 1 night.

Friday 12th July

Ride to Graffham Camping & Caravan Club site. 34 miles. Stay 1 night.

Saturday 13th July

The tour ends. Campsite to be vacated by 0930.

Accommodation & Meals

All campsites have toilets and showers. Participants must bring their own tent and all other camping equipment. No meals are provided but there are pubs and/or restaurants near to all of the campsites.

Vehicle Support

As you will be carrying your own luggage with no back-up vehicle, it is important that you are fit enough to undertake each day’s ride. Please contact the Tour Manager if you would like to discuss this aspect of the tour.

Travel Insurance

Obtaining travel insurance is optional for UK residents as your CTC membership provides third party cover. However, this does not cover any other risks such as cancellation charges, personal injury or lost property. We therefore strongly recommend that suitable insurance is taken out to safeguard against such risks. Members who do not reside in the UK are not covered for third party and are advised to obtain suitable cover before leaving their normal residence. If you already have an annual policy, you may need to confirm that it will cover a UK holiday or make provision for it to do so.


The price of £180 is based on a minimum number of 10 people taking part in the holiday. If there are insufficient bookings by 27th April 2019, we will contact you and return all monies paid, although in certain circumstances the holiday may still run at below minimum numbers but at the same price.

Price Includes

  • 7 nights campsite fees
  • CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs

Price Does Not Include

  • Travel to and from the tour
  • Any meals or refreshments
  • Ferries: Portsmouth - Fishbourne Adult £12.80, Senior £9.55 & East Cowes - Southampton Adult £9.80, Senior £6.20 (Oct 2018 prices)
  • Entrance fee to Osborne House Adult £17.20, Concession £15.50 (Oct 2018 prices)
  • Any other personal expenses
  • Travel Insurance (optional)

Payment Schedule

A deposit of £18 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £162 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 27th April 2019.


Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:

Written notice received:

Before 27th April 2019

From 27th April 2019 through to departure


Cancellation charge:

Deposit (£18)

100% (£180)


The Area Covered By The Holiday

The tour will use a mixture of mostly country roads and cycle paths to explore part of the South Downs National Park and the Isle of Wight (really just a chunk of the South Downs that someone has sawn off and pushed out into the Solent).

Rides & Rest Days

As much as possible, the group will ride together at an average fully-laden speed of about 10mph, but some riders like to go ahead on hills while others fall behind to take photographs. So, from time to time, the group will re-form at pre-arranged points. There will be plenty of opportunities for sightseeing. Road surfaces are mainly smooth tarmac, but some of the lanes have broken gravelly surfaces with potholes, and there are some sections of uneven cycle path. Tuesday could be taken as a rest day as an alternative to the circular ride.

Accommodation & Meals

Stops will be made at village shops, cafes or pubs so that participants can buy their own lunches and snacks. Please make sure you carry some energy food and at least one water bottle.


The nearest Railway Station to Graffham is Pulborough (8 miles). Parking at the Graffham campsite during the week whilst away touring isn't possible. There is a National Trust car park nearby, but parking is at the owner's risk.

Group Information

The maximum number of participants will be 12 excluding the Tour Manager.

Weather & Clothing

In the south of England June means temperatures usually fall between 10-20°C. It is hoped that the weather will be sunny and dry, but cooler conditions and rain are always a possibility. Shorts and a short-sleeved cycling top are the usual daytime riding attire, but make sure you pack some warmer things and wet weather gear. A 2-3 season sleeping bag would be suitable.

Cycles & Equipment

A touring cycle, hybrid or lightweight ATB is suitable for this tour. You should ensure your cycle is well maintained, paying particular attention to wheels, tyres and brakes. A low bottom gear (e.g. small chainring the same size or smaller than the largest cog on your rear wheel) is recommended. If you are unsure about gears, please discuss with the Tour Manager. Mudguards are optional but show courtesy to those who are following you in wet weather. Lights are a legal requirement at night so are needed if visiting a restaurant in the evening. They are also useful for finding your way to the washrooms at night. New tyres are recommended of at least 28mm diameter. Participants will be expected to carry each day sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs. You are advised to do some riding before the tour with a similar load to that which you will be carrying during the tour to get a feel for how your bike will handle.

Maps & Guides

You should carry a map in case you become separated from the group. Ordnance Survey Landranger Maps 196 and 197 were used to plan the tour and the Tour Manager will carry the set. The equivalent pages torn from a road atlas would be perfectly adequate. The address, phone and location of each campsite will be provided. You should carry these details each day and a mobile phone, if you use one.