Isle of Wight & the Southern Coast
3 day tour

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Dinosaurs, Romans, Vikings, and holiday-makers have influenced the Isle of Wight’s ancient landscape. Join this tour and discover the timeless beauty for yourself.

Tour map

Highlights

Palaces
Abbeys
Beaches
Distilleries
Ferry

Places you explore


Quarr Abbey - Monks exiled from France to establish a monastery. Their traditions live on in this stunning abbey.

Yarborough Monument – Look up at the tallest monument on the Isle of Wight.

Osborne House - Queen Victoria’s favourite holiday spot looks more like an Italian Renaissance palazzo than an English palace.

The Needles - These glorious white chalk eruptions from the ocean will keep your camera busy.

Winchester - Stroll through winding streets and discover a city that contains artefacts from every era of English civilisation.

Laverstoke Distillery - This is the home of Bombay Sapphire Gin. The sleek and sustainable production methods merge beautifully with an old paper mill.

Henley-on-Thames - Watch the rivers, because this quaint old English town is a world-renowned town for rowing races.


Your journey

Queen Victoria loved her holidays.

She travelled to Scotland, France, and Italy and stayed at lavish palaces and princely courts.

But there’s nowhere she loved more than the Isle of Wight, a diamond-shaped pearl in the English Channel.

It’s not far from London and boasts beautiful beaches, epic white sea-cliffs, a warm climate, and remnants from the Romans, Normans, and two World Wars.

She inspired travellers from all around the world to visit this island; and after more than one-hundred years of holidays here, we think the place just gets better and better.

On this tour, you visit Queen Victoria’s Italian-inspired holiday home, Osborne House. You venture to the sea-shores and see gorgeous cliffs, barren bunkers and stunning white rock structures. And on the mainland, you even get a chance to celebrate your journey with a drink at the home of Bombay Sapphire Gin.

Join this trip, follow in the footsteps of royalty, and let your guide lead you through England’s favourite holiday island.


Tour Details

Departs
09.15 - Stance 3, Greenline Coach Terminal, Bulleid Way, Victoria, London, SW1W 9SH
Returns
19:30
Discounts

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old).

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • One 15 kilogram bag, and one carry-on bag per person
Tour inclusions
  • Transportation by a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • Tour accommodation

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Learn about the monastic life at quaint Quarr Abbey
  • Leave the mainland behind and travel by ferry to the Isle of Wight

Get your sunglasses and sun cream ready, you’re departing London and heading to the sunny, southern Isle of Wight.

First, you head to the ancient port-city of Portsmouth. This bustling spot blends modern marvels with centuries of sea-faring stories. You can grab a bite to eat here before your guide picks you up and takes you to the ferry at Gunwharf Terminal.

Even if you’re not a sea-loving, fish-catching, ocean-dweller, you’ll still find this ferry enjoyable. It takes less than an hour and there’s plenty of onboard refreshments.

Your first stop on the Isle of Wight is the important religious site of Quarr Abbey. The building here is beautiful and combines French, Byzantine, and Moorish designs.

Then, you get to meet some real local heroes. You visit the Bembridge Lifeboat station, where the crew rescue troubled lives out at sea every year. Time to give them a salute.

In the evening, you arrive at the unforgettably quaint village of Shanklin in time for an early dinner. Perhaps it’s time to try the seafood?

Day 2

  • Explore the epitome of elegance at Osborne House
  • Reflect upon the ocean’s power at the Needle sea stacks

Today, you’re going to discover the unmissable highlights of the Isle of Wight.

You eat breakfast and then venture to the Yarborough Monument. This is the tallest monument on the island and celebrates the life of a wealthy earl from the 19th century.

You continue to a photo-stop at the beautiful views of endless green fields at Brading Downs and then head to Osborne House.

Queen Victoria said, “it is impossible to imagine a prettier spot”. And we agree. Osborne House was Queen Victoria’s holiday home and as you explore the Italian-style building, you discover pristine green gardens, ornate golden rooms, and historically fascinating artefacts.

And after that magnificent man-made marvel, it’s time to see the Isle of Wight’s most beautiful natural wonder, the Needles.

These sharp white stacks that stick out of the ocean are beautiful to behold. You can hop on a boat to get close to them and venture to an old defensive battery that’s nearby.

Your last stop today is at the cliffs of St. Catherine’s Down. As the sun starts to set, these epic cliffs and green valleys look stunning.

You travel back to Shanklin in time for dinner.

Day 3

  • Celebrate your trip with a drink at the home of Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • Absorb all the history you can in the city of Winchester

It’s the final day. But cheer up, because we’ve saved some of the best sights for today.

In the morning, you say goodbye to Shanklin and head on the ferry back to Portsmouth.

Now that you’ve reacquainted yourself with the mainland, we take you to one of England’s most history-soaked cities, Winchester.

But visiting Winchester isn’t easy, because there’s almost too much to do. There’s a glorious cathedral, an ancient mill, cute cafes, and more than enough museums.

After you’ve studied up on the history of England, it’s time to go have some fun. That’s right, we’re going to visit the home of one of the world’s most popular gins, Bombay Sapphire. But it’s not just the booze that’s brilliant at the Laverstoke Mill, the exhibition and Victorian architecture are as interesting as they are beautiful.

Once you’ve had enough of the tipple, it’s time to head home. You have a small refreshment stop at the riverside town of Henley-on-Thames before arriving in London in the evening.

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Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay two nights at the unforgettably quaint village of Shanklin.


How does the accommodation work?

Your tour excludes accommodation; but when you book, you can ask us to reserve local accommodation for you, or you can choose to reserve your own accommodation in the overnight locations.


I want Rabbie’s to book my accommodation, what happens now?

Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts. You’ll pay your accommodation directly. Most don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.


What if I want to change my accommodation booking with Rabbie’s?

Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. An amendment charge will apply.


I booked my own accommodation is there anything I need to do?

You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central.


What if I cancel my tour at short notice?

If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation. And occasionally you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.


What are the accommodation types?

We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre. We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard. The prices below are for guidance only.

B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard

The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other room in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is £35 - £40 per person per night. A single standard room is £40 - £60 per night.

B&B En suite

The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £45 - £55 per person per night. A single en suite is £60 - £80 per night.

Hotels

Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £70 - £85 per person per night. A single is £85 - £130 per night.


I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, you can read our FAQs, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email rooms@rabbies.com.


FAQs

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.

What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of three days for our one day tours, and 21 days for longer tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.

What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

Do you take children on your tours?

We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance. You can click here for excellent rates.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com, or check out our full FAQs.

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Our small group travel style lets you head off the beaten track

Guaranteed experience
or your money back

Guaranteed departures

Award winning customer service



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Green Tourism Award Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars

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