Needles Breezer Open Top Bus

Having sailed to the Isle of Wight we were going to have to rely on local transport if we wanted to get out and see the island. Southern Vectis are the operators of the Isle of Wight buses and offer various ticket options. These include single one way tickets, 24 or 48 hour Rover tickets, 7, 30 or 90 days Freedom tickets and 5, 15 or 30 days Multiday ticket bundles. Tickets can be bought on the bus, at their travel shop at Newport bus station, via an app or via a key card.

We opted to purchase two adult Multiday Ticket Bundles at a cost of £26 each (Aug 2019). This gave us 5 days unlimited travel which did not have to be consecutive. We felt this a better option that the 7 day Freedom ticket which, although was £1 cheaper (£25pp) and gave 7 days travel, did have to be used consecutively. We didn’t want to feel as though we ‘had’ to use it every day to get our money’s worth! Also a one way single fare had a minimum price of £3.50 each so we calculated that a multiday ticket would work out better value in the long run.

So how much did we use it?

Day One

We purchased the ticket at Newport Bus Station which in fact is a plastic ‘Key’ which you scan each time you get on the bus. From here we got the Number 2 bus to Shanklin where we spent the day. As we were returning home late our only option was the Number 3 bus back to Newport via Ventnor before getting the Number 5 to East Cowes

Total bus journeys – 3

Day Two

We hop on the Number 4 bus towards Ryde, getting off at Wootton to walk to Quarr Abbey. After visiting the abbey we walked to Binstead before picking up the Number 4 again into Ryde. After a stroll on the beach we get on the Number 9 into Newport for some shopping at Morrisons before getting the Number 5 back to East Cowes.

Total bus journeys – 4

Day Three

We decide to go a little further today, with Ventnor our destination. We get the Number 5 from East Cowes into Newport before getting on the Number 3 down to Ventnor. After exploring this pretty town we hop on the Number 3 again but this time up to Ryde. Once again we wanted to go to Newport so got the Number 9 into the centre before later getting the Number 5 to East Cowes.

Total bus journeys – 5

Day Four

It was a beautiful day and we were up early so thought we’d make the most of it! Hopping on the Number 5 we arriving into Newport in time for a Wetherspoons breakfast! After re-fuelling we get on the Number 12 which took us through some of the most picturesque villages we’ve ever seen and along some breathtaking coastal roads with view over to The Needles. We get off at Freshwater Bay and admire the stunning scenery here. About an hour later we get on the Needles Breezer open top bus and enjoy a beautiful bus journey up to the Old Battery at The Needles. (The views from this last bit are stunning – check out our video from a previous trip!). We disembark at The Needles and spend a few hours here before getting on the Number 7 back to Newport and finally the Number 5 back to East Cowes.

Total bus journeys – 5

Day Five

Our last day of travel. We get the Number 5 to Island Harbour Marina for a spot of breakfast at The Breeze restaurant. After which we take the Number 9 to Ryde to get on the Downs Breezer, another open top bus which takes you through the heart of the island with spectacular views! We stayed on this the whole way until we got back into Ryde. We then hopped on the Number 9 via Staplers (a slightly different route to the other number 9) to Newport. After stopping off for some supplies in Morrisons we get the Number 5 back to East Cowes.

Total bus journeys – 5

Conclusion

For us we saw the buses as great value for money. Bar the Number 3 from Shanklin to Newport on the first day all ran on time. We used the buses on over 20 occasions and got to see a substantial amount of the island. At just over £10 a day for both of us we considered that we would have paid more if we’d have had a car with us, taking into account petrol and parking costs. Plus the view from the upper deck are great! The buses run fairly frequently and as long as you plan your journeys you shouldn’t have to wait around too long. And if you have a bus pass these are accepted so get out and enjoy!

Visit www.islandbuses.info/ for more information on timetables and fares.

Isle of Wight Buses – Is it value for money?

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