The Solent Forum

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Getting Around the Solent

Bus Services

Major bus operators in Hampshire include First Group and Stagecoach. The Traveline service provides details of public transport throughout the region, telephone 0870 608 2 608. Solent Go is a travelcard you top up as you go, for travel all over South Hampshire, including Southampton, Portsmouth, Winchester and Havant.  Southern Vectis operate an Isle of Wight wide bus service all year, with open top buses on some routes in the summer. The Hard Interchange is a bus and coach station owned and operated by Portsmouth City Council. Linking with Portsmouth Harbour Rail Station, the Gosport Ferry and the Isle of Wight, there are currently around 850 local bus departures and 70 scheduled intercity coach departures per day. It is the closest stop for many of Portsmouth's attractions, including Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and Southsea.


The Solent mainland has good transport links to the rest of the country. The M27 runs parallel to the Hampshire coast with links to Southampton via the M271, A33 and A334 and Portsmouth via the M275. To the East the A27 provides access to the West Sussex coastal towns. The Hampshire coastal towns can be reached by the following main roads: Gosport (A32), Hayling Island (A3023), Hythe and Fawley (A326) and Lymington (A337).

Many of the Isle of Wight's roads have outstanding views but they can be narrow and twisty so care is needed when driving on them. Tourist car park tickets are available from Tourist Information Centres, these can help to save money when using public car parks. These Centres also produce a wide range of maps highlighting scenic routes and attractions. Car ferries serve the Island from Southampton, Portsmouth and Lymington. Details of car parks are available from the relevant local or district council. Telephone numbers for the Solent's local authorities are available on the Solent Forum Members Directory Page.

Rail Services

There are direct rail services from London to Southampton, Portsmouth and Fareham. A shuttle bus links Southampton station with the Red Funnel ferry terminal for services to the Isle of Wight. Brockenhurst station in the New Forest has a local service to Lymington Pier, which connects with the Wightlink ferry service to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.

Island line on the Isle of Wight operates a regular train service which connects with the passenger ferries at Ryde Pier Head and runs as far as Shanklin.

Ferry Services to the Isle of Wight

There are several regular services to the Island provided by three main carriers, Wightlink, Red Funnel and Hovertravel. All the passenger services have their roots in the steam packets of the 19th Century, and the early development of tourist traffic to the Island.

Wightlink Services

Wightlink runs services over three routes to and from the Island.

Red Funnel Services


Local Ferry Services

There are a number of popular local ferry services operating across parts of the Solent:

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