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Ryde facts for kids

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Ryde viewed from the Solent
Ryde is located in Isle of Wight
Population 32,072 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SZ591923
Unitary authority
  • Isle of Wight Council
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town RYDE
Postcode district PO33
Dialling code 01983
Police Hampshire
Fire Isle of Wight
Ambulance Isle of Wight
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
  • Isle of Wight
List of places
Isle of Wight
50°43′38″N 1°09′42″W / 50.7271°N 1.1618°W / 50.7271; -1.1618

Ryde is an English seaside town and civil parish on the north-east coast of the Isle of Wight. The built-up area had a population of 23,999 according to the 2011 Census and an estimate of 24,847 in 2019. Its growth as a seaside resort came after the villages of Upper Ryde and Lower Ryde were merged in the 19th century, as can still be seen in the town's central and seafront architecture. The resort's expansive sands are revealed at low tide. Their width means the regular ferry service to the mainland requires a long listed pier – the fourth longest, in fact, in the United Kingdom and the oldest survivor.


In 1782 numerous bodies of men, women and children from HMS Royal George, which sank suddenly at Spithead, were washed ashore at Ryde. Many were buried on land that is now occupied by the Esplanade. A memorial to them was erected in June 2004.


Hovercraft leaving Ryde
Hovercraft leaving Ryde

There is a hovercraft service to Southsea, which takes nine minutes. It is operated by Hovertravel near the Esplanade close to Ryde Esplanade railway station and the bus station. A catamaran service run by Wightlink operates from Ryde Pier to Portsmouth Harbour, which connects with both Island Line trains and mainland trains to London Waterloo.

The Island Line Trains service runs from Ryde Pier Head via Ryde Esplanade to Shanklin, a distance of 8.5 miles (14 km). Ryde St John's Road railway station lies further south in the town.

The bus interchange lies between Ryde Pier and the Hover Terminal on the Esplanade. Ryde is the second busiest stop in the Southern Vectis network after Newport. The busiest route is No. 9 to Newport, running every 10 minutes in the daytime. Others include Nos 2, 3, 4 and 8 and local route 37. An open-top bus service, The Downs Tour, runs in the summer.


Ryde Pier seen from Ryde
Union St, Ryde, IW, UK
Union St

The town's large and long esplanade area has always been an attraction for tourists, especially those day-tripping from the mainland, as the amenities are all available by walking from the pier. A swimming pool, bowls club, ice rink, bowling alley, and boating lake are among the attractions, and there are various children's playgrounds, amusement arcades and cafés.

Ryde has few large public open spaces beyond the esplanade, but areas for public recreation include Appley Park, Puckpool Park, Vernon Square, Simeon Street Recreation Ground, St John's Park, St Thomas' churchyard, Salter Road recreation ground, and Oakfield Football Club.

At one time Ryde had two separate piers; the other being the Victoria Pier, no longer in existence. Ryde has its own inshore rescue service which mostly has to deal with people becoming stranded on sandbanks as the incoming tide cuts them off from the shore. The pier is also a feature of the 67-mile (108 km) Isle of Wight Coastal Path, which is marked with blue signs with a white seagull.

Ryde has a small marina located to the east of Ryde Pier. It is tidal and dries out at low water hence it is more suitable for smaller sailing (bilge keel) and motor cruisers. It has provision for up to 200 boats, either on floating pontoons or leaning against the harbour wall. It has a full-time harbourmaster who posts useful snippets of information on the noticeboard outside the harbour office including weather information, tide times, cruise liner movements and events that occurred on this day in history.


The twin church spires clearly visible from the sea belong to All Saints' (the taller) and Holy Trinity churches. All Saints' Church is located in Queens Road on a road junction known as Five Ways. It was designed by George Gilbert Scott and completed in 1872. The spire is 177 feet (54 m) tall. Holy Trinity Church is in Dover Street. It was designed by Thomas Hellyer and completed in 1845. Holy Trinity Church closed in January 2014 and the building became the Aspire Ryde community centre.

The town’s Roman Catholic church, St. Mary's, is located in High Street. It was built in 1846 at a cost of £18,000. This was provided by Elizabeth, Countess of Clare. The church was designed by Joseph Hansom inventor of the hansom cab. Other churches include St James Church and St. Michael and All Angels, Swanmore. There are also Baptist, Methodist, United Reformed and Elim churches in the town.

Ryde Castle Hotel - - 837084
Ryde Castle

Ryde Castle, situated on the Esplanade, was built c. 1840 as a private house in crenellated style and is now a hotel. It was left heavily damaged after a fire in 2012, and reopened after major restoration in 2013.

Beldornie Tower on Augusta Road was at one point a property of the Earl of Yarborough. The house dates back to the 16th or early 17th century. The house was virtually rebuilt c. 1840 in Gothic-Jacobean style with the addition of a west wing in 1880.

Notable residents

In alphabetical order:

  • Raymond Allen (born 1940), a TV screenwriter (Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em), attended Ryde Secondary Modern School.
  • Iris Brooke (1905 – post-1967), artist and author, was born in Ryde.
  • Sam Browne (1824–1901), the soldier after whom the belt was named, lived the last years of his life in a house called Argosy in East Hill Road.
  • Sir Charles Clifford, 4th Baronet (1821–1895), barrister and Liberal member of Parliament, lived at Westfield House.
  • Seb Clover (born 1987), sailor, was educated at Ryde School with Upper Chine.
  • Melvyn Hayes (born 1935), actor, currently lives in Ryde.
  • Cornelius Jabez Hughes (1819–1884), a Victorian photographer and daguerreotypist, worked and died in Ryde.
  • William Hutt (1801–1882), a colonial administrator, was educated in Ryde and resided at Appley Towers.
  • David Icke (born 1952), conspiracy theorist, broadcaster and author, lives in Ryde.
  • Mark King born 1958, a Level 42 musician originally from Gurnard, opened a pub in Union Street in the 1980s.
  • Sir Charles Locock (1799–1875), obstetrician to Queen Victoria
  • F. G. Loring (1869–1951), writer and naval officer, was born in Ryde.
  • Karl Marx (1818–1883) and his wife Jenny Marx (1814–1881) visited Ryde for health reasons in the summer of 1874, staying in Nelson Street.
  • Anthony Minghella (1954-2008), Hollywood director, was born in Ryde.
  • Nicholas Morrill (born 1957), cricketer, was born in Ryde.
  • Philip Norman (born 1943), writer, attended Ryde School and has written of his childhood in the town.
  • Kieran Page (born 1983), professional road and track cyclist
  • A. C. Pigou (1877–1959), economist, was born in Ryde.
  • Albert Pollard (1869–1948), historian, was born in Ryde.
  • Michael Sheard (1938–2005), actor (Mr Bronson in Grange Hill; Star Wars), lived in Ryde and died there.
  • Walter Toogood (1874–1914), a professional golfer, was born in Ryde.
  • M. J. Trow born 1949), military historian and detective fiction writer, taught history and politics at Ryde High School.
  • Edward Vernon Utterson (1775/1776–1856), lawyer and one of the Six Clerks in Chancery, literary antiquary, collector and editor, moved in 1840 from Newport to Beldornie Tower, Pelham Field, Ryde, and set up the Beldornie Press there. Has a memorial tablet in St Thomas's Church.
  • Sarah Elizabeth Utterson (1781–1851), translator and author, moved in 1840 from Newport to Beldornie Tower, Pelham Field, Ryde. Has a memorial tablet in St Thomas's Church.


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