Isle of Wight Randonnée

The Isle of Wight Randonnée is a yearly cycling event that takes place on the Sunday of the early May bank holiday weekend. The event is organised by the local Wayfarers Cycle Touring Club and consists of two rides – a 100 km Round the Island Route, and a 55 km "Mini Randonnée" that covers the East side of the Isle of Wight. The Randonnée is the largest event of its kind on the South Coast of England, attracting around 3,000 cyclists each year. [1]

Isle of Wight Randonnée in Whitwell
A section of the ride in Whitwell.
IW Randonnee cyclists
Randonnée participants crossing on the chain ferry from Cowes to East Cowes


The event generally follows the permanently signed "Round the Island Cycle Route". Riders can start/finish at any of the checkpoints on the route. Until 2012 the ride alternated between the clockwise and anticlockwise directions, but now runs clockwise every year.

The full Randonnée checkpoints are East Cowes - Wootton - Bembridge - Alverstone - Whitwell - Yarmouth - use Cowes Floating Bridge - East Cowes.[2]

The Mini Randonnée checkpoints are: East Cowes - Wootton - Bembridge - Alverstone - via Newport and Cowes Floating Bridge - East Cowes.

In 2017, due to the closure of the Cowes Floating Bridge, the route was diverted via Newport.

Event history

The Isle of Wight Randonnée was established by the local Wayfarers cycling club in 1985[3] and, like the yearly Cycle the Wight event, follows a route around the whole of the Isle of Wight, taking minor roads and lanes where possible enabling the rider to see and enjoy the best of the Island's scenery.


  1. ^ Isle of Wight County Press
  2. ^ Wayfarers CTC
  3. ^ Wight Echo
Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight (; also referred to informally as The Island or abbreviated to IoW) is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines. The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. It has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, and Britain's space rockets. The island hosts annual music festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970 was the largest rock music event ever held. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.

The isle was owned by a Norman family until 1293 and was earlier a kingdom in its own right. In common with the Crown dependencies, the British Crown was then represented on the island by the Governor of the Isle of Wight until 1995. The island has played an important part in the defence of the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, and been near the front-line of conflicts through the ages, including the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain. Rural for most of its history, its Victorian fashionability and the growing affordability of holidays led to significant urban development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Historically part of Hampshire, the island became a separate administrative county in 1890. It continued to share the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire until 1974, when it was made its own ceremonial county. Apart from a shared police force, there is now no administrative link with Hampshire, although a combined local authority with Portsmouth and Southampton was considered, this is now unlikely to proceed.The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea; three vehicle ferry and two catamaran services cross the Solent to Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.


Randonnée (French for excursion) can refer to:

Randonneuring, an organized long-distance bicycle ride

Isle of Wight Randonnée, a yearly cycling event held on the Isle of Wight

Randonnée skiing, a form of backcountry skiing

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