Riding on the hovercraft is fun, but watching them is almost as good – and its free. Luckily they come very regularly during the daytime (weather permitting) and you can get a grandstand view of the arriving or departing craft from the passenger railway bridge at Ryde Esplanade.

Let Matthew Chatfield explain the joys of watching the hovercraft: “I am lucky enough to live within earshot of the Ryde end of the cross-Solent hovercraft route, and I will confess to going down to the seafront from time to time simply to watch the big beasts come and go. The little platform of the nearby railway bridge is one of the best places to do this, and there is often a whole gaggle of gongoozlers gawping at the arrivals, and holding their hats when the blast of sandy wind hits and another hovercraft slides down the apron.”