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Ryde Pier, Ryde

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#4 of 6 in Sightseeing in Ryde
Landmark Tourist Spot
Ryde Pier is an early 19th-century pier serving the town of Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. It is the world's oldest seaside pier.Before the pierBefore the pier was built, passengers to Ryde had the uncomfortable experience of coming ashore on the back of a porter and then, depending on the state of the tide, having to walk as far as half a mile across wet sand before reaching the town. The need for a pier was obvious, especially if the town was to attract the wealthy and fashionable visitors who were beginning to patronise other seaside resorts across England.The original pierThe pier was designed by John Kent of Southampton and its foundation stone was laid on 29 June 1813. The completed pier opened on 26 July 1814, and had, as it still has, a timber-planked promenade. The structure was originally wholly timber, and measured 527m. By 1833, extensions took the overall length to 681m. It is this pre-Victorian structure which has, with some modifications, carried pedestrians and vehicles ever since.AdditionsA second 'tramway' pier was built next to the first pier, opening on 29 August 1864. Horse-drawn trams took passengers from the pier head to the esplanade. Prior to the construction of the railway pier, the tramway continued to Ryde Railway Station at St Johns Road. From 1886 to 1927 the trams were powered by electricity from a third rail, and from then until 1969 the trams were petrol-powered.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
201 reviews
  • The pound entry is a disgrace. There is no ice cream, no arcades and no fish and chips on this pier. It is utterly devoid of any form of entertainment. I shall not be returning and would very much lik...  more »
  • On a warm day trip to Ryde after the town we thought a trip down the pier would be pleasant so we took the train down (novel) and walked back. The end of the pier is a car park and ferry terminal - no...  more »
  • A long pier, which you can walk, drive along, or take the train. Nothing else to do though, except watch the boats and hovercraft.  more »

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