We took a walk along Ryde Pier and back again and was rewarded at the far end with a view of the Queen Mary II passing by outward bound from Southampton. The pier acts as the boarding point for the Ryde to Portsmouth passenger Ferry (the original purpose of most piers was to moor pleasure steamers), and there are no amusements as with other piers around the country. However for those with an interest in transport it has loads of plus points with electric trains running the length and connecting with catamaran type ferries. Cars are also allowed to traverse the pier and park at the far end of the pier after paying the pier toll.
For those in the know, the pier actually comprises three separate piers namely the car / pedestrian pier, the railway pier and also the the remains of the tram pier which used to run between the Esplanade and Pier Head stations.
The walk out to the pier head is about half a mile and offers good views of the shipping in the Solent. The Pier head station has a quite sleepy atmosphere between trains with the sounds of the waves below and the gulls above. There is a Coffee shop here for those who would like refreshment, other that that it is a stroll back towards the Esplanade or catch the next train heading in that direction.
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