In today’s fast-paced world it’s refreshing to take it slowly and really make the most of a new destination. So why not grab your favourite pair of walking shoes, a well-stocked picnic basket and take a day out to walk your way across the Island?
Every good walk needs a balance between tourist attractions and the quiet beauty of the countryside – so we have put together a pocket guide for you to help plan a day that covers all your bases.
The Isle of Wight offers some of the most diverse walking routes in the UK, so you can set out on anything from a 1 hour stroll to an 8 hour hike. With some of the most beautiful sights in the country, a day spent rambling the Isle of Wight is our favourite kind of day out.
Below are our top tips for routes on the Island that make for wonderful walks – with easier, moderate and more challenging walks all included – so people of any ability can enjoy a hike. What’s more – each route links to a map of the route to help you plan your day.
On the West side of the Island the Freshwater Way, from Yarmouth to Compton Bay, offers an idyllic walk along the estuary of the River Yar. Only 5 miles long, this is the perfect walk for families with younger children, or for those who would like to take a pleasant stroll without heaps of hills and tougher terrain. With plenty of wildlife to watch out for, you may even spot a red squirrel!
Jurassic enthusiasts could even discover the Jurassic past of the Island on a guided fossil hunt – and track down the evidence of the dinosaurs who once roamed its shores.
For a walk that will challenge you – but not too much – you could enjoy the Ryde to Cowes route: an 8 mile amble through woodlands, via historic buildings and across trails. There are plenty of places to stop along the way for that perfect photo, a quick picnic or to get to know the Island.
Meanwhile, on the South East side of the Island the Niton to Sandown walk provides the perfect route to show off the Island’s coastline and there are plenty of detours to make along the way, such as to the Victorian resort Ventnor or the Botanic Gardens.
For those who like a challenge
If you are looking for something a little more adventurous then there’s a great coastal route from Cowes to Yarmouth. Meandering its way along the Hamstead Heritage Coast, this route will take you through villages, woodlands and along the cliff tops. It’ll certainly take you to a lot of the Island on a short holiday, and there are plenty of places to stop for lunch or coffee along the way.
Carisbrooke and Surrounds takes you on a 6 hour journey through an area of natural beauty, so you can pack some lunch and experience a true getaway as you get up close to nature. You could even top off your trip with a visit to Carisbrooke Castle – taking in some history before your day is over and you head back to your Wightlink ferry homewards.
As you can see, there are plenty of options for everyone who wishes to walk the Isle of Wight. If you are after some more inspiration to find your ideal route, there are many more – and Wightlink and Visit Isle of Wight both have plenty of downloadable maps.
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