A whole festival, just for walking!
Join experienced local walkers in discovering a unique network of routes, with names like ‘Ups and Downs’, ‘Beach Bugs and Bones’, and ‘Getting Bogged Down’, and an opportunity to fundraise for charity by taking on the Earl Mountbatten Hospice’s Walk the Wight trail.
This annual celebration will take you right up close and personal to some of the Isle of Wight’s most breathtaking natural scenery, with trails winding along chalky cliffs and luscious green rolling hills, showing you that the island truly does live up to its ‘England in Miniature’ moniker.
This year, the Isle of Wight Walking Festival runs from 28 April to 13 May, so lace up your hiking boots and head to the website to start planning your routes!
The Isle of Wight isn’t just known as ‘England in Miniature’ — it’s also earned the title of ‘Dinosaur Island’, for being one of the best places in the world to find fossils. Discover the Island’s prehistory by trekking the dinosaur safari trail, starting at the car park opposite the Isle of Wight Zoo in Yaverland.
Follow the signposted coastal route to the top of the landslip, where you’ll be rewarded with broad views over some of the richest dinosaur beds in Britain.
Keep a sharp eye for the shadowy lines and patterns in the cliffs — these are typically where dinosaur remains are tucked away before being washed onto beaches or into the sea. You’ll find a kiosk for coffee and cake and a pub with a garden atop the hill. This is a prime spot to stop and treat yourself to something to eat or drink before heading back down to the starting point.
Seaside town strolls
Walking through Cowes you’ll find quaint winding high streets filled with quirky shops and a stunning beach-bordering promenade with seaward views, gorgeous sunsets, and bobbing sailboats.
Start in East Cowes, where even Queen Victoria came to relax at Osborne — once the monarch’s holiday home, she’d retreat there with Prince Albert. The English Heritage attraction now makes for a fascinating stroll through history, and has its own charming beach which is yours to enjoy with your loved one. Victoria said that it’s “impossible to imagine a prettier spot.” The walk between the house and the beach is stunning in its own right.
As the afternoon fades into the evening, make tracks for West Cowes, where the web of high streets will unfold before you. Then venture out onto the promenade, where pebble beaches and an unforgettable sunset stroll await you. Wind down with good food and ale at the Anchor Inn.
Isle of Wight Challenge
Up for a bank holiday challenge on 5th and 6th May 2018? Get inspired by fantastic scenery, white cliffs, and sandy beaches when you take on the Isle of Wight Challenge, breathing the country and sea air while walking the 25km, 50km, or 100km routes.
Pass the stacks forming the iconic Needles, reach Cowes around the halfway point, then circle clockwise to the finish line in Chale. There’ll be full support and hospitality along the way, and whichever distance you choose, you’ll witness the stunning seaward views by daylight.
If you walk, the full-island challenge will take between 20 and 33 hours, or 10–16 hours and 4—6 hours respectively for the half- and quarter-island routes.
Follow in the hoofsteps of Warrior, the horse of First World War General Jack Seely, on the six-mile Warrior Trail. This historic path follows a circular route, from Carisbrooke Castle to the beach at Brook Bay, where the real-life War Horse was trained in the surf.
Warrior was known as the ‘horse the Germans couldn’t kill’ by the newspapers of the day, after surviving some of the First World War’s most devastating and infamous conflicts. He became something of a local hero upon his return to the Isle of Wight in 1918 — this year is the 100th anniversary of that iconic date.
Find out more about Warrior, and this walking trail, on the horse’s official website.
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