Things to see & do

Walk over the downs, take in the view

The view over Sandown Bay from Culver Down © National Trust/Sue Oldham

The view over Sandown Bay from Culver Down

Experience dramatic chalk cliffs with acres of open downland and sweeping coastal views both to the south over Sandown and Shanklin, and to the north over Bembridge Harbour to the Solent and the Spinnaker Tower at Portsmouth.

Dramatic sandstone and chalk cliffs

The sandstone of Redcliff rises behind the beach at Yaverland © National Trust/Sue Oldham

The sandstone of Redcliff rises behind the beach at Yaverland

Culver Down is the eastern end of the chalk ridge that forms the backbone of the Isle of Wight, with The Needles at its west. Adjoining Redcliff is sandstone. Explore this area and learn what a superb habitat it provides for many types of wildlife.

A fine military vantage point

Looking over Redcliff towards Yaverland © National Trust/Sue Oldham

Looking over Redcliff towards Yaverland

From Bembridge Fort in Napoleon's time to the Second World War, Bembridge and Culver Downs have been used for military purposes. Coastguard cottages still remain, but can you spot the remnants of one of Britain's first radar stations?

What's on

We arrange many special events, walks and activities for all ages. Click on the link below for activities across the island.


Bembridge and Culver Downs are ideal for walking, cycling and bird watching, with wide open spaces and panoramic views on all sides. The chalk downland is a superb habitat for wildlife, with fascinating military relics.

Don't miss

  • Culver Down has a lovely display of cowslips in the spring
  • Chalkhill blue butterflies can be very numerous in July and August
  • Find out about guided tours of Bembridge Fort; booking essential
  • Look out for peregrines and ravens which nest on the cliffs

Guided tour and self-guided walks

Bembridge Fort guided tours

Bembridge Fort © David Watson

Book an exclusive guided tour of nearby Bembridge Fort which is unrestored and not open to the public

Long walk over Bembridge Down

Bembridge Windmill © National Trust/ Sue Oldham

An invigorating walk of 7 miles over the downs and RSPB Brading Marshes reserve with splendid views of the coast and countryside. It is also rich in wildlife and offers spectacular views over Sandown and Whitecliff Bays.

Short walk over Bembridge Down

Peregrine falcon, Britain's fastest bird © Peter Beasley

This short but energetic 2¾ mile coastal walk will give you a fascinating insight into the Isle of Wight’s role in wartime defence and intelligence. It is also rich in wildlife and offers spectacular views.