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Bembridge and Culver Downs marshes trail


An invigorating walk over the downs and RSPB Brading Marshes reserve, with splendid views of the coast and countryside and the opportunity to visit the Island’s only surviving windmill.

Culver gun battery
Get close up to Culver gun battery National Trust / Sue Oldham


Map of managing the marshes and defending down lands walk Isle of Wight
© Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey


Brading Station car park, grid ref: SZ609869 (nearest postcode PO36 0EB)


From the station walk 110yds (100m) and turn right by the brown sign into an alleyway. After 60yds (60m) turn right again at another sign between two houses. Go through a mesh gate and cross the railway track. Turn left to follow a track by the railway fence signed St Helens, past the sewage works to a junction. Take the Bembridge path on the right through the kissing gate.

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In the RSPB reserve, bear left at the fork, then turn left at Centurion's Copse and left at the next sign. Cross the middle of the field by the solitary tree to a stile at the far side, then over the next field to a gap in the hedge. After a stile the path crosses Bembridge Airfield runway. Cross more stiles and follow the path to the top corner of a field, bear right to Bembridge Windmill.


Walk down hill to Steyne Wood, 50yds (50m) into the wood bear left to follow a path which crosses a busy road, leading to Hillway Road. Turn left up the road, then right into Jenny Street's Lane.

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Turn right at the coastal path. Bearing right by the seats, cross the top of the concrete ramp to follow the onward path on the right side of a hut and left of caravans. Keeping left by the hedge pass into the woods to the left of three huts. Follow the path diagonally up the hillside, turning left at a gate to pass through a kissing gate. After 30yds (30m) bear right, cross the car park and go up steep concrete steps to the beacon.

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From the beacon, turn right at the road to the Yarborough Monument. Follow the signed Sandown coastal path, through a kissing gate and follow the cliff edge for 440yds (400m) to reach a line of scrub. Bear right along the lower edge; the path becomes more distinct. Just before the path bends downwards, cross the scrub and follow a parallel track on its upper edge. Continue onwards at the field corner until you join a diagonal path heading upwards to the left of Bembridge Fort, running parallel to the road to reach a fence close to a parking area. Make a small detour to see the Fort entrance (only open for pre-booked tours, telephone 01983 741020).

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Go downhill, keeping to the immediate right of an old fence line marked by bushes. Turn right after reaching the track at the valley bottom and continue to the road.

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Follow the road to the right for 40yds (40m) then take the left footpath, entering the RSPB Reserve. Bear right and follow the hedge, turning into the wood at the gate, then after 20yds (20m) turn left towards Brading to re-join the outward track.


After the track crosses the river, turn left down a ramp and over a little bridge. Continue in the same direction across the meadow, passing two stiles. The path re-joins the outward path through a gate. Follow this back to Brading Station.


Brading Station car park, grid ref: SZ609869

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Bembridge and Culver Downs marshes trail


Circular walk with an ascent of 500ft (150m). Many gates and stiles, path crosses active railway line and runway. Watch out for ex-military features. Seats at viewpoints. Dogs are welcome, but please keep your dog on a lead around wildlife and take any mess home with you.
Bembridge and Culver Downs marshes trail

Contact us

Bembridge and Culver Downs marshes trail

How to get here

Bembridge and Culver Downs, Bembridge Fort, Sandown, Isle of Wight. Nearest postcode PO36 8QY
By train

Half-hourly Island Lineservice between Ryde - Shanklin stops at Brading Station (0845 6000 650). Links to Portsmouth via fast catamaran

By road

Brading Station is on Station Road just south of Brading centre, off the A3055 which links Ryde and Sandown

By foot

This trail follows the Isle of Wight coastal path between points 4 and 5 on the map.

By ferry

Fishbourne-Portsmouth (Wightlink, tel: 0871 376 1000) 10 miles (16km); East Cowes-Southampton (Red Funnel, tel: 0844 844 9988) 13 miles (21km)

By bus

Southern Vectis No. 2 and 3 services from Newport, Ryde and Sandown pass along Brading High Street (01983 827000) half-hourly

By bicycle

'Round the Island' Sustrans regional route 67 passes 0.5 miles from the start at Brading Station

Bembridge and Culver Downs marshes trail

Facilities and access

  • Parking
  • Toilets