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Walking

Paradise on the Isle of Wight butterfly walk

Walking

Butterflying does not get any better than this; walking along the chalk ridge that runs through the middle of the Isle of Wight you will find an abundance of flora and insect life, pure escapism into the real world.

A great day out in the countryside

This is a great site for Adonis blue and chalkhill blue butterflies, with large populations of small lue, dark-green fritillary and Glanville fritillary. Brown argus and grayling can also be spotted. In late summer you can often catch a glimpse of the clouded yellow.

Glanville fritillary. A UK rarity but often sighted on Compton Down

Map

Map route for Paradise on the Isle of Wight butterfly walk

Start:

Compton Chine/Afton Down car park, grid ref: SZ367854

1

Start in Whiteways quarry car park (National Trust sign reads 'Afton Down car park') by the main road. This is usually great for blues.

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2

Turn right out of the car park and onto the downs, heading up the Freshwater Way footpath on Afton Down to the summit. This area is a golf course.

3

Head eastwards on the bridleway along the summit of the downs. Dark-green fritillary abounds amongst the burnt and cut gorse areas.

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4

Continue along this path until you reach another path; drop down to join the path and follow it easterly to the car park at Brook Down.

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5

From Brook Down Quarry, explore the quarry slopes and gorse glades, before heading west back towards the main track and dropping down to the cattle tracks along the lower south-facing slope. Look out for the Adonis blues.

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6

Head west along the lower slopes towards Compton Combe. Clouded yellows are often seen here and on the upper slopes of the camp-site field.

7

Blue butterflies are usually best found in and around Compton Combe, above Compton Farm.

8

Carry on westwards along the lower slope, crossing the fence into the un-grazed section. This area is best for graylings, green hairstreaks and small blues.

9

During the Glanville fritillary season (June to early August), detour to Compton Chine via the road verge. Go south along cliff top and then down the wooden steps. Enjoy! It's a great bathing beach. From here carry on heading west until you reach your starting point at Compton Chine car park.

End:

Compton Chine/Afton Down car park, grid ref: SZ367854

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Paradise on the Isle of Wight butterfly walk

Terrain

There are moderate slopes with cattle terracettes, but the main track along the crest of the downs. Total ascent is 900ft (280m). The exposed downs can be windy, and the chalk is slippy in wet conditions.

Dogs are welcome, but please keep your dog on a lead around wildlife and take any mess home with you.

Paradise on the Isle of Wight butterfly walk

Contact us

Paradise on the Isle of Wight butterfly walk

How to get here

Address
Compton Bay and Downs, Shippards Chine, Military Road, Brook, Isle of Wight, PO30 4HB
By road

Compton Chine/Afton Down car park is in an old quarry site, east of Freshwater Bay and west of Shippards Chine on the A3055 Military Road. Nearest Post Code is PO30 4HF.

By foot

The Isle of Wight coastal path passes Compton Chine (route step 9) and a short distance.

By ferry

Lymington-Yarmouth (Wightlink, tel: 0871 3761000) 6 miles (9.5km); Fishbourne-Portsmouth (Wightlink, tel: 0871 3761000) 16 miles (26km); East Cowes-Southampton (Red Funnel, tel: 0844 8449988) 17 miles (27km).

By bus

Two-hourly Southern Vectis (tel: 01983 827000) service 12 from Newport to Totland passes the car park. Alight at Compton Chine.

By bicycle

'Round the Island' Sustrans Regional route 67 follows the A3055 Military Road past the start car park.

Paradise on the Isle of Wight butterfly walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs are welcome, but please keep your dog on a lead around wildlife