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Beautiful open downland,sheer chalk cliffs and dramatic sea views

Be inspired as Tennyson was
Tennyson Down is probably one of the most popular places to walk on the Island. You can enjoy it just for the great leg-stretch from Freshwater Bay to the Needles Headland, and drink in the salt laden air that so inspired Tennyson. However every time you visit, the light and weather conditions are different so it is well worth returning.

A great place to be
You are perched above high chalk cliffs and transluscent seas that reflect the light in so many different ways. Amongst the gorse bushes are small birds and thousands of minute downland flowers and cliff nesting birds soar effortlessly along the cliff tops using the updrafts.

Downland management  today
We are restoring more of Tennyson Down back to open chalk grassland. Since the 1920s the Downs had fewer grazing animals, which allowed the whole of the sheltered north side of the Down to grow up with young ash woodland and many of the chalk grassland flowers and butterfies have disappeared. Cattle have been reintroduced to the Down and areas of young ash trees are being removed where the soil is suitably thin to allow the chalk grassland to gradually return and provide more wonderful open downland to wander across.

The 147m-high granite monument erected in memory of Alfred, Lord Tennyson © David Watson

The 147m-high granite monument erected in memory of Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Tennyson and the Tennyson Monument

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the famous Victorian poet, spent many happy years on the Isle of Wight. He even had a down named after him, but he had to build a bridge to escape the attentions of his admirers.
 

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Did you know that we own and manage more than 10% of the 23 x 15-mile Isle of Wight, including 17 miles of unspoilt coastline and many well-known beauty spots? See our ten countryside areas and four other special places.

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