Things to see and do at Bembridge and Culver Downs

The chalk Culver Cliffs rise up behind Yaverland beach

The landscape surrounding Bembridge and Culver Downs is a wonderful place to get closer to nature. Whether you're cycling, walking the dog, or taking a look at our local wildlife, enjoy stunning sea views and relax and unwind as you stroll across the downs.

Walk over the downs, take in the view

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

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, the 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

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?

Walk your dog on the Downs

With several car parks and views on all sides, there's plenty of countryside for dogs and their owners to walk through on the top of Bembridge and Culver Downs.

Take a walk with us

With extensive views across the Solent to Portsmouth and along to West Sussex, and over Sandown Bay in the other direction, the chalk of Bembridge and Culver Downs make for ideal walking country.
We have created two walking trails for you to follow:
The ancient beacon site on Culver Down is used again, for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

Fine Fortifications trail

This short wheelchair-friendly fairly level walk with spectacular views will give you a fascinating insight into the Isle of Wight’s role in wartime defence and intelligence.

The bulk of Bembridge Down, topped by the nobbly Bembridge Fort, is viewed from beneath the sails of Bembridge Windmill

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.


Bring a picnic

Park your car near Bembridge Fort and picnic near the topograph, which points out all the places of interest. Or drive further along to Culver Battery and have a picnic watching the ships at the entrance to the Solent. This must be one of the best picnic locations on the island, but there are more to discover.

Watch the birds

Bembridge and Culver Downs offer excellent opportunities for watching sea-birds hug the coast, and for birds such as kestrels and peregrines that hunt along the cliffs.
Peregrine falcon
Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine falcon

Spot the butterflies

The chalk soils of Bembridge and Culver Downs provide an ideal habitat for a number of blue butterflies: the chalkhill, common, small and Adonis blues.
Common Blue
Common Blue Butterfly
Common Blue


Parts of Bembridge and Culver Downs support a lovely range of chalk grassland flowers such as thyme, bee orchids and bird's foot trefoil which covers the downs in a sea of yellow at certain times of the year. 
Bee orchid
A bee orchid on the Isle of Wight
Bee orchid