Summer walks on the Isle of Wight

This was about our summer 2018 walks which have now finished. When the sun is shining on a warm, long summer’s day, it can feel like you want to keep walking forever. Hiking high on the downs with panoramic views of a sparkling blue sea, or strolling around the creeks and meadows at Newtown as the sun sets, is an uplifting experience. Our extensive series of downloadable walks takes you to the most beautiful parts of the Island. We've got plenty of guided walks too, so if you'd like to find out more about the history and wildlife of the landscape around you, come for a stroll with us. Your support will help us look after this countryside, so that you can enjoy it whatever the season.

View of the bridge and meadows at Newtown National Nature Reserve, Isle of Wight

Newtown guided wildlife walks

Guided walk, selected dates, easy 1.5 hour stroll. Newtown is unique - the only National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Wight. Our work here ensures that the delicate habitats and wildlife that you’ll find in the woods, creeks and meadows are looked after now and in the future. This summer we’re running a series of walks to help you discover the wildlife that lives here and to explain why your help is so important.

Newtown estuary seen through a haze of summer wildflowers
Walking trail

Newtown estuary 

Downloadable, 1.5-4 miles, easy. If you can't make it to one of our Newtown guided walks, then why not download our trail? It’ll guide you through some of the Island's most beautiful landscapes, along lanes, through woods and into meadows where you can spy butterflies, birds and discover the hidden history of this ancient town.

Two Glanville fritillary butterflies on a flower with undersides showing

Compton Butterfly Walk

Guided walk, various dates, 2 miles. Our work at Compton ensures that butterflies can thrive. We graze the land so wildflowers can grow, which attracts over 30 species of butterfly. If you join our ranger on a guided walk across Compton Down, you might spot grayling sunning themselves on bare chalky soil, or see the rare glanville fritillary in Compton Combe.

Hard to see a resting nightjar, because it is so well camouflaged
Walking trail

Mottistone Nightjar Walk 

Guided, 8 June & 10 July, booking essential. After a long hot day, a warm balmy evening is the perfect time to take a walk. It’s also a good time to spot elusive nocturnal nightjars. As the sun sets below the horizon, join our walk and we'll help you spot them hunting for food as dusk falls on Mottistone Common.

Adonis Blue butterfly

Tennyson Downs Butterfly Walks

Guided, 17 June & 20 Aug, 1-3pm, moderate, 2 miles. It's not just on Compton Downs that you can spot butterflies. The dramatic cliffs of nearby Tennyson Down are also home to these delicate little creatures, and one of the best sites for spotting them on the Island. On the walk, our ranger will help you spy Adonis and chalkhill blues flitting across the chalky heath.

View from Freshwater Bay of Tennyson Down, Isle of Wight
Walking trail

Needles Headland 

Downloadable, 7 miles, challenging. If you’d like to spend time by the sea this summer but don’t want to get wet, then a walk along Tennyson Down could be the answer. From here you’ll see the summer sun glinting on the sea, without getting sand between your toes. This trail is packed with wildlife: look out for butterflies, orchids and sea birds including the peregrine falcon. You’ll also have a great view of the famous Needles rocks.

Chalkhill blue (male)

Summer Butterflies Walk on Bembridge Down

Guided, 3 Aug 10am-12pm, gentle, 2.5 miles. We're very lucky on the Island to have many downland sites where butterflies thrive. Just as at Tennyson and Compton in the west, the chalk of Bembridge Downs in the east makes the perfect habitat for blues, and our work ensures it stays this way. Look out for them and find out about how we look after these sites with our ranger on this walk across the downs.

Red squirrel on a tree trunk
Walking trail

Borthwood Copse 

Downloadable, 1.2 miles, easy. A walk through the shady woods is a good way to escape the heat of the summer sun too. Hidden in the dappled shade of the high tree tops of Borthwood you might spy a red squirrel. If you stand quietly, you might spot one looking down on you, or jumping between the branches. We carefully manage the woods here to ensure they have a good crop of hazelnuts, which they’ll bury for winter.

The beach at Compton, Isle of Wight

Summer coastal walks on the Isle of Wight 

Taking a walk with the sea breeze gently blowing and the waves lapping at your toes is a relaxing way to spend a warm summer’s day. At St Helens and Compton, you can kick off your shoes and let the sand sink between your toes as you walk along the soft beach. Or if you prefer not to get your feet wet, there are plenty of cliff top walks with dramatic views of the sea below to try.

Two walkers in Compton Downs, Isle of Wight with the sea in the background

More walks to discover

If you’d like to discover more of our countryside, we’ve plenty of other walks to choose from. You can download your favourite and print it out, so it’s even easier to explore the beautiful Isle of Wight landscape this summer.