Summer walks on the Isle of Wight in 2017

This article contains information about some events which took place in summer 2017 have now ended. 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 walks

Guided walk, selected dates, easy two 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 show you just what we do and 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
Walking trail

Compton Bay and Downs 

Downloadable, 5 miles, moderate. Butterfly spotting doesn't get much better than this. 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 follow our downloadable walk from Afton to Brook, you may spot grayling sunning themselves on bare chalky soil, or see the rare glanville fritillary in Compton Combe.

Rocket display inside The Needles New Battery, Isle of Wight

Rocket site guided walks

Guided walks, selected dates, gentle two hour walk and talk. When walking across High Down, you’d be forgiven for not realising that 50 years ago, this was the site of top secret rocket tests. Every Thursday throughout the summer holidays, you can find out just what went on here during the Cold War, and learn how the headland has evolved to become a peaceful wildlife haven and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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.

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

Mottistone estate 

Downloadable, 4 miles, moderate. 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 nocturnal nightjars, which are very well camouflaged during the day. As the sun sets below the horizon, you may see them hunting for food whilst dusk falls on Mottistone Common.

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.