Winter walks on the Isle of Wight

There might be a nip in the air, but you can always keep warm on a frosty winter’s day with a walk across our countryside. We’re running guided walks throughout the winter, or you can simply download one of our easy to follow trails. Whether you’re looking to escape the bustle of Christmas, made a New Year's resolution to get out more or just enjoy walking, you can make the most of the short daylight hours, and explore the downs and coastline of the Isle of Wight on foot. And with every step you take, you’re helping to protect the countryside you walk through.

A sizeable group of golden plover take off from the water after being disturbed on the Newtown estuary

Newtown Birdwatching Walks

Guided, various dates. It might be the depths of winter but there’s still plenty of bird life in the creeks and woods of Newtown. If you’ve ever wondered which bird sings which tune or how to identify one goose from another, then bring the family along to one of our guided walks and find out. Each walk is expected to last around two and a half hours and is perfect for anyone new to birdwatching.

Red squirrel on a tree trunk

Squirrel Spotting in Borthwood Copse

Guided, Fri 20 Dec 10am, gentle two hour walk. If you join our guided walk through the woods this Christmas, you may discover someone dressed in red and white leaping high above. Not Father Christmas, but a rare red squirrel. And with tasty mince pies for afters, the whole family can enjoy some fresh air and have a truly magical start to the festive season. Please book your place on 01983 741020.

Sunset illuminates the Needles on the Isle of Wight

Headland Discovery

Guided, Fri 28 Dec 10am, four miles, taking 2.5 hours. Our bracing guided walk across the downs will help you burn off the Christmas lunch. Here you’ll find dramatic views across the Island, and over the seas, and along the way, we’ll tell you all about the wildlife and history of the area. At the end you can warm through in the cosy Needles Battery tea-room with a hot drink and tasty meal. Booking essential on 01983 741020.

Military Road twisting across the clifftops and downs by the sea at Compton
Walking trail

Winter views of Compton 

Downloadable, 7.5 miles, moderate. A bracing walk on a winter’s day is a good way to keep warm, but adding in some incredible views is an extra incentive to get out and about. Our trail at Compton will take you across the downs and along the coast by Military Road, from where you’ll see multi-coloured cliffs, green valleys and the sweeping ocean beyond.

Boats gracefully decaying on the edge of St Helen's Duver
Walking trail

St Helens Duver 

Downloadable, 3.2 miles, moderate. The sand dunes close to the sea at St Helens are a great place for the whole family to explore in winter. The area is fairly level, there is parking, which is free for NT members, and it’s popular for dog walking, meaning that the family’s four-legged friend can enjoy warming up this winter too. Head to the top of the common where you'll find dramatic views back across the salt marsh and out across the Solent.

Red squirrel
Walking trail

A walk in the woods at Christmas 

Downloadable, 1.2 miles, easy. Spotting a red squirrel at Christmas is an incredible present, but don’t worry if you can’t make it to our guided walk. We’ve got a downloadable trail that you can follow through Borthwood that will help you spot these little creatures all by yourself.

Birds flying across Newtown harbour with a pink sunset behind them
Walking trail

A quiet stroll at Newtown 

Downloadable, 1.5-4 miles, easy. During the busy festive period, it’s always good to relax, and tranquil Newtown estuary is the perfect place to escape to. Here you can listen to the waves gently lapping at the harbour walls and explore the woods and meadows of the Island’s only National Nature Reserve.

Always an exciting moment when the Needles come into view
Walking trail

See out the old year at Headon Warren 

Downloadable, 3-4.2 miles, moderate. Take a walk over Headon Warren on the western tip of the Island this New Year’s Eve and you’ll be able to catch the last rays of the 2019 sun. With the sparkling sea below, it’s the perfect place to watch as the sun slips below the horizon on the last day of the old year.

Alum Bay and Headon Warren covered in snow

Winter walking

However active you’re feeling, or wherever you fancy going, we’ve plenty of other walks to choose from. Download your favourite, print it out and discover the beautiful Isle of Wight landscape this winter.