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’ve got plenty of easy to follow downloadable trails, taking in spectacular views and wildlife. Whether you’re escaping the bustle of Christmas, making a New Year's resolution to get out more, or just enjoy walking, make the most of the short daylight hours and explore the downs and coastline of the Isle of Wight on foot. 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
Walking trail

Newtown waterways 

Downloadable, 1.5 – 4 miles, easy. It might be the depths of winter but at Newtown, the creeks and estuary are full of life. Colourful winter wildfowl and waders migrate here from their chillier breeding grounds. Stop at Cassey bridge to take in chestnut and emerald green teal from Siberia. On the quay elegant orange-legged turnstones pick food from beneath the rocks. At the East Hide, flocks of knot flash silver as they wheel above the salt marsh in the winter sun.

Red squirrel on a tree trunk
Walking trail

Spot red squirrels in Borthwood Copse 

Downloadable, 1.2 miles, easy. This short atmospheric walk in a secluded part of the Island takes you through woods that are home to an Isle of Wight speciality: the red squirrel. You're more likely to see red squirrels in winter because there's less leaf cover, and they come to the ground to hunt for food and locate hidden stores.

Two walkers setting out along the Needles headland
Walking trail

Tennyson's clifftop panorama 

Downloadable, 7 miles, challenging. Follow in the footsteps of Alfred Lord Tennyson and stride out on an invigorating walk over Tennyson Down. There are splendid views of the iconic Needles. Peregrine falcons ride the breeze as they patrol the coastline, whilst migrant terns and ducks pass over the sea. At weekends in winter, you can nip into the Old Battery fort for takeaway hot drinks and warming treats such as pasties, soup and sandwiches. Dogs welcome

A memorial dedicated to ELM overlooks Freshwater Bay, with the white cliffs of Tennyson Down behind
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.

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.