Enjoy the estuary... Newtown walk

Walking trail

Our gentle stroll will take you through the varied habitats of the Island’s only National Nature Reserve. Along the way you can pass a Town Hall with a colourful past, discover butterflies flitting through the meadows in summer or spy flocks of visiting birds in the cooler months.

Especially good for butterflies. This article was created before the coronavirus crisis, and may not reflect the current situation. Please check our homepage for the most up to date information about visiting.

Two walkers stride out along the harbour wall at Newtown with water on both sides


Map route for enjoy the estuary Newtown walk


Enjoy The Estuary Elevation Profile


Newtown National Nature Reserve car park, grid ref: SZ423906, what3words: ///mercy.digital.punters.


Turn right from car park entrance and follow road down the hill, past the Old Town Hall.

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Visitors enjoy Newtown Old Town Hall in the sunshine


Take the signed CB16a footpath on the right, just before Cassey Bridge. Follow the hedge line to the right, go through a gate and follow the path across two fields. Go through another gate and continue along the gravel track to a road. Walk straight ahead down the road and turn right down a gravel track by Marsh Farm House to the Mercia Seabroke Bird Hide.

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A timeless quiet muddy creek leading into Newtown estuary


Turn left through a gate and cross to opposite corner of field, then turn right onto footbridge to the boathouse. Bear left and follow the gravelled harbour wall round to reach a kissing gate. Follow the right-hand boundary of the field to a gate in the top corner and the gravel path to the road.

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A marbled white and common blue butterfly


Follow the tarmac road to a T-junction by the visitor point. Return to the car park if following the shorter route option, otherwise carry on.

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All that's left of Newtown now is a street of houses, a church and the Old Town Hall


Cross straight over and take the grassy footpath (signed Coastal path and CB13a) through the gate to the left of Noah’s Ark to another gate. This path bends right, then left after 20yd (20m) across a field to a gate. Go straight on across a second field and through a gap in the hedge. Go through a belt of trees into another field to reach a gate by the road. Turn right.

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A fine old house in the centre of Newtown


After 220yd (200m) enter Walters Copse on the left, just opposite the last bungalow. After two paths on the right, bend left at a junction following the main track, about 300yd (275m) from the road. After 70yd (60m), take a track on the right which goes straight to the edge of the copse. Turn left and follow the boundary path. The path bends, keeping to the edge of copse and marsh, and at the junction keep close to the edge of the copse, but do not venture out into the marsh. A sign warning that path CB9 leads only to the bird hide is reached at Town Quay. (For a recommended 0.4mile (600m) detour, go through the kissing gate ahead and keep to the right of a field to another kissing gate. Follow the old harbour wall and board walk to visit East Bird Hide overlooking Clamerkin lake. Retrace your steps to Town Quay).

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Brightly-coloured wood anenomies and bluebells in woodland near Newtown


Take the broad track heading away from Town Quay through Town Copse, eventually reaching the road.

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Recent coppicing at Walter's Copse


Turn right and follow the road back to the Visitor Point.


Newtown National Nature Reserve car park, grid ref: SZ423906, what3words: ///mercy.digital.punters.

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Enjoy the estuary... Newtown walk


This is a circular walk with:
  • Gates=9
  • Kissing gates=3
  • Stiles=1
  • Steps=3 (East Bird Hide)
  • Bridges=1
This walk is built from a gentle 1.5 mile (2.25km) harbour section and 1.75 mile (2.75km) loop through the woods, plus an optional 0.4 mile (600m) visit to East Bird Hide. The total ascent is 200ft (60m). The Mercia Seabroke Bird Hide and the path from the road are wheelchair accessible. Other paths especially in Walter’s Copse can be muddy, and Wellingtons might be in order in wet seasons. Please take care when walking along the roads. 

Dogs are always welcome, but please keep them on a lead around wildlife and livestock, and take any dog waste home with you.

Enjoy the estuary... Newtown walk

Contact us

Enjoy the estuary... Newtown walk

How to get here

Newtown National Nature Reserve car park, Isle of Wight. Nearest postcode is PO30 4PA, what3words: ///mercy.digital.punters.
By road

Newtown is between Newport and Yarmouth, 1 mile (1.6km) north of A3054.

By foot

The Isle of Wight coastal path passes through Newtown.

By ferry

Yarmouth-Lymington (Wightlink, tel: 0871 376 1000) 5 miles (8km); East Cowes-Southampton (Red Funnel, tel: 0844 844 9988) 12 miles (19km). Yarmouth harbour has moorings for private boats.

By bus

Southern Vectis (01983 827000) No. 7 service between Newport to Yarmouth passes hourly through Shalfleet, the nearest point to Newtown at 1 mile (1.6km) away. Alight Barton's Corner.

By bicycle

Sustrans Regional 'Round the Island' Route 67 passes through Newtown. Or follow our cycle route from East Cowes (details below).

Enjoy the estuary... Newtown walk

Facilities and access

  • Toilets are available at the visitor point