East Cowes to Newtown cycle trail

Cycling trail

Follow a pleasant cycle route to Newtown from the Red Funnel ferry terminal in East Cowes. It's mostly on minor roads and suitable for all abilities, although there are some short steep hills. We suggest a 1.7 mile (2.7km) detour on the return leg to visit the picturesque village of Gurnard and arrive in Cowes along the sea front.

Sail over to the Isle of Wight and cycle to our favourite places

Why not leave the car at home and cycle to our properties? Bicycles are carried on all of the car ferries which serve the Isle of Wight (arriving at Yarmouth, East Cowes and Fishbourne), and also on the fast catamaran service from Portsmouth harbour to Ryde. Full information is given in the 'How to get here' section, along with places to hire a bike if you arrive without one.

A cyclist free-wheels past Newtown's Old Town Hall in bright sunshine


Cycle East Cowes Newtown Map


Cycle East Cowes Newtown Cycle trail Elevation Profile


Red Funnel ferry terminal, East Cowes, grid ref: SZ 501956


Turn right after leaving the ferry terminal, following signs to Cowes via the Floating Bridge. Take the floating bridge across the River Medina, a chain ferry which currently costs £1 for a return ticket for cyclists and pedestrians.

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The floating bridge leaves East Cowes on its way across the River Medina to Cowes


Follow the road straight up the hill. At the brow where it bends gently left, turn right into Bellevue Rd, then after the dip take the first left into Seaview Rd. Follow this road through a housing estate, and turn right at the T-junction into Three Gates Rd, and left when it meets a main road. Go straight ahead into Pallance Rd at the first sharp left bend in the main road, taking care at this busy corner.

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Boats of various sorts abound at Cowes on the Isle of Wight


Enjoy a long downhill ride through Northwood, and then take the left exit at a mini-roundabout after a gentle rise. Shortly afterwards, follow the road as it bends right (signposted Thorness) and uphill.


Once again follow the road as it bends right at another junction, and climb Bunts Hill, the last hill before Newtown. Go through Porchfield and past Jersey Camp. Bear right at the triangle (signposted Newtown), then turn right shortly after passing Porchfield Business Park, on a road signed ‘Newtown ¾’. Follow this quiet road into Newtown with the Visitor Point on the right, just before the Old Town Hall. ___________________________ ___________________________ You can return by the same route, but we recommend a slightly longer variant that travels along the sea-front from Gurnard into Cowes, following the ‘Round the Island’ cycle route with its blue signs.

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


Do find time to explore the nature reserve, perhaps visiting one of the bird hides (please note paths to hide and meadows not suitable for bicycles). When you are ready, return by the same route as far as the mini-roundabout just before Northwood, which involves a left turn at a T-junction, bearing left at the triangle and following the road left at two junctions.

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Volunteers show visitors the birds inside the Mercia Seabroke bird hide at Newtown


Bear left at the mini-roundabout and go over the rise and down to Gurnard Bay. Pass the quayside and up the steep Solent View Road. Turn left at the T-junction at its top, and take care going down the very steep (1 in 5) and twisty descent to the Esplanade. Enjoy the waterfront ride into Cowes, and pass below Holy Trinity Church.

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Cowes week in August brings out the crowds to see the racing yachts


Turn sharp right and uphill, then bend right again to pass above the church. Take the first left into Ward Avenue and pass Northwood House. At the main road turn right then immediately left, down the dip then up to meet the main road. Turn left and free-wheel all the way back to the floating bridge. Enjoy the brief ride across the Medina and return to the ferry terminal on your left.

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The Georgian Northwood House in its grassy grounds on the Isle of Wight


Load your bike onto the ferry, and have a safe journey back to Southampton. Come back and visit us again soon!

The Union flag covers the door of the enormous Columbine building in East Cowes


Red Funnel ferry terminal, East Cowes, grid ref: SZ 501956

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East Cowes to Newtown cycle trail


Right click and 'Save Link As' or ‘Save Target As’ or ‘Download Linked File As’ (depending on your browser) to download a GPX file of the outward trail to your device, then open with your GPS program.
And we also offer a GPX file for the optional return route which should be treated in the same way.

This is a linear route, entirely is along tarmac roads and it is suitable for all abilities. The roads are mostly minor ones, but they can be busy. We suggest a return route via Gurnard. This adds 1.7 miles (2.7km) to the distance, but is worth it for the sea views and the chance to explore Cowes. Allow marginally more time for this return route. Most of this trail follows the signposted round-the-Island cycle route.
We strongly advise you wear a cycle helmet. 
East Cowes to Newtown cycle trail

Contact us

East Cowes to Newtown cycle trail

How to get here

Red Funnel ferry terminal, East Cowes, PO32 6RA
By road

East Cowes is on the A3021, on the north of the Isle of Wight on the east side of the River Medina. If approaching from Cowes in the west, use the floating bridge (a charge applies) or detour via Newport.

By foot

The Isle of Wight coastal path links East Cowes and Cowes to Newtown, but along a different route.

By ferry

This trail assumes you arrive at East Cowes from Southampton as a foot passenger with a bicycle on the Red Funnel car ferry (0844 844 9988). Red Funnel also run a fast (25 minute) catamaran service between Southampton Town Quay and Cowes. This service does not allow bicycles, but Red Funnel do offer a travel and hire a bike package.

Other car ferries which carry bicycles are

  • Portsmouth to Fishbourne (Wightlink, 0871 376 1000): 5 miles (8.2km) away
  • Lymnington to Yarmouth (also Wightlink): 15 miles (24km) away, but from here it is best to cycle directly to Newtown

Private boats can also be moored at Cowes harbour (01983 297821). 

By bus

Southern Vectis (01983 827000) service No. 5 runs every 20 minutes between Newport and East Cowes, and the hourly service No. 4 runs between Ryde and East Cowes.

By bicycle

Our trail follows the 'Round the Island' Sustrans regional route 67 for most of its length, and our return leg option is entirely along the waymarked (Isle of Wight and bicycle on blue and white signs) Round the Island route.

Bicycles can be hired at many locations on the Isle of Wight, including Cowes. Further information is provided on the tourism website.

East Cowes to Newtown cycle trail

Facilities and access

  • Toilets at Newtown Visitor Point
  • Bird hides at Newtown National Nature Reserve
  • Refreshments and toilets in Cowes and East Cowes