Things to see and do at St Catherine's Down and Knowles Farm

A couple walking along St Catherine's Down, Isle of Wight

Everyone is welcome at St Catherine's Down and Knowle. You can bring your dog, your bike or just yourself and be sure to have a wonderful time. Follow one of our trails or make up your own - be sure to take in the sea breeze though, whichever way you decide to go!


Walk over the downs or down by the sea

Walking at the southern tip of the Isle of Wight can be truly exhilarating.
The area around St Catherine's is superb for walkers - so much to see, with both historical interest and varied and magnificent scenery. We've created two self-guided trails to help you discover what we think are the best bits:
The monk and the merchant walk - a 4.8-mile (8km) trail that includes St Catherine's Oratory (the Pepperpot), Hoy Monument and Wydcombe
Shedding light on the tip of the Wight walk - a more challenging 2¾-mile (4.6km) trail to St Catherine's lighthouse and the Knowles Farm Estate

From down to the sea

St Catherine's Down is a lovely ridge walk in what is possibly one of the most wild and beautiful parts of the Isle of Wight, with a wonderfully varied landscape in a relatively small area.

Southern-most tip of the Isle of Wight

Marconi set up an experimental station at Knowles Farm in 1900, making radio contact with the Lizard Radio Telegraph Station at Bass Point in Cornwall early the following year. The concrete base of Marconi’s communication mast still lies in the field south of the farmhouse.


Explore the hidden delights of the Wydcombe valley, nestling under the downs.

Land of landslips

A landslip in 1928 caused 20,000 tons of rock to fall and destroy the Niton to Chale road. Landslips continue in this area today.

St Catherine's Oratory

Is it a chapel? Is it a lighthouse? Find out by walking the exhilarating climb from Blackgang viewpoint car park to the top of St Catherine’s hill.

Hoy monument

Standing proud at the northern end of St Catherine's Down, the Hoy monument was built in 1814 to celebrate the visit of the Tsar.

Walk with your dog

The wide-open ridge top between St Catherine's Oratory and the Hoy Monument is ideal dog-walking terrain. So is the cliff-top path overlooking the Knowles Farm Estate.

A picnic with a view

The area around St Catherine's Down is favoured by many picnickers because of the ease of access and excellent views.

Bird spotting

The Isle of Wight’s most southerly point is close to Knowles Farm; an excellent place for seabird watching.
If this isn't enough, we can recommend other good places to spot birds across the island too...

Bring your bike

If you like to cycle off-road, St Catherine's is ideal. The Round the Island cycle route (Sustrans Regional route 67) passes right by, and there are some glorious rides.