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

St Catherine's Oratory on the Isle of Wight

Up on St Catherine's Down or down at Knowles Farm, you can walk your dog, ride your bike or just go for a gentle stroll and have a wonderful time. Whether you follow one of our trails or make up your own, you'll get to enjoy the sea breeze and spectacular views 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.There's so much to see, with both historical interest and varied and magnificent scenery. We've created a self-guided trail to help you discover the area.

Lots of walkers and lots of yachts passing the southern tip of the Isle of Wight

Shedding light on the tip of the Wight walk

Walk our moderately challenging route to the most southerly point of the Isle of Wight, taking in the Island's only surviving onshore lighthouse as you go.

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.

Wydcombe

Wydcombe valley is nestled under the downs. On a walk through the woods, you might be lucky enough to spot a red squirrel.

The path goes through the lovely Wydcombe valley
The path goes through the lovely Wydcombe valley
The path goes through the lovely Wydcombe valley

A land on the move

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.

The Hoy Monument on the Isle of Wight, illuminated by pleasant sunshine

History of the Hoy Monument on the Isle of Wight

More than just an imposing landmark, the Hoy Monument has an interesting history with links to the Tsar Alexander I of Russia.

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 Knowles Farm.

A picnic with a view

St Catherine's Down is the perfect spot for a picnic. If you head to the very top of the downs, there are panoramic views of the Island to enjoy as you tuck in.

Bird spotting

The Isle of Wight’s most southerly point is close to Knowles Farm; an excellent place for seabird watching. Here in the spring and autumn, keen bird watchers will be able to spot migrating birds in the woodland and scrub areas.

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 from Niton, there are goot routes up onto St Catherine's Down.