Walking trail

Shedding light on the tip of the Wight walk

Walking trail

Discover an ever-changing landscape boasting panoramic views and a wealth of wildlife, at this most southerly point of the Isle of Wight. See the Island’s only surviving onshore lighthouse and explore the area where Marconi made some of his early experiments in radio. Some paths are very steep and slippery, so please take appropriate precautions.

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


St Catherines Down Shedding Light Tip Wight Map


Shedding Light Tip Wight Elevation Profile


Car park at end of Sandrock Road, Niton undercliff, grid ref: SZ494758


From the car park, go through the furthest kissing gate and turn left along a grassy track, keeping level and then bearing right down into a dip. Turn left and follow the path through the valley, bearing right and gently uphill at the fork. At a path junction, turn left parallel to the coast. Eventually drop down to a road after a kissing gate. Turn right and head downhill.

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View of Gore Cliff above St Catherie's Point


Bear right up the drive to Knowles Farm. Pass in front of the farm and go through the kissing gate to the left of the field gate. Continue straight ahead for 220yds (200m). Bear left and follow the cliff edge path back to the lighthouse, crossing a stile below Knowles Farm. Turn left at the white boundary wall and follow the wall to a gate. Go through the gate, cross the road and go over the ladder stile to the other side of the wall.

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Knowles Farm is now let as a holiday cottage, so you can follow in Marconi's footsteps


Follow the boundary edge of the lighthouse, cross another ladder stile and turn right to get back to the cliff top. Continue along the coast and enter Castlehaven caravan park via a kissing gate. Pass through, and on meeting the stony track, turn left. It is worth a short detour to visit the secluded cove of Castlehaven, down the track to the right.

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The Trinity House St Catherine's lighthouse stands proud on the southern tip of the Isle of Wight


Climb up the track. 110yds (100m) after a sharp right bend and just after a bench, turn left up a tarmac path with steps and handrail. Emerge onto a road almost opposite the Buddle Inn. Turn right onto the road for 45yds (40m) before turning left up a tarmac path by the phone box. Follow the path upwards.

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The isolated Buddle Inn near St Catherine's lighthouse has a colourful history


Turn right onto another road (watch out for traffic as there is no pavement) and fork right at a Y-junction at the road’s end. Cross the main road to a grassy area and follow the footpath on its right up Barrack Shute towards Niton village. Just before the crest of the hill take the turn on the left signed Coastal Path. Follow the path gently upwards to a kissing gate. Go straight on and follow the grassy coast path along the top of the cliffs.

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A chiffchaff and hoary stock, both common to this area


Turn left at the marker post just before a seat, and descend the steep and sometimes exposed path with steps to the road. There are some tricky sections where the path is narrow and slippery, falling away at the edge, so take extreme care. At the road, turn right and follow it back to the car park.

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The picturesque Old Blackgang road was totally destroyed in a big landslip of 1928


Car park at end of Sandrock Road, Niton undercliff, grid ref: SZ494758

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Shedding light on the tip of the Wight walk


Download a GPX file of the trail here for your smartphone or GPS.

This is a circular walk with:

  • Gates=0
  • Kissing gates=6
  • Stiles=1
  • Steps=126
  • Bridges=0
This fairly short but strenuous walk is very steep in places.  The path down the cliff detailed in Step 5 needs particular care since some of the steps have only recently been repaired and may fail slip again. Seats are available at some of the viewpoints.

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


Shedding light on the tip of the Wight walk

Contact us

Shedding light on the tip of the Wight walk

How to get here

St Catherine's Point and Knowles Farm, Blackgang Road, Blackgang, Isle of Wight. Nearest postcode PO38 2JB
By road

The National Trust car park is at the end of Sandrock Road, which used to be the old Blackgang Road, a minor road now a cul-de-sac near St Catherine's lighthouse off the A3055 in Niton undercliff. The nearest postcode is PO38 2NP.

By foot

This trail follows the Isle of Wight coastal path between Niton and point 5 on the map.

By ferry

Fishbourne-Portsmouth (Wightlink, tel: 0871 376 1000) 14 miles (23km); East Cowes-Southampton (Red Funnel, tel: 0844 844 9988) 15 miles (24km).

By bus

Southern Vectis (tel: 01983 827000) No. 6 mostly two-hourly service from Newport to Ventnor passes though Niton.

By bicycle

Sustrans 'Round the Island' regional route 67 passes along the A3055 and through Niton.

Shedding light on the tip of the Wight walk

Facilities and access

  • Toilets and refreshments can be found in Niton village
  • St Catherine's lighthouse is open for tours during the holiday season