Points of view: Headon Warren walk

Walking trail

Head on up Headon Warren – a breathtaking walk with splendid views of the mainland, and a Bronze Age burial mound. This walk can be shortened to 3 miles (4.8km) by missing out Alum Bay.

A calm autumn evening over heather-covered Headon Warren looking out to the Needles


Map route for Points of view: Headon Warren walk


Down Points Of View Elevation Profile


Cliff Road Totland, grid ref: SZ322868, what3words: ///underline.glow.banquets.


Facing the sea, walk into the open grassy area adjoining the road, lined with seats and known locally as Turf Walk. Turn right and walk to its left-hand corner, cross the bridge and go down the steps towards Totland pier. Turn left along the seafront.


Climb the wooden steps just after the Old Lifeboat Station, turning right at the top to follow the road. Where the coast path on the right just beyond Cape House is closed due to severe land movement, continue along the road for 200yds (180m) and take the official diversion, a right turn along a track, just after York Lane on the left. This is signposted T17 to Headon Warren. The path passes to the right hand side of Warren Cottage.

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Looking east from the top of Headon Warren to Totland and the New Forest


Continue gently uphill and bear left when joining the original route of the coast path. Follow the coast path marker posts, emerging into a clearing by a seat. Walk along the ridge for 100yds (90m) for a fine view of The Needles. Retrace your steps to the seat (the onward path is unsafe due to landslips), then bear right and downwards towards Alum Bay. Follow the path to a junction by the next coast path marker post and take a detour to the right to visit Hatherwood Battery.

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The 19th century Hatherwood battery never saw active service


Leave the Battery by a path to the right of a stunted pine tree and bear right again down towards Alum Bay. (For a shorter walk, bear left just after the coast path marker post and skip to direction 7 below). Cross the road by a gate and take the track opposite, signed T22. To reach the beach and see the famous coloured sands in the cliffs, follow the path and several flights of wooden steps right down to the shore at Alum Bay, then retrace your steps.

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The chalk cliffs of the Needles headland lead round Alum Bay to the Needles themselves


Half way along the track, climb a steep flight of wooden steps, signed T23, to reach The Needles Park. Turn right under the chairlift for 40yds (35m), then left and right to visit the Marconi Memorial and viewing platform.

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A monument to the pioneering work of Marconi on the Isle of Wight


Cross through the pleasure park to the road, and turn left along the Coastal Path which follows the road for 220yds (200m). Take the first road on the left to the gate passed earlier and rejoin the outward path, marked T17, back up the hill. Bear right following the coast path marker post and follow the path back to the seat on the top of Headon Warren.

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Heather-covered Headon Warren in September, and the elusive Dartford Warbler


Take the path to the right of the seat until you reach the Bronze Age barrow. Follow the path to the right of the barrow and descend slightly, passing a sunken reservoir. Turn left briefly, walking towards the finger post, then turn right and follow the public footpath downhill. Pass through a gate and over a stile to reach a road.

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Headon Warren is topped by a large mound, and burial barrow dating from 1700-1500BC


Turn left, and left again along the first minor road (Headon Rise). Continue along this road to return to the start point.


Cliff Road Totland, grid ref: SZ322868, what3words: ///underline.glow.banquets.

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Points of view: Headon Warren walk


This is a:
  • Circular walk
  • Gates=1
  • Kissing gates=0
  • Stiles=2
  • Steps=370
  • Bridges=1
Paths can be very slippery, both from chalk on the Warren and mud in the wood, so boots are recommended. Please keep to the paths to avoid erosion.
Dogs are always welcome, but please keep them on a lead around wildlife and livestock, and take any dog waste home with you.


Points of view: Headon Warren walk

Contact us

Points of view: Headon Warren walk

How to get here

Park on Cliff Road Totland, towards the pier end. The nearest postcode is PO39 0EH, what3words: ///underline.glow.banquets.
By road

Cliff Road is near Totland War Memorial, on the A3054 from Newport via Yarmouth. Park on the road, near the pier end.

By foot

This trail follows the Isle of Wight coastal path between Totland and Alum Bay

By ferry

Yarmouth-Lymington (Wightlink 0871 376 1000) 5 miles (8km); East Cowes-Southampton (Red Funnel 0844 844 9988) 16 miles (26km). Yarmouth harbour has moorings for private boats.

By bus

Southern Vectis (01983 827000) No. 7 service from Newport to Totland War Memorial, half-hourly

By bicycle

Sustrans Regional 'Round the Island' route 67 passes through Yarmouth, 2.5 miles (4km)  away

Points of view: Headon Warren walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs are welcome, but please keep on a lead around wildlife
  • Toilets and refreshments in Totland
  • Toilets and refreshments in the Needles Landmark Attraction