Down south: Luccombe and the Landslip walk

Walking trail

In May it's a haze of blue from the bluebells, then in September and October enjoy the autumn colours of heather and bracken on this invigorating walk in the south of the Island, with splendid far-reaching views to Culver Downs in the east.

Enjoy dramatic views from the highest point on the Island

For those who enjoy strenuous walking, join this walk to the Ventnor Down National Trust trail, which starts from the car park next to the radar station.

Three walkers on Luccombe Down with fine views over Sandown Bay

Map

Map route for down south: Luccombe and the Landslip walk

Elevation

Luccombe Landslip Elevation Profile

Start:

Ventnor Down car park, grid ref: SZ565784

1

From the Dakota Memorial interpretation panel at the back of the car park, follow the path around the perimeter of Ventnor Radar Station, keeping the fence on your left. Turn left at the kissing gate by a tall mast, signposted V122 Boniface Down. This is one of the many gates to keep the goats in their enclosure. Keeping the radar station perimeter fence on your left, take the path which follows the hillside in a north-east direction, parallel to the coast. At the end of the green radar fence, go through the first kissing gate and head diagonally uphill towards a signpost on the near horizon, signed. At this signpost, turn left (V113 Luccombe Copse) and reach a seat after 200yds (180m) from which to admire the view.

Large radar masts dominate the downs above Ventnor

2

Backtrack for 20yds (20m) and take the path on the left which heads gently downhill along a ridge. Start to descend more steeply and pass through trees. Go through the memorial gate by the interpretation panel and go down the steep and grassy Nansen Hill to the gate onto the main road.

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From the purple heather on Luccombe Down over the blue Sandown Bay to the white chalk of Culver Cliff

3

Cross the road and take path V65 towards the back right of the car park by the interpretation panel. When you reach a wall turn right. Do not descend, but keep to the immediate right of the wall and bearing left at a fork. The path crosses the lower end of the Smugglers Haven tea-rooms, then returns to the wall. Follow the wall past a low-roofed stone shelter, then take the steep steps downwards through the Devils Chimney, a narrow cleft in the cliff. Bear right and continue down two more flights of steps to the remains of a seat. Bear left and up four steps then down many more to reach the coastal path. Handrails are provided where the steps are steepest.

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A cleft in the rock is the way up through the cliff near Ventnor

4

Bear left and follow the twisty path through The Landslip, following the coastal path signs where there is a fork. At the end of a narrow walled path you reach Rosecliff Lodge. Carry straight on the track, ignoring all left turns, and follow the coastal path for 0.6 miles (1km) past a few houses in Luccombe, eventually reaching a tarmac road after going through a garden and a gate and passing more houses.

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Peregrine falcons are often seen around Culver cliffs

5

In 65yds (60m) after the white house turn right and cross the stile to walk through Haddon’s Pits. Follow a meandering path parallel to the road through this open area, rejoining the road at the stile at the top left corner. Turn right and follow the road downwards towards Shanklin. Turn left into Priory Road opposite a large white block of apartments.

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A view over the bay to Culver with an inviting bench on Haddon's Pits

6

After 165yds (150m) take footpath SS91 on the left into Vaughan Way. Follow the road into the estate, and on a left hand bend follow the grassy and then stone track to its end at the main road. Cross the main road with care and pass through the lych gate of St Blasius church signposted SS10. Take the tarmac path to the left of the church and cross over the boundary wall. Continue over two fields and three memorial gates to reach some trees, climbing all the time, more steeply and with some steps past Holme Copse. Go through two more memorial gates into a meadow.

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The church of St Blasius behind the duckpond in Shanklin Old Village

7

Turn sharp left keeping the fence on your left, pass through a gap at the lower end of the crossing fence and then head diagonally right up the hill to the trig point. There are fine views along the whole length of the island from from Tennyson Down to Culver Down. Continue onwards crossing a stile and a memorial gate in the hedge in front.

8

Turn left onto the crossing track, and pass through two gates to reach the Luccombe Down interpretation panel. Follow the wide ridge-top track. Shortly after the radar station comes into sight take the track which sweeps around to the right in that direction. The track eventually becomes a well-worn grassy path on the down, close to the road leading to the radar station. Continue to follow this path parallel to the road back to the car park at the end of the perimeter fence.

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Find bilberries (fairly easy) and a Dartford warbler (much harder) on Luccombe Down

End:

Ventnor Down car park, grid ref: SZ565784

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Down south: Luccombe and the Landslip walk

Terrain

 
This is a:
  • Circular walk
  • Gates=0
  • Kissing gates=13
  • Stiles=4
  • Steps=Over 200
  • Bridges=0
There is a very steep slope down Nansen Hill. The walk can be slippery in wet weather and muddy in winter so care needed. The exposed downs can be very windy.
 
Dogs are always welcome, but please keep them on a lead around wildlife and livestock, and take any dog waste home with you.
 
For those who enjoy what is the Isle of Wight’s nearest equivalent to alpine walking, join this walk to our 'Down South - Views of Ventnor' trail, which starts at the car park closest to the radar station.
Down south: Luccombe and the Landslip walk

Contact us

Down south: Luccombe and the Landslip walk

How to get here

Address
National Trust Ventnor Down car park off Down Lane, Ventnor. Grid ref: SZ565784, what3words:///grapes.drummers.pavement. Nearest postcode is PO38 1YL.
By road

Take Down Lane off B3327 from Wroxall to Ventnor road in Upper Ventnor. The car park is just before the fenced off radar station fence. Nearest postcode is PO38 1YL.
 

By foot

The trail follows the Isle of Wight coastal path between steps 4 and 6.

By ferry

Fishbourne to Portsmouth (Wightlink, 0871 376 1000) 13 miles (21km); East Cowes-Southampton (Red Funnel, 0844 844 9988) 15 miles (24km).

By bus

Southern Vectis (01983 827000) No. 3 half-hourly service between Newport and Ryde, alight at the end of Down Lane in Upper Ventnor.

By bicycle

'Round the Island' National Cycle Network Regional Route 67 passes Down Lane in Upper Ventnor.

Down south: Luccombe and the Landslip walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome, but please keep your dog on a lead around wildlife
  • Nearest toilets and refreshments are in Shanklin, 10 minutes from point 5 on the trail