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The mass of Chillerton Down looms ahead with its tall transmitting station mast on top
A lovely ridge walk along Chillerton Down with long-distance views | © National Trust / Sue Oldham
Isle of Wight

Chillerton Down circular walk

This 4.5-mile walk circumnavigates Chillerton Down, a peaceful, unspoilt and largely undiscovered area of chalk downland in the centre of the Isle of Wight. It's regarded as something of a beauty spot, with great views of the Island, and is arguably at its best in the spring, when the wildflowers turn the hillsides in to a sea of colour.

Chillerton Down paths

There are no well defined paths on the open access land on Chillerton Down, so it is best to choose an aiming point and walk towards it.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Lay-by off Berry Shute, Chillerton, grid ref: SZ481829

Step 1

Take the G13 bridleway to the base of Chillerton Down, ignoring a path to the left. Immediately after passing through a gate, follow the curving upward path along the right-hand side of the chalk pit in front of you. When level with the top of the pit, carry straight on up the hill to the fence visible on the skyline, just to the right of the mast. This is the perimeter fence of Chillerton transmitting station.

Step 2

Turn right and follow the fence line. Go through a kissing gate close to the boundary corner and, aiming just left of straight ahead, head towards a group of trees by a fence corner where there is a wooden bench and viewpoint.

Step 3

Follow the top of the ridge to a kissing gate 110yds (100m) down from the top field corner. Pass through to leave the open access land, and continue onwards along a defined path, descending gently then steeply close to the fence to the far lower corner of the field. Go through the gate and turn immediately left for 25yds (25m) then through another kissing gate and follow the path through a copse. Go straight along G8 at the signpost and around a field gate to reach a crossing track.

Step 4

Turn left and follow the track as far as a minor road, then turn left. Leave the road just to the left of Newbarn Farm and follow an uphill bridleway, part of which is a sunken lane. Bear right just after a signpost indicating G22 Dunkem Down, and after a short rise bear left just before the gate at the top. Now the path rises more gently, passing a dew pond on the right. Shortly after this, go through a gate to reach a crossing track in the conifer belt.

A dew pond full of water on top of Chillerton Down near the transmitting station
One of the two dew ponds by the side of this Chillerton Down Circular walking trail | © National Trust / Sue Oldham

Step 5

Turn left and follow the ridge-top bridleway signed N146 to Shorwell. Pass the Chillerton Down Transmitting Station to reach its concrete and tarmac access road.

Step 6

Cross the access road and go through a gate. Take the downwards sunken path straight ahead. Curl left-wards round the hill, pass through two gates and rejoin the outward path back to the start.

Sheep graze Chillerton Down, with the chalk cliffs of Old Harry Rocks near Swanage visible in the far distance, and a bee orchid
Sheep keep the grass short on the sides of Chillerton Down, and a bee orchid | © National Trust / Sue Oldham and Chuck Eccleston ARPS

End point

Lay-by off Berry Shute, Chillerton, grid ref: SZ481829

Trail map

Chillerton Down Circular walk map
Chillerton Down Circular walk map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2015 Ordnance Survey

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