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Sheep enjoy the pasture high up on Chillerton Down on the Isle of Wight
Enjoy a challenging walk on Chillerton Down | © National Trust / Sue Oldham
Isle of Wight

Challenging Chillerton Down walk

This challenging, circular walk takes you off the beaten track in the middle of the Isle of Wight, passing through woods and valleys, and across the Chillerton Downs with distant sea views to enjoy.

Choose the length of walk to suit you

For a shorter walk of 4 miles (7km), after Step 2 turn right along the track for 65yds (60m) then continue from Step 6.

Total steps: 7

Total steps: 7

Start point

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

Step 1

Take the 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, continue uphill to the fence visible on the skyline, to the right of the mast. This is the perimeter fence of Chillerton transmitting station.

The grass-covered chalk mass of Chillerton Down looms ahead
The access lane from Chillerton onto the Down | © National Trust / Sue Oldham

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. Follow the top of the ridge to another kissing gate 65yds (60m) down from the top field corner. Pass through to leave 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 kissing gate and turn immediately left for 25yds (25m) then through another gate and follow the path through a copse. Go straight along the public footpath and around a field gate to reach a crossing track.

Step 3

Turn left and follow the track as far as a minor road, then turn right. At the next road junction turn right for 30yds (30m) then turn left up bridleway G6. At a path junction at the top of the hill, turn right along bridleway G10. Continue in the same direction to meet a main road. Turn right for 100yds (100m) then go around a gate and left along footpath G5 as far as a minor road. Turn right and head downhill as far as a major road. Turn right for 240yds (220m) using the pavement, then take footpath A42 on the right, behind the bus stop in front of Blackwater Mill.

A view along Chillerton Down with the Chillerton valley below
Chillerton Down leading up to the earthworks known locally as 'Five barrows' | © National Trust / Sue Oldham

Step 4

Keep to the field edge with Gatcombe Withy Bed on the right. Turn right through a metal stock gate just before farm buildings and shortly a second gate. Continue through the wood, go over a bridge and then another bridge to reach a wooden gate in a gap in the hedge on the right. Go through and proceed along the grassy track, the path bending left around private buildings. Turn left at a track then right at the main road. Take the first road on the left after 150yds (140m).

Step 5

When the road bends right by St Olave's church, continue straight ahead on footpath G11. Bear right after two houses and right again to follow a gently rising bridleway.

Step 6

Turn left on reaching the last field 90yds (80m) before a wood, and follow its left edge along bridleway G6. Turn left at the road for 190yds (175m). Turn right by Chillerton village hall and go up Hollow Lane, bridleway G15a. Bear left, then right when it emerges into the open, still rising.

Step 7

At the path junction at the crest of the hill, take the gently rising footpath G15 just to the right of the hedge on the right (The signpost may have slipped – G15a goes to the left of the hedge and G15 to the right. Take G15). Continue along the ridge top almost to the summit of Berry Hill, then descend diagonally left just below a line of scrub. At a tarmac road turn right as far as the main road. Turn right for 220yds (200m) back to the start.

End point

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

Trail map

Chillerton Down Up for a Challenge walk map
Chillerton Down Up for a Challenge walk map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2015 Ordnance Survey

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