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Dusk over Mottistone Common and the sea at Mottistone Estate, Isle of Wight
Dusk over Mottistone Common and the sea at Mottistone Estate | © National Trust Images/Rebecca Bevan
Isle of Wight

A climb to the common at Mottistone

Visit a mysterious ancient monument and enjoy fine views over the Mottistone Estate and down to the sea from the heather-covered common that's rich in wildlife.

Total steps: 8

Total steps: 8

Start point

Mottistone Gardens National Trust car park, grid ref: SZ405838

Step 1

Take the path down from the car park towards the entrance to Mottistone Gardens. Turn left and go up the sunken path (BS43), then take the right fork signposted 'Footpath to the Long Stone and the Downs'. Follow the path upwards, skirting Mottistone Gardens on the right. Cross the track at the top of the stone steps through a kissing gate, and continue uphill to the Long Stone.

Step 2

Follow the track round to the right. After 30 yards (25m) take the path on the left by a wooden bench and interpretation panel, which has more information about the history of the Long Stone. Follow the grassy path gently uphill, with the mounds of Castle Hill on the left near the top of the rise.

Step 3

Where the path opens out by a fenced tank and wooden bench, turn left towards a line of trees, then diagonally right down the field to a five-bar gate near the right edge of a copse. Turn right through the side gate and follow the path as far as the tarmac road (Strawberry Lane).

Step 4

Turn left and follow the road for 750 yards (675m) to a lime kiln on the left, just after the road begins to climb. Continue up the road to the T-junction. Turn left along the roadside for 30 yards (25m) then turn left again.

Step 5

Go through the gate and follow the track upwards onto Mottistone Down, noticing a number of Bronze Age barrows on the right. Cross over the summit by the prominent Harborough barrow and descend again.

One of a number of Bronze Age barrows on Mottistone Down
Bronze Age burial barrow close to Mottistone's Jubilee car park | © National Trust / Sue Oldham

Step 6

Turn left by a Tennyson Trail wooden fingerpost, shortly before two metal gates. Almost immediately, turn left again and follow the public bridleway. This grassy path gently rises and then descends. Enter a wood through a metal gate and follow the bridleway downwards, keeping to the left edge of the wood.

Step 7

Turn right onto a track at the next gate. There are fine views across the Mottistone Estate down to the sea, and you can see another Bronze Age barrow on the right. Around 130 yards (120m) after a memorial bench, and shortly before a sharp right bend, turn diagonally left down a path.

Mottistone Common's bronze age barrow sits in glorious isolation, and a resting nightjar
The fine bronze age barrow on Mottistone Common, with camoflauged nesting nightjar inset | © National Trust / Sue Oldham and National Trust Images / Dougie Holden (nightjar)

Step 8

Head downwards to a wider crossing path. Ignoring the gate on the right, turn left for 15 yards (15m) then right through a kissing gate and continue downhill and back to the car park.

End point

Mottistone Gardens National Trust car park, grid ref: SZ405838

Trail map

Climb to the Common at Mottistone walking trail map
Climb to the Common at Mottistone walking trail map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2015 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

Mottistone, near Brighstone, Isle of Wight, PO30 4ED

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