Opening times for 22 February 2024
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A number of free car parks off Down Lane.
Dogs are welcome across the downs. Please keep your dog on a short lead around livestock and under close control at all other times. It is a legal requirement to keep dogs on a lead in areas with ground-nesting birds from 1 March to 31 July, as indicated by information signs.
Downland with some level ground and steep slopes, some with loose stones. Can be slippery and muddy in parts when wet. A number of free car parks off Down Lane. Dogs welcome but keep on a short lead around livestock and ground-nesting birds. Keep under close control all other times.
Some level paths at the top of the downs.
Downland with some steep slopes, some with loose stones. Some stiles, kissing gates and steps. Can be slippery and muddy in parts when wet.
Ventnor Downs lie to the north of Ventnor and are reached from the Wroxall to Ventnor Road, using the steep and single-track Down Lane, which leads up to the old radar station.
There are many footpaths, bridle ways and plenty of open access: consult Ordnance Survey Landranger Map 196 or OS Explorer OL29. The waymarked Isle of Wight Coast Path passes along the sea front at Ventnor, from where there are a number of rewarding steep paths up to the top of the downs.
Ventnor is served by a half-hourly Southern Vectis service which runs between Newport, Shanklin and Ryde. The nearest bus stop is in Upper Ventnor, between Wroxall and Ventnor town centre. For details of bus timetables see www.islandbuses.info.
The 'Round the Island' cycle path passes along the B3327 Newport Road in Upper Ventnor, which is less than half a mile (1km) from Ventnor Downs.
Dramatic views from the highest point on the island. Sparkling seas below and holm oak trees on the southern slopes.
Rare flora and fauna including butterflies and birds, and feral goats that help to look after the chalk downland.
Historic radar station and military remains.
Explore the chalk hills above the Victorian seaside town of Ventnor for dramatic views, picturesque walks, a chance to spot the local goats, and some historic memorials.
This short but challenging walk on the south side of the Isle of Wight takes in a Bronze Age burial site and reminders of the island's wartime history.
Enjoy far-reaching views of the downs and the English Channel, as well as a rich blend of wildlife, on this short but challenging walk on the south side of the Isle of Wight.
This rural escape has an open fire, exposed beams and views of a Victorian lighthouse to love.
The Ventnor Downs rise steeply above the Victorian seaside town of Ventnor. With the sparkling sea below and the holm oak trees which have colonised the south facing chalk slopes there is almost a Mediterranean flavour to the landscape. On the top of the downs you find a complete change of landscape with large open areas of grass and heather. It is such a rewarding area to walk in as there is great variety and some wonderful wildlife spectacles at different times of year and you can enjoy fantastic views from this high position.
You can drive to the top of the downs where there are several car parks which lead onto areas of reasonably level footpaths. Or you can earn your supper by climbing the steep hills from the town of Ventnor. We share this wonderful place with ground nesting birds like skylark and meadow pipit so in spring please keep your dogs under close control and stick to established paths in the designated and signed areas. This can make so much difference to the survival of these vulnerable birds.
You may be lucky to catch a glimpse of the herd of Old English goats which graze on Bonchurch Down and Coombe Bottom. They were introduced to the downs in 1993 to help control the spread of scrub and holm oak trees which would otherwise rapidly re-colonise the flower rich chalk grassland.
Learn all about our work on Ventnor Downs including the wild goats, from their history and behaviour to their role as conservationists – and the annual goat round-up challenge.