Skip to content
Heather and gorse on a hillside with views down over fields at Ventnor Downs, Isle of Wight
Heather and gorse in bloom on Ventnor Downs, Isle of Wight | © National Trust/Rebecca Bevan
Isle of Wight

Views of Ventnor walking trail

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.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Ventnor Downs car park, grid ref: SZ565784

Step 1

From the Dakota plane crash information panel at the back of the car park, follow the path around the perimeter of Ventnor Radar Station, keeping the fence on your left. Just before the gate, turn right by a tall mast signposted V1. After 45yds (40m), go through the kissing gate and bear left, taking the ridge-top path towards Ventnor. This is one of the many gates designed to keep the downs' feral goats in their enclosure. The path eventually drops very steeply with a series of steps. Go through the goat gate at the bottom, where there is an information panel about Coombe Bottom. Continue through the copse, including two flights of concrete steps.

Step 2

When you reach the industrial estate, the site of the old Ventnor railway station, turn left. At the main road, turn left again and walk 380yds (350m) along the pavement on the right-hand side of Mitchell Avenue. Just past Ventnor Bowling Club, take the path into the woods on the left, signed V110.

Step 3

Follow the path along the bottom edge of the wood overlooking the tennis courts. Don't go through the kissing gate into Bishop's Acre but bear left up the hill, with the livestock fence on your immediate right. After a short distance, the fence turns and goes down, but our path continues to rise straight ahead. At the junction, take the left fork up the hill.

Step 4

Go through the goat gate to emerge onto open downland. Follow the contouring path for about 600yds (550m) across the lower slopes of St Boniface Down. This is the best area to see chalk grassland flowers and butterflies.

Adonis blue caterpillars feed on horseshoe vetch, emerging as beautiful blue butterflies
Adonis blue life cycle: eggs laid in horseshoe vetch, caterpillars hatch and pupate into a beautiful butterfly | © National Trust / Chuck Eccleston ARPS (vetch and caterpillar) and Matthew Oates (butterfly)

Step 5

Just below an isolated clump of trees on an exposed flank of the hill, a path with steps joins from the road below and you can see a crescent of houses close to the sea. Turn left here and climb straight up the down, passing a clump of trees. The path is very steep but becomes better defined higher up the hill. You may feel it's more suited to goats than people. Near the top of the hill there's a bench and an information panel.

One of our wild goats looks wary, and a buzzard looks out from a branch perch
A feral goat | © National Trust / Sue Oldham (goat) and National Trust Images / Hilary Daniel (buzzard)

Step 6

Go through the goat gate and up the hill. Follow the signpost V113 for 50yds (45m), where it meets a crossing track with a view of Sandown Bay ahead. Turn left along the crossing track to a disused parking area. Walk along the access track leaving the open ground, turn right through a gate signed V43, then quickly left again in 20yds (18m) to follow a grassy track that runs parallel to the road. Return to the car park by turning left opposite a wartime shelter.

End point

Ventnor Downs car park, grid ref: SZ565784

Trail map

Views of Ventnor walking trail map
Views of Ventnor walking trail map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2015 Ordnance Survey

You made it

Share your experience

More near here

A sunny view from Ventnor Downs looking down through Coombe Bottom via pistol butts to the sea

Ventnor Downs prehistory and wartime walk 

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.

DistanceMiles: 2.6 (km: 4.16)

Get in touch

Ventnor Downs, Wroxall, Isle of Wight, PO38 1AH

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

Visit website 

You might also be interested in


Ventnor Downs Views of Ventnor walking trail GPX file 

Right-click and 'Save Link As' or ‘Save Target As’ or ‘Download Linked File As’ (depending on your browser) to download this Views of Ventnor walking trail GPX file to your device, then open with your GPS program.

Walkers climbing rocks against a bright blue sky with the mountains in the distance at Sugarloaf, Monmouthshire


Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.

Two walkers on Ventnor Downs pointing to the coast in the distance.

Things to see and do at Ventnor Downs 

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.

A group of people in a hiking group are being guided on a hike by rangers at Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire

Cotswold Outdoor: our exclusive walking partner 

Find out more about the National Trust’s ongoing partnership with Cotswold Outdoor as our exclusive walking partner.

An aerial view of an adult and baby walking a dog along a path at Baggy Point, Devon

Staying safe at National Trust places 

The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.

A visitor carrying a backpack and walking along a footpath at Divis and the Black Mountain with stone walls either side, the countryside visible in the background.

Follow the Countryside Code 

Help to look after National Trust places by observing a few simple guidelines during your visit and following the Countryside Code.

Walkers looking out over the sea towards Tennyson Down, Isle of Wight

Walking on the Isle of Wight 

From discovering dinosaur fossils on a walk at Compton Bay and Downs to the secluded creeks and waterways of Newtown National Nature Reserve, find out where to go for the best walks on the Isle of Wight.