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Walkers looking out over the sea towards Tennyson Down, Isle of Wight
Walkers along the Compton coast | © ©National Trust Images/John Millar

Walking on the Isle of Wight

There is plenty to discover on a walk on the Isle of Wight including dinosaur fossils at Compton Bay and Downs, secluded creeks and waterways at Newtown National Nature Reserve and the cliffs and farmland of Mottistone Gardens and Estate. Here are some of the best walks on the Isle of Wight.

Coastal walks on the Isle of Wight

Visitor leaning on the rail of the boardwalk looking out over the marsh at sunset at Newtown National Nature Reserve, Isle of Wight
Trail
Trail

Estuary Newtown walk 

Take a gentle stroll through the varied habitats of the island's only National Nature Reserve, and visit a hamlet with a colourful past.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 1.5 (km: 2.4) to miles: 3.6 (km: 5.76)
The footpath sign ahead beckons to the chalk cliffs of Freshwater Bay
Trail
Trail

Compton Bay and Downs walk 

A 7.5 mile walk around Compton Bay and Afton Ridge, taking in far-reaching views and the dinosaur fossil beach.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 7.5 (km: 12)
Walkers on Tennyson Down Isle of Wight
Trail
Trail

Tennyson Down trail 

Enjoy a figure-of-eight walk, in two lengths, with a splendid view of the Needles, a 19th-century fort, Cold War rocket test site and a monument to the poet Tennyson.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 3 (km: 4.8) to miles: 7 (km: 11.2)
A wheat field with Compton Bay and the white cliffs of Tennyson Down behind
Trail
Trail

A Mottistone meander: south to the sea 

A circular walking route that takes you south from Mottistone Gardens to the coastal cliffs at Sudmoor Point.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 2.8 (km: 4.48)
The view from the top of Headon Warren ridge to Dorset's Purbeck Hills, with the Needles on the left and a surprisingly calm sea
Trail
Trail

Headon Warren walk 

Enjoy great views of the Needles and the mainland on the Headon Warren walk on the Isle of Wight.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 3 (km: 4.8) to miles: 4.2 (km: 6.72)
St Catherine's lighthouse and Knowles sparkle in bright spring sunshine in front of a grey-blue sea
Trail
Trail

Tip of the Wight walk 

A 3.5-mile walk around the southern-most tip of the Isle of Wight that takes in sweeping views of the island.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 3.5 (km: 5.6)
A grassy path entices the walker onto St Helens Duver
Trail
Trail

A coastal walk at St Helens Duver 

A circular coastal walk from St Helens village that takes you along a wildlife-rich sandy spit of land.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 3.2 (km: 5.12) to miles: 3.8 (km: 6.08)
Visitors at Bembridge Windmill, Isle of Wight
Trail
Trail

Bembridge and Culver Downs trail 

An invigorating walk over the downs and RSPB Brading Marshes reserve, with splendid views of the coast and countryside and passing the island's only windmill.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 5.6 (km: 8.96)

More top walks on the Isle of Wight

Bembridge Fort and Culver Downs, Isle of Wight
Trail
Trail

Fine fortifications trail at Bembridge and Culver Downs 

This short, wheelchair-friendly fairly level walk with spectacular views will give you a fascinating insight into the Isle of Wight's role in wartime defence and intelligence.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 1.8 (km: 2.88)
Two visitors find a suitable fallen log to sit on in Borthwood Copse
Trail
Trail

Borthwood Copse red squirrel walk 

This short atmospheric walk in a secluded part of the Island takes you through woods that are home to an Isle of Wight speciality: the red squirrel.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 1.2 (km: 1.92)
Dusk over Mottistone Common and the sea at Mottistone Estate, Isle of Wight
Trail
Trail

A climb to the common at Mottistone 

The views from the heather-covered Mottistone Common are the highlight of this walk, which also takes in a mysterious ancient monument.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 3.9 (km: 6.24)
St Catherine's Oratory stands proudly in the sunshine on St Catherine's Down with the sea and white cliffs of Tennyosn Down beyond
Trail
Trail

The monk and the merchant walk 

Take a circular walk with panoramic views across the downs and the island. Stop on route to spot rare wildlife that lives in the habitat. Find out more about the monk and the merchant as you complete this trail.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 4.6 (km: 7.36)
Teasels and other spring wildflowers bloom by St Helens lagoon at low water
Trail
Trail

Down on the Duver circular walk 

A short but varied coastal walk exploring St Helens Duver, a sandy spit of land on the eastern tip of the Island.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 1.6 (km: 2.56)
From the purple heather on Luccombe Down over the blue Sandown Bay to the white chalk of Culver Cliff
Trail
Trail

Ventnor Downs Luccombe and The Landslip walk 

This invigorating coastal walk offers views along the length of the island. Clad in bluebells in spring and heather in the autumn, the downs are also home to an array of birdlife.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 5.6 (km: 8.96)
A sunny view from Ventnor Downs looking down through Coombe Bottom via pistol butts to the sea
Trail
Trail

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.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 2.6 (km: 4.16)
Heather and gorse on a hillside with views down over fields at Ventnor Downs, Isle of Wight
Trail
Trail

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.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 2.5 (km: 4)
Sheep enjoy the pasture high up on Chillerton Down on the Isle of Wight
Trail
Trail

Challenging Chillerton Down walk 

This walk takes you off the beaten track in the middle of the Island – through woods and valleys, and across the downs with distant sea glimpses to enjoy.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 4 (km: 6.4) to miles: 9.25 (km: 14.8)
The trees have been bent by the wind, but all is calm today on a hazy day looking down to Dunsbury Farm
Trail
Trail

Discover Dunsbury trail 

Admire the coastal views, learn about the coastguard's early beginnings and spot wildlife such as birds and butterflies on this circular trail through the Dunsbury Estate.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 3.4 (km: 5.44)
Blue sea and a ribbon of sand around Sandown Bay as seen from the cliffs of Culver with red valerian in the foreground
Trail
Trail

Circumnavigate Culver Down trail 

Delve into the Isle of Wight's military history while enjoying sweeping views and myriad wildlife on this short clifftop walk.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 2.8 (km: 4.48)

All walking in Isle of Wight

    Sunset over the Needles headland coast, Isle of Wight. The Needles lighthouse and rocks can be seen in the shade, leading up to the coastline.

    Discover more on the Isle of Wight

    Gardens, forts, a windmill, a National Nature Reserve, and 17 miles of coastline and over 5000 acres of countryside on this treasure island.