Isle of Wight Coastal Path

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Isle of Wight Coastal Path
IWCoastPathSignSandown.jpg
One of the newer signs for the Coast Path
Length 67 mi (108 km)
Location Isle of Wight, UK
Trailheads Circular walk, accessible by bus or train at many points
Use Dog Walking, Hiking, Running
Hiking details
Trail difficulty Easy: A few significant hills, varied surfaces
Season All year

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path (or Coastal Footpath) is a circular long-distance footpath of 67 miles (107 km) around the Isle of Wight, UK. It follows public footpaths and minor lanes, with some sections along roads.

History[edit]

Route[edit]

The path is waymarked in both directions and can be started at any point, but is described here clockwise from the pier at Ryde (grid reference SZ594929).

Ryde to Sandown[edit]

Ryde to Bembridge (7.5 miles)[edit]

Appley Tower

From the bus station at the entrance to Ryde Pier the path travels along the Esplanade keeping close to the beach. It passes Appley Tower and Puckpool Point before rejoining the coast road to Seaview. The path then climbs inland on footpaths skirting Priory Woods before returning to sea level at The Duver near St Helen's Old Church. From the Duver the path crosses the edge of Bembridge Harbour on the old mill wall. It then uses Embankment Road passing the houseboats in the harbour. The path then continues into Bembridge and to the Lifeboat Station.

In this section there are several places for refreshment in Ryde, Puckpool, Seaview and Bembridge.

Bembridge to Sandown (5.5 miles)[edit]

The path follows the coast around the eastern tip of the Island at Foreland and then skirts the cliffs above Whitecliff Bay. This part of the path is subject to regular erosion and as of 2012 a section at Foreland is closed. Walkers may prefer to divert and walk through Bembridge village itself. From Whitecliff Bay and its caravan park the path climbs steadily to Culver Down and the Yarborough Monument. Here there are impressive views across Sandown Bay and to Portsmouth marked by the Spinnaker Tower in the north. Dropping, fairly steeply, off Culver Down the path meets the beach again at Yaverland, passes the Isle of Wight Zoo and enters Sandown.

Accommodation and refreshments are available in Bembridge and Sandown.

Sandown to Ventnor[edit]

Description of Sandown to St. Lawrence IOW Costal Path

Sandown to Shanklin[edit]

The two-mile coastal walk between Sandown and Shanklin is a popular attraction. Choose from the moderately undulating coastal (cliff) path or the flat sea wall promenade. If you start at Shanklin, there is a "cliff lift" (open Summer only), which may help you make your decision. There are a couple of cafes on the cliff path which I believe are open in the summer months. The only public convenience on the cliff path (in Lake Cliff Gardens) has now re-opened all year, thanks to the Lake Parish Council. By doing this walk, you experience one of the "wonders of the Isle of Wight". In other words you walk through the outskirts of the village of Lake, without getting your feet wet.

Shanklin to Ventnor[edit]

From Shanklin the path passes the Fisherman's Cottage thatched pub located on the beach at the foot of Shanklin Chine, before climbing Appley Steps up the side of the cliff and then through the edge of Shanklin. It continues uphill on a minor road, passing Luccombe village, where there are magnificent views back across Sandown Bay. The route then meanders along paths and steps through the woods of the Bonchurch Landslips (where a side path ascends to the Devil's Chimney) before travelling back down to the sea at Horseshore Bay and its small coastal hamlet. It then travels for two miles along a sea wall into Ventnor.

Ventnor to Freshwater Bay[edit]

Ventnor to Blackgang[edit]

Blackgang to Brook[edit]

Description of Niton to Brighstone IOW coastal path

Brook to Freshwater Bay[edit]

Freshwater Bay to Yarmouth[edit]

Freshwater Bay to Needles New Battery[edit]

Needles New Battery to Totland[edit]

Totland to Yarmouth[edit]

Yarmouth to East Cowes[edit]

Yarmouth to Newtown[edit]

Newtown to Gurnard[edit]

Gurnard to East Cowes[edit]

East Cowes to Ryde[edit]

East Cowes to Wooton[edit]

A lot of walking on roads for this section and not very coastal due to the land by the sea being in private ownership.

Wootton to Ryde[edit]

Walking on roads until the outskirts of Fishbourne, then along a track past Quarr Abbey and Ryde Golf Course, then roads into Ryde.

This could not be written up any better than in the document below:-

Description of Cowes to Ryde IOW coastal path

Practical aspects[edit]

As the route is circular one can join it at any point with the intention of completing the entire distance. However, many people[specify] will complete a shorter distance, either walking to a destination and back (possibly using an alternative route to return) or using public transport to complete the round trip.

The route is easily accessible by public transport as Ryde and Yarmouth Bus Stations are on the route and many bus routes (operated by Southern Vectis and Wightbus) stop on or near the route. Ferry services from the UK mainland arrive at Yarmouth, Cowes, East Cowes, Fishbourne and Ryde, all of which are on the route. Additionally, Ryde Esplanade and Lake railway stations are on the path, with Shanklin and Sandown stations less than 750m away.

There are some sections, notably along the section from Blackgang to Brook, where public transport is very limited, and so it may be preferable to use a car to access this section. For this purpose, small public car parks are located along the nearby Military Road, most of which are free. Typically in other locations, car parking on the route is within an urban or semi-urban area and a fee is charged.

The Ordnance Survey maps covering the route are:

  • Landranger 1:50,000 sheet 196
  • Explorer 1:25,000 sheet OL29 Isle of Wight

Both these publications cover the entire route length, although the Explorer is to be preferred due to its greater detail.

The route is mostly waymarked with signs including a seagull symbol and the words "Coastal Footpath" (or similar), although some older signs do not have the seagull. Additionally, some signs include the next destination or pair of destinations on the route, often with the distance in miles.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°43′58″N 1°09′35″W / 50.73269°N 1.15969°W / 50.73269; -1.15969