Best walks on the Isle of Wight

Whether you fancy a family camping trip to the Isle of Wight or a weekend getaway to this pocket-sized county in the English Channel, you won’t be short of things to do. There’s plenty to see, especially on foot, so why not check out some of the best Isle of Wight walking routes and enjoy an adventure to remember? Here are some recommended treks.

Cowes to Yarmouth Walk

If you’re relatively fit and fancy a 16-mile challenge that’ll raise your heart rate while allowing you to explore the north coast of the island, then this one’s for you. The walk starts at the seaport town of Cowes, which is a paradise for yacht fanatics, and takes you all the way along the coast to the bustling port town of Yarmouth - a top spot for summer holidays. As this is a coastal walk, the route is simple, making it easy to find your stride while meandering through quaint villages with tearooms, beautiful woodlands and along striking clifftops. There are also plenty of seafront pubs and eateries in Yarmouth, so you can top up all those burned calories at the end. Put aside a good four to five hours to complete this walk at a moderate pace. 


Sandown to Ryde Coastal Walk

When visiting the Isle of Wight it makes sense to stay by the coast and breathe in some fresh sea air. So how about taking on the 12.5-mile, moderately difficult route from Sandown to Ryde? The seaside resort of Sandown is a great starting point, with its beautiful bay and long stretches of golden sand making it a family-friendly location. From here, you’ll head up and over Bembridge Down before dipping back into the charming Bembridge village and through the picturesque village of Seaview. The route ends in Ryde where you can stroll along the 19th-century Ryde Pier and take in some pretty spectacular views of the coast. If you’ve still got some energy left, take a 20-minute flat walk east of the pier to Appley Beach which is undoubtedly one of the finest on the Isle of Wight. 

The walk itself should take around four hours at a relaxed pace. But if the sun has got its hat on and you want to stop for a spot of swimming, sunbathing or sandcastle making, then it’s a good idea to factor in an entire day of strolling and playing. 


Yarmouth to Brighstone Walk

If you’re the adventurous type, you might already be looking to stay in a safari tent on the Isle of Wight or spice up your trip with more intrepid walking routes such as the Yarmouth to Brighstone Walk. This is 14 miles in total, takes around five hours, and has been described as challenging – but it’ll lead you right to The Needles, the Isle of Wight’s most famous and much-loved landmark. This natural phenomenon consists of three chalk stacks that rise about 30 metres out of the sea off the western extremity of the island, creating a fantastic view. It’s one of the most popular sections of the Isle of Wight Coastal Path and is a top location for nature photographers. This exciting route begins in the bustling town of Yarmouth and heads west towards the Needles before following the coast back southeast towards the chocolate-box village of Brighstone.


Headon Warren Walk

If you want to see The Needles, but are holidaying in the Isle of Wight with kids who tire easily, then the Headon Warren Walk offers an easier route. As a circular, four-mile route you’ll start with a seafront stroll along Totland Bay heading past an old lifeboat station. From there, you’ll walk towards the famed chalk stacks before heading back towards Headon Warren where you will find a fascinating Bronze Age burial mound. There are numerous hills along this route and a stile, making it somewhat unsuitable for very young children, but the older kids will love how ‘off-the-beaten-track’ this walk feels.


Mottistone Stroll

Another easy walk to enjoy with the family is the 2.8-mile meander around Mottistone Gardens, home to an array of striking shrubs and flowers. From here, you can enjoy one of the best Isle of Wight circular walks, which takes you over the coastal cliffs at Sudmoor Point. Get set to leap over a stile, check out a wildlife pond and navigate woodland before joining the coastal path, marching over the mighty cliffs and returning via a farm track and an old church.

Isle of Wight walks are sure to make you feel alive. So grab your walking boots and create memories to last a lifetime. 


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