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Walking on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is an ideal holiday destination for lots of different people. Whether you want a relaxing break or an action-packed trip, you'll find everything you need on the island. For those who are a fan of the outdoors, there are a number of walking routes on the Isle of Wight that are worth investigating so check out this pick of some of the best options on offer.

Coastal adventures

If you are feeling particularly active and also want to take in the beautiful coastline, go for one of the coastal walks. There are plenty to choose from so it all depends on how far you want to walk and the places you'd be interested to see. The coastal path between Cowes and Yarmouth is sixteen miles long and will take you around seven hours so don't take it on if you're after a quick stroll. This route will take you along the sea front and if you time it right, you can watch the sunset at Cowes.

For a slightly shorter, tamer route, go for the path that takes you between Ryde and Cowes. This journey is only eight miles long so will take you a much more manageable four hours to complete. Ryde has the second longest accessible pier in Britain so it's a good place to start your journey. Alternatively, start in Cowes and finish at the pier, hopping onto the catamaran back to the mainland.


If you'd rather explore more of the island and are not too bothered about the coastal routes, there are several walking trails that are further inland. The Tennyson Trail is a fourteen-mile route that takes in a number of iconic locations on the Isle of Wight. Starting at Carisbrooke near Newport, the trail takes you past Carisbrooke Castle, famous for in the imprisonment of King Charles I before he was executed in 1649. The trail then takes you through Brighstone Forest, past ancient burial mounds and over Tennyson Down. You'll pass the Tennyson Monument and will end up at the Needles. Here you'll find spectacular views that will make the walk completely worth it.

The Alverstone Walk is around four miles long and is great if you want to take in some nature on your walk. The route itself crosses through two nature reserves as well as going past a red squirrel hide. These squirrels have a minute presence on the mainland due to the population explosion of the greys so the Isle of Wight is a great place to go to see the considerably rarer reds. The nature reserves will offer you the chance to see several species of wildlife including badgers, foxes, dormice and various different breeds of bat.

What to take

If you are planning a walking expedition around the island, you need to make sure you have all the necessary equipment to get the best out of your walk but also to ensure that you stay safe. The weather in the UK can be notoriously unpredictable at all times of the year so always prepare to get wet and cold. Take a base layer with you to keep the rain out and the warmth in. It will give you that little bit of protection for when the wind is particularly biting.

A camera should be one of the first things you pack. There is a high chance that you will want to take pictures along your walk, particularly when you get to some of the better viewpoints so don't be caught without it. Make sure you also have a fully charged mobile phone with you as well. If you get into any difficulties at any point, it could save your life if you are able to call the emergency services and give them your location.

The little extras

A sturdy pair of walking boots and a map should form a part of your kit wherever you are walking. You don't want to end up with wet feet covered in blisters, nor do you want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere and lost. Keep using your map for reference along the way so that you don't end up going off of your set trail. Fluids are an essential to take with you, particularly if you are going on a very long walk. It's easy to forget to drink if you're on a very interesting trail but it's so important to keep hydrated. It's also worth taking a few energy bars with you as well, in case you start to feel exhausted half way along your journey.

Isle of Wight walking routes