Isle of Wight Coastal Path

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path (or Coastal Footpath) is a circular long-distance footpath of 70 miles (113 km) around the Isle of Wight, UK. It follows public footpaths and minor lanes, with some sections along roads.

Isle of Wight Coastal Path
IOW Coast Path Sign, Sandown, Hampshire
One of the newer signs for the Coast Path
Length67 mi (108 km)
LocationIsle of Wight, UK
TrailheadsCircular walk, accessible by bus or train at many points
UseDog Walking, Hiking, Running
Hiking details
SeasonAll year

Route

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

Ryde to Bembridge (7.5 miles)

Appley Tower
Appley Tower

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

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

Bembridge to Sandown (5.5 miles)

The path follows the coast around the eastern tip of the Island at Foreland, then skirts the cliffs above Whitecliff Bay. This part is subject to regular erosion; as of 2012 a section at Foreland is closed (walkers may prefer to divert and walk through Bembridge village). From Whitecliff Bay and its caravan park the path climbs steadily to Culver Down and the Yarborough Monument, with impressive views across Sandown Bay and across the Solent to Portsmouth. Dropping fairly steeply away from Culver Down, the path meets the beach again at Yaverland, then passes the Isle of Wight Zoo and enters Sandown.

Accommodation and refreshments are available in Bembridge and Sandown.

Sandown to Ventnor

Sandown to Shanklin

The two-mile coastal walk between Sandown and Shanklin[1] is a popular attraction, with a choice of the moderately undulating coastal (cliff) path or the flat sea wall promenade. At Shanklin, there is a "cliff lift" (open Summer only), which may help make the decision. There are a couple of cafes on the cliff open during the summer months. The only public convenience on the cliff path (in Lake Cliff Gardens) has now re-opened all year. This walk encounters one of the oft-cited "wonders of the Isle of Wight": you can walk through Lake without getting your feet wet.

Shanklin to Ventnor

From Shanklin[2] the path passes the Fisherman's Cottage pub 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 across Sandown Bay. It then follows paths and steps through the woods of the Bonchurch Landslips (where a side path ascends to the Devil's Chimney) before reaching the sea again at Horseshore Bay. It then follows the sea wall for two miles until reaching Ventnor.

Ventnor to Freshwater Bay

Blackgang to Brook

Description of Niton to Brighstone IOW coastal path

Brook to Freshwater Bay

Freshwater Bay to Yarmouth

Freshwater Bay to Needles New Battery

Join the coastal path 100 metres west from The Albion Hotel. The path is a steady climb ascending Tennyson Down where at its peak stands the Tennyson memorial, from which there are stunning views in each direction across the island and to the mainland. The path continues forward to the Needles Old Battery (National Trust, refreshments available) with views over Alum Bay. Alternatively, facing the mainland from the memorial, descend the steps and walk 200 meters down the lane to a country pub for respite. The best views of the Needles are from within the Old Battery.

Totland to Yarmouth

Yarmouth to East Cowes

Away from the approaches to East Cowes and Yarmouth, the majority of this section follows inland roads and many unmade, muddy public footpaths. Between Thorness Bay and Hampstead Point the path takes a circuitous 7 mile route via Newtown and Shalfleet to avoid a rifle range and the Newtown River.

The coastal section between Gurnard Bay and Thorness Bay has suffered from landslips and may remain closed until late August 2015.[3]

The total official length of this section is 17 miles,[4] although the diversion via Rew Street currently adds around an extra mile.

East Cowes to Ryde

East Cowes to Wootton

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

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

As the route is circular one can join at any point. However, many people complete a shorter distance, either walking to a destination and back (possibly using an alternative route to return) or using public transport to complete a round trip.

The route is easily accessible by public transport: Ryde and Yarmouth Bus Stations are on the route, and Southern Vectis bus routes stop near the route. Ferry services from the 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, and Shanklin and Sandown stations are less than 750m away.

There are some sections, notably between Blackgang and Brook, where public transport is limited, and it may be preferable to use a car to access these. Small public car parks are located along the Military Road, most of which are free. 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 publications cover the entire route, although the Explorer has the greater detail.

The route is mostly waymarked with signs, showing a seagull symbol and the words "Coastal Footpath" (although a few older signs do not have the seagull). Some signs include the next destination(s) on the route, with the distance in miles.

References

  1. ^ "Description of Sandown to St. Lawrence IOW Coastal Path" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Description of Sandown to St. Lawrence IOW Coastal Path" (PDF).
  3. ^ http://www.iwight.com/Residents/Environment-Planning-and-Waste/Rights-of-Way/Public-Rights-of-Way/Current-Closures
  4. ^ http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/dbimgs/1.Cowes-Yarmouth.pdf

External links

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

Brighstone Bay

Brighstone Bay is a bay on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies to the south and west of the village of Brighstone from which it takes its name. It faces south west towards the English Channel, its shoreline is 7 km in length and is gently curving. It stretches from Sudmoor Point in the north west to Artherfield Point in the south east.

Several chines, some with streams like the Buddle Brook (Grange Chine) lie along this coast.

Like most of the coast along the South-West of the Island, Brighstone Bay is suffering from coastal erosion.

Projecting out from this coast is one several ledges along the Back of the Wight. Brighstone Ledge has been the site of many shipwrecks as storms drive ships onto the hidden rocks. The seabed is a mixture of mud, sand and shells. The beach is predominantly shingle.

The bay is best viewed from along the Isle of Wight Coastal Path which follows the whole bay along the cliff top.

Brook Bay

Brook Bay is a bay on the south western coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies to the west of the village of Brook. It faces south west out into the English Channel. It stretches about 2km from Hanover Point in the east to Sudmoor Point to the west. Much of the surrounding land, including the hamlet of Brookgreen is owned by the National Trust.

The beach is predominantly sand. The seabed is rocky to the west as it consists of the hazardous Brook Ledges but is rock-free near the concrete slipway.

The bay is best accessed from the nearby car park and the slipway down to the beach.

Both Brook Chine and Churchill Chine empty into Brook Bay.

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path runs along the cliff edge for the entire extent of the bay

Brook Chine

Brook Chine is a geological feature on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies just to the west of the village of Brook. The hamlet of Brookgreen runs along its southern edge.

It is a small coastal gully, one of a number of such chines on the island created by stream erosion of soft Cretaceous rocks. It runs from the A3055 Military Road about 300m due West to the beach at Brook Bay just south of Hanover Point. The sides of the gully are fairly shallow and allow the growth of hardy bushes, scrub and rough grasses.

The Chine drains water from fairly flat agricultural land that extends from Mottistone Down in the north to the coast in the south and almost to the next chine, Chilton Chine to the east.

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path crosses the chine via the road bridge on the A3055 bridge.

Chale Bay

Chale Bay is a bay on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies to the west of the village of Chale from which it takes its name. It faces south west towards the English Channel, its shoreline is 5km in length and is gently curving. It stretches from Artherfield Point in the north west to Rocken End in the south east.

The seabed is a mixture of mud, sand and shells. The beach is predominantly shingle.

In 1996, a sailing boat was washed ashore by high waves generated from the arrival of Hurricane Lili.

The bay is best viewed from the car park on the A3055 above Blackgang Chine or anywhere along the Isle of Wight Coastal Path which follows the whole coastline along the cliff top. Since the closure of the steps at Whale Chine, the beach at Chale Bay has become somewhat inaccessible, with no way down from the clifftop anywhere along its three miles. Parts of the beach are sometimes used by naturists.

Chilton Chine

Chilton Chine is a geological feature on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies to the west of the village of Brighstone. It is a small coastal gully, one of a number of such chines on the island created by stream erosion of soft Cretaceous rocks.

It runs from the hamlet of Chilton Green down to the A3055 Military Road where it passes under the road and continues for about 200m to the beach at Brighstone Bay. The sides of the gully are fairly shallow and allow the growth of hardy bushes, scrub and rough grasses.

The Chine drains water off the mainly flat agricultural land that surrounds Chilton Green.

To the east of Chilton Chine is the Isle of Wight Pearl Centre, a tourist attraction which overlooks the chine.

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path follows the top of the chine from the cliff edge to the carpark next to the A3055.

Churchill Chine

Churchill Chine is a geological feature on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It is west of the village of Brook and just east of Hanover Point. It is a small sandy coastal gully, one of a number of such chines on the island created by stream erosion of soft Cretaceous rocks. It leads from the 30 foot high clifftop to the beach of Brook Bay.

The Chine carries water from a lake about 100m to the north, just across the nearby Military Road and also from a small brook that runs down the hillside from Dunsbury. The gully contains a small waterfall which drops down to the beach.

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path crosses the top of the chine via a small footbridge.

Compton Chine

Compton Chine is a geological feature on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies between the village of Brook to the east and Freshwater Bay to the west. It is a small sandy coastal gully, one of a number of such chines on the island created by stream erosion of soft Cretaceous rocks. It leads from the 50 foot high clifftop to the beach of Compton Bay.

The Chine drains water off the slopes of Compton Down, to the north, into the sea.

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path crosses the top of the chine via a small footbridge.

Cowleaze Chine

Cowleaze Chine is a geological feature on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies to the west of the village of Little Atherfield.

This chine is just to the west of the larger Shepherd's Chine. It starts just off the side of the A3055 Military Road and runs south west for about 250m to reach the beach at Brighstone Bay just to the north of Atherfield Point.

This chine's vegetation is a mixture of hardy bushes, scrub and rough grasses. At the widest part of the chine erosion and layers of grey

sediment are visible.

The Chine drains water from the mainly flat agricultural land to its north. The resulting stream reaches the coast at the top of a small cliff and falls the remaining 5m to the beach below where it soaks into the pebbles and disappears. Originally the Chine would have been fed by the flow of water that now supplies neighbouring Shepherd's Chine.To the east of Cowleaze Chine is the Atherfield Bay Holiday Centre consisting of a campsite and chalets.

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path crosses Cowleaze Chine near the campsite.

Grange Chine and Marsh Chine

Grange Chine and Marsh Chine form a geological feature on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England. They lie to the south of the village of Brighstone.

These two chines form the largest chine feature on the Isle of Wight. Grange Chine starts at the southern edge of Brighstone and runs south-west, crosses under the A3055 Military Road at the hamlet of Marsh Green then continues for about 500m to reach the beach at Brighstone Bay. Marsh Chine starts to the east of Marsh Green alongside the A3055 and runs west where it joins the larger Grange Chine before it reaches the beach.

Both chines have much shallower sides than other chines on the Isle of Wight and are extensively covered with hardy bushes, stunted trees and scrub.

The Chines drain water from the southern slopes of Brighstone Down and from as far as Shorwell to the east. The stream ( the Buddle Brook) formed is significant enough to power two mills, Yafford Mill and Brighstone Mill, and where it finally drains into the sea the stream is at least 4m wide and is crossed by a small wooden footbridge. Once the stream reaches the pebble beach it soaks in and disappears.

To the west of Grange Chine is a holiday park consisting of a campsite and a small number of static caravans. The beach here is often covered in litter.

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path crosses Grange Chine via a wooden footbridge near the beach.

Ladder Chine

Ladder Chine is a geological feature on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England ( the Back of the Wight). It is west of the village of Chale. It is a sandy coastal ravine, one of a number of such chines on the island created by stream erosion of soft Cretaceous rocks. It leads from the 190 foot high clifftop to a knickpoint approximately halfway down the cliff face above Chale Bay beach.

The Chine is the first and largest of three chines that have been eroded by a small unnamed brook that descends from Chale that drains rainwater from the west side of St. Catherine's Hill. The other two chines are Walpen Chine and New Chine. The brook initially wound its way to the cliff face and its descent over the edge created Ladder chine. As the cliff eroded, the brook found a shorter path to the sea, creating the two other chines to the east of Ladder chine. Ladder Chine is now dry.

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path runs along the cliff top above this chine.

Many Southern Vectis buses carry names that relate to coastal features around the Isle of Wight and Mini Pointer Dart 316, registered SN03LDU, carried the name Ladder Chine before being sold. Coach 590 now carries the name following repaint in Island Coaster livery for a route that operates along the Military Road, close to Ladder Chine.

New Chine

New Chine is a geological feature on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England ( the Back of the Wight). It is west of the village of Chale. It is a sandy coastal ravine, one of a number of such chines on the island created by stream erosion of soft Cretaceous rocks. It leads from the 190 foot high clifftop to a knickpoint approximately one third of way down the cliff face above Chale Bay beach.

The Chine is one of three chines that have been eroded by a small unnamed brook that descends from Chale that drains rainwater from the west side of St. Catherine's Hill. The other two chines are Ladder Chine and Walpen Chine. The brook initially wound its way to the cliff face and its descent over the edge created Ladder chine. As the cliff eroded, the brook found a shorter path to the sea and started creating Walpen Chine to the east of Ladder chine. As the cliff eroded further, the brook moved east again and is currently eroding an unnamed chine labelled New Chine.

New Chine consists of two small narrow ravines that feed the same knickpoint. The main ravine has the brook running through it for all but the driest parts of the summer. The smaller more westerly ravine is eroded when the brook overflows during flash flooding and the excess water finds a second route to the cliff edge.

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path runs alongside the top of the chine and part of the brook.

Newtown Bay

Newtown Bay is a bay on the northwestern coast of the Isle of Wight, England in the western arm of the Solent. It is a subtle bay located around the exit of the Newtown River. It stretches about 4 km from Hamstead Point in the west to Salt Mead Ledge to the east. It is a remote place as there are few properties along this part of the coast, it being low-lying marshland and home to countless sea birds, and is often visited by walkers, boaters, birdwatchers and beachcombers. The shore is a narrow band of gravel, while the sea bottom is mostly mud or sand.

To the east of the river entrance, sticking out into the bay, is a sand spit and further east another sailing hazard called Salt Mead Ledge both of these are only uncovered at low water. From here to Great Thorness to the east and Porchfield to the south, the land is used by the military and is marked on maps as a Danger Area. For this reason the Isle of Wight coastal path skirts this area.

A small peninsula into the bay holds Corf county campsite, itself an SSSI.

The National Trust owns much of the land and landing at Fishhouse point is not allowed during the nesting season, April to June.

Shepherd's Chine

Shepherd's Chine is a geological feature on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies to the west of the village of Little Atherfield.

This chine is one of the largest on the Isle of Wight. It starts at the side of the A3055 Military Road and runs west for about 500m to reach the beach at Brighstone Bay just to the north of Atherfield Point.

This chine has much shallower sides than other chines on the Isle of Wight and is extensively covered with hardy bushes, scrub and rough grasses.

The Chine drains water from the mainly flat agricultural land surrounding Little Atherfield. The resulting stream used to be collected behind a small dam and then pumped back onto the surrounding farm land. The remains of the reservoir and pump house, complete with pump, still stand about halfway along the chine. Similarly to Grange/Marsh Chine once the stream reaches the pebble beach it soaks in and disappears.

To the west of Shepherd's Chine is the Atherfield Bay Holiday Centre consisting of a campsite and chalets.

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path crosses Shepherd's Chine near the pump house.

Shippards Chine

Shippards Chine is a geological feature on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It is west of the village of Brook and just north of Hanover Point.

It was a small sandy coastal gully; however, it has been redirected through an culvert down to beach level to reduce its effect on erosion to the cliff. A set of steps have been attached to the culvert to provide access to the beach of Compton Bay.

The Chine/culvert carries water from a lake about 200m to the east, just across the nearby Military Road and also from small brooks that run down the hillside to the north.

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path crosses the top of the chine via a small footbridge. The surrounding land is owned and managed by the National Trust and is accessible from a nearby car park.

Steel Bay

Steel Bay is a bay on the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies to the north-east of the village of Bonchurch. It faces south-east towards the English Channel, and has a one-half-mile (0.80 km) shoreline. It stretches from Bordwood Ledge in the north to Dunnose headland in the south.

The bay is remote and is best viewed from Dunnose which can be accessed by scrambling over The Landslip which is close to the Isle of Wight Coastal Path in the woods to the east of Upper Bonchurch. The bay has a drying reef with outlying rocks, which can be a danger for marine traffic.

Totland Bay

Totland Bay is a bay on the west coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies one-quarter of an mile (0.4 km) to the west of the village of Totland from which it takes its name. It faces north west and has a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) shoreline and is made up of a straight west facing coast which has a beach, concrete seawall, groynes and derelict 450-foot-long (140 m) Victorian pier and a straight north facing rocky coastline. It stretches from Warden Point in the north to Hatherwood Point in the south-west.

The seabed is a mixture of mud and sand, clear of many underwater outcrops, this makes it a popular anchorage point for vessels. The beach is predominantly shingle. Since 2001 the quality of the beach has been high enough for it to be awarded the Seaside Award Flag. In the summer, litter and seaweed are removed each day, with the latter being composted by local farmers. Currently, the pier is being refurbished to re-open the cafe which was there before.

The bay is best viewed from Headon Warren or anywhere along the concrete seawall. The Isle of Wight Coastal Path runs along the seawall from Warden Point to Widdick Chine.

Weston Academy, which closed in 2015 is located in the bay area.

Watcombe Bay

Watcombe Bay is a bay on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies just to the west of Freshwater Bay. It faces south towards the English Channel and is one of the smallest bays of the Isle of Wight. It is cut into the chalk cliff face of Highdown Cliffs. Its shoreline is less than 100m in length. Because of the steep cliffs it is only accessible by foot by scrambling round on the rocks from Freshwater Bay at low tide.

The seabed is a mixture of mud, sand and shells. The beach is predominantly shingle

The bay is best viewed from the cliff top on the Isle of Wight Coastal Path which passes by the bay.

In the mid-19th century, a tunnel and steps led from the clifftop to the beach. A second tunnel, intended to connect the beach to the grounds of Redoubt House above, was commenced in the 1930s by EH Crinage.

Widdick Chine

Widdick Chine is a geological feature on the west coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It is west of the village of Totland.

It is a steep coastal gully, which is overgrown with vegetation. The water that used to flow down the slope has been redirected through a pipe which takes it to beach level to reduce its effect on erosion to the cliff. A set of steps have been constructed down the chine to provide access from Totland to the beach of Totland Bay.

The Chine pipe drains water from the northern slopes of Tennyson Down.

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path passes up the steps of the chine. At the bottom of the chine is the old Totland lifeboat house.

Woody Bay, Isle of Wight

Woody Bay is a small bay on the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies south of the village of St. Lawrence. It faces south towards the English Channel, its shoreline is 260 yards (240 m) in length.The Isle of Wight Coastal Path runs the length of the bay and onto Woody Point, where the bay can be best viewed from.

Unitary authorities
Major settlements
Rivers
Topics

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.