Isle of Wight Coastal Path
A circular self-guided walking tour following the spectacular coastal path around the Isle of Wight.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate plus
- Exploring the varied terrain, from high chalk cliffs, fossil rich coves and quiet estuaries to The Needles near Alum Bay.
- Admiring the expansive views near Sandown and the cliffs of Culver Down, with rich bird and plant life.
- Spotting the many species of wildlife along the coastline, including the Glanville fritillary butterfly, not found anywhere else in Britain.
The full Isle of Wight Coast Path walking holiday takes a 70-mile route around the entire island coastline. There is plenty of interesting sites to discover along the trail, including both natural wonders and historic landmarks. The Isle of Wight also boasts plenty of thriving settlements, all of whom guarantee a warm welcome to walkers.
- 7 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
- Breakfast each day.
- Door to door luggage transfer.
- Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
- An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a packing list.
- Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.
Total distance: 70 miles (1112 km).
Duration: 8 days/7 nights, 6 days of walking
Minimum/maximum daily distances: 8 miles (13km)/16 miles (25.5km)
Waymarking: The trail is easy to follow with the assistance of the guidebook and maps provided.
Season: Start on any Saturday from March 2 to October 26 (other days of the week on request)
Tour Starts: Ryde.
Tour Ends: Ryde.
Nearest Available Airport: London
Arrive in Ryde
Travel to Ryde where your first night’s accommodation has been booked. Perhaps spend some time on the miles and miles of sandy beaches or walking the promenade.
Ryde to Cowes. 8 miles (13km)
The two historic towns of Ryde and Cowes are linked by a meandering path with easy walking on gentle slopes. You’ll pass abbey ruins, a former royal residence and a modern day vineyard.
Cowes to Yarmouth. 16 miles (25.5km)
Today takes you inland around the Newtown River estuary, passing along cliff tops through villages and woodland, with fine views of the Solent and mainland beyond.
Yarmouth to Freshwater Bay. 9 miles (14.5km)
Heading south, past Warden point you arrive mid way Alum Bay, so called from the alum mining which used to take place here dating back to 1562. Now well known for the natural wonder of its colored, variegated cliffs. The Needles are the jagged edge of a ridge of chald that runs across form the Iland of Culver Down at the most westerly part of the island. Continuing up and east and then descending steeply into Freshwater Bay, around Watcombe Bay.
Freshwater Bay to Chale. 12 miles (19km)
Shortly out of Freshwater Bay, the cliffs change from chalk to crumbling clay and sandstone. Continuing, passing Hanover Point and panoramic views, you amble over cliff tops. The chines are a special coastal feature of this area,
Chale to Sandown. 12 miles (19km)
The coastal path follows a well defined track along the cliff top and above the undercliff above St Catherines Point and Rocken End, a large offshore rock and the home of a colony of comorants. Passing through Ventnor and areas of the National Trust land before walking along Victorian promenades next to the sandy beaches of Shanklin and Sandown.
Sandown to Ryde. 13 miles (21km)
Your final day takes you over the chalk cliffs of Culver Down and passing around the more tranquil Bembridge Harbour before returning to promenades once again.
Depart from Ryde after breakfast.
This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.
The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to walk more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard.
Transfers allow your holiday to go ahead when accommodation directly on the route is unavailable. Local taxi operators (or your hosts for the night) will pick you up from a suitable location near the trail and take you to your night’s stay; then, the following morning they’ll drop you back off right where you were picked up so you can continue your walk.
Since we foot the extra bill for transfers, you can rest assured that we’ll get you on the trail whenever we can.
7 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms with private bathrooms (where available) in selected guesthouses, inns and hotels and B&B’s.
Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are walking on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Walker or Single Supplements apply respectively:
Singles: Add $52 per night for a single room; solo traveler add $72 per night.
An extra night gives you the perfect opportunity to spend some more time exploring the sights and sounds of the Isle of Wight.
For centuries, Cowes has been associated with sailing craft and boat building and along its busy High Street you’ll find shops reflecting the towns heritage, with boatyards, chandlers and Beckens’ famous yachting gallery.
Yarmouth is another good choice for a rest day. It is a delightful village port with narrow lanes, stone quays, a timber pier and historic castle.
If you would like to take time to enjoy some of the finest beaches in the south of England, consider having a rest day in Freshwater Bay or Sandown.
You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:
Extra night (Standard) add $103.00 per person / per night.
The nearest rail station to the start of the trail (Ryde) is the Portsmouth Harbor station, then ferry between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight (45 min, advance booking is recommended). Train from London Waterloo station to Portsmouth Harbor (approx 1 hour 40 min).
The nearest rail station to the end of the trail (Ryde) is at Portsmouth Harbor station (ferry from Isle of Wight to Portsmouth, 45 min, advance booking is recommended). Train from Portsmouth Harbor station to London Waterloo station (approx 1 hours 40 min).