Isle of Wight Ridge Walk

This page describes a walk along the chalk ridge of the Isle of Wight.

Having walked the Isle of Wight Coast Path several times - this walk is a change. It traverses the island along the chalk ridge from the Needles in the extreme west to Culver Down in the extreme east, enjoying views of the Solent to the north and the English Channel to the south.

Freshwater: - the Isle of Wight - the walk leaves Freshwater via Afton Down.

Description of the path

Although there does not appear to be a formal named path across the island - there are many public paths on the island and it is easy to join these up. The western section is coincident with the Tennyson Way as far as Newport.

Quite often when walking there are places that attract attention but the available time means that they have to be noted and left for another time. So this walk actively combines a visit on or near the route - with a shorter leg.

The challenge, as always when walking the island as a day visitor, is to break it into sections that are serviced by public transport. Buses reach most places but a high level walk walk like this inevitably means a walk out to a nearby village to reach a bus service.

Three stages have been competed so far - walking west to east from the Needles. It has been a pleasant walk so far with visits to the Old and New Needles Batteries as well as the Dimbola Museum in Freshwater.

The views north to The Solent and south to the English Channel are often spectacular.

Isle of Wight - Ridge Walk Stats

1. Overall

Topic Info comment
Terminus The Needles Old Battery
Terminus Culver Down tba
Total Distance tba 0.0 km
Lowest point Freshwater 3m [amsl]
Highest point Brighstone Down 210m [amsl]

2. Stages Completed

The stages below are stages completed to date and follow a west to east direction. The distance is taken from digital track data.

Stage Distance Terrain
The Needles - Freshwater 5.7 km hilly
Freshwater - Lynch Lane (pass) 8.3 km hilly
Lynch Lane (pass) - Newport 10.8 km moderate

3. Percent and total distance walked to date

Completed % Who Distance Year Notes
tba completed KM & HM 20.8 km 2014-ongoing west to east

This walk will be completed.

Points of Interest

The Needles The Needles: - there is a close view of the spectacular Needles from the Old Battery [National Trust]. The chalk ridge reappears in the west at Ballard Down in Purbeck with the Old Harry Rocks and the Pinnacles.
Newport - from Carisbrooke Castle Newport: - the bustling capital of the island. This is taken from Carisbrooke Castle which is close to the route in from the west.
Sandown Pier & Culver Cliff Culver Down from Sandown: - in the distance the eastern profile of the northerly chalk ridge, and the walk, can be seen. It sits between the towns of Bembridge to the north and this point (Sandown) to the south.

Getting there - access

Public transport is used for all stages of the walk. There is an excellent bus service on the island though you may have to walk up to 3km from this particular path to reach a bus stop eg at Calbourne.

There are frequent ferry links with the island at Yarmouth, Cowes, Fishbourne and Ryde.


Start: 03 September 2014
End: Ongoing

References & Links:

Date Reference or link
20140615 Isle of Wight [Wikipedia]
20140615 Isle of Wight paths [IoW Tourist info Site]
20140615 Isle of Wight path closures [IoW Council]
20140615 Southern Vectis bus services
20140615 Red Funnel & RedJet ferry
20140615 WightLink ferry
20140615 Hovertravel
20140615 Geology of the Isle of Wight [Ian West]

Updated KM 07 December 2014