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Overview

Walking Holidays
5 - 8 Nights
67 miles / 108 km
  • Prices from: £475 per person
  • Start: Ryde, Isle of Wight
  • Finish: Ryde, Isle of Wight
  • Availability: All year round
  • Grading: Easy to Challenging
  • Way-marked: Yes

Isle of Wight Coastal Path Highlights

Spectacular scenery
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Walk along the magnificent coast taking in scenery including the spectacular chalk stacks of ‘The Needles’ and the colourful cliffs of Alum Bay.

Unspoilt coastline
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Experience the unspoilt Isle of Wight coastline as you make your way around the island, the expansive views near Sandown and the chalk cliffs of Culver Down.

Coastal villages
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Each day you can look forward to the charming coastal villages, bustling harbours and lively seaside resorts including the Victorian resort of Ventnor.

Royal connections
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Follow the trail past the stunning Osborne House, a favourite retreat of Queen Victoria and the most popular attraction on the Isle of Wight.

Walker’s paradise
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Over half of the Isle of Wight’s terrain is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, making it the perfect destination for a walking holiday.

The achievement
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Completing the full circuit around the Isle of Wight. Returning on foot to the place you started will give you a great sense of achievement.

A Magnificent Circuit Around the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight, situated just 5 miles off the south coast of England, is a walker’s paradise with over half of its terrain designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Packed into an island just 23 miles by 13 miles long, it offers towering white cliffs, historical sites, and bustling seaside resorts.

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The variety of coastal scenery along this 67-mile trail is amazing; the spectacular chalk stacks of ‘The Needles’, the multi-coloured sands of Alum Bay, quiet estuaries, wooded ‘chines’, and the most spectacular beaches in the south of England – you will find it never lacks variety.

Beginning in Ryde and following the coast in an anti-clockwise direction, the Isle of Wight Coastal Path is an exhilarating walk around the island’s coastline. Wander through the picturesque towns of Cowes and Yarmouth – thriving yachting ports steeped in maritime heritage – and escape into the wide-open spaces of Tennyson Down and along the deserted clifftops of South Wight. The wetlands at Bembridge are an ornithologist’s delight, as the combination of marshland, mud-flats and sands attract a wide variety of birds.

Think of this as rural, quintessential England at its very best, which can still offer challenge and adventure, mixed with great accommodation and fine hospitality. With an enviable sunshine record, the downs, cliffs, and coastline of this magnificent island make it the perfect destination for a self-guided walking holiday.

Isle of Wight Coastal Path Route

Recommended Itinerary

Our most popular itinerary is IOW2 which covers the route in 5 days / 6 nights.

Travel to Ryde for your first night’s accommodation
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Arrive in Ryde, which is located on the east coast of the Isle of Wight and serviced by regular transport from the south coast of England. Known as the ‘Gateway to the Island’, the town enjoys several miles of golden, sandy beaches and a beautiful Victorian Pier. The seafront is packed with pubs, restaurants and shops.

Day 1: Ryde to Cowes (8 miles / 13 km)
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Your first day on the coastal path links the two historic towns of Ryde and Cowes. You will meander past abbey ruins, a formal Royal residence, and a modern-day vineyard.

The Coastal Path leaves Ryde and heads towards the little-known but magnificent Quarr Abbey. Running a little further from the coast than in later sections it moves inland to pass stunning Osborne House.

After East Cowes, the trail crosses the floating bridge to West Cowes with its bustling sailing shops. In addition to the world-famous Cowes Week in early August, there tends to be boating events on at most times throughout the season.

Day 2: Cowes to Yarmouth (16 miles / 25 km)
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From Cowes, the trail follows the promenade along the sea wall out of town and heads onto the clifftop path to Gurnard Head. It descends onto the beach at Thorness Bay where you are likely to see wading birds, including oystercatchers, ringed plovers and redshanks.

Next head inland to Newtown Estuary and the village of Shalfleet beyond which is one of the most tranquil and aesthetically pleasing parts of the island, especially during the summer months.

This seclusion continues as the walk meanders through Bouldnor Forest and ends just before picturesque Port of Yarmouth with its delightful high street, beautiful houses, and independent shops.

Day 3: Yarmouth to Brighstone (14 miles / 22 km)
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A spectacular section of the path as the trail heads towards the remote western end of the island.

From Yarmouth, the route follows the sea wall, heads briefly inland and returns to the sea again at pretty Colwell Bay. After Totland Bay, a gradual climb leads to a magnificent vista across to High Down and the iconic Needles. Descend to visit the multi-coloured sands of Alum Bay, where a rest will be well earned.

Next, you ascend the white cliffs towards the iconic Needles where a slight detour takes you to a scenic viewpoint. The trail follows the chalk ridge of Tennyson Down affording spectacular views of this part of the Island and beyond. It descends to peaceful Freshwater Bay and continues along the coast to the pretty little village of Brighstone.

Day 4: Brighstone to Shanklin (15 miles / 24 km)
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This section begins by ambling over the cliff tops allowing superb views of the crumbling coastline.

The chines (steep gullies) are a special coastal feature of this area and as you meander along the clifftop it is easy to imagine the smuggling trade of old making good use of this relatively remote stretch of coast.

After the peaceful village of St Lawrence, the walk along the cliff path takes you to charming Ventnor with its Mediterranean-feel and esplanade. Stroll along the seafront to Bonchurch, over Luccombe cliffs and along the Victorian promenade into the lively seaside resort of Shanklin.

Day 5: Shanklin to Ryde (14 miles / 22 km)
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The final day of this wonderful coastal trail begins by walking alongside the sandy beaches of Shanklin and Sandown with their Victorian promenades. The path then climbs up to the sea cliffs of Bembridge Down offering sweeping views of Sandown Bay and its sandy beach behind.

After descending gradually to magnificent Whitecliff Bay, enjoy a well-earned rest at the Crab and Lobster Inn in pretty Bembridge with its substantial harbour and wetlands reserve.

Explore sublime Priory Bay, Seagrove Bay and the lovely seaside village of Seaview, before returning along the shoreline to Ryde where your coastal walk will end.

Onward travel
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After breakfast, you will start your journey home after a wonderful walking holiday on the Isle of Wight Coastal Path.

What’s Included?

Your Isle of Wight Coastal Path walking holiday includes:

  • Carefully selected accommodation along the route and trail transfers when applicable
  • En-suite or private bathroom facilities whenever possible
  • Daily door-to-door baggage transfers
  • Comprehensive information pack, kit list, guidebook and map (one set per room)
  • Personalised itinerary with details of your accommodation, route and recommendations for lunch and dinner
  • Traditional English breakfast
  • 24-hour emergency contact number
  • Full financial protection

Your walking holiday doesn't include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Transport to and from the start and end of the walk
  • Lunches and evening meals

Itineraries & Prices

We offer 4 suggested itineraries for walking the Isle of Wight Coastal Path.

Our most popular itinerary is IOW2 which covers the route in 5 days.

Tour code
Itinerary
Average miles infoAverage miles per day
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty
Price per person
IOW1
4 Days / 5 Nights
17 miles per day
Challenging
From £475
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 17 miles per day
Tour code: IOW1
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Challenging

4 Days / 5 Nights (IOW1)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Single room & solo walker supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room.

  • Standard: £45 per night

As we incur additional costs for transferring a single bag there is a solo walker supplement of £10 per day in addition to the single supplement.

Arrive Travel to Ryde for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Ryde to Shalfleet 17 miles / 27 km
2
Day 2 Shalfleet to Freshwater Bay 16 miles / 25 km
3
Day 3 Freshwater Bay to Ventnor 17 miles / 27 km
4
Day 4 Ventnor to Ryde 17 miles / 27 km
Depart Onward travel from Ryde

Prices

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£475 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

IOW2
5 Days / 6 Nights
13.5 miles per day
Moderate
From £570
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 13.5 miles per day
Tour code: IOW2
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Moderate

5 Days / 6 Nights (IOW2)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Single room & solo walker supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room.

  • Standard: £45 per night

As we incur additional costs for transferring a single bag there is a solo walker supplement of £10 per day in addition to the single supplement.

Arrive Travel to Ryde for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Ryde to Cowes 8 miles / 13 km
2
Day 2 Cowes to Yarmouth 16 miles / 25 km
3
Day 3 Yarmouth to Brighstone 14 miles / 22 km
4
Day 4 Brighstone to Shanklin 15 miles / 24 km
5
Day 5 Shanklin to Ryde 14 miles / 22 km
Depart Onward travel from Ryde

Prices

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£570 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

IOW3
6 Days / 7 Nights
11 miles per day
Moderate
From £665
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 11 miles per day
Tour code: IOW3
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Moderate

6 Days / 7 Nights (IOW3)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Single room & solo walker supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room.

  • Standard: £45 per night

As we incur additional costs for transferring a single bag there is a solo walker supplement of £10 per day in addition to the single supplement.

Arrive Travel to Ryde for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Ryde to Cowes 8 miles / 13 km
2
Day 2 Cowes to Yarmouth 16 miles / 25 km
3
Day 3 Yarmouth to Freshwater Bay 8 miles / 13 km
4
Day 4 Freshwater Bay to Chale 11 miles / 18 km
5
Day 5 Chale to Sandown 12 miles / 19 km
6
Day 6 Sandown to Ryde 12 miles / 19 km
Depart Onward travel from Ryde

Prices

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£665 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

IOW4
7 Days / 8 Nights
9.5 miles per day
Easy
From £750
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 9.5 miles per day
Tour code: IOW4
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Easy

7 Days / 8 Nights (IOW4)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Single room & solo walker supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room.

  • Standard: £45 per night

As we incur additional costs for transferring a single bag there is a solo walker supplement of £10 per day in addition to the single supplement.

Arrive Travel to Ryde for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Ryde to Cowes 8 miles / 13 km
2
Day 2 Cowes to Shalfleet 8 miles / 13 km
3
Day 3 Shalfleet to Yarmouth 8 miles / 13 km
4
Day 4 Yarmouth to Freshwater Bay 8 miles / 13 km
5
Day 5 Freshwater Bay to Chale 11 miles / 18 km
6
Day 6 Chale to Sandown 12 miles / 19 km
7
Day 7 Sandown to Ryde 12 miles / 19 km
Depart Onward travel from Ryde

Prices

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£750 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

Isle of Wight Coastal Path Accommodation

All of the accommodation that we reserve for you has been personally selected by our expert team to ensure it meets our exacting standards. We regularly review our extensive database.

We prioritise accommodation as close to the walking trail as possible. Occasionally, your accommodation may be located a short distance from the trail, or you may need to spend more than one night in the same place, in which case we will provide return transfers.

Travel Information

As an environmentally conscious tour operator, we actively encourage the use of public transport by providing clients with a detailed breakdown of travel options in their information packs. The following information may help with your pre-trip planning.

Getting to / departing from Ryde
By Air

Nearest Airports: London Gatwick, Southampton and Bournemouth

Regular trains operate from London Gatwick Airport to Portsmouth Harbour (journey time 1 hour 20 min). From here ferry services depart for Ryde.

Regular trains operate from Southampton Airport Parkway to Portsmouth Harbour via Southampton Central (journey time 55 min). From here ferry services depart for Ryde.

From Bournemouth, train services are available via Southampton to Portsmouth.

By Sea

Passenger-only ferries operate between Portsmouth Harbour station and Ryde (crossing time: 20 min). We advise that you book in advance and arrive 15 minutes prior to departure.

Hovercrafts operate from nearby Southsea to Ryde Esplanade (crossing time 10 min).

By Public Transport

Nearest railway station: Portsmouth Harbour Railway Station

There are regular train services from London Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour (journey time 1 hour 40 min). From here, ferry services depart for Ryde.

Regular National Express coaches operate from Victoria coach station in central London to Portsmouth (journey time approximately 2 hours). From here ferry services depart for Ryde.

By Car

If you choose to drive, we recommend leaving your car in Portsmouth and catching a passenger ferry. You can leave your car in the long-stay multi-story car park for a nominal fee.

If you do decide to take your car to the Isle of Wight, there are three possible crossings: Wightlink ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth (crossing time 35 min), Wightlink ferry from Portsmouth to Fishbourne (crossing time 40 min), and Red Funnel ferry from Southampton Town Quay to East Cowes (crossing time 1 hour).

Additional Days

We would be delighted to arrange additional accommodation for you along the Isle of Wight Coastal Path.

You may wish to plan a rest day or have an additional night at any of the locations along the route which offer activities or sightseeing opportunities – we’ve made some suggestions below. Please request this when you make an enquiry.

Cowes
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  • Visit stunning Osborne House, a favourite retreat of Queen Victoria and the most popular attraction on the Isle of Wight
  • Soak up the nautical history of this lovely town
  • Visit magnificent Carisbrooke Castle in Newport (7 miles from Cowes), where Charles I was imprisoned prior to his execution in London
Freshwater Bay
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  • Make the short journey back to The Needles and take the chairlift down to the beach at Alum Bay
  • Take a boat trip from the jetty at Alum Bay for a close-up view of the dramatic Needles Rocks and Lighthouse, and panoramic views of the sand cliffs
Ventnor
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  • Take advantage of the sunny microclimate at Ventnor and explore some of the finest beaches on the island
  • Visit Ventnor Botanic Gardens, an ideal haven for a variety of flora and fauna, many species of which are only found in the Mediterranean
Shanklin & Sandown
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  • Relax in these charming traditional seaside resorts, with glorious sandy beaches set against a backdrop of dramatic sandstone cliffs
  • Enjoy the unique tranquillity of Shanklin Chine, a gorge with rare plants and a delightful waterfall
  • Spend the day at the Isle of Wight Zoo, a sanctuary inside a fort overlooking the sandy beaches of Sandown Bay
  • With one of the highest concentrations of dinosaur fossils anywhere in the world, the area around Sandown Bay is a fun place for fossil hunting, and has led to the Isle of Wight becoming known as Dinosaur Island
Ryde
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  • Visit the wetlands at Bembridge, an ornithologist’s delight, where the combination of marshland, mud-flats and sands attracts a wide variety of birds
  • Spend some time exploring the upmarket seaside village of Seaview, just 2 miles from Ryde
  • Take a ride on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway from Havenstreet (3 miles from Ryde)
  • Spend the day at Robin Hill Adventure Park, set in 88 acres of beautiful countryside and the Island’s favourite country attraction (6 miles from Ryde)

Make an enquiry

Isle of Wight Coastal Path

Need something more tailored?
Contact us via email:
enquiries@absoluteescapes.com

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