Isle of Wight Council

Public Rights of Way

Local walks and trails on the Isle of Wight


There are many local trails and walks which are promoted by Town/Parish Councils, local groups and societies.  These routes may use a combination of Public Rights of Way, Footways (pavements), Open Access Land and Permissive Paths.

Although the Isle of Wight Definitive Map shows the network of public rights of way, routes can be hard to identify without a guide or recommendation. 

If you are looking for things to do please check the website FreeWight this has loads of ideas of places to visit and you can then incorporate these interesting things and locations into your walk or cycle trip.

The list of leaflets and websites below provides various walks and routes:

Please note: that Public Rights of Way have not checked the content of these leaflets and cannot therefore guarantee their accuracy or suitability. 

You can discover a selection of  local walks on the Isle of Wight Ramblers website

View walks on the Isle of Wight, provide on the  John Harris Walking in England website 

Short walks around the islands pubs can be found on the IW Beer & Bus website

Barnsley Trail - 4 mile circular walk in the Nettlestone & Seaview area (PDF, 548KB, 2 pages).

Bembridge Trail - 11 miles Bembridge point to Shide Corner, Newport (PDF, 1.67MB, 3 pages).

Betty's Walk - 1.4 mile circular walk around old Freshwater Village (PDF, 692KB, 2 pages).

Boat Trail - 4 mile walk in Cowes and East Cowes (PDF, 2.48MB, 3 pages).

Brading Heritage Trail - A stroll through Brading town (PDF 6.76KB, 2 pages).

Brading Wetland Wonders - 1 mile circular walk to explore wildlife in the wetland west of Brading Station (PDF 728KB, 2 pages).

Brading Wonderfull Welly Walk - 1.86 miles Brading Station to Roman Villa (PDF, 1.61MB 2 pages).

5 Walks from Brading Station:  1 St Helens Branch Line (PDF, 375KB, 2 pages) - 2 Centurion Copse & Old Sea Wall  (PDF, 385KB 2 pages) -  3 Views Over Yaverland Manor  (PDF, 364KB, 2 pages) - 4 Brading Roman Villa  (PDF, 320KB, 2 pages) - 5  Brading Down (PDF, 354KB, 2 pages).

Calbourne - a guide to the area (PDF, 144KB, 2 pages).

Carisbrooke Beer & Bus Historical Walk - 3.1 miles (PDF, 2.81Mb, 8 pages)

Cascading Canopies Histree Trail - 1.75 mile circular walk round Cowes (PDF, 284KB, 4 pages).

Champions & Churchyards Histree Trail - 4 miles Carisbrooke to Medina Arboretum in Newport (PDF, 248KB, 5 pages).

Compton to Chale - Glanville Fritillary cliff top butterfly spotting walk (PDF, 7.40MB, 2 pages)

Coastal Path Cowes to Yarmouth - 16 miles (PDF, 1.19MB, 1 page).

Coastal Path Yarmouth to Brighstone - 14 miles (PDF, 1.12MB, 1 page).

Coastal Path Brighstone to Niton - 8 miles (PDF, 1MB, 1 page).

Coastal Path Niton to Sandown - 9 miles (PDF, 1.08MB, 1 page).

Coastal Path Sandown to Ryde - 12 miles (PDF, 1MB, 1 page).

Coastal Path Ryde to Cowes - 8 miles (PDF, 1MB 1 page).

Cowes Beer & Bus Historical Walk - 2.1 miles (PDF, 6.18Mb, 24 pages)

Cowes Blitz Walk - (PDF, 2.49Mb, 8 pages)

Curious Carisbrooke - Rambles by Bus (PDF, 1.68MB, 1 page).

Freshwater Way - 5 miles - Yarmouth Bridge to Freshwater Bay (PDF,1.06MB, 1 page)

Groves & Gardens Histree Trail - 3.2 mile circular walk around Shanklin Old Village (PDF, 285KB, 4 pages).

Gurnard Beer & Bus Historical Walk - (PDF, 1.49Mb, 8 pages)

Hamstead Trail - 7 miles - Hamstead Cliffs, Cranmore to Brook (PDF, 1.17MB, 1 page).

Kings & Dragons Histree Trail - 10.1miles - Carisbrooke to Brighstone (PDF, 213KB, 5 pages).

Legends & Landscapes Histree Trail - 4.1 circular walk around Brading (PDF, 266KB, 4 pages).

Medina Estuary -  9 mile circular walk between Cowes, Newport and East Cowes (PDF, 287KB, 2 pages).

Merstone Station - Walking & Cycling from Merstone Station (PDF, 2.01Mb, 3 pages)

Milne Trail - about an hours walk around Newport tracking the later part of the life of John "Earthquake" Milne (PDF, 2.37MB, 2 pages).

Newport Beer & Bus Historical Walk - 2 miles (PDF, 2.36Mb, 8 pages)

Northwood Beer & Bus Historical Walk - 4.3 miles (PDF, 3.02Mb, 8 pages)

Nunwell Trail - 7 miles - Sandown Railway Station to Ryde (PDF, 981KB 1 page).

Parks & Parasols Histree Trail - 2.6mile circular walk around East Cowes (PDF, 286KB, 4 pages).

Poets & Pines Histree Trail - 3.9 mile circular walk around Freshwater (PDF, 272KB, 5 pages).

Ryde Beer & Bus Historical Walk - 2.1 miles (PDF, 3.25Mb, 8 pages)

Scotchells Brook Trail - 4.5 miles - Shanklin to Alverstone (PDF, 2.07Mb, 3 pages)

Shanklin Beer & Bus Historical Walk - 2.4miles (PDF, 2.44Mb, 8 pages)

Shepherds Trail - 7 miles - Carisbrooke to Shepherds Chine (PDF, 1.04MB, 1 page).

Smugglers Trail (Niton) - Sites of interest around Niton (PDF, 5.89Mb, 19 pages)

Stenbury Trail - 10 miles - Shide (Newport) to Ventnor at the Botanical Garden (PDF, 575KB, 1 page).

Sunshine Trail - 12 miles circular cycle route, passing Wroxall, Godshill, Lanbridge, Sandown, Lake & Shanklin (PDF, 297KB, 2 pages).

Tennyson Trail - 14 miles - Carisbrooke to Alum Bay (PDF, 1.05MB, 1 page).

Towering Tennyson - Rambles by Bus (PDF, 936KB, 2 pages).

Ventnor Beer & Bus Historical Walk - (PDF, 864Kb, 8 pages)

Venerable Oaks Histree Trail - 5.5 mile circular walk around Ryde, Fishbourn & Quarr (PDF, 274KB, 4 pages).

Warrior war horse trail - circular trail around Brook, Mottistone & Brighstone (PDF, 492Kb, 1 page)

Waterside Whippingham - 4.4 mile linear walk between Whippingham and Newport (PDF, 1.12MB. 2 pages).

West Wight Beer & Bus Historical Walk - 8.3 miles (PDF, 1.65Mb, 8 pages)

Wroxall Stream Trail - 8 miles Ventnor to Merstone

Western Yar Eastuary - 3.8 mile circular walk from Yarmouth to Freshwater (PDF, 678KB, 2 pages).

Wootton Countryside & Landscape - 3.5 mile walk in the Wootton environment (PDF, 1.54MB, 2 pages).

Wootton Creek & Coastline - 4 mile circular walk to Woodside beach (PDF, 1.42MB, 2 pages).

Wootton (Hidden) - 6 mile walk to Woodhouse & Littletown (PDF, 1.45MB, 2 pages).

Wootton (Historical) - 2.5 miles - notable building & features (PDF, 1.49MB, 2 pages).

Wootton Musical Heritage - 2 miles - people & places around Wootton (PDF, 1.48MB, 2 pages).

Worsley Trail - 13 miles - Brighstone Forest to Shanklin Old Village (PDF, 121MB, 1 page).

Yar River Trail - 13.5 miles - Niton to St Helens (PDF, 2.06Mb, 3 pages)

Yarmouth Harbour - Sensory Trail located around the harbour area (PDF, 8.42KN, 2 pages).

Other sources of information:

The network of Public Rights of Way (as at 2000) can be viewed in the Isle of Wight Definitive Map

The network of Public Rights of Way plus some cycle routes and permissive paths can be viewed on the Isle of Wight Leisure Map , this is not a definitive map but gives a illustration of where the routes run. 

View the Visit Isle of Wight the Isle of Wight tourism website, it has lots of information about walking and cycling.

Open Access Land and a number of Permissive Paths can be found on the website of Natural England.

Visit the Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL29 website .

 Visit the Go Wild on Wight website

If you wish to add a guide or leaflet to the above list then please contact Public Rights of Way our email is:

Just for fun – how many can you walk?

The Rights of Way team are often asked for a list of the definitive paths, because people wish to see if they can find them and walk them.  The paths were originally named and numbered back in the 1950’s so now you will see that there are some numbers missing, this is because over time some paths have been extinguished, and this is why there are gaps in the numbering.   

I have listed the start and end destinations and some other information which might be helpful, but to locate the line of the route you will need to refer to a map (paper or digital). 

The Ordnance Survey map OL29 Explorer, for the Isle of Wight doesn’t show the path names and numbers only the line of the routes, but there are a couple of map books, that can be purchased, which also show the path name and number:

Perrys Guide Map of the Isle of Wight

A-Z Adventure Map of the Isle of Wight

Both available locally or found in the Tourist information Centre at The Guildhall, High Street, Newport, PO30 1TY.  See the Visit Isle of Wight website for more information on walking on the Island.  Or order your preferred map type off the internet or use a mobile phone app of your choosing.

The Isle of Wight Definitive Map can be found on the IW Council website and the Rights of Way team also have a digital leisure map, to help with the location of the paths. 

If you come across any problems on your walk please let the Public Rights of Way team know on remember to tell us whereabouts the problem is along the path, and a photos of it greatly helps us, when trying to relocate it again later on.

The paths are split into Parish and the  PDF lists can be found below:

Arreton 4 pages -148kb

Bembridge 3 pages - 144Kb

Brading 5 pages -143Kb

Brighstone 7 pages -175Kb

Calbourne 3 pages -139Kb

Chale 3 pages -128Kb

Cowes 2 pages -123Kb

Freshwater 5 pages - 145Kb

Gatcombe & Chillerton 2 pages - 125Kb

Godshill 5 pages -162Kb

Newchurch 4 pages -108Kb

Newport 12 pages - 206Kb

Niton & Whitwell 7 pages -182Kb

Ryde 9 pages - 98Kb

Sandown & Shanklin 7 pages -185Kb

Shalfleet 3 pages -152Kb

Shorwell 4 pages -147Kb

Totland 3 pages - 149Kb

Ventnor 9 pages - 105Kb

Yarmouth  2 pages -120Kb