Three Peaks and Coast Path Walk

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From an easy start along a dismantled railway, a rapid climb up and over a cliff leads to the first peak of the walk, Shanklin Down at 235 metres, with magnificent views across the heart of the island as well as both ends! Continue to the highest point on the island, St Boniface Down at 241 metres. From here follow the high Ventnor Downs, chosen as one of the sites for the first radar stations.

Next is an exhilarating clifftop walk with views over The Undercliff and your first view of the distinctive white octagonal tower of St Catherine's Lighthouse, the most southerly point of the island. A high cliff edge and a steep climb takes you to St Catherine's Hill at 237 metres.

Now comes an easy valley stroll through farmland past more relics of the island's long-vanished railways, before a final steep climb leads to the third and final peak, Stenbury Down at 226 metres and beyond to the obelisk.

As you catch your breath, take in the landmarks: St Catherine's Oratory and Hoy's Monument on St Catherine's Down to Freshwater Bay, Tennyson Down and the Dorset coast and Portland Bill beyond to the west; Brighstone Forest and Chillerton Mast to Carisbrooke Castle, Newport, Cowes and Southampton Water beyond to the north; St George's Down to Ashey Down with its white sea-mark and Portsmouth beyond to St Helens and Bembridge Harbour to the north-east; Bembridge Down, Culver Cliff and Sandown Bay and beyond to Chichester and The South Downs; St Martin's and St Boniface Downs to Ventnor, the English Channel and Stenbury Down to the south.

Follow the path down now through the charming Donkey Sanctuary back to the lay-by and bus stop.

England - South England - Isle of Wight - Countryside

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Flowers, Food Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, National Trust, Public Transport, Sea, Wildlife, Woodland
08/09/2017 - Claire Edwards

Beautiful first half to the walk. Coastal path is closed from grid reference SZ 51530 76198 (shortly before way mark 7). There is a diversion in place but I turned off at this point and headed inland to Whitwell and lunch at The White Horse Inn! I don't know whether it is possible to get to way mark 8 along the coastal path at the moment (September 17). As long as you have an OS map it is easy to find your way around though and Islanders are more than happy to help out with directions.

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