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Ultimate Challenge

Cowes - Yarmouth (coastal path)
A gentle introduction to the Isle of Wight Coastal Path, with rolling landscape to follow. The trail leads you along cliff tops before descending onto the beach at Thorness bay where we're likely to see wading birds, including oyster catchers, ringed plovers and redshanks. After the Thorness Holiday Village you veer away from the coast and inland through the Newton National Nature Reserve with further bird watching opportunities on offer. Shortly thereafter, the trail makes its way back towards the coast, eventually arriving in the attractive, bustling town of Yarmouth.

Yarmouth - Brighstone (coastal path)
This section of the Isle of Wight Coastal Path is dominated by the three pinnacles of the Needles with the Old and New Batteries and the Black Knight missile test From The Needles and Scratchell's Bay, the trail continues along the chalk ridge of Tennyson's Down past the Tennyson Monument following chalk cliff tops past Compton Bay with its excellent beaches. before arriving in your destination of Brighstone.

Brighstone – Bonchurch (coastal path)
Featuring the Isle of Wight's famous Chines (coastal gullies) and St. Catherine's Lighthouse at St. Catherine’s point, many feel this section offers the best walking and views of the entire Isle of Wight Coastal Path. The Ventnor Botanic Gardens lie just after Steephill Cove and thanks to Ventnor's mild climate, the Garden contains palms and many other varieties of sub-tropical plants. Bonchurch and the Landslip, so named as it suffered in the great landslip of 1810. The area was further disturbed in 1928 and continues to slip very gradually.

Bonchurch – Seaview (coastal path)
Passing through the seaside resorts of Shanklin, which still retains some of its Victorian elegance and was once home to John Keats and the more modern resort of Sandown with its zoo and big cat sanctuary at Yaverland, the Maritime Museum at Bembridge, Flamingo Park and Puckpool Park. In addition, there are National Trust areas of interest at Bembridge Down and The Duver.

Seaview – Cowes (coastal path)
This final section of the Isle of Wight Coastal Path tends to run further from the coast than other sections, in much the same way that the first section did. Here, you move inland after crossing the Wootton Creek. Before that, a highpoint is Quarr Abbey, originally a Cistercian site dating from the 12th Century. The present abbey, however, was built in the early 20th Century by Benedictine monks. This section arguably keeps the best or at least the most popular, 'til last though. The stunning Osborne House, a favourite retreat of Queen Victoria is the singular most popular attraction on the Isle of Wight. Thereafter the trail continues back to Cowes and the end of the Isle of Wight Coastal Path.

Cowes – Chale (North to South)
Heading out of Cowes you will follow the Tidal banks of the River Medina passing the Folly Pub on your way to Newport the Capital of the Island. Leaving Newport you will pass ponds and small rivers and then join the Stenbury trail. Shortly after heading South through the sleepy villages of Merstone and Rookley. Meeting up with the Yar river trail into Whitwell and skirting around Niton and finally arriving At St Catherines Light House.

Needles – Newport (West to East)
After breakfast you will be transported from Cowes to the Needles where you begin the East to West crossing of the Island. Following the cliff path with its fantastic views or the more inland Tennyson trail passing the Poet Laurets Monument on you way down to Freshwater Bay. Climbing past the Golf club and re joining the Tennyson trail over the 4 Downs of Compton, Brooke, Mottistone and Brighstone before entering into Brighstone forest (look out for the elusive Red Squirrel). Leaving the forest you will descend through the Bowcombe valley and follow the Lukely Brooke through crystal clear water meadows leading to Carisbrooke Castle where Richard 1 was imprisoned in 1647.

Newport – Bembridge (West to East)
Climbing out of Newport you will join the Bembridge trail, climbing up and past the gravel works on St Georges Down and onto the craft village of Arreton with its brush rubbing centre and Manor house. Passing through tiny villages and the ancient town of Brading with its Wax Works museum and Roman villa. The last part of the walk takes you through the lowlands of Brading marshes which are buzzing with wildlife. Look out for shimmering damselflies darting along the river in summer. In winter, the marshes take on more muted colours with willows and reed beds swaying in the wind. Passing Bembridge Windmill which is the only surviving windmill on the Island. Built c 1700 and still with its original machinery in tact it has been an inspiration for many artists including J M W Turner. Finally arriving in the maritime town of Bembridge on the Eastern point of the Island

Wight Wanders - 1 Sandpit Cottages - St Johns Road - Wroxall - PO38 3AB
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