Home OutDoor, Things to do, Walks, Wild Life National Trust ABC of the downs walk on the Isle of Wight – 7.5 Miles
Enjoy the most splendid views on this walk over the ridge of Afton, Brook and Compton Downs. Then follow in the steps of the dinosaurs back along the coast.
National Trust ABC of the downs walk on the Isle of Wight – 7.5 Miles
- Take the defined track heading up the hill, which passes close to the back of the car park and leads between golf course tees and greens. This is part of the Tennyson Trail, which follows the ridges over the downs. Follow the trail for 2.5 miles, going through one gate. 110yds after a lone bench on the left, take a detour to the left to reach the highest point and visit the Five Barrows and trig point. Rejoin the track and head downwards. Pass through a gate to reach a road.
- Turn right and follow the road for 160yds. Turn left up a tarmac drive towards Brook Hill House, a large and impressive house, which is now luxury apartments. Take S39 where the private drive swings right, then straight on at a path junction. 15yds before a kissing gate leading onto the Mottistone Estate, turn right where you see the sign “Private woodland, please keep to path”. Go down through the wood, over a stile and into a field. Continue on, and cross two more stiles to reach the road at Hulverstone after a kissing gate.
- Turn left for 45yds then right along the lane. After 65yds step over a wall on your right, signed BS47 Brook, heading for the sea. Follow the path over five stiles, passing to the right of a pond. Join a track and follow it as it bends right into Brook village. Turn left on the road, and then left again almost opposite a phone box and over a stile onto footpath BS54. Keep to the left of the field, cross a stile then up some steps to reach the busy Military Road. Cross carefully and then take footpath BS78 to the right of a drive. Go over another stile and bear right over a bridge to cross the track leading to Brookgreen. Follow a coast path marker post to reach a car park.
- When you are at Brook Car Park there are two options. If you prefer a cliff walk or if the tide is high or the beach steps are out of action following a landslip, take the coast path on the far side of the car park. The path crosses a footbridge and soon reaches the car park at Shippards Chine. Alternatively, if the tide is low enough for walking on the sand and the steps at Shippards Chine are open (they were closed in early 2016), go left down the path and concrete ramp onto the beach. Follow the coast for about a mile to the right, around the headland. This stretch is the best area to look for dinosaur foot casts. Climb the wooden steps to Shippards Chine to rejoin the coast path.
- Follow the coast path to Compton Chine. Do not go through the kissing gate that leads back to the road. Follow the path to the left of a fence, then go over a stile and footbridge to cross the ever-lengthening chine, and rejoin the coast via another stile.
- Join the road after some steps and a stile. The path continues to the left of the road, bending coastward after the crest of the rise. Just after a memorial stone to ELM, bear right and return to the car park on the other side of the road.