This is a great walk around the very top of St. Boniface Down, looking out across Ventnor, The English Channel and Sandown Bay. You will pass the old radar station a Ventnor and drop down into Ventnor Town
This great walk will take you around the summit of St. Boniface Down before you drop down into Ventnor town.
- When you are at the car park find the Dakota Memorial interpretation panel at the back of the car park then follow the path around the perimeter of Ventnor Radar Station, keeping the fence on your left. Under the radar station is a massive wartime bunker that was used during World War II.
- Turn right and just before the gate by a tall mast, signposted V1. After 45yds (40m) go through the kissing gate and bear left, taking the ridge top path towards Ventnor. This is one of the many gates to keep the goats that run freely on the downs within their enclosure. PLEASE REMEMBER TO KEEP THEM CLOSED. The path eventually descends very steeply with a series of steps. Go through the goat gate at the bottom, where there is an interpretation panel for Coombe Bottom. Continue through the copse, including two flights of concrete steps.
- When you get to the small industrial estate turn left, the site of the old Ventnor railway station 300ft (90m) above the sea. Turn left again at the main road and walk 380yds (350m) along the right-hand pavement of Mitchell Avenue. Take the path into the woods on the left signed V110, just past Ventnor Bowling Club.
- Follow the path along the bottom edge of the woodland overlooking the tennis courts. Don’t go through the kissing gate into Bishop’s Acre, but bear uphill to the left, with the stock fence on your immediate right. After a short distance the fence turns and descends again, but the path continues to rise straight ahead. Take the upwards left fork at a junction.
- Go through the goat gate to and you will come out onto open downland and then follow the contouring path for about 600yds (550m) across the lower slopes of St Boniface Down. This is the best area to see chalk grassland flowers and butterflies.
- Just below a clump of trees on an exposed flank of the hill, a path with steps joins from the road below and a crescent of houses close to the sea is seen further beyond. At this point, turn left and climb straight up the down, passing the clump of trees. The path is very steep, so please be careful, especially if slippy underfoot, but it becomes better defined higher up the hill. You may feel it is better suited to mountain goats than humans! Near the top of the hill, there is a bench and interpretation panel.
- Go through the goat gate and up the hill. Follow the signpost V113 for 50yds (50m) to meet a crossing track with a view of Sandown Bay ahead. Turn left along the crossing track to the car park. Walk along the road out of the car park but turn right through a gate on the path signed V43, then quickly left again in 20yds (20m) to follow a grassy track which runs parallel to the road. Return to the car park by turning left opposite a wartime shelter.