Round the Island; Not a Trip Report

So while this isn’t quite a trip report of our hike around the Isle of Wight, which will come in the next couple of weeks once we’ve sorted the 1300ish photos, I do feel I want to write something about the hike which we finished less than 48 hours ago. (Today is Friday, we finished Wednesday evening, and this should be up Monday).

Lets call it a highlights package!

Day One – Gurnard to St Helens. 17 and a bit miles.

Ryde Seafront

Highlights – The section from Ryde to St Helens. Our first real experience at night hiking. Isaacs reaction to reaching St Helens, which he recognised, even in the dark, from a recent school trip. £6 Camping.

Lowlights – “Tarmac-geddon”. Apart from maybe the last mile and a half, the whole day was on tarmac or alongside a road, and after leaving East Cowes we hardly saw the coast until Ryde esplanade.

Hazels Round the Island - 110Day Two – St Helens to Shanklin. 13 ish miles.

Highlights – Through the Duver and across the causeway at St Helens. The climb up Culver and resulting ice cream. Late lunch on the beach. Playing the Penny Arcades on Sandown Pier (Kids Vote for that one).

Lowlights – The Penny Arcades on Sandown Pier (Dads). More tarmac. Few wild camp opportunities so had to use another campsite.

Day Three – Shanklin to Somewhere along the South Coast – 14 ish miles.

Hazels Round the Island - 263Highlights –  The landslip from Luccombe to Bonchurch, the Sea wall to Ventnor. The Cliff tops to St Lawrence, Steephill Cove, finding new beaches, the views from above Blackgang, Wild Camping on the cliffs beyond Chale, the whole day really.

Lowlights –  None, best day on the trail.

Day 4 – Chale – Totland -Around 17 miles

Hazels Round the Island - 371Highlights – Trail all except last mile. Expansive views.Ice Cream at Totland. Climb up Tennyson Down and along to Needles. Spotting a fox about 3 feet away from us and having a staring contest with it.

Lowlights – Views of Needles obscured by the Old Battery which requires entry fee and was closed anyway. Once again someone commoditising our natural landmarks!



Day 5 – Totland to Home – 18 and a half miles.Hazels Round the Island - 554

Highlights – Second breakfast in Yarmouth, Bouldnor Forest and Hampstead. Thorness Bay and the last 1/2 mile to Gurnard Beach where we were practically jogging to catch the sunset from our local beach.

Lowlights – Some very dodgy road walking through Shalfleet and around Porchfield. Running out of trail.

We had a really good time on the trail and would definitely repeat some of it again, probably Shanklin round to Yarmouth, but you can keep East Cowes to Ryde, I’m never hiking that section again. #Tarmac-geddon.

I’ll do a full trip report in the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes peeled, click the follow button or find us on social places @justupthetrail




  1. That sounds like a great hike around the Isle of Wight (other than Tarmac-geddon between East Cowes and Ryde!) I love Culver Down and the southern side of the island – it is such a beautiful place. It is a shame that the area around the Needles is so commercialised though. Thank you for sharing with #CountryKids

    1. Thanks Louise, it’s not the shops at Alum Bay that annoy me. It’s when “charities” charge for access to natural features under the banner of “protection” when we all know it’s about making money! There’s probably a blog post in that somewhere (opens notes app)

  2. Oh yes the Battery monstrosity that you have to pay to go in and don’t get me started on what they’ve done to alum Bay since I was a child, but there is something wonderful about the Isle of Wight and it looks as if there was more to enjoy on your trip than not overall #Countrykids

    1. Its not the paying to go in the Battery that annoys me, its that the best views of the Needles are from within the Battery which itself obscures views from outside. I would wager that the majority of paying battery visitors are doing so for a better view of the natural landmark. Its a little bit like “We’re protecting the UK’s Historical and Natural Monuments and Landmarks, but only for those who can afford to visit them” Example; Osborne House was gifted to the nation and now it costs an arm and a leg to see it. Just don’t get me started on Stonehenge!!!

  3. Those are some pretty impressive hiking miles clocked up by your wild kids, they must be really fit. Inspirational! Glad to hear someone is as bad as me with over-photographing everything too. I look forward to the full account as I’ve yet to visit the Isle of Wight. Thanks for sharing with us on #CountryKids

  4. We love a good walk but our walks are shorter these days with the kids. It’s a shame that there were some low lights. I have memories of camping and oooh the milkshakes they have there. #CountryKids

  5. Rob, enjoyed so much of this, we haven’t had time to read all yet, but wanted to say great job well done.
    Lin Ward

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