The history of the Isle of Wight includes eight special wonders that relate to locations found on the island. A sort of play-on-words with location names. Originally as five wonders, it expanded to six and then eight over time. These wonders first were used on postcards for tourists, created by W. J. Nigh, a Ventnor postcard maker from the 1900s. More information on the history and examples of the postcards can be seen here.
The unique Eight Wonders of the Isle of Wight are:
It’s hard to write just one post about the Isle of Wight, as it’s the place I was born and raised for 17 years of my life. So much to say and so much to see! But for now I’ll pick some topics and expand from there!
Whether you are visiting on your own, with your partner or with children these 6 walking routes (which are some of my fav) are fun for all to explore and enjoy!
1. Tennyson Down
To reach the top you can start either at Alum Bay and take the pathed road via the Needles (great views) or from Freshwater Bay. Once you reach the top, there is a memorial to Lord Tennyson, a poet who lived nearby for 40 years. It’s often windy so dress appropriately and don’t walk too closely to the cliffs! For more information check out this National Trust webpage.
Don’t miss the opportunity to check out the Alum Bay while you are there, where you can walk down to the beach or take the chairlift for some fantastic views of the lighthouse.
2. Parkhurst Forest
Are you ready for a red squirrel hunt? There is a special route you can follow to spot the famous isle of Wight red squirrels. They can also be spotted at different locations on the island, but in my experience I have seen most here! There are also plenty of other paths to explore the forest and enjoy the peace and nature too.
This beach is perfect for walking along with sand in your toes (or exploring the rocks), swimming and to watch the sun set in the distance behind the cliffs towards Tennyson Down (above those beautiful white cliffs). You can walk all the way along the beach when the tide is out, but you can also walk along at the top too. Just be aware that the edge is very slowly falling down into the sea, so dont walk to close to the edge if on the beach or above it. This beach is perfect for dogs too!
4. Steephill Cove
This hidden treasure can be reached walking down from the parking area, but I recommend to walk to from Ventnor along the coast. Take an afternoon here and stop at the Crab Shed for lunch. On a clear day you may even see France!
5. Cowes Cycle Track
This track used to be the railway track from Cowes to Newport, transporting goods and passengers from 1859. Now tarmacked, it can be walked and cycled from Newport to Cowes and back. Closer to Cowes there is a refurbished wooden bridge to cross over, a popular place now to feed ducks from. This one is pretty easy with as its flat and just under 10km there and back.
This less popular touristic area is a place I would visit often as it does not compare to anything else on the island, reachable by car, bike and a local bus. Mostly used by birdwatchers, it’s also a natural harbour and marshlands that is used by local fishermen. The 17th century historic town hall is now open to the public so take a look and learn the history of how the French raided in 1377, which destroyed most if not all of the village. Take the wooden walkway all the way along to the end of the route to try and spot some uncommon native species!