|35 km/22 mi
|Ascent: 704 m/2309 ft||Difficult|
|Car, or Train: Brading Station||Brading Down - Free||Apse Heath|
This route is best followed using ViewRanger
There are several unmade car parks to choose from. The best place to park is just East of the 'View Point' car park, near the B42 Upper Adgestone Road. Parking is free.
1. Brading Down to Borthwood
Cross the road and head for the B29 Kelly’s Copse in the gap in the hedgerow. It's not easy to spot though.
Go across the field and enter the wood, and take the left diagonal downhill path till it flattens off and meets the wide bridleway. Turn left, and through the five bar gate, keeping to the edge of the field. At the corner of the field, turn left and uphill till you meet another gate. Keep right, and to the edge of the field, until you reach the road. You are in fact heading back to the road you started on. You are now 1 kilometre west of your start point.
Turn left on the road for 85 metres then turn right on to the B43 Kern, Alverstone. This is a steep narrow downhill which will require good bike handling skills.
When you meet the road, carry straight on down until the junction. Go straight over the junction and over the River Yar, and past the the cycle track.
Just after you pass the footpath sign for Alverstone Mead, take a right on to the unmade road, the NC42 and keep left and uphill until you join the road, Youngwoods Way.
Go straight across the road on to the NC12 till you meet the road, (Alverstone Road).
Turn left, and after 280 metres, join the Entrance to the National Trust 'Borthwood'.
2. Borthwood to America Woods
Ignoring any signs about riding, (this is a Bridleway). Continue through the wood keeping to the main central track. At the obvious fork, keep left, until you reach the edge of the wood.
Cross directly over the field on to the NC19 through the gate, then around the caravan park then on to the NC35 which takes us to a busy main road.
Turn right and, uphill for 700 metres until you meet the mini roundabout, (there's a shop here call Raj's Premier, you can't miss it). Take the 1st exit left, on to Ventnor Road
Continue for 500 metres and then turn left on to the NC21 to Apse New Barn Farm.
Continue on this track past the farm, alongside the wood, until you Reach the pond near Ninham Farm.
Take a right here on to the SS19 to America Woods alongside the brook.
At the outskirts of the wood, go through the gate and uphill leftwards. Keep to this main path until you reach the stone cottage. Take care here, you need to take a right then a left to pass by the cottage. Do not take the path directly adjacent to the cottage.
Continue through the woods to meet the Road
3. America Woods to Upper Ventnor
Go directly across the road on to the unmade road for 60 metres, where you meet the Cycle Track
Turn right here, and continue for 1 Kilometre to the second bridge. There's a path 100 metres further on along on the right, that takes you on to the bridge.
At the top of the bridge turn right (south), and uphill till it levels off at a confluence of many paths.
Continue upwards on the V46 till you reach a wooden gate
Go straight across the field to the old chalk quarry, and climb upwards along side the quarry, until it levels off.
Climb diagonally left, aiming for the hedgerow in the distance
At the hedgerow, turn right on the obvious bridleway, pass through two gates on to Luccombe down.
Follow the chalk and flint track till it meets the the chalk road at the edge of the Old RADAR Station, (you can't miss the aerials).
Go right and stick to the tarmac road, which drops steeply downhill, to where Down Lane meets the main road
4. Upper Ventnor to Godshill
Turn left downhill, and take the first right on to Steephill Down Road.
Continue upwards for 500 metres where you bear left on to the V54 until you meet the V55, where you turn right, and sharply uphill, on to the ridge.
Continue on the ridge, through several gates, until you meet a metalled road, where you continue straight on, towards the aerials in the distance.
After 180 metres past the aerials there is a gate in the hedge on the left, where you turn onto the GL49
This path descends steep downhill to meet a five bar gate. Continue straight past the gate, across the open field. The path narrows and continues to a set of Deer Gates (high metal gates). Go straight over, continuing on the GL49, until you reach a large stone arch called 'Freemantle Gate'.
You will be following the well sign posted Squirrel Trail
Turn left and downhill for one kilometre, until you reach the main road.
5. Godshill to Brading Down
Turn left, and immediately right, to follow the Squirrel Trail on wide, open fields. Continue past Billingham Manor on to the metalled road until you reach the Railway Bridge. You are very close to many cafe's in Godshill, which start 50 metres to the left of your location.
At the bridge continue on the 'Squirrel Trail' on to the National Cycle Route 23, where you turn right for several kilometres.
After crossing the road at the traffic lights, continue on the cycle path until you cross the road at Newchurch.
After 550 metres there is a track flanked by small cultivated conifer trees. Turn left on to the NC53 until the road, where you turn right. You have now left the Squirrel Trail.
The road eventually leads to a sign about the Quarry. Officially the quarry road is private,. Take a left just before the quarry sign, which eventually makes it way to the entrance of the quarry. Continue past the quarry downhill on to the Bembridge Trail B35 heading left towards Kern Farm.
At Kern Farm, go through the gate, then bear right on to the tarmac section for 60 metres, then turn left on to the B33 and continue steeply uphill to the main road.
Turn right on the road, and in 2 km you will be back at your destination.
This is a long ride over varied terrain. Taking in the highest point on the Isle of Wight.
There's also two woods containing singletrack.
There's some good descending along with some tough climbs.
There's also a significant section of cycle track.
So it's varied, but still challenging.
- Ordnance Survey Map
- 1:25000 - Explorer OL29 - Isle of Wight
- 1:50000 - Landranger 196 - The Solent & Isle of Wight
Free at Brading Downs
Sat Nav: PO36 0ES
OSGB: SZ 596 869
As this is a ride, I've opted for starting at the Free car park on top of Brading Down. If you are coming by train, it is a two kilometre ride to the start, from Brading Station. Don't forget, you can take your bike on the train.
There are no viable escape routes.