|40 km/25 miCircular||Ascent 905 m/2969 ft||Difficult|
|Car||Whitcombe Road||Freshwater Bay|
I strongly recommend using View Ranger to follow this route.
The starting point is the 'Priory Car Park' a popular parking place for local riders, and it's free.Leave the car park in a westerly direction for 200 metres to the junction of Froglands Lane. Take the N108 towards GatcombeKeep climbing up this deep wooded gully until you see daylight. Go straight on through the field with the two gates. When you leave the field join the G6 Chillerton going steeply downhill on a concrete road.At the road junction and bear right after 30 metres on to Newbarn Lane. After 400 metres the road turns sharply right. We go left on to the bridleway. After climbing the hill, we continue for 80 metres, and take the track on our right marked by a metal pole. Keep on this track for 1 Kilometre when it will turn sharply left downhill to join the tarmac road, (Main Road, Chillerton).Turn left. After 140 metres, turn right into Hollow Lane G15a take this steep track for 400 metres. When you reach the top of the track at the field turn left and follow the field edge to the confluence of paths where we carry on down on the G15a Ramsdown.At the road turn right, and then right again at the junction. After 200 metres, when we turn left onto the G13.
We are now climbing towards the large aerial
Immediately the climbing stops, take the gate in right hand corner of the field, towards the aerial.
At the concrete road turn left for 900 metres, and take the un-signposted chalk track on your left. Take this track going through the two gates to follow the track in the field alongside the wood. Take a sharp left in the corner of the field and descend to join the road.
Cross the road, (Cheverton Shute B3323), with CARE here.
Continue straight over the side onto the SW51.
We are taking this track to join the Tennyson Trail at Brighstone Forest
The track merges seamlessly into the Tennyson Trail, when it will drop downhill, on a fast chalk track, alongside the forest, on your right, to the main road.
Cross the road, (Strawberry Lane) into the car park, and carry straight on, uphill past the bronze age barrows, and then downhill again, to cross another road, (Brook Road B3339).
We now climb steeply uphill on the chalk track till it levels off.
We will eventually reach Freshwater Golf course, where we have a long downhill into Freshwater Bay. Although you will be descending at speed, remember to keep left at the bottom of the descent, to join the road at the top of Freshwater Bay
There's a cafe open in the summer months, and there are some toilets nearby.
We need to turn right onto Afton road, which runs alongside the Car Park.
After 700 metres we turn right towards Newport. Keep going on this road for 400 metres, take the second right into Manor Road. After 60 metres, there's a gate on our left, we take this path towards the ridge of the downs.
When we reach the gate, we turn left, and keep to the bottom edge of the downs for three kilometres, till we reach the edge of the forest.
We now climb upwards to re-join the Tennyson Trail.
The route is a very straight forward reversal of what we've already done, but we are sticking wholly to the Tennyson Trail.
Take extra care when you enter the forest after climbing from the car park. There are many paths meeting here. Make sure you are going uphill on what is the steepest track in a easterly direction.
When you finally leave the forest the trail now becomes open fields till we reach Carisbrooke.
There are a few gates to negotiate, but with the prevailing wind, this is a fast section.
When you finally drop down to meet the tarmac road at Nodgham Lane. We turn right to meet Clatterford Road. Take a right then quickly left down Clatterford Shute. Cross the ford and follow the road - bearing right at the fork; to cross another ford.
Keep climbing on the road to the junction, where we turn left to the car park where we started.
Starting at Carisbrooke, on the outskirts of Newport. The route initially goes through Gatcombe, then Chillerton. It joins the Tennyson Trail at Shorwell which we follow to Freshwater. We then return mainly over the Tennyson Trail back to our destination.
The bulk of the route is on chalk ridges, with some tough climbs and fast descents.
- Ordnance Survey Map
- 1:25000 - Explorer OL29 - Isle of Wight
- 1:50000 - Landranger 196 - The Solent & Isle of Wight
Parking is free in the Priory Car Park in Whitcombe Road.
Sat Nav: PO30 1YS
OS Grid: SZ 489 875
There are no practical options for using Public Transport
The route is in a sparsely populated part of the Isle of Wight. There are no viable escape routes. So come prepared with plenty of hydration and food, and spare inner tubes.