|48 km/30 mi||940 m/3083 ft||Difficult|
I strongly recommend following this route using ViewRanger
At the large roundabout close to the Ferry, ride East towards Newport, and take the 3rd Right into Victoria Road. At the end of Victoria Road, take a right on to the Cycle Path. Follow the Cycle path for 2.5kms, along side the river, until you reach the The Causeway road at the stone bridge.
Take a left at the stone bridge on to the Causeway for 600 metres, until the T-junction at the main road, then turn left towards Newport. After 30 metres turn right on to Manor Road. Forty metres into Manor Road, turn left and through the metal gates towards Afton Down, until you reach the gate. Where we follow the F32 to Compton.
Go through the gate and past the metal barn building keep gaining height till you join the Tennyson Trail at the centre of the ridge.
You will not be deviating from the Tennyson Trail until you reach Carisbrooke on the outskirts of Newport.
Continue through the golf course, and keep riding the obvious trail until you meet the road, after the steep chalk track descent. Cross the road. Ahead of you is a stiff climb to Bronze Age Barrows at the top of Mottistone Down.
After the barrows you will drop down to the National Trust car park at Strawberry Lane.
After leaving the car park take a right, then then immediately left, to re-join the Tennyson Trail again. Continue on this flint and chalk track till it flattens off.
This next section requires careful navigation.
Immediately after the track levels off, we will be turning left onto Byway BS4 Tennyson Trail
It is very important you take the right track here. The Tennyson Trail continue upwards on your left slightly, and is the steepest of the tracks ahead of you. But, there is no easy way to describe it, as it's not signposted, and the area is featureless - so take care.
Continue on this gorse and bracken lined track into the next wooded section. Once you leave the wooded section the track hugs a small spinney on your right, and open farmland on your left, until it reaches a gate where the tree lined section stops.
From here on, there are few gates to negotiate. Hopefully, the prevailing South-westerly Wind will be on your back - which makes for fast riding. Remain for the next 4.5 km on the Tennyson Trail until you meet the tarmac road, Nodgham Lane
Assuming no detour. Turn right on Nodgham Lane till you reach the T-Junction. Turn right, and then left down Clatterford Shute. Cross the first Ford, and follow the road, bearing round to the right, and cross the second Ford. Keep right at the fork passing the much deeper ford by using the bridge. Pass Froglands Farm, until you meet the T-Junction. On your right will be N108. Follow this track upwards and onwards, without deviation, through the field with the two metal gates. We now join the G6 Chillerton which continues on towards the trees. Follow this steep concrete descent until you meet the tarmac road. Take a right at the road, and then a left on to Newbarn Lane.
When Newbarn Lane does a 90 degree right, we take a left on to the non-signposted chalk track in the open field. The track climbs upwards towards the trees. Fifty metres after the trees - we bear right on a narrow track marked a metal pole minus it's sign. We keep to this track with the hedgerow on our left. The track eventually turns left and downhill to the tarmac road at Chillerton.
At the road we turn left for 150 metres and then right into Hollow Lane G15a. We climb steeply upwards until the path levels quickly at the top. Where we turn left keeping to the perimeter of the field until we meet a confluence of paths, we continue on the G15a Ramsdown, to the tarmac road. At the road, turn right until we reach the T-junction, where we turn right. After 300 metres we turn left to join the G13. Don't over-shoot.
Follow this track upwards and always towards the large aerial, (Chillerton Mast), where you will join the concrete road, where we take a left, and continue for 800 metres downhill, to an non-signposted track on our left. Take care not too overshoot here. After a quick descent, go through the gate over the cattle grid and climb upwards and right, towards the trees. The path eventually takes a 90 degree left turn downhill towards the road.
TAKE CARE crossing the road here, listen out for vehicles as you wont be able to see them in advance.
Cross the road and climb upwards on the obvious chalk track. Remain on this chalk track, which will lead you to the turn-off you took earlier into Brighstone Forest. We are now mainly retracing our way back to the start.
The only deviation to our original start route, is that we will continue right down through Freshwater Golf Course to meet the road and which leads to Freshwater Bay - it's a fast downhill.
Immediately in the Bay and, before the Car Park, we take a right into Afton Road, then a first right onto Newport Road. We then take the first left on to the The Causeway. Then it's just a case of re-tracing your steps back to Yarmouth, via the Cycle Track.
The ride starts at Yarmouth, and follows the cycle track to Freshwater. We then ride the Tennyson Trail to Carisbrooke.
At Carisbrooke, we Ride a loop which returns you to the mid point of the Tennyson Trail. This is to stop the monotony of riding out and back wholly on the Tennyson Trail.
The route is a great ride for those coming for the day; and want to a taster of what the Isle of Wight has to offer. There's plenty of climbing and descents - nothing too technical. It's an achievable ride for the average Weekend Warrior.
If you are coming for the day from the Mainland. The cheapest option is to park and the Long Stay Car Park at Lymington, and embark on the ferry with just your bike. In fact the route has been designed this in mind.
- Ordnance Survey Map
- 1:25000 - Explorer OL29 - Isle of Wight
- 1:50000 - Landranger 196 - The Solent & Isle of Wight
Parking is in the River Road Car Park. Charges Apply
Sat Nav: PO41 0RA
OS Grid: SZ 354 895
Bikes are not allowed on buses. So the only viable alternative is come with your bike on Wightlink Lymington Ferry. Or, by car.
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.