Estuary, High Down & The Needles
|22 km/14 mi - Circular||448 m/1470 ft||Hard|
|Bus No.7, or car.||River Road.||Freshwater/The Needles/Alum Bay|
The route has been designed with day visitors in mind, who would be using the Wightlink, Lymington - Yarmouth Ferry, as foot passengers. That said, there's plenty of parking. Plus, Yarmouth is a nice town to stroll around.
1. Yarmouth Freshwater Bay
Starting at the Ferry terminal, head south towards the roundabout. At the roundabout, keep left on River Road. After 200 metres, cross the road and take Mill Road to the very end. Once you go through the gate by the Mill house, you are now on the Cycle Track heading towards Freshwater. After 2.5 kilometres, you arrive at the Causeway, and the stone bridge.
You immediately turn left on the Causeway and continue on the road for 650 metres. At the main road turn left, then 40 metres later turn right on to Manor Road. After 60 metres, just before the speed signs, turn left, and through the gate, to join the unmarked Bridleway. Continue towards the downs in the distance.
After 650 metres, go through the wooden gate, and turn right to go past the metal outbuilding. Then, at the path T-junction turn right, to go past the Golf Clubhouse. Keep left to join the main road, and go downhill in to Freshwater Bay. Go past the Hotel and Car Park, until you reach the Coastal Path sign. There's also some toilets here.
2. Freshwater Bay Alum Bay
The next section is very straightforward. Feel free to turn off any GPS devices.
You are making our way to The Needles. There is a path very near to cliff edge, but in the interests of safety; particularly for dogs. I've chosen the obvious middle path to the Needles.
You are heading for the Tennyson Monument with it's distinctive Celtic cross. After the monument keep to the middle of the ridge and onwards towards The Needles. When we reach the stile, there are a myriad of paths in front of you. You are aiming for the View Point, by the concrete road and the old Black Knight rocket towers.
After the View Point, climb up the steps and keep left and on the road, going through the old Napoleonic war bunkers towards the Coastguard cottages. Just below the cottages on the hairpin bend, there is a chalk path on the right. Take this path straight down to the road.
If you want to visit the National Trust, Needles Battery, stay on the road. There is an entrance fee. If you do visit, just rejoin the road back down towards Alum Bay, and the route.
Walking on the road, or on the path at the side, head down into Alum Bay. There's café’s, public toilets, and a bus stop here.
3. Alum Bay Freshwater Bay
Leave Alum Bay behind on the road, and after 160 metres, turn left keeping to the Coastal Path. After 160 metres, turn right and uphill keeping to the coastal path.
You are heading on to Headon Warren. Our route is along the top of the Warren. The 'Coastal Path' veers off to the right. You are keeping to the top of the Warren - it has better views. After 220 metres along the ridge, at the Bronze Age Barrows, turn right and downhill. Then turn left and keep going till you see a path going downhill on your right back down to the road we left earlier.
At the road turn left and uphill. When you reach the junction go right and then take the unmade track on your right, just before the Width Restriction and 'No Coaches' sign. The footpath the T26 officially goes through the a portion of the field for 25 metres. Keep to the track if you wish.
After the stile keep keep left, and uphill keeping the dis-used quarry on your right.
At the gates by the Signal Beacon, take the T24 to Freshwater left, and downhill on the chalk track till we meet a car park at an old quarry.
Go into the car park and your left is the T24Freshwater Bay path, (somewhat hidden). Follow this path for 1.8 km, until we reach the road by the Church.
4. Freshwater Bay Freshwater Village
After the church, turn left and then immediately right onto Blackbridge Road
After 300 metres, turn left on to Easton Road.
We will be following the signposted Freshwater Way, all the way back to Yarmouth, our final destination.
After 289 metres, take the F37 to Bow Bridge, which is on your right.
When you reach the road, go right, on the Freshwater Way, towards the roundabout. Cross the road and turn right on to Afton Road for 200 metres, then turn left on to the F61 to the Causeway
Freshwater Village Yarmouth
When we reach the Causeway, you could if you wish, just go straight back along the cycle track. This would save you about 15 minutes. The walk along the other side to the cycle track offers betters views. Plus, you pass by the Red Lion pub, which would be an ideal refreshment stop
Turn left on the Causeway and when you reach the church. Take the F1back to Yarmouth.
When you emerge from Gasworks Lane, turn right, back to your start point.
Starting and finishing at the Ferry Terminal in Yarmouth. The route is ideal for those coming by foot from Lymington via the Wightlink Ferry.
The route follows the River Yar to Freshwater. You then make our way to Freshwater Bay, where you climb to the Tennyson Monument.
Making our way to The Needles. You then drop down to Alum Bay to rise again on to Headon Warren.
After Headon Warren, you make your return journey to Yarmouth on the opposite side of the River Yar, to which you started on.
- Ordnance Survey Map
- 1:25000 - Explorer OL29 - Isle of Wight
- 1:50000 - Landranger 196 - The Solent & Isle of Wight
@ River Road () Charges Apply
Sat Nav: PO41 0RA
- Bus Route: No.7
- Runs from Newport, to Alum Bay & The Needles.
You could start this walk in Freshwater Bay, at the Free Parking, and leave out the walk alongside the River Yar. This would take seven kilometres off the length of the walk.
You can escape the route at Alum Bay in the Summer Months, by taking the bus back to Yarmouth.