isle of wight holidays

The Tennyson Trail

This stunning but challenging 14-mile route begins at the historic Carisbrooke Castle and weaves through the beautiful Brightstone Down and Forest, arriving at the coast to spectacular views over Freshwater Bay of the Needles. The last stretch follows the Coastal Path to Tennyson Down before finally reaching the stunning Alum Bay.

Your efforts are certainly rewarded along this Isle of Wight walk, with historic sites, various attractions and jaw-dropping scenery everywhere you look.


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  • This Isle of Wight walk begins in Carisbrooke, head along the Alvington Shute, take Nodgham Lane to the left, where the Tennyson Trail signpost is. Head right at Park House, and after around 1500m, pass through a gate and across 2 bridleways
  • Continue until you are faced with 2 field gates, walk through the left-hand gate and carry on, passing through 2 further gates. Walk past the N140 footpath, wait until the trail begins to descend before heading through the gate leading to a crossing track. Head straight over this and look for the signs pointing to Brighstone Forest, go through another gate after around 80m
  • Pass under the electric cables overhead and a beech plantation to the right, before ignoring path N198 and carry on uphill through a number of open fields as you discover the signpost for the N139 bridleway heading towards Brook and Freshwater. A track leading through 2 more gates brings you into Brighstone Forest. Once you enter the forest, be sure to continue straight ahead and follow the signs for the Tennyson Trail
  • Eventually you will reach a gate and a signpost telling you to head right for the Tennyson Trail, this brings you out to Brighstone Down. Carry on west with the sea on your left-hand side and exit onto Lynch Lane through a picnic spot. Head right for a short while before turning left into the National Trust Jubilee Car Park and heading through the gates opposite the information board
  • The Forestry Commission Brighstone Forest passes on your right, before you tackle the Down. A gate leads you out of the National Trust area and across level ground and through another gate. Head through the field that you are presented with and join the path B3399 and turn right, then immediately left. Go through the 2 gates onto the National Trust Brook
  • Experience an ascendance in the track straight away as a chalk pit can be seen on the right, the path curves right and presents a climb up to Afton Down. The trail continues with the Freshwater Bay Golf Course in each side, before heading down to the beautiful Freshwater Bay
  • You will join the Isle of Wight Coast Path heading west, then take a sharp left, head over 2 stiles and find Tennyson Down. A steep climb brings you up to the magnificent yet potentially dangerous clifftops, please be aware of the edge! The path then continues ascending to the Tennyson Monument
  • Descend down towards another stile, and brace yourselves for 1 more steady climb towards West High Down. Cross a stile and go right onto a tarmac road with the iconic Needles Battery on your left. After a little while long the road, take a sharp left, clamber over another stile, bear left than cross the final stile of this Isle of Wight walk
  • This brings you back onto the road and on towards the idyllic Alum Bay to complete this magnificent walk


Freshwater WEATHER
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