The summer weather offers a wonderful opportunity to enjoy lunch outside and with glorious views of the coast and countryside. The West of the Island has fantastic choice of picnic spots and we hope to introduce you to some of them. Excellent local Isle of Wight food and drink can be bought at a host of farm shops and local stores on the Island (listed below) and enjoyed as part of a walk.
Here are some recommended picnic spots suggested by guests.
Tennyson Downs Picnic Spot
The Tennyson Downs are a series of hills running from The Needles in the West, through Freshwater bay and inland towards Carisbrooke. Anywhere along the whole length of the hills could be said to be a great picnic place as there is one wonderful view after another but we have two specific spots to recommend.
The first is at the Tennyson Monument which is high up on the cliffs above Freshwater Bay. This wonderful location is marked with a large celtic cross and an inscription commemorating the life of Alfred Lord Tennyson. This is a popular stopping off point on a walk to The Needles from Freshwater Bay but you will find an undisturbed picnic spot if you move a little way from the monument. To reach the Tennyson Monument simply follow the signposted coastal path West of Freshwater Bay. You cannot fail to notice the monument 20mins along the path. It is important to be aware of the cliff edge.
Also on the Tennyson Downs, but this time inland from Freshwater Bay, is the Five Barrows where there is also a triangulation point. This hill top location offers wonderful views over the South West Coast and down to Brook which is directly below. You can reach this picnic spot by taking the Tennyson Trail from Freshwater Bay which crosses the golf course and heads East. The Five Barrows will be on your left after 4km. Alternatively, one can walk up from Brook or Brighstone by following the Tennyson Trail Westwards. Map location Tennyson Downs
St Catherine’s Oratory Picnic Spot
Also known as the Pepper Pot this is a beautiful Isle of Wight landmark and set in a peaceful area near Niton with views across the South of the Isle of Wight. From St Catherine’s Oratory you can see Freshwater Bay off to the West and Ventnor to the East. The grassy banks around the Pepper Pot are idea for a picnic and a chance to soak up the view. To reach St Catherine’s Oratory you must be on the coastal road between Niton and Brighstone. A car park is located at the foot of the hill on which St Catherine’s Oratory sits and this is 2km from Niton village and just above Blackgang Chine. From the car park cross the road and follow the footpath up the hill for a few hundred metres. Map Location for St Catherine’s Oratory
If you have a favourite picnic spot that you want to share please tell us about it on an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Picnic Food Shops
Village Shop Freshwater Bay – Excellent small village shop at Freshwater Bay selling good picnic food as well as daily staples. Excellent fruit and veg. Located West of the Bay at Freshwater Bay on the road to Alum Bay.
Brighstone Village Shop – Praised by everyone for the excellent range of local produce. Well worth a visit. Located in the middle of Brighstone.
Niton Village Shop – Another on the Island’s best small supermarkets. Big range with some locally made treats.