The winter time is a great time to walk and enjoy the serenity of the countryside and the fellowship of other walkers. The climate on the Isle of Wight is mild and winter isn’t a harsh season. The cooler temperatures produce dazzling morning frosts, bright orange and red colours from the trees and beautifully clear night skies ideal for watching the stars.
This is a short guide to winter walks on the Isle of Wight and includes some of the preparation, some good local information and some suggested routes. We want you to get the most out of your winter walking on the Isle of Wight and would love to hear your suggestions and comments.
Preparing for Winter Walks on the Isle of Wight
Some basic preparation makes all the difference when walking in the winter time on the Isle of Wight. The weather is changeable and also the landscape and typography can influence what you should be wearing so it is important to be prepared even when the sun is shining and there isn’t a cloud on the horizon.
An Isle of Wight Map
A map is important when walking on the Isle of Wight because, although you will never get very lost on the island, there are frequent diversions and especially around the coast where there is erosion of the cliffs. A map is also useful when conditions change and you want to find the nearest public house to stop and warm up.
Waterproof / Windproof layer
The exposed ridges and coastal routes often experience their own weather and it is important to keep dry. A pair of waterproof trousers and a waterproof jackets that stops both wind and rain can mean you get to enjoy the rugged beauty of the coast even if the weather has driven others away. The feeling of walking while protected from the elements is something that many walkers enjoy more than walking on a clear day.
It is also a good idea to pack some dry socks and a dry t-shirt / woollen vest in a waterproof plastic bag inside your pack. If you get wet it makes all the difference to have some dry clothes to put on when you stop.
Isle of Wight Walks for the Winter
When choosing Isle of Wight winter walks we are suggesting routes which can be enjoyed whatever the weather and which have some convenient places to stop along the way if you wish to warm up. We have also tried to avoid routes which can be too exposed and will not be taking you near parts of the coast where there is erosion. These routes have been described in general terms and you will need a map to follow some of the twists and turns.
East Isle of Wight Railway Ring
This 20km walk is a longish walk but fairly flat and along good footpaths or tracks. Much of the route follows the old railway line (now replaced with a cycle path) and is wide and easy to follow. It is a circular walk and can be started anywhere along the route but good starting points include Godshill, where there is a pub and a shop; Newchurch, where there is a pub; Lake, where there is a supermarket or Wroxall where there is a shop and and a pub.
From Godshill walk a short way along the road towards Shanklin and take the footpath to the left which is marked as the Sunshine Trail for cyclists. Follow with through the farm and through some twists and turns onto a tar road which you follow to a bridge crossing the cycle track. Go down onto the cycle track follow it East towards Shanklin. Continue reading “Isle of Wight Winter Walks”