Walk from Shanklin to Ventnor over the Downs taking in the beautiful south east corner of the Island.
The path down to the old Ventnor railway station is one of the steepest on the island, so this part is a short but strenuous walk. Mostly on grassy paths. No stiles but some kissing gates.
It Can be slippery in wet weather and muddy in winter so care is needed.
The exposed downs can be very windy. Dogs are welcome, but please keep on a lead around wildlife and livestock, and take any mess home with you. This walk is brilliant for views all over the Island particularly from the top of Shanklin Downs over East Wight and across the Solent to Portsmouth and also towards the West with glimpses of Freshwater in the distance. As you walk along side the Radar station you get a sense of the height you’re at, with views over Ventnor and the Sea.
1.Isle of Yoga to St. Blasius Church, 20 minutes
Turn left out of Isle of Yoga and walk up through the town, all the way through Shanklin Old Village carrying on along Church Road to St. Blasius Old Parish Church.
2. St. Blasius Church to the top of Shanklin Down, 25 minutes
At the back of the church yard, go over the stile and through to the first uphill field, which will lead you over another stile, another field, another stile and onto an uphill path with uneven steps. Carry on up the sometimes windy path to one more gate and stile, with a steep drop to your right hidden by bushes and trees, turn left carrying on uphill along the edge of a field over the stile, and follow the trodden path up the downs to the top. Here you will find a concrete tumuli, which makes a good view point and at 235 ft above sea level it’s (almost) the highest elevation on the Island.
3. Shanklin Down to Ventnor Radar station 20 minutes
From here you going to head south walking along the top of the downs. You can walk either side of the wide hedge at the top of this field (there’s a stile near by the tumulus, over the hedge you can see views in a westerly direction). If you climbed over this stile then turn left. Carry on to the end of the field, through the gate, through the opposite gate. You are now on Luccombe Down and you can either follow the wider path straight ahead of you, or bare left and follow the narrower paths across the downs, with views down the steep hill to Luccombe. Either way your next landmark is the Luccombe Down carpark (grid ref: SZ573787) which is close by to the tall wire fence which encloses the Ventnor Radar Station. Head below the car park towards the fence and through the kissing gate.
4. Along by the Radar station to St Boniface Downs 15 minutes
Turn right through the gate so you have the fence on your right and the sea to your left carry on along this narrow path, keep an eye out for goats, though they are no trouble 🙂 Carry on all the way to the end and through the gate. You are on St Boniface Downs with a view down to Ventnor. There is a bench just along and down from here which makes a nice view point.
5. St Boniface Downs to Ventnor town 25 minutes
Carry on straight ahead along the top with Ventnor in front of you and then a choice of steps and very steep path to lead you down the downs! Through the gate at the bottom of the hill and down straight ahead along a narrow path with steps at the bottom. You are at the site of an old sandstone quarry that provided building material for Ventnor and also the terminus of the Isle of Wight Railway which was in operation from 1866 until 1966. The building on the left corner was the station, which later became the Terminus pub and is now residential. Right at the back of the now Ventnor Industrial estate is the closed off and over grown entrance to the Railway tunnel which went through St. Boniface Downs to the next stop in Wroxall.
From here cross over the main road and carry on down Grove Road, turn right down the very steep Tulse Hill, you are now in Ventnor Town.