logo Walking Britain

Isle of Wight AONB Walk
The Needles & Tennyson's Monument from Nodewell Farm

Region - Isle of Wight AONB

County/Area - Isle of Wight

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 4.0 miles / 6.5 km

Ascent - 350 feet / 106 metres

Time - 2 hours 20 minutes

Grade - easy

Start - OS grid reference SZ324856
Lat 50.669171 // Long -1.542889
Postcode PO39 0HY (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - The Needles & Tennyson's Monument from Nodewell Farm Photo from the walk - The Needles & Tennyson's Monument from Nodewell Farm Photo from the walk - The Needles & Tennyson's Monument from Nodewell Farm Photo from the walk - The Needles & Tennyson's Monument from Nodewell Farm Photo from the walk - The Needles & Tennyson's Monument from Nodewell Farm Photo from the walk - The Needles & Tennyson's Monument from Nodewell Farm
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This walk explores the wonderful chalk cliffs and downs at the western end of the Isle of Wight. The start is the small car park located in a quarry (grid ref. SZ324856) at the end of the lane that runs south past Nodewell farm just off the minor road running from Freshwater Bay to Alum Bay.

The Needles & Tennyson's Monument from Nodewell Farm The Needles & Tennyson's Monument from Nodewell Farm The Needles & Tennyson's Monument from Nodewell Farm 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

After parking take the path that is on the eastern side of the carpark (the left hand side as you enter the parking area). This leads steeply in places up through woodland into open downland with the impressive Tennyson Monument ahead of you. From here the view extends along the southern coast of the Isle of Wight.

From the monument turn west walking with the sea to the left. Remember there are high unprotected cliffs so care is needed with children. There is a main ridge path and a lesser used path that follows the cliffs more closely. Take the latter eventually reaching a stile in a wire fence (grid ref. SZ318851). Cross the stile and continue now with a fence between you and the cliffs. Continue in a westerly direction aiming for the radio mast ahead.

Cross the fence here, pass the radio station and drop down on a stony path to a concrete road. Bear left and then turn right on a concrete path to the observation point for the Needles. This area was used for rocket testing in the 1960s and 70s and there are some information boards detailing this piece of modern history. The observation post offers the best view of the Needles from the land.

Return to the concrete road and bear left. This will lead you round to the Needles Old Battery now managed by the National Trust. In season there are refreshments available here. To continue walk up to the old coastguard cottages and take the path that goes behind them. This leads you back onto the downs. Instead of dropping down to the clifftop path used on the outward route stay on the crest of the ridge. This path offers some excellent views across Alum Bay to the mainland.

Reaching a junction of paths at a fence (grid ref. SZ318853) continue ahead and take the chalk track veering left away from the main ridge path which continues towards the Tennyson Monument. This track leads easily back to the car park.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers.

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL29Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL29Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 196Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 196Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

GPS files - right click or option-click the button and choose "Save As..." to download this file.


Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking on the Isle of Wight

Walking on the Isle of WightGuidebook to 33 walking routes on the beautiful Isle of Wight, from 4 to 18 miles long. The routes are suitable for all abilities and are accessible all year round. Includes a complete circuit of the island's spectacular coast as well as walks exploring forest trails and downland, and visiting the towns of Yarmouth, Cowes and Ventnor.
More information

Outdoor Photography

Outdoor PhotographyThis practical handbook covers digital outdoor photography and the whole range of outdoor activities including walking, running, cycling, water sports (in and on the water), as participant or spectator. Covers basic concepts, equipment and processing and optimising your images back at base.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

Walking - Covid 19 update

Regular updates on how Covid 19 will impact on walking in the UK More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.