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Compton Down and Five Barrows from Compton Chine

Isle of Wight Walk

County/Area - Isle of Wight

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 5.0 miles / 8.1 km    Ascent - 550 feet / 167 metres

Time - 3 hours 0 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Compton Down and Five Barrows from Compton Chine
Click image to visit gallery of 9 images.

The western end of the Isle of Wight is dominated by chalk downs that culminate in the Needles. This walk explores a section of these downs offering extensive views in all directions but sadly not extending as far as the Needles. Generally the paths are well walked although the section along the high downs is not very busy and you could well have sections of the walk to yourself.

The start is the small pay and display car park (grid ref. SZ370851) on the east side of the A3055 main coastal road from Freshwater to Ventnor. After parking cross the road to the footpath sign and continue to the coastal footpath. Turn right and walk west with the sea on your left. The path descends in Compton Chine before climbing onto the cliffs and the A3055 road. The coastal path continues to Freshwater but this walk leaves the coastal path and crosses the main road to continue to climb onto Compton Down.

The climb looks worse than it is and you are soon high above the sea enjoying extensive views especially south east along the coast. The path reaches a clear track with a signpost (grid ref. SZ359857). Turn sharp right almost back on yourself to continue climbing with the golf course on either side of the track. It is worth spending a few minutes taking in the view west at the signpost as this view diminishes in quality as the walk progresses. The day this walk was researched, visibility was quite hazy but the view west still extended well beyond the Tennyson Monument.

Continuing east along the main ridge track you can get wide views ahead and these can be enjoyed all the way along the ridge to the trig point at Five Barrows (grid ref. SZ390851). Careful inspection of the immediate surroundings will help you spot the remains of these barrows or burial chambers. From the trig point you can also work out the next section of the walk, which can be easy to get wrong.

The route continues by dropping steeply down the southern flank of Five Barrows (i.e. towards the sea). It is quite easy to zig-zag down the slope. At the foot of the slope is a track that heads towards Compton Farm. This might be tempting but is not a right of way. Instead continue towards the field boundary to pick up a bridleway adjacent to the fence/hedge. Turn right onto this bridleway and continue down to Compton Farm. All that remains is to walk back to the main road and the car park.

Other walks nearby

Walk 2311 The Needles & Tennyson's Monument from Freshwater Bayeasy/mod6.0 miles
Walk 2223 The Needles & Tennyson's Monument from Nodewell Farmeasy4.0 miles
Walk 1546 Yarmouth, Freshwater and Norton from Yarmoutheasy5.0 miles
Walk 2435 Compton Down circular moderate12.5 miles
Walk 3541 Keyhaven & Hurst Castleeasy3.3 miles
Walk 1751 St Catherine's Hill & Coastal Pathmoderate6.7 miles
Walk 3142 Bowcombe Downeasy4.8 miles
Walk 1601 Bowcombe Down & Upper Watchingwelleasy/mod8.0 miles
Walk 2916 Gatcombe and Shorwell from Carisbrooke, IOWmoderate10.0 miles
Walk 2350 Appuldurcombe Circulareasy/mod5.5 miles

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