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Isle of Wight AONB Walk
Compton Down from Brighstone circular

Region - Isle of Wight AONB

County/Area - Isle of Wight

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 12.5 miles / 20.3 km    Ascent - 1400 feet / 424 metres

Time - 7 hours 40 minutes    Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SZ427827
Lat 50.642431 // Long -1.397481
Postcode PO30 4BJ (approx. location only)
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Compton Down from Brighstone circular

This Isle of Wight walk includes a long section of ridge walking with a coastal footpath, which in my opinion provides a perfect day of walking. As a bonus the route starts from the attractive village of Brighstone making it a walk full of interest with lovely scenery.

The start is the car park (grid ref. SZ427827) on the south side of the B3399 reached by taking Warnes Lane. Brighstone is also served by a good bus service with the bus stops close to the end of Warnes Lane. After parking walk back to the main road. Cross the road with care and turn left. Within a few yards turn right along north street passing thatched cottages on the left. Reaching a T-junction with Upper Lane, cross straight over and take the bridleway between hedges opposite (grid ref. SZ428828). Stay on this bridleway as it bends right and continue uphill to a junction (grid ref. SZ433832).

Turn left continuing along a bridleway. Ignore the bridleway on your left and continue to the foot of Limerstone Down (grid ref. SZ435836) and a bridleway on your right. Turn sharp right here and continue for just over 200 metres to a crossroads of paths and bridleways (grid ref. SZ437835). At this junction go half left on a grassy path, feint in places, which slants across the chalk escarpment to reach the top of the ridge (grid ref. SZ443837).

Turn sharp left onto the Worsley Trail and reach the viewpoint on the summit of Limerstone Down with superb views to the coast and surrounding countryside. Of note is the view west to Freshwater Bay and the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down beyond. The onward route heads west along the ridge following a clear track with the woodland of Brighstone Down to your right. Continue ahead when the Tennyson Trail comes in from the right and descend to a road (grid ref. SZ420845).

Turn right along the road and take the access road for the car park on your left. Continue along the ridge top track climbing steadily to reach the top of Mottistone Down with the National Trust's Mottistone Estate below on your left. Another gentle descent along the ridge top track leads to another road (grid ref. SZ395850). Turn right and in a few yards left onto the continuing Tennyson Trail. The route initially climbs passing below the trig point at Five Barrows. Here a short detour is rewarded by further excellent views. After enjoying the view continue west along the Tennyson Trail over Brook Down and Compton Down.

Reaching a gate, you enter Freshwater Bay Golf Course. Notices warn of the dangers of flying golf balls! You soon reach a junction (grid ref. SZ358857) with two greens to your right. Turn sharp left here and descend on the Freshwater Way to the A3055 main road along the coast (grid ref. SZ365854). Cross the road with care and turn left along the Coastal Path above Freshwater Cliff.

You now have nearly 5 kilometres of walking to enjoy following the Coastal Path. The route stays close to the cliffs until it reaches Chilton Chine (grid ref. SZ408821). Here the topography forces the coastal path to turn inland to reach the A3055 (grid ref. SZ409822). We say farewell to the coastal path here and cross the A3055 onto a track leading to a road near Chilton Farm (grid ref. SZ412824). Walk straight ahead on reaching this road following Chilton Lane for 300 metres to take the bridleway on the right. Reaching Galley Lane (grid ref. SZ424824) go straight across onto a footpath. The path passes beside playing fields on your left to reach an estate road (Wilberforce Road). Turn right and the take the continuing path on the left back to the car park and the start of the walk.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1751 St Catherine's Hill & Coastal Path - moderate - 6.7 miles/10.9 km

Walk 2414 Compton Down and Five Barrows from Compton Chine - easy/mod - 5.0 miles/8.1 km

Walk 2916 Gatcombe and Shorwell from Carisbrooke, IOW - moderate - 10.0 miles/16.3 km

Walk 3142 Bowcombe Down from Carisbrooke, IOW - easy - 4.8 miles/7.7 km

Walk 1601 Carisbrooke, Bowcombe Down & Upper Watchingwell - easy/mod - 8.0 miles/13 km

Walk 2311 The Needles & Tennyson's Monument from Freshwater Bay - easy/mod - 6.0 miles/9.8 km

Walk 2223 The Needles & Tennyson's Monument from Nodewell Farm - easy - 4.0 miles/6.5 km

Walk 1546 Freshwater and Norton from Yarmouth, IOW - easy - 5.0 miles/8.1 km

Walk 3541 Keyhaven & Hurst Castle - easy - 3.3 miles/5.4 km

Walk 3745 Ventnor Downs Circular - moderate - 7.7 miles/12.5 km

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