Isle of Wight Coastal Path

Isle of Wight Coastal Path

A circular walking holiday circumnavigating the spectacular Isle of Wight.

3 to 8 nights
33-71 miles
Moderate to Demanding / Strenuous

From £365 per person

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About the trail

We offer full-route and short break walking options along the Isle of Wight Coastal Path. The variety of coastal scenery on this stunning walking holiday spans towering white cliffs, the spectacular chalk stacks of ‘The Needles', the multi-coloured sands of Alum Bay and many more sights of natural beauty. There are plenty of wonderful settlements to explore, including thatched villages, lively seaside resorts and bustling harbours.

Other features of interest include a fossil forest, Yarmouth Castle, Palmerston-era forts and Osbourne House, among many others. By circumnavigating the entire island, the Isle of Wight Coastal Path successfully showcases everything this fabulous region has to offer. It's a stunning section of the England Coast Path.

We offer multiple holiday options along this trail. If you wish to experience the entire trail, simply select the first option from the list below.

Choose your route

  • Isle of Wight Coastal Path
  • Isle of Wight Short Break

About this route

5 to 8 nights
71 miles
Moderate to Demanding / Strenuous
2nd January to 24th December

From £625 per person

Isle of Wight Coastal Path

The full Isle of Wight Coastal Path walking holiday takes a 71-mile route around the entire island's coastline. There are plenty of interesting sites to discover along the trail, including both natural wonders and historic landmarks. The Isle of Wight also boasts plenty of thriving settlements, all of which guarantee a warm welcome to walkers.

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
IOW1 A circular trail beginning at Cowes 5 nights, 4 days walking Demanding / Strenuous £625
IOW2 A circular trail beginning at Cowes 6 nights, 5 days walking Demanding £745
IOW3 A circular trail beginning at Cowes 7 nights, 6 days walking Moderate / Demanding £855
IOW4 A circular trail beginning at Cowes 8 nights, 7 days walking Moderate £970

Short breaks

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
IOWSB1 From Yarmouth(L) to Shanklin 3 nights, 2 days walking Demanding £365
IOWSB2 From Yarmouth(L) to Shanklin 4 nights, 3 days walking Moderate £485

Isle of Wight Coast Path 5 nights, 4 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather
  • Holiday Highlights

Important information

NB: There has been a lot of damage and landslips on the coastal path recently and you may encounter temporary diversions in place on this walk.  These may alter throughout the season as paths get diverted and or repaired.  All diversions will be clearly signposted. For more information please see here 

Start

Travel to Cowes where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

Cowes to Totland. 21 miles (34km)

Day 2

Totland to Chale/Niton(L). 18 miles (29km)

Day 3

Chale/Niton(L) to Sandown. 13.5 miles (21.5km)

Day 4

Sandown to Cowes. 20 miles (32km)

Finish

Depart from Cowes after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation in most cases; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard if practical. A very limited number of stops will require you to travel on foot up to two miles off the trail, however these instances will be clearly communicated to you if applicable.

Further transfers may also be required due to some accommodations having a two-night minimum booking policy, especially at weekends.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£60.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£50.00 per person / per night


You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Standard
Interactive
© Contours Walking Holidays Isle of Wight Coastal Path map
Circular trail beginning at Cowes
71 miles (114 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Exploring the varied terrain, from high chalk cliffs, fossil rich coves and quiet estuaries to The Needles near Alum Bay.

Admiring the expansive views near Sandown and the cliffs of Culver Down, with rich bird and plant life.

Spotting the many species of wildlife along the coastline, including the Glanville fritillary butterfly, not found anywhere else in Britain.

What's included?

  • 5 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

An extra night gives you the perfect opportunity to spend some more time exploring the sights and sounds of the Isle of Wight.

For centuries, Cowes has been associated with sailing craft and boat building and along its busy High Street you'll find shops reflecting the towns heritage, with boatyards, chandlers and Beckens' famous yachting gallery.

If you would like to take time to enjoy some of the finest beaches in the south of England, consider having a rest day in Sandown.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 71 miles (114 km)
Duration: 5 nights, 4 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 13.5 miles (21.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 21 miles (34 km)
Code: IOW1 Grade: Demanding / Strenuous
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Cowes
End of holiday: Cowes

Route Profile

Isle of Wight Coast Path Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major cities and international airports are Southampton and Bournemouth.

By Rail - There is a rail station at Southampton.

By Bus - Various bus services run to and from Southampton .

From London - Trains run from London Waterloo & London Paddington Stations to Southampton. You can then either walk about 15 minutes, or take a bus/taxi to the ferry terminal to take the ferry to East or West Cowes.

By Ferry - Ferries run between Southampton & East Cowes (cars and passengers), or West Cowes (passengers only).

To avoid disappointment, we advise that you book in advance - see website for full details:

https://redfunnel.co.uk

Return To The Start - The Isle of Wight Coast Path is a circular trail beginning and ending at Cowes.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.
"Cooling our Feet" by John and Maalfrid Grimstvedt (2022) "Cooling our Feet" by John and Maalfrid Grimstvedt (2022)
"Heading down to the Beach in Colwell Bay" by John and Maalfrid Grimstvedt (2022) "Heading down to the Beach in Colwell Bay" by John and Maalfrid Grimstvedt (2022)
"I Met a Man" by John and Maalfrid Grimstvedt (2022) "I Met a Man" by John and Maalfrid Grimstvedt (2022)
"On the Path along Hamstead Heritage Coast" by John and Maalfrid Grimstvedt (2022) "On the Path along Hamstead Heritage Coast" by John and Maalfrid Grimstvedt (2022)
"Enjoying Breakfast" by John and Maalfrid Grimstvedt (2022) "Enjoying Breakfast" by John and Maalfrid Grimstvedt (2022)
"Yarmouth Pier" by Karen Freeman (2022) "Yarmouth Pier" by Karen Freeman (2022)
"The Mermaid and the Stag, Freshwater Bay" by Tracey Horton (2022) "The Mermaid and the Stag, Freshwater Bay" by Tracey Horton (2022)
"Tennyson Monument" by Tracey Horton (2022) "Tennyson Monument" by Tracey Horton (2022)
"The First Climb of the Day after Sandown" by David Keogh (2021) "The First Climb of the Day after Sandown" by David Keogh (2021)
"Gate Art after Freshwater Bay" by David Keogh (2021) "Gate Art after Freshwater Bay" by David Keogh (2021)
"Atherfield Bay" by Paul Copsey (2021) "Atherfield Bay" by Paul Copsey (2021)
"Freshwater Bay" by David Law (2019) "Freshwater Bay" by David Law (2019)
"Whitecliff Bay" by Bob Parkinson (2018) "Whitecliff Bay" by Bob Parkinson (2018)
"Walking on Tennyson Down" by Bob Parkinson (2018) "Walking on Tennyson Down" by Bob Parkinson (2018)
"The Needles" by Bob Parkinson (2018) "The Needles" by Bob Parkinson (2018)
"Bembridge Harbour" by Bob Parkinson (2018) "Bembridge Harbour" by Bob Parkinson (2018)
"Descending near Woody Point" by Bob Parkinson (2018) "Descending near Woody Point" by Bob Parkinson (2018)
"Eroded Cliffs beyond Barnes High" by Bob Parkinson (2018) "Eroded Cliffs beyond Barnes High" by Bob Parkinson (2018)
"Red Sandstone Cliffs" by Lucy Coward (2018) "Red Sandstone Cliffs" by Lucy Coward (2018)
"Brightstone Bay" by Lucy Coward (2018) "Brightstone Bay" by Lucy Coward (2018)
"Old Battery and the Needles" by Christopher Talbot-Ponsonby (2017) "Old Battery and the Needles" by Christopher Talbot-Ponsonby (2017)
"St. Catherines Lighthouse" by Christopher Talbot-Ponsonby (2017) "St. Catherines Lighthouse" by Christopher Talbot-Ponsonby (2017)
"Ventnor Sea Wall" by Christopher Talbot-Ponsonby (2017) "Ventnor Sea Wall" by Christopher Talbot-Ponsonby (2017)
"Looking back to Freshwater Bay" by David Conway (2017) "Looking back to Freshwater Bay" by David Conway (2017)
"Always Use the Gate" by David Conway (2017) "Always Use the Gate" by David Conway (2017)
"Freshwater Bay" by David Conway (2017) "Freshwater Bay" by David Conway (2017)
"Leaving Sandown" by David Conway (2017) "Leaving Sandown" by David Conway (2017)
"Deckchairs at Shanklin" by Pauline Ellington (2017) "Deckchairs at Shanklin" by Pauline Ellington (2017)
"Hamstead Point" by Pauline Ellington (2017) "Hamstead Point" by Pauline Ellington (2017)
"Heading Towards Brightstone Bay" by Pauline Ellington (2017) "Heading Towards Brightstone Bay" by Pauline Ellington (2017)
"Beach Huts at Ventnor" by Pauline Ellington (2017) "Beach Huts at Ventnor" by Pauline Ellington (2017)
"St. Catherines Head Lighthouse" by Royston Skucek (2017) "St. Catherines Head Lighthouse" by Royston Skucek (2017)
"Bembridge" by Laurence Levine (2017) "Bembridge" by Laurence Levine (2017)
"Alum Bay" by Laurence Levine (2017) "Alum Bay" by Laurence Levine (2017)
"Freshwater Bay" by Laurence Levine (2017) "Freshwater Bay" by Laurence Levine (2017)

Customer reviews from the Isle of Wight Coastal Path

“A good medium challenge long distance walk.”
Mr Wilkinson, UK
“An enjoyable week of walking and B&B. Facilities were generally very good. We enjoyed out holiday. The accommodation provided was generally good and some were excellent. The holiday pack was really useful as was the information booklet.”
Mrs Bedwell, UK
“We laughed, we cried and we had a fantastic week. The walking was fabulous and the scenery exceptional.”
Mr Shipley, UK
“First time to the Isle of Wight for some of us. Varied walking, nothing too strenuous, lovely countryside and views for much of the way. Generally excellent accommodation.”
Mr Parkinson, UK
“Extremely well organised, everything we needed to hand in the pack.”
Mrs Riley, UK
“The holiday exceeded our expectations. A very varied route which we enjoyed. Generally easy to follow instructions and generally very good accommodation. No problems with luggage transfers at all. Service was very efficient. We would definitely recommend this holiday. Contours are easy to deal with and everything worked well. All we had to do was enjoy the walks. We have used Contours in the past and will in future.”
Mr Gunston, UK
“Everything worked seamlessly for us, all the hotels, transfers were brilliant. Each hotel had its own charms and the island was really magical. We were especially pleased with the final booking at the Lakeside. Such a beautiful location and the spa was much needed after 5 days of walking. The itinerary worked really well, and as I mentioned above, we had no problems at all with any of the bookings made for us. The taxi company around Freshwater Bay were especially helpful. Well organised, beautiful scenery. I would also encourage people to stop off at Quarr Abbey outside of Ryde. It was a complete delight and totally unexpected, a really lovely place.”
Mrs Brain, UK
“The logistics were organised well.”
Mr Cramer, Netherlands
“All arrangements were perfect. Route was well signposted.”
Mrs Sheetz, USA
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