Afton Down

If there is one area in West Wight that you should visit to go walking, this is it.

The Tennyson Trail is a 15 mile walk that spans from Carisbrooke Castle to The Needles. It was given its name after the famous poet laureate Lord Alfred Tennyson. He held residence for a long time at Farrington House in Freshwater Bay, and frequently walked along what is now known as Tennyson Down (one of the many downs that comprise the trail).
We’re not suggesting that you should walk the entire trail, but if you only do a section of it we find Tennyson Down to be the most enjoyable. As it happens, for this brief guide we have walked along Afton Down instead, which goes in the other direction out of Freshwater bay.

There is a car park in Freshwater Bay that is a good place to begin. You can choose to go along either Tennyson Down or Afton Down, or even just mingle in the bay. Whichever direction you go, you will immediately be faced with quite a climb.
The path up Afton Down starts off by winding its way through Freshwater Bay golf course. If the conditions are windy it would be wise to keep your head down! Beyond this you have nothing but grassland and woodland ahead. The vast expanse of countryside can be a little intimidating at first, however the far reaching views (on a clear day) and gorgeous scenery can take your mind off the trek.

Quite how much of the trail you accomplish is something that you can decide, just be aware that it is must visit destination for keen walkers.

Visit the area on Google Maps

Freshwater Bay
Freshwater Bay, where children can paddle safely at the edge of the sea.
Freshwater Fort Redoubt
That entrance leads into the old Fort Redoubt. Used in the 19th century to help prevent the French landing on the Island, it is derelict and inaccessible now.
Tennyson Down Walk
Glancing behind and you can see Tennyson Down extending up the other side of the bay.
Afton Down Flowers
The views are somewhat spoiled by the mist, be prepared to find different weather conditions over this side of the Island.
Afton Down Hills
If the fog rolls in you can get lost out here!
1970 Isle of Wight Festival Site
Beneath this ridge was where the 1970 IoW Festival took place. Bewteen 600,000 to 700,000 people attended. The Solent is in the distance.
Tennyson Trail Walk
You can see the Tennyson Trail continue up ahead. Go as far as you can!