There are splendid views across the Solent to be had on the first part of this walk. The small hamlet of Newtown and the National Trust Old Town Hall belies its former importance and the surrounding wetlands are a magnet for bird watchers.
The coastal path is well signposted so look out for the prominent way markers and your route finding will be easier.
This section is a gentle walk with few hazards. However, some sections follow roads which can be busy at times, especially in peak season, so care is needed. Along the coastal section the cliffs are soft liable to erosion so take care in wet weather.
PLEASE NOTE: The Isle of Wight is subject to numerous path diversions year on year due to coastal erosion and path maintenance. A list of the current closures is found here: https://www.iow.gov.uk/Residents/Rights-of-Way/Public-Rights-of-Way/Current-Closures. We appreciate it may be frustrating to walk off the coastal path and go inland but please ensure you always follow any diversions on the path and do not attempt to walk on a closed path as it may be dangerous!
Tips and hints
Cowes is a small town with a full range of facilities. There are several hotels, pubs restaurants and cafes as well as local shops and a supermarket to stock up with supplies. There is a bank, cash point facility and a pharmacy. There is a café at Gurnard, a shop at the holiday village in Thorness Bay and a pub at Porchfield, all on the route, but opening times vary. Shalfleet has little in the way of provisions so you may wish to stock up for the following day as well.
Points of Interest
Cowes Maritime Museum
Cowes is regarded as the yachting capital of Britain. This small museum houses a collection of exhibits that incorporate all aspects of local maritime activity from ship building to sailing. The museum displays objects and images which tell the story of Cowes and its important maritime heritage.
Newtown Nature Reserve
This is the only National Nature Reserve on the island. It has estuary creeks that attract all manner of wetland wildlife and ancient woodlands, home to the red squirrel. There is also the 17 th century Old Town Hall, the only remaining evidence of Newtown’s former importance as a flourishing port.
The village of Shalfleet was mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086 and three of the manor houses listed are still in existence. In 2009 metal detectorists discovered an Iron Age Hoard which proved the area was occupied by a Celtic tribe, the Durotriges during the later part of this period..