On this section you are treated to stunning views at almost every turn. From Headon Warren the Hampshire Coast with Hurst Castle Spit looks almost close enough to touch, with Yarmouth and the Solent over your shoulder. Arriving at the Needles, take the short detour to the battery viewpoint for the best panorama of the sea stacks and lighthouse. From Tennyson Downs you have views of both sides of the island stretching into the distance. On a clear day you should be able make out Portsmouth and the Spinnaker Tower in the distance.
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 fairly gentle walk with few hazards. However, some short sections follow roads which can be busy at times, especially in peak season, so care is needed. Along the coastal path, by the Needles and Tennyson Downs, the cliffs are high so take care not to go too near the edge.
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
Yarmouth is a small ferry town with a full range of facilities. There are several hotels, pubs and cafes as well as local shops and a supermarket, to stock up with supplies. There is also a Post Office, cash point facility and a pharmacy. There are several opportunities for refreshments on the route at Colwell Bay, Totland Bay and Alum Bay, though seasonal opening times may vary.
Points of Interest
The cliffs here are famous for the vertical sandstone strata in 12 different colours which are especially spectacular after rain. Souvenirs of the sand became popular in Victorian times and you can get samples from the shop at the bottom of the cliff. The beach below can be accessed by the chair lift. On the cliff top is a memorial to Marconi who made his first experiments with wireless transmission here.
The three white chalk sea stacks and the lighthouse are the most famous landmark on the Isle of Wight. They mark the western extension of the chalk ridge that extends across the island like a backbone. The Old Battery is a 19 th century fort and cold war rocket test site.
This area is named after Alfred Lord Tennyson, who walked these downs regularly when he lived at nearby Farringford House. On the crest of the down is a stone memorial (147 metres above sea level) to commemorate him.