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Hiking trail

Chale to Sandown

Hiking trail
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  • Viewpoint!!!
    / Viewpoint!!!
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / The Undercliff, St Lawrence.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Woody Point, St Lawrence.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Coastpath into Ventnor.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / A seaside retreat, nr Ventnor.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Steephill Cove.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Ventnor.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Luccombe Landslip.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Shanklin beach.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 150 100 50 -50 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
Leaving Chale the route follows the cliff line above St Catherine’s Point before descending through St Lawrence to the coast. From here the path leads into Ventnor and through the Luccombe Landslip to Shanklin. From Shanklin the coastal path follows the Eastcliffe Promenade before descending down to finish at Sandown Pier.
Distance 20.1 km
5:30 h
319 m
392 m
From Chale the path skirts around Blackgang Chine, then continues along West Cliff with good views of St Catherine’s Point and the undercliff below. Descending down through the undercliff at St Lawrence, the coastal path follows the low cliff line into the seaside town of Ventnor. Continuing around Wheelers Bay to Bonchurch the path meanders through the Luccombe Landslip before arriving at Shanklin. Another popular seaside resort on the island. From here the coastal path ascends up to a higher level above Sandown Bay before finally descending to the seafront to finish at the pier.

Author’s recommendation

This walk has a bit of everything. There are cliff top sections with great views above St Catherine’s Point and over Sandown Bay towards Culver Cliff. Meandering paths through the undercliff and Luccombe Landslip with its unique vegetarian and micro climate. Then finally shoreline coastal stretches through the classic seaside resorts of Ventnor, Shanklin and Sandown.

The coastal path is well signposted so look out for the prominent way markers and your route finding will be easier.


Highest point
167 m
Lowest point
0 m
Best time of year

Safety information

This section of the coastal path has few hazards. However, some parts can be muddy especially in wet conditions. Take care on the ascents and descents from and up to the cliffs. In some places the cliffs are high so take care not to go too near the edge.


Tips and hints

Chale is a small village with few facilities. There is a pub, petrol station and shop. However, there are plenty of opportunities for refreshments on the route at Ventnor and Shanklin. 


Points of Interest

Bonchurch Landslip

This is a site of Special Scientific Interest right on the coast path. Here the underlying softer clays have failed to support the harder Cretaceous rocks above. Major landslides in 1810 & 1818 resulted in this now wooded undercliff, with natural features such as the Devil’s Chimney, the Chink and the Wishing Seat.

Shanklin Heritage Centre

Situated on the esplanade the centre contains an exhibition entitled “The Island, then and now”, a pictorial history of the Isle of Wight. There are specific sections on the Georgian Period, Admiral Nelson and his island connections and the role of the island in WW2.

Sandown Geological Museum

The museum is housed in the town’s library. Fossils, dinosaurs, turtles, shellfish and insects are displayed, giving clues to the original natural environments that existed in this area.



St.Andrew’s Church, Chale. (83 m)
OS Grid
SZ 48326 77546
50.595650, -1.318586
50°35'44.3"N 1°19'06.9"W
30U 619003 5606210


Sandown Pier.

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – Standing with your back to the church gate TURN LEFT along the main road. After 50 metres, TURN RIGHT onto the Terrace. After 50 metres BEAR LEFT onto the footpath signposted to Blackgang.

0.40 km – At the end of the path TURN RIGHT, onto the main road and continue STRAIGHT ON over the roundabout.

0.90 km – At the coastal path signpost TURN RIGHT, over the stile then BEAR LEFT around the edge of the field. Cross the next stile and continue STRAIGHT ON along the path.

1.30 km – At the Blackgang viewpoint car park TURN RIGHT, up the stone steps onto the signposted coastal path. In 100 metres BEAR LEFT along the cliff top and continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 2 kms, descending to a main road.

3.50 km – At the main road continue STRAIGHT ON up the signposted coastal footpath. Then in 100 metres TURN RIGHT onto the path signposted to Ventnor and go uphill. Continue STRAIGHT ON for nearly 3 kms along the cliff top towards the radio masts with good views to the right. Do not take any of the paths down to the right.

6.20 km – At the signpost TURN RIGHT, onto the footpath to St Lawrence, and continue STRAIGHT ON down the stone steps to reach the tarmac road. At the road TURN LEFT then almost immediately TURN RIGHT onto Spindlers Road. Continue STRAIGHT ON downhill onto Old Park Road.
6.90 km – At the junction with Woolverton Road TURN LEFT, then in 100 metres, TURN RIGHT through the gate onto the gravel path.

7.10 km – At the signpost TURN LEFT along the grassy track to the gate. At the gate TURN RIGHT onto the path to the cliffs. Continue STRAIGHT ON along the cliff path for approx 1.5 kms, with the sea to the right.

8.70 km – At the entrance to Ventnor Botanic Gardens continue STRAIGHT ON.

(If you are overnighting at Lisle Combe B&B your walk ends here. Lisle Combe is located just before you reach the Botanic Gardens at Ventnor, it's on the left-hand side of the path.)

9.20 km – Leaving the gardens, TURN RIGHT down the stone steps, signposted coastal path. Then TURN LEFT and zigzag down the path to Steephill Cove. TURN LEFT and continue STRAIGHT ON along the seafront, then up the steep wooden steps towards Ventnor.

10.4 km – At the shelter, BEAR RIGHT along the tarmac road and into Ventnor along the seafront. 
(If your itinerary requires you to overnight in Ventnor leave the coast path here).
Continue STRAIGHT ON around the harbour for approx 2 kms around Wheelers Bay to Bonchurch.

12.5 km – Arriving in Bonchurch, just past the pottery TURN LEFT up the stone steps signposted coastal path. Continue STRAIGHT ON up the tarmac path for 100 metres, and then by the church, TURN RIGHT onto the coastal path.

12.8 km – At the gravel track TURN LEFT uphill, and continue STRAIGHT ON through the Bonchurch Landslip.

13.8 km – Emerging from the landslip at the top of the steep steps TURN RIGHT onto the signposted coastal path. Continue STRAIGHT ON and reaching the track TURN LEFT.

14.0 km – At the track junction BEAR RIGHT and continue STRAIGHT ON following a line of trees into Luccombe. Follow the coastal path signs for 1 km through Luccombe Cliff National Trust land.

15.0 km – Emerging from the trees continue STRAIGHT ON down the tarmac road.

16.0 km – At the road junction TURN RIGHT, into Popham Road and go past Rylstone Gardens. Continue STRAIGHT ON down the steps to the beach. At the foot of the steps TURN LEFT along the shore.

16.5 km – At the road TURN LEFT and zigzag up the hill and past the pub. Continue STRAIGHT ON along the cliff top walk for nearly 1 km onto Eastcliff Promenade. There are good views over Sandown Bay and of Culver Cliff.

(If you are overnighting at The Belmont Hotel, TURN LEFT onto Chine Avenue, then turn right onto Queens Road. Continue to follow this street until you reach your hotel on house number 8 on your left-hand side.) 

(If you are overnighting at The St Leonards, TURN LEFT onto Chine Avenue, then turn right onto Queens Road. Continue to follow this street until you reach your hotel on house number 22 on your left-hand side.) 

(If you are overnighting at The Havelock Hotel, TURN LEFT onto Chine Avenue, then turn right onto Queens Road. You will find your hotel on house number 2 on your left-hand side.) 

17.3 km – At the main road continue STRAIGHT ON onto Delphi Road and along the cliff top coastal path above the bay for approx 2.5 kms. NB; There is a short diversion at Lake clearly signposted.

19.7 km – At the end of the cliff path TURN RIGHT down the steps and follow the signs to the beach. Arriving on the promenade, TURN LEFT along the seafront towards the pier.

20.1 km – Arriving at Sandown Pier, you have reached the end of your walk.







all notes on protected areas


OS Grid
SZ 48326 77546
50.595650, -1.318586
50°35'44.3"N 1°19'06.9"W
30U 619003 5606210
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Comfortable boots or walking shoes are recommended. The terrain is not particularly rough but it may be muddy in places, especially after rain. Walking poles may be an advantage on the descent from the cliff tops, if preferred. The weather is changeable at the coast so waterproofs should be carried, especially as the cliff top sections are fairly exposed.


Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Blister kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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20.1 km
5:30 h
319 m
392 m
Scenic Refreshment stops available Geological highlights Botanical highlights Linear route


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