The Isle of Wight boasts over 200 miles of cycle routes and 500 miles of footpaths, meaning you’re never too far from a way of working off that last slice of cake! Here are some of our top places to stop off, on either a cycle or a walking route that are ideal for all the family…
The Red Squirrel Trail is a dedicated cycle track extending from Sandown through to Newport and finishing in Cowes. Part gravel and tarmac, this route is built on top of the old railway line. Spanning a good portion of the Island, you have the added benefit of extending your kilometres while barely having to touch a road. When you get peckish, you can stop at Pedallers Café in Newchurch along this route, for a light bite or a yummy coffee and cake. Perhaps pop into The Pointer Inn for some of the best pub grub on the Island, including the legendary Newchurch Pie.
There is a lovely walk from the main town of Newport running parallel to the River Medina towards East Cowes. The Breeze Restaurant is located at Island Harbour Marina and is a firm family-favourite thanks to its stunning location, large children’s play area and huge range of menu choice.
The Beach Shack in Sandown has pride of place on the promenade between Sandown and Shanklin – you can pick either end to start your walk, but a visit here is a must. It has tables along the sea wall, ideal for relaxing whilst the younger members play on the sandy beach, plus a rooftop terrace, The Sky Bar, which boasts stunning views, sheltered seating and shade.
If you don’t fancy bringing the bike over with you, The Seaview Hotel offers a special two-night break which includes the use of electric bikes during your stay, plus a full English breakfast each morning. Electric bikes are a brilliant experience, not only are they a great way to get exercise in the fresh air but with the extra help from the electric motor you can see more and not get exhausted by hills!
For a walk with a difference, head to West Wight Alpacas, which is home to the lovely Llama Tree Café. Here you can enjoy a short 20 minute or a longer 40 minute farm walk, where you will be walking the alpacas and llamas on leads (cuteness overload!) before enjoying one of the amazing artisan sourdough pizzas. The price for the package also includes entry to the farm itself. Booking for this is essential.
If you’re into climbing as you cycle, then the Tennyson Trail is the route for you. Starting in Carisbrooke and finishing in Alum Bay, this is one for the off-roaders; the hills are lengthy, steep and seemingly put there to make you suffer. Tough yet rewarding, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting over the top of a hard climb. The Highdown Inn has been welcoming cyclists and walkers for years, thanks to its location at the foot of the downs. You can choose to either go left, right or straight up from here, depending on how your legs are doing!