The Isle of Wight is brimming with places to stretch your legs and although we don’t have any mountains, we do have plenty of hilly terrains to hike. International Mountain Day aims to raise awareness of the effects of climate change on mountains. Mountains are crucial for water, food, and clean energy; it’s never been more important to start bringing issues like these to the forefront of our minds, so get out and explore!
St Catherine’s Oratory aka The Pepperpot
This medieval lighthouse was built in 1314 as penance for stealing wine from a merchant ship, which ran aground on Atherfield Ledge. To get here, you can park up at Blackgang viewpoint car park cross the road and head through the kissing gate and there follow the path diagonally up and through the fields. Pass through a second kissing gate and you’ll see the observatory just slightly further up the hill. It’s only a short walk up to the Pepperpot, up a fairly steep hill (in places), but this route can easily be extended across to Hoy Monument, adding on some serene rolling countryside.
St Boniface Down
This is the uppermost part of the Island and has a number of routes to get to the top at 794ft. These steep hills deserve a multitude of visits to fully take in all that the surroundings have to offer. You can find feral goats which graze on the holm oak and control the scrub on the slopes, Adonis Butterflies seasonally flutter through the skies and neighbouring various birds of prey soar high above.
Tennyson Trail – Jubilee to Freshwater
Park up at Jubilee car park and head up and over the hill walking towards freshwater. You’ll be met with one road crossing near Shalcombe but otherwise follow the trails straight and true making your way up and down the steep rolling hills. Along this route, you’ll see some stunning vistas and panoramic views across the south of the Island.