Walking Trails

Distance: 6½ miles

Start: At the estuary crossing at The Causeway. Park along roadside or take bus (7 or 12) to Hooke Hill, Freshwater and walk along Church Place to The Causeway. This walk also links to the easy access trail around the Yar estuary (4 miles).

Access: Fairly flat terrain, no stiles or steps. Farmland, which can be rutted. NB: there is a short cut shown as A-B. Refreshments: The Red Lion pub at Church Place, Freshwater; The Cow Co Restaurant at Tapnell Farm. Further information: Download the full walk and map at iowramblers.com

The route

1. From the estuary, follow the lane towards the Downs. Pass the entrance to Afton Manor and then go left on to bridleway F25 opposite Woodland Cottage.

2. Follow the path across open countryside. Cross a lane into a drive. After 20 yards, follow footpath F27 through trees at a footpath sign.

3. Emerge in an open fi eld and small airstrip. Cross the fi eld to a hedge gap and go through two gates. Continue across a fi eld, heading towards a farm complex on the hill, to find a wooden kissing gate in a wire fence.

4. Cross a scrub area and then go half-right across a field and continue through a kissing gate in the right-hand corner of the field.

5. Turn right and cross a fi ld, passing a telegraph pole, towards the Downs, and left of farm buildings, to a waymarked post in the field. A Here, turn left on a new footpath and head to a metal farm gate with a side gate for pedestrians.

6. Continue uphill in the middle of the field and go through a gate.

7. Cross the farm road and go through a kissing gate. Continue across the open fields and go through four kissing gates.

8. At a waymark post, continue ahead to find a gate in the left corner of the field.

9. Cross a lane and go half-right across fi eld path S34. Continue past a post and, at a crossing path, turn right on to the Hamstead trail.

10. The grass path becomes a gravel track and reaches a lane. Go left for 20 yards and then take the right-hand path S19 past The Quarries. Continue on a grass path to reach the main road. Cross to farm gates and go through a metal bridlegate. Continue uphill on S19 and go through a bridlegate.

11. Turn right on to a path that follows the bottom of the Downs and continues for 1½ miles. The grass path can be muddy and eventually goes through a gate on to a golf course. The path, F32 Pilgrims’ Way, continues between tees and greens. Just past the last green, head for the right-hand corner to a hedge gap.

12. Follow bridleway F31. Cross the open field with paddocks on the right and trees to reach a metal bridlegate. Turn right on to a track to reach the main road.

13. Carefully cross this road, then turn left and soon right on to The Causeway. Follow this lane as it goes left and then continue on to the starting point.

Short cut: At the post (A), continue to a gate and up a bank. Cross the road and then through a gap next to a gate. Follow the path F28 to a gate and in a few yards turn right to rejoin the main route (B).



The Tapnell trail suits all walkers – fairly level, it returns along the lower Downs path