A walkers paradise – Isle of Wight Walking Festival adds new routes after bookings surge

We’re being urged to book a place now for the Isle of Wight Autumn Walking Festival (07-15 October) as many routes are already at capacity, with 80% of all places fully booked.

With over 70 walks now available, there is just a month to go before the Isle of Wight Autumn Walking Festival gets underway, with many of the trails led by local volunteers who are passionate about their chosen route or subject.

A walk which promises participants the chance to experience a day in the life of a farmer with ‘Tallulah’s Morning Animal Feeding’ at Nettlecombe Farm was fully booked within hours of going live on the Isle of Wight Walking Festival website in July.

Now, organisers at Nettlecombe Farm are giving Isle of Wight Autumn Walking Festival fans a second chance to discover picturesque landscapes and meet friendly farm animals like Edna the Emu, reindeer, and alpacas on 08 October at midday.

Tallulah Shepherdly, Head Animal Keeper and Educational Co-Ordinator at Nettlecombe Farm says:

‘Our guests and local school children get so much joy from experiencing our unique animal feeding tours that we decided to do a special one-off walk for the walking festival, overwhelmed by the popularity and knowing a few people got disappointed it was already full we have decided to put on another one.’

A walk celebrating one of the Island’s biggest musical exports takes place in Ryde, on 07 October.

Visiting iconic landmarks, places from songs and videos, and sharing exclusive stories about Island punk band Grade 2, walk leader – and father of singer/guitarist Jack – Matt Chatfield will take visitors on a 1.2 mile route, although the band won’t be there themselves as they are currently on tour.

Matt says:

‘Grade 2 is currently one of the most successful commercial bands originating on the Island, and the only one to feature their home town so prominently in their music. The band is certainly spreading the word far and wide, with a sell-out gig at Wembley Arena this summer, supporting US punk veterans Rancid, and then a few weeks later supporting Guns ‘n’ Roses at Hyde Park. They played three times on the Island this year, attracting fans from across the UK and even from Europe.’

Matt continues:

‘Grade 2 won’t be on the walk themselves as they will be in the middle of their North American tour, but I’ll do my best to tell the stories and show the sights.’

Charities are benefiting from the Isle of Wight Walking Festival, with walk leaders suggesting a donation to the charity of their choosing, while some charities are leading walks themselves.

The Cats Protection Isle of Wight Adoption Centre are hosting a circular walk from their premises in Ryde down to the seafront, taking in the beautiful sea views from Puckpool Park across four dates during the Autumn Walking Festival.

Emma Duffield from the Cats Protection Isle of Wight Adoption Centre says:

‘Join the “Tiger Ladies” to learn all about the good Cats Protection Isle of Wight does on our walk to the seafront and also hear about our amazing 2023 Sumatran Jungle Trek fundraising challenge!’

The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary is offering two circular walks this autumn, leaving the Donkey Sanctuary at Wroxall, via Appuldurcombe House and the village of Godshill for a 5 mile walk, or a shorter 2.5 mile walk which takes in Wroxall & St Martin’s Down.

The Isle of Wight Walking Festival will welcome more walks that are brand new to the event this autumn.

For a longer walk, we’re being offered the chance to join local geology teacher Vix Lowthion’s Station to Station walk on Saturday 14 October from Sandown Station to Brading station via Yaverland, Culver down and above Whitecliff Bay for the chance to take in the stunning views on the horizon and discover more about the rocks under your feet.

Hosted by Planet Aware, a walk along the beach between Brook and Compton will be an opportunity to learn more about the pollution that reaches the shores of the UK, while collecting ‘nurdles’ – tiny granules of plastic less than 5mm in size used in manufacturing – with games and music along the way.

At Quarr Abbey, walkers will be offered the opportunity to learn about the ‘new’ Quarr Abbey, before moving on to the ruins of the original abbey, which was closed by Herny VIII in 1536.

To find out more the Isle of Wight Autumn Walking Festival which runs between 07-15 October, go to https://isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk/


Notes to Editors

Grade 2 walking tour of Ryde: https://isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk/walks/grade-2-walking-tour-of-ryde/

Link to Nettlecombe Farm Animal Feeding walk:

Cats Protection League Isle of Wight:

Link to Planet Aware walk:

Link to Quarr Abbey walk:


Images and audio of Grade 2

Images of animal feeding at Nettlecombe Farm

Image of Cats Protection League walk leaders: l-r Fran Coombs and Emma Duffield

Other new walks include:

Station to Station Walk – 14 October, Vix Lowthion

Walk from Sandown Station to Brading station via Yaverland, Culver down and above Whitecliff Bay with Geology teacher Vix Lowthion. Take in the stunning views on the horizon and discover more about the rocks under your feet. https://isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk/walks/station-to-station-14-october-2/

Fort Victoria History Walk – 11 & 13 October, Fort Victoria

Join the Ranger for a stroll around the remains of Fort Victoria to find out more about this once impressive fort complex. Find out what it was like in its heyday, why it was built and why it was considered outdated just a few years later.

Guided Tour of The Tapnell Trail – 11 October

A popular hiking trail through open countryside, taking in Wellow, Tapnell and East Afton Downs, with stunning views over the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival site and the south coast of the Island. Home to a variety of wildlife, the tour will be guided by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and Tapnell Farm.

Guided walk around Ryde Cemetery – 10 & 14 October

Discover the history of Ryde, its development, and the lives and deaths of its people. Guided Walk at 11am including a tour of the 3 chapels and nine exhibitions, with access to the Ryde Social Heritage Group archives. Heritage trails to explore and the beauty of the flora and fauna. Refreshments available all the while we are open 10am till 2pm.

Brading Marshes Nature Walk – with Natural Links – 11 October

One of the best birdwatching sites on the Isle, with wildfowl and waders, herons and egrets, birds of prey and reedbed specialists as well as other natural splendours.

Eco Valley Trail – 11 October

A walk through farmland and downland with views over Arreton Valley exploring Isle of Wight Green energy projects. Walk remnants of an old historic trail seeing the remains of stone made kerbstones, then along St Georges Down, descending down to the old railway track – now part of the cycle trail – past the disused Blackwater station. This walk is led by Naturezones’ Nordic Pole walking instructor.

Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary – 11 and 12 October

Leaving the Donkey Sanctuary at Wroxall and travelling via Appuldurcombe House and the village of Godshill for a 5 mile walk, or a shorter 2.5 mile walk which takes in Wroxall & St Martin’s Down.

https://isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk/walks/iow-donkey-sanctuary-to-godshill-via-appuldurcombe-house-and-return/ https://isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk/walks/iow-donkey-sanctuary-train-line-and-valley-circular-walk/