/ Isle of Wight School Trip Activities / Nature / Tennyson Down Walk
A 4-mile walk taking around 2 hours (with a quick picnic stop) from Freshwater Bay to the Needles, this is a well used part of the Isle of Wight Coastal Path offering wonderful views of the iconic Needles Rocks, and across to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset on a clear day. You'll pass a 19th century fort, a cold war rocket testing site, and a monument to the Victorian poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
The walk can present a few challenges to the less ambulant such as gates and stiles, and long gradual inclines. There are no public toilets on the actual walk, but plenty at either end of it.
Tennyson Down Walk is great for all ages, but perhaps a little overwhelming for the very youngest visitors
Here's some of the most frequently-asked questions about school visits to Tennyson Down Walk, posed by teachers and other group leaders
There are no facilities on the actual walk. There are public toilets at The Needles park as well as in Freshwater Bay, so make sure everyone 'goes' before starting the walk, which can take 2+ hours.
The walk is along exposed coast at high level. There are plenty of inclines. The paths are generally through grassland so could be muddy in places after periods of poor weather. Sturdy footwear is a must, along with suitable clothing for the predicted weather conditions throughout the walk. A water bottle is recommended.
National Trust recommend obtaining an OS Landranger 196 or OS Explorer OL29 map, however the route is well signed and well used, so most of our schools just get on with it, and ask a local if they need any help!
As well as rain, you also need to consider wind conditions. The walk is very high and exposed especially to southerly and south-westerly winds. Do not attempt the walk in bad weather.