Cycling on the Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight has been named by the Lonely Planet Travel Guide as one of the top 10 destinations in the world for cycling. They say the Island is a ‘cycling paradise’ and has ‘lush velvet hills rolling into the sea, narrow lanes through tidy hedgerows, deep and mysterious gullies and the IW’s most striking feature, the ridge of white chalk cliffs stretching across its breadth’.
With over 200 miles of cycle paths, exploring the Island’s beautiful landscape and rugged coastline couldn’t be easier. There are cycling routes to suit everyone, with a choice of challenging off-road bridleways, peaceful byways and level purpose-made tracks on former railway lines.
The West Bay Cottages are perfectly located in the West Wight as a base for your two-wheeled adventures. With quieter roads, dramatic scenery and a challenging terrain that caters for all experience levels right on our doorstep.
Our stylish and comfortable self-catering accommodation offers the ideal home-from-home in which to relax and recover after a day in the saddle. Discover more here.
Our recommended cycling routes
To make sure you get the very best cycling experience, we've put together a series of recommended cycling routes, complete with easy to follow maps for every ability – from total beginners through to advanced cyclists.
All routes are colour coded according to their level of difficulty and the level of cycling experience or fitness required. Each route includes a detailed description so that you can judge the suitability of the route for your family or group. Our cycling trails are available to download by PDF below.
Easy routes suitable for novice cyclists and families.
Yarmouth to Freshwater Old Railway Line: trail route (Route Map and Cue Sheet)
Perfect for families and beginners, this quiet and flat route will take you along the beautiful Yar Estuary.
Moderate routes suitable for occasional cyclists with some experience of road use or easy trails.
This exciting route takes you past two historical forts, Fort Victoria and Golden Hill Fort. This is a fairly easy route on off-road gravel cycleways and country lanes.
Enjoy beautiful views of Alum Bay, Freshwater Bay, and the Yar Estuary on this fairly easy route.
West Wight Short Circular: trail route (Route Map and Cue Sheet)
Take a tour of the West Wight on this simple route.
A nice short ride ideal for beginners that visits the sea front at the picturesque Colwell Bay.
Difficult routes suitable for regular cyclists with experience trails or routes, good standard of fitness level required.
Take in majestic views of the Solent and southwest coast of the Island from the top of the downs.
Cycle the Tennyson Trail Loop backwards for a different challenge with the same outstanding views.
West Wight Road Climb: road route (Route Map and Cue Sheet)
This is a quick and challenging route with a total ascent of over 1100 feet, offering beautiful coastal views.
30 Mile West Wight Military Road Ride: road route (Route Map and Cue Sheet)
This ride takes in the famous Military Road, perfect for a Functional Threshold Test or short 20 minute time trial. In this 30 mile ride you will take in some of the most amazing views in the West Wight.
Short West Wight Ride With Bursts: road route (Route Map and Cue Sheet)
This ride is quite a tough West Wight ride with some nice climbs ideal for interval hill climbing. At a good pace this can be a 50 – 60 minute ride.
Severe routes suitable for high-level cyclists who expect and relish either a highly technical off-road ride or a physically exhausting road ride. These routes are suitable for quality off-road and road bikes only, and a very high level of fitness is required.
This extremely challenging mountain bike trail has been called the “off-road round the Island cycle route” by Bicycle Island.
This ride is around 2 hours long depending on ability. To take this ride you need to be fairly fit and able to climb hills as there are lots! If you’re looking to get better at climbing, then this is just the ride for you!
Image credits: www.visitisleofwight.co.uk