Distance: 37km (23 miles).
Total climb: 930m (3,051ft).
Total time: 2hrs 30mins to 5hrs.
The Isle of Wight is only accessible by ferry but provides a great break from the mainland with a real holiday feel to it. It’s home to some good riding along well-signed bridleways across the rolling hills, with stunning coastal views.
Godshill car park (grid ref SZ 530/817, postcode PO38).
Wightlink ferries (0870 582 7744, www.wightlink.co.uk) and Hovertravel (01983 811000, www.hovertravel.co.uk) sail from Portsmouth and Lymington. Follow signs to Newport and then on to Godshill along the A3020. The car park is at the far end of the village.
Maps and useful books
Ordnance Survey Explorer 29: Isle of Wight.
UK Breaks with Bikes by Max Darkins (Rough Ride Guide).
Mountain Bike Rides in and around Wiltshire & Dorset by Max Darkins (Rough Ride Guide).
There are plenty of lodging options at www.visitisleofwight.co.uk. The Old World Tearooms (01983 840637) at the start is nice and there are pubs in Godshill, Chale, Niton and Wroxhall on the route. Wight Mountain bike shop in Newport (01983 520530) is excellent and very friendly. For more information about cycling on the island visit www.islandcyclingadventures.co.uk, www.visitisleofwight.co.uk and www.footoutflatout.co.uk.
Turn right on the road, left just past the model village and left again at the T-junction. Turn right on a bridleway by the last house. Cross the road, keep left at the fork, then turn left on the next road. Go right at the T-junction and follow this road over two crossroads and a third with a dirt track off to the right. Bear left to Upper Appleford Farm.
Follow the bridleway uphill. Go left at a fork, up to a monument, and then bear right along the ridgetop. Keep right, looking for a narrow, steep downhill trail by a marker post. Go past a farm and turn left on the B3399. Turn left on the A3055, right on The Terrace and then left on the coastal track, between a house and driveway.
At the A3055 turn right, past Blackgang Chine. Pass the viewpoint car park, then turn left on a wide bridleway, uphill. After a short distance turn right, between the fields. Descend to the road and follow it left into Niton. Go over the crossroads, then right down Town End Road (dead end), which bears around to the left.
Keep ahead on a bridleway when the track bears right. Join the track to the left at the end. Descend and cross the road. Go down through some gates, up through some trees and over a track on a grassy bridleway. Past the fishing ponds, bear right in the parking area, through a gate. Follow the bridleway uphill and left.
Go through the gates, then turn left on another bridleway, uphill, through a gate. Bear left to a gate. Turn right along the ridgetop, then descend, looking out for a bridleway on the left halfway down. Follow this to a road. Turn left on the B3327, then take the first right (Down Lane).
Go uphill past the radio masts, then bear left on a bridleway, through a gate, and follow the ridgetop trail. Bear right down the side of the hill by a marker post. Keep right down to a gate and into the trees. Keep right, downhill, over a track crossing, with trees on the right and a field to the left.
Cross a footbridge and then the A3020. Turn right at the road, go right at the fork and follow it over a crossroads. Shortly afterwards go right on a track, past a field of solar panels, then right on a bridleway before Ninham Farm. Follow the singletrack through the woods and then up some steps to cross the road again and join a drive.
Bear right on the cycle path to Wroxall. Turn left at the houses to join the road. Go right at two T-junctions, left on the B3327 and then right down West Street. Just after a sharp left-hand bend, go right on a bridleway.
At the top go right, past the mast, and then left through a gate, downhill. Keep right, through a gate into the trees. Go through a gate, across a field and then bear right to a fenced junction in the trees. Go right, then immediately left up a bridleway to a track crossing and turn left. At the road turn left back to Godshill.
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Routes produced in association with Rough Ride Guide
MBUK Big Ride images by Russell Burton