An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

Cycle the Red Squirrel Trail

The Red Squirrel Trail is a 51 kilometre mostly traffic-free cycling route from East Cowes to Sandown and Shanklin that passes through estuaries, woodland, farmland, downland, and coastline. Many people start at Shanklin and cycle the family-friendly 22.5 kilometre section of the route through Wroxall, Merstone and Sandown. Parkhurst Forest near Newport is a popular extension to the main trail. This mix of remnant ancient woodland, heathland and Forestry Commission plantation woodland offers kilometres of footpaths and gravel tracks to enjoy as well as watching out for the island’s famous red squirrels. The best place to spot them is from the Red Squirrel Hide, located north west of the carpark (PO30 5LY; Grid ref: SZ 480 900). There are plenty of opportunities in this large woodland to build a den or take shelter in one that is already there. Check out the details here

Whilst you are on the Isle of Wight why not try:

Rock pooling at Bembridge 

Look for giant crickets on St Boniface Down

Enjoy a swim and crab pasty at Steephill Cove

Watch an Isle of Wight sunset

Look for the Milky Way

Other islands nearby:

Brownsea Island

Hayling Island

Portsea Island

Thorney Island

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