- Location: Isle of Wight
- Terrain: Hilly grass downland paths; lanes
- Height gain: 174m
- Map: OS Explorer OL29
- Starting point: Ventnor Down Car Park (Grid ref SZ 565 785)
- Activity Summary:
St Boniface Down is the highest point on the Isle of Wight with great views over the coastline at Ventnor. It is also home to the 7 centimetre-long great green bush-cricket which, from May to October, can be seen in the trees and grassland or their very loud sewing machine-like ‘song’ may be heard. Cricket-spotting may be combined with a fabulous circular walk from Ventnor Down National Trust car park, across Bonchurch Down and St Boniface Down. Some sections are steep but worth it for the views to Sandown Bay, Culver Cliffs, and across the island to Portsmouth. There is also the chance of bumping into the island’s feral herd of Old English goats on Bonchurch Down. The walk passes various World War II buildings and the RAF Ventnor Radar Station, which played an important role in the Battle of Britain.
- Route description:
From the Ventnor Downs Car Park follow the path anticlockwise around the perimeter of Ventnor Radar Station, keeping the fence on your left. Turn right by a tall mast signposted V1 then, after 45m pass through a gate and bear right on the ridge-line path towards Ventnor, which drops very steeply in places to Coombe Bottom.
- Getting there: On foot – the Isle of Wight Coastal Path through Ventnor passes approx. 1km from the start of the walk and there are a variety of steep paths where you can easily join this route. By bus – regular services between Newport and Ryde. By car – leave the B3327 in Upper Ventnor on Down Lane (nearest postcode for car park is PO38 1YL).
Whilst you are there:
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