Explore – Essential Ingredients for an Isle of Wight Bike Ride

Tim Wiggins Isle of Wight Cycling
The Isle of Wight is an amazing place to explore by bicycle; with stunning views, great coastlines, quiet roads, and superb café stops. In this Explore blog post I consider some of my 'Essential Ingredients' to make the most of what the Isle of Wight offers to cyclists.

1 – Coastal Views

There is nothing better than riding a bike along a coastal road; looking out over the distant horizon and feeling the refreshing breeze on your face. The Isle of Wight offers coastal paths and roads in abundance, but the classic is most definitely the Military Road — ranked as one of the best driving roads in the world, it is also one of the best cycling roads to experience; best ridden in the late summer when the traffic levels are lower and you can enjoy the serenity of the English Channel views.

2 – Historical Highlights

From dinosaurs to royal castles and palaces; the Isle of Wight has a diverse and interesting selection of historical highlights to entertain and excite any age group. Some of my personal favourites include Carisbrooke Castle, The Needles Battery, and the Dinosaur Museum. Even if your bike ride is just a cycle-by tour of some of these highlights, it will add a great point of interest for all ages.

3 – Local Café Stops

Forget big chains and mainland monopolies — the Isle of Wight is one of the best places to find great boutique local cafes and lunch venues. Whether you want a cosy café or a beach side bistro, you can find my personal favourites in my previous Explore-IOW blog post 'Top Ten Cycling Cafés on the Isle of Wight'.

Tim Wiggins Isle of Wight Cycling

4 – Quiet Bike Paths

If you are looking for a gentle and quieter ride, then definitely look to integrate one of the Island's many great bike paths into your cycle route. Most of these tracks are on dismantled railway lines that criss-cross the Island; running from Cowes to Newport, Newport to Sandown, Ryde to Newport, Yarmouth to Freshwater, and Shanklin to Wroxall. Adding one of these segments to your bike ride on the Isle of Wight will provide a wonderful opportunity to get away from the traffic and back to nature.

5 – Lung Busting Climbs

If physical effort is your thing then the Isle of Wight can offer plenty of challenges to satiate your inner masochist. You will find the biggest and most challenging hills in the south of the Island around Ventnor and Niton. With gradients topping out at 25 percent, you can be sure to be straining and suffering; but the reward is spectacular views at the summits. Check out my post 'Best Road Cycling Routes on the Isle of Wight' for some ideas and suggestions.

6 – Wildlife and Nature

More than half of the Island is classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This is a place to see rare birds, red squirrels, highland cattle, donkeys, and even lamas. Try visiting one of the RSPB bird hides such as those at Newtown Creek, or call into the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary or West Wight Alpacas to make some great four-legged friends.

7 – Beaches and Boats

Finally, you cannot explore somewhere like the Isle of Wight without taking a trip to the beach or on a boat. You might start your ride with a ferry ride to the Island or finish it with an ice-cream or fish and chips on the beach. Embrace the coastal culture, and you will really feel like you are exploring the secrets of a secluded island.

For more ideas for an Isle of Wight cycling trip, check out:

Drop me a message on Twitter (@timwiggins1) or Instagram (@tim_wiggins1) with any questions.

Tim Wiggins Isle of Wight Cycling

Tim Wiggins Isle of Wight Cycling

Tim Wiggins Isle of Wight Cycling

Tim Wiggins Isle of Wight Cycling


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