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Served by ferries and languishing just a few miles off the coast in the South of England, cycling on the Isle of Wight guarantees sea views, sea air and seagulls. Beloved by Queen Victoria, England’s largest island has a diverse landscape of downlands, fields and almost 60 miles (97 km) of coastline. Criss-crossed with trails and lanes, pedaling is by far the best way to get around.
With a mild climate and environmentally important areas, you’ll get to experience wonderful conditions as you explore cycle routes on the Isle of Wight. Experienced cyclists can circumnavigate the island in a day but there’s much more to explore, with lovely bike trails and viewpoints in the interior too.
The island is a perfect place for family bike rides too, with a great selection of gentle trails and the all-important ice cream shops at regular intervals in summer.
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The geology of this beautiful island has always been notable and, in 2019, it was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Cycling on the Isle of Wight can take you to heights, across the chalk ridge that rises up across the centre, most famously ending at the Needles sea stacks in the west. You can cycle up to the top of St Boniface Down too, the highest point on the island at 791 feet (241 m).
There are over 200 miles of cycle routes on the Isle of Wight and you’re sure to find a trail that suits your ability and mood. Cycle around the island, taking all day or stopping overnight for a multi-day adventure. An undulating coastline provides challenging ascents and exceptional descents. Along coastal trails you’ll have breathtaking views of chalk white cliff faces.
While the island’s downs provide fantastic views, you can idle along on deliciously flat trails and see blissful landscape with wetlands, beaches and woodlands.
It’s not hard to spot some pretty special history during your bikes rides on the Isle of Wight, especially given that this is one of the richest places in Europe for dinosaur fossils. With a multitude of footprints, bones and fossils all discovered here, the island has an impressive reputation for representing our Jurassic friends. As recently as 2013, a new dinosaur species was unearthed, by a four year old girl no less.
From dinosaurs to dynasties, the Isle of Wight became fashionable after Queen Victoria made it her seasonal home by having the impressive Osbourne House constructed. It’s been a celebrated region ever since, with half the island a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Lying in the English Channel and the Solent, the Isle of Wight has a mild climate year round, often enjoying wonderful, long summers. Several sheltered pockets of land have unusually warm microclimates which is why you can find exquisite subtropical plants near Ventor on the south east side.
If you don’t live on the Isle of Wight, you can reach it by ferry from the mainland from several different points. The ferries and hovercraft accept bicycles and you can also rent them on the island. The shoulder seasons are quiet and beautiful for cycling while the summer season sees the island in full swing with seasonal shops open and ice cream aplenty.
Explore more of England: Browse the best Cycling Routes in other regions.