Cycling and Mountain Biking
Internationally-renowned cycling awaits.
Named as one of the 10 best cycling destinations in the world, the Isle of Wight is packed with diverse terrain, scenic trails, and gorgeous views that make it a cyclists’ dream. All levels of rider can enjoy exploring the island on two wheels. For the more adventurous, try downhill mountain biking, dirt jumping, or road racing.
Road cycling and touring is excellent on the Island, with more than 200 miles of routes to suit everyone. There are quiet country lanes that meander through areas of outstanding natural beauty, and some excellent coastal paths. One of the newest purpose built paths is Route 23, part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network, which runs from West Cowes through to Sandown on the South-Easterley edge of the Island. September sees the Isle of Wight Cycling festival take over the Island with events to suit cyclists of all abilities.
The West of the Island is particularly good for mountain biking, with its undulating countryside and steep downhill sections which will keep even the most hardened bikers entertained. In May the Island plays host to the Isle of Wight Randonnee, and in September you can participate in the Isle of Wight Cycling Festival which attracts fans from all over the country.
Hiring bikes on the Isle of Wight is easy. You can organise cycle hire from a choice of local companies who have a wealth of experience. Most have modern mountain, hybrid or road bikes available to hire and will include locks, pumps, puncture repairs kits and maps. Some hire companies also offer child seats, tag-a-longs, trailers and more.
Route 1 - Yarmouth (9 miles)
An easy route, mainly on the road.
Route 2 - Yarmouth (12 miles)
Longer, but still fairly easy cycling on both cycleway and country lanes.
Route 3 - Cowes (9 miles)
An easy, mostly flat ride (after the one hill at East Cowes).
Route 4 - Cowes (16 miles)
This route incorporates the perfectly flat Medina Cycleway between Cowes and Newport which is perfect for going on a short 'there and back' ride. Route 4 also incorporates a bit of offroad cycling in the majestic woodland of Parkhurst Forest.
Route 5 - Brighstone (10 miles)
An excellent introduction to mountain biking, this route is easy to follow and gives wonderful views of the West Wight. Look out for the Mottistone Longstone which has been on Mottistone Down since the Bronze Age.
Route 6 - Brighstone (12 miles)
A figure of eight ride from Brighstone along gently undulating country lanes to Chale.
Route 7 - Ryde (15 miles)
Explore the landscape of hedgerows and woods that lie behind Ryde. Follow the cycleways and stop off at Brading for refreshments.
Route 8 - Ryde (15 miles)
An easy, longer ride combining coast and countryside around the eastern side of the Island.
Route 9 - Newport (10 miles)
The first part of this ride is along the Sandown cycleway - go there and back to Merstone for an easy ride. Based off road, on cycleways and along quiet country lanes, this route is great for beginners.
Route 10 - Carisbrooke (12 miles)
A fairly easy ride on country lanes through the rural heart of the Island. Pay a visit to medieval Carisbrooke Castle which is en route!
Route 11 - Sandown (5 miles)
A short, fairly easy ride taking you through the wildlife-rich wetland of Eastern Yar. This route starts at Dinosaur Isle - why not stop off there and meet some of the Island's prehistoric residents?
Route 12 - Shanklin (12 miles)
There are two big hills on this route, but they're well worth it for the interest and variety on the ride! Ride along chocolate box country lanes and cycleways which take you along the Island's southern coast.