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Isle of Wight Group

We are the Isle of Wight Ramblers. We arrange walks, monitor paths and help our local community to enjoy the pleasures of walking.

Join the Ramblers and enjoy

  • unlimited free access to 50,000 Ramblers group walks
  • a library jam-packed with thousands of tried-and-tested routes
  • a welcome pack teeming with top tips plus our quarterly Walk magazine
  • exclusive discounts from our partners
  • knowing your support is opening up more places to walk and helping more people discover the joy of walking
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Pursuing the idea of walking some or all of the Isle of Wight's "named trails" in full, It is proposed to do the Yar River Trail, but spread over two dates, so we can enjoy it at a leisurely pace, enjoy a lunch stop, maybe even learn the odd thing or two about the river.....

  • Part 1 is Niton – Sandown 21 April; and
  • Part 2 is Sandown - St Helens  (26 May - details will be separately listed on the programme for that date)

Part 1 is a full day's walk (approx 13.5 miles), so please view it as such. We will have a lunch stop at Godshill, and drinks stops. The earliest start time we can do is 10.40am from Niton, to fit with the earliest bus of the Sunday from Newport - see travel logistics below .

For those who would like a shorter walk, there are easy and obvious earlier "exit" points onto bus routes at Godshill (approx 6.8 miles) or Horringford (approx 10.1 miles) - so you can make this walk as long or as short as you wish  

Today's walk starts at the source of the Yar in Niton. The Trail then heads through Whitwell cross-country (with, at the time of recce-ing, one short diversion near Roud due to closed footpath because of a broken bridge) through to Godshill where, as this is a full day’s walk, we will have a lunchstop long enough for refreshments, which are available at several cafes, or the pub. However be aware that whilst hopefully we should be OK to get drinks, venues are likely to be busy, and so slow, for food orders, so please don't rely on that. We recommend you bring a packed lunch !  NB : it is also possible to finish this walk here at Godshill for a shorter version (approx 6.8  miles). 

From Godshill onwards via Budbridge, Horringford (another possible exit point to a bus route if you wish - approx 10.1 miles), and then onto the cycletrack via Newchurch and Alverstone into Sandown, where we end at the railway station (from where we will pick up for a the second half of the River Yar Trail through to its mouth at St Helens on 26 May)

This walk is a mix of country walking on paths and tracks (significantly muddy in a few parts at the time of recce - pole(s) helpful); some (quiet) road walking; and latterly cycletrack. The elevation is shown on one of the attached pictures - there is nothing too challenging and certainly the latter sections are very easy, nice and flat. It is interesting to see the river from its source, and  plenty of opportunities to see wildlife

Toilets are available at the start point at Niton, and at Godshill.

From the leaflet produced by the Island Rivers Partnership:

'Have you ever wondered what it would be like to follow a river on its journey from source to sea?

'Here on the Isle of Wight you can do just that . From a spring in Niton you will see the East Yar river grow from the smallest trickle and gather itself through a host of tributaries before spreading across its floodplain and joining the sea at Bembridge Harbour. Along the way the river will guide you through rolling landscapes, past ancient manors and into busy cosy pubs.

'The Eastern Yar, at 19 miles long, is the Island’s longest river, draining over a fifth of its land surface

'The Trail divides into 4 parts:

  • Niton to Godshill – The Young River – 5 miles
  • Godshill to Newchurch – The Developing River – 4.5 miles
  • Newchurch to Brading – The Central Floodplain – 4 miles
  • Brading to St Helens – The River Mouth – 5 miles'

[NB: These are the stated distances as published. However be aware that actually walking them, I make them slightly longer !] 


By car:
If you have a car share, park one car at your chosen walk end, and bring the second car back to the start at Niton.

  • For the full walk,  at Sandown the station carpark is only £1.20 for the day. Buy a parking ticket at the train ticket machine, but there is usually free on-street parking in the vicinity) ;

Or if you are planning one of the shorter options:

  • There is a large free carpark at the Old Smithy in  Godshill;
  • Horringford parking, however, is very limited - you might be lucky and get one of the couple of spaces at the cycletrack/main road crossing, but this is by no means guaranteed, in which case you would need to park a bit further away and walk (I will contact the owner of Haseley Manor and see if he is willing to allow parking there on this occasion, which is probably as close as one can get if the aforementioned spaces are full. I will update here if so - no reply as at the time of updating this entry) 

Depending where you live this walk may be more easily (and cheaply!) reached for many by bus. Details below are from Newport, but other routes may be available - please check yourself if applic

If you prefer, or need, car travel then please do consider posting any offers of and requests for car shares on the Whatsapp group to minimise pressure on parking, the roads and the environment.

By bus (from/to Newport ):

We will get the No 6 from Newport bus station to Niton Church Street. The first Sunday bus of the day leaves the bus station at 09.55 and arrives at Niton Church Road  at 10.32, upon which the walk start time of 10.40 is based. There is a free public loo right near the bus stop if required before we set off). 

Then at the end of the walk back to Newport:

  • From Godshill, 4 buses an hour - the No 2 (ideally) at 05 and 35 mins past the hour, or the No 3 (longwindedly via Ventnor) at 23 and 53 mins past the hour
  • From Horringford, the No 8 - only hourly at 06 mins past the hour
  • From Sandown - the Nos 2, 3 or 8 are all options

So basically there should be ample buses back to Newport whatever time we finish. 

Sunday, 21 April 2024
Start time:
10:40 am
Estimated finish time:
5:00 pm
21.7km / 13.5mi

Depending on the weather, consider suitable clothing, footwear, walking stick, sun cream, drinks, and food. Watch out for ticks and remove ASAP. If you are unsure about your ability to undertake this walk, please contact the walks leader. If you need to leave the walking group, please ensure you inform the leader or back marker.

There are some sections of road walking, so do walk in single file and take good care.

Wise to look at the website on the day just in case of any changes or additional info. And in the event of extreme weather please check back for cancellation and postponement  notices. You can also check with Serena on 07564-811690.

New walkers welcome
If you are new to the Ramblers you can just turn up for any of our walks, unless we specify otherwise.  We invite you to come along for three walks as a non-member.

If you would like to join the informal WhatsApp  group (or even just temporarily for the purposes of communications regarding this specific walk and then exit again), please message Serena on 07564 811690 to be added.


  • Refreshments available (Pub/cafe)
  • Toilets available
  • Accessible by public transport
  • Car parking available

Starting point

Grid reference:
SZ 50697 76762
Nearest postcode:
PO38 2DA
Start time:
10:40 am

Church Street bus stop, Niton

Finishing point

Grid reference:
SZ 59322 84469
Nearest postcode:
PO36 9FE
Estimated finish time:
5:00 pm

Sandown railway station (alternative earlier end points at Godshill or Horringford)

Join the Ramblers and enjoy

  • unlimited free access to 50,000 Ramblers group walks
  • a library jam-packed with thousands of tried-and-tested routes
  • a welcome pack teeming with top tips plus our quarterly Walk magazine
  • exclusive discounts from our partners
  • knowing your support is opening up more places to walk and helping more people discover the joy of walking