The sunniest ride in the country?
This section of the trail follows the route of the former sunshine trail, now incorporated into the Red Squirrel Trail as the sunshine loop, so named because this part of the Island often tops the charts for the most sunshine hours in the country. Whatever the weather there’s always plenty to see with stunning downland views, country houses and more old railway lines.
Coming from Shanklin the old railway path ends at Wroxall, where you’ll cycle on-road for a short section into the Appuldurcombe Estate. The route from Wroxall is more undulating than the rest of the trail and through Appuldurcombe you’ll take a cross-field bridleway. If your bike’s not suitable or you’re cycling the route after heavy rain you might want to cycle up to Appuldurcombe House then walk your bike along the gravel footpath to Freemantle Gate instead, or use Redhill Lane (marked on the downloadable map). After passing through the impressive gate you can enjoy a downhill ride towards Godshill on a surfaced track, then back to the railway path near Merstone along a mixture of bridleways and quiet country lanes.
Wildlife on this section
A large part of this section runs through the Appuldurcombe Estate, originally much larger than it is today. You’ll skirt round the edge The Beech plantation of Freemantle Copse and see many other remnants of the planting around the estate. The small woodlands and hedgerows team with birds and butterflies.