Through the wetlands to the beach
Following the course of the old railway line on well surfaced, flat paths, this section follows the East Yar river for a large section. You’ll enjoy a variety of landscapes form the patchwork of agricultural fields in the fertile Arreton Valley to the stunning wetlands as you approach Sandown. There are various visitor attractions near the route if you fancy a detour along the way.
If you feel like exploring the Merstone area a little further, Gift to Nature and the Isle of Wight Council have put together a series of six cycling routes that start from Merstone Station. These allow cyclists to travel on less used rights of ways in a peaceful part of the Island. The routes are for differing abilities and energy levels, and a map can be downloaded here or from the board at the station.
Wildlife on this section
This section of the route passes Alverstone Mead Nature Reserve, which is one of the best locations on the Isle of Wight for Red Squirrel spotting. Leave your bike and take a stroll up to the bird hide. Even if you don’t manage to spot any of our elusive Red Squirrel’s you’re bound to see plenty of other fascinating wildlife.
Also along this section you can see all manner of wetland wildlife including Kingfishers, Water Voles and some amazing wildlfowers.
Gift to Nature Sites
Next to the Longwood Lane junction you’ll find a carved arch leading you into Gift to Nature’s wetland walk and community orchard site. Follow the boardwalk to our pond (great for dragonflies) and then follow the path into the picnic area and orchard. You can help yourself to fruit in the autumn.