Eight awesome Hants & IoW walks
Grab your friends or family and try our pick of the prettiest walks in Hampshire, Isle of Wight and beyond - all with dog-friendly pubs nearby.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Feel like stretching your legs? Us too! Making the most of your precious free time and getting out and about with family and besties is what we love to do on Muddy, so we’ve come up with eight brilliant walks (with pubs en route or nearby obvs) so you can really enjoy your down-time.
We’re proud to say that our walks are part of Joules’ Charity Month – 31 days of fantastic fundraising for their five charity partners. Details of our favourite walks across all 22 Muddy counties are here so even if you’re going away you can stride out.
What else do you want, crisp dry days and blue skies? Don’t worry, I’m working on it.
ISLE OF WIGHT
WALK 1/ TOTLAND TO ALUM BAY, WEST WIGHT
Distance and difficulty: Moderate – there’s a bit of ascent and the rural nature means that it can be a tad slippery. You have a choice of a shorter circular walk of 3 miles but it’s definitely worth the extra 1.25 miles to take in Alum Bay. View walk here.
Good for: Families, nature enthusiasts and shutterbugs.
Why we love it: You’re hitting some of the top West Wight spots on this walk, including the absolutely iconic views of Alum Bay and the Needles.
This circular walk is in a less built-up area of the Island but is lucky enough to have The Waterfront in Totland Bay towards the end of the stroll. Along with excellent food and a fantastic view over the bay itself, it’s menu has awesome Sunday roasts and plenty of vegan options for all your walking buddies.
The Waterfront, The Beach, Totland Bay, Isle of Wight, PO39 0BQ Tel: 01983 756969
WALK 2/ TIP OF THE WIGHT WALK, SOUTH WIGHT
Distance and difficulty: Moderate – It can be a tad steep round here and the wind coming from the Channel is strong, but the 3.5 miles is well worth the trundle. View walk here.
Good for: Dog walkers, families and heritage enthusiasts.
Why we love it: The southern tip of the Island is breathtaking and has a real sense of history to it. Smuggling coves and ancient lighthouses are dotted around a very secluded, but incredibly beautiful area.
Cosy, historic and with absolutely cracking food, The Buddle Inn in Niton is the perfect spot to stop mid or post walk. As well as being steeped with smuggling history with its stonework and roaring open fire, it’s the ideal place to warm yourself after a brisk stroll on one of the windiest places on the Wight.
The Buddle Inn, St Catherine’s Rd, Niton, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 2NE Tel: 01983 730243
WALK 3/ APPLEY BEACH TO SEAGROVE, NORTH WIGHT
Distance and difficulty: Easyish – The total route is 4.41 however, the walk itself is adaptable if you want to shorten it. Make sure to check the tides as you can’t access some parts of the route during high tide. View walk here.
Good for: Beach lovers, view seekers and families.
Why we love it: As well as being on the sandy shorefront, you can also look over to the mainland for an epic view of Portsmouth and the Solent Forts.
The Isle of Wight Distillery not only makes excellent gin and vodka but also has it’s own watering hole, The Mermaid Bar, just a couple of streets away. If you fancy switching that super traditional pub vibe for a contemporary cool atmosphere (plus the chance to take some awesome Island-made drinks home) this should definitely be on your radar.
The Mermaid Bar at The Isle of Wight Distillery, Pondwell Hill, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 1PX Tel: 01983 613653
WALK 4/ SHANKLIN TO SANDOWN, SOUTH WIGHT
Distance and difficulty: Easy – This is a straight walk that is 3 miles long (6 if you walk back) but if you’re a bit too tired there are regular buses back to the starting point or even the chance to ride on the quirky Island railway. View walk here.
Good for: Families, lovers of traditional seaside towns and those looking for a longer stretch to walk.
Why we love it: Both Shanklin and Sandown are the quintessential nostalgia spots of the Island, and there’s a real Enid Blyton vibe to them (make a note to check out the cute cottages in Old Shanklin). There’s also a bit more protection from the elements here so you can walk the south of the island without getting too windswept.
The Caulkheads is a really family-friendly pub located in Sandown, just two minutes from the beach. Part of the local Character Inn chain it’s really true to it’s Island roots (in fact Islanders are also known as Caulkheads, has a great menu plus a pirate (or should that be smuggler?) themed play area to keep small people amused.
WALK 1/ BEAULIEU TO BUCKLERS HARD TRAIL, NEW FOREST
Difficulty and distance: Super easy – The total route there and back is a 4.5 mile walk that is suitable for pushchairs. View walk here.
Good for: Young families, animal lovers and loafers.
Why we love it: As well as the gorgeous views of the Beaulieu River from Buckler’s Hard there’s also the chance to see all that glorious New Forest wildlife. Whenever we’re here we always see at least a few ponies and donkeys trotting about which the kids (and the grown-ups!) love.
Attached to The Montagu Arms (one of the best hotels in the whole county) is Monty’s Inn. This gorgeous little pub is really relaxed, right by the beginning of the trail and serves up excellent pub grub and local tipples. There’s usually a few donkeys outside to squeal at as well.
Monty’s Inn, Palace Lane, Beaulieu, Hampshire SO42 7ZL Tel: 01590 614986
WALK 2/ WEST MEON, MEON VALLEY, HANTS
Difficulty and distance: Easy to moderate – this 5.9 mile circular walk through the South Downs isn’t too taxing but isn’t flat enough for wheelchairs or pushchairs. View walk here.
Good for: Sunday strollers, families and view seekers.
Why we love it: The Meon Valley is incredibly beautiful and encompasses the awesome views of the South Downs without being overly far from the beaten track. Here you’ll find cute little thatched cottages and all the sights, sounds and smells of the Hampshire countryside.
The Thomas Lord in West Meon near Petersfield is everything you could want in a country pub. Leather chairs, roaring log fires and excellent traditional pub food done really well. And its location with easy access to the M27 and M3 means you can linger a little bit longer before heading home.
The Thomas Lord, The High Street, West Meon, Nr Petersfield, Hampshire, GU32 1LN Tel: 01730 829244
WALK 3/ FLEET POND, NORTH HANTS
Difficulty and distance: Super easy – This circular walk is a relaxed 2.5 miles of flat surfaces from start to finish. View walk here.
Good for: Families with small kids, those who like the idea of going for a walk without too much effort.
Why we love it: As well as being a really easy and chilled walk it’s also close to Fleet train station meaning you can leave the car at home. There’s lots of great wildlife to spot and there’s even a mini-beach which you wouldn’t expect on an inland stroll.
Perfectly located right by the water is the Heron on the Lake. With a cosy and contemporary interior inspired by the sea, plus some super comfy outside space (complete with hot water bottles for chillier days) you can continue to enjoy the outdoors while you kick back with a well deserved G&T.
Heron on the Lake, Old Cove Road, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2RY Tel: 01252 812522
WALK 4/ BISHOP’S WALTHAM HERITAGE WALK, SOUTH HANTS
Difficulty and distance: Moderate – This 4-mile circular walk isn’t too taxing but does involve a few stiles so not suitable for pushchairs and those with limited mobility. View walk here.
Good for: History buffs, families and chilled out strollers.
Why we love it: Not only do you get a lovely countryside walk but a history lesson with this one. On the route, you can see what is left of the once impressive Bishop’s Waltham Palace which was ripped down during the Civil War.
Two log fires greet you as you enter The Black Dog and they’ve also got all-day food service on a Sunday, so you won’t have to walk too fast to ensure you get a Sunday Roast. Also, if you don’t fancy anything that heavy the pub also does lighter bites that are packed with local produce.
The Black Dog,Winchester Road, Waltham Chase, Southampton, Hampshire, SO32 2LX Tel: 01329 832 316