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Tennyson Down, Freshwater

Categories: Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
4.9/5 based on 95+ reviews on the web
Tennyson Down is a hill at the west end of the Isle of Wight just south of Totland. Tennyson Down is a grassy, whale-backed ridge of chalk which rises to 482 ft/147m above sea level. Tennyson Down is named after the poet Lord Tennyson who lived at nearby Farringford House for nearly 40 years. The poet used to walk on the down almost every day, saying that the air was worth 'sixpence a pint'.OverviewIt is part of the chalk ridge that forms the backbone of the Isle of Wight, this ridge extends to the west for 3mi where it ends with The Needles. To the east the hill descends gently down to Freshwater Bay where the sea has cut through the ridge. To the south is Highdown Cliffs, a near vertical chalk cliff drop of over 100 metres to the sea below.The top of the Down is fairly flat and is predominately grass downland which provides a wide area for walking. There is some scrubland and small trees mainly on the northern side which is away from the prevailing wind.The Down is owned and managed by the National Trust and is grazed by cattle and rabbits which ensures that its grass surface is closely cropped. It is open to the public.At the top of the Down at a height of 147m stands a huge granite cross commemorating the life of Alfred Lord Tennyson. From here on a clear day it is possible to see Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Purbeck to the west, Yarmouth and Lymington to the north, and to the east, much of the Solent, Fawley Oil Refinery, a large part of the western half of the Isle of Wight, and St. Catherine's Point, 20 km away across Brighstone Bay. Surprisingly it is not possible to see the Needles from here as they are hidden beyond the next hill to the west which is known as West High Down.
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  • This is a wonderful walk, especially on a sunny day. We parked at the car park and made the hike to the cliff top. It's steep and needs care, but it's well worth it. From the monument, heading west to...  read more »
  • Park down in the pay and display at Freshwater Bay, walk right to the bus stop and then head up onto the Down. You can walk past the monument all the way to the Needles Battery - good footpaths away f...  read more »
  • A beautiful, scenic walk, so quiet and tranquil. The views are spectacular and lovely to see the larks. However it was a case of keeping our eyes firmly on the ground as there was so much dog mess aro...  read more »
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