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Tennyson Down, Freshwater

(100+ reviews on the web)
Outdoor Activity
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Just spectacular the views are like nothing else. It's quite a hike up there but definitely worth it!!  more »
  • I highly recommend this walk. Starting at the Needles (if you skip the battery and go further up the cliff towards the coastguard and old battery, you'll see a fence with a gate that'll start you off ...  more »
  • I loved it up here. The views are stunning, all the way from The Needles to the Tennyson monument you can't fail to be stunned by it all. Lovely area, I'd recommend taking a picnic and making a day of...  more »