Visit a mysterious ancient monument and enjoy fine views over the Mottistone estate to the sea.
Start: Mottistone Manor National Trust car park, grid ref: SZ405838. Nearest postcode PO30 4ED.
- Take the path down the steps from the car park towards the entrance to Mottistone Manor. Turn sharp left and go up the sunken path (BS43), then take the right fork signposted Footpath to the Long Stone and the Downs. Follow the path upwards, skirting Mottistone Manor Gardens on the right. Cross the track at the top of the stone steps and continue uphill to the Long Stone.
- Follow the track round to the right then after 30yds (25m) take the path on the left by a wooden bench. Follow the grassy path gently uphill, with the mounds of Castle Hill on the left near the top of the rise.
- Where the path opens out by a fenced tank, head diagonally left down the field to a five-bar gate near the right-edge of a copse. Turn right through the gate and follow the path with the hedge on its right as far as the road (Strawberry Lane).
- Turn left and follow the lane to the end. Shortly after the lane begins to climb, notice the old chalk quarry on the left, and a lime kiln. At the T-junction, turn left along the roadside for 30yds (25m) then turn left again.
- Go through the gate and follow the track upwards onto Mottistone Down, through the gate at the summit and descend again. Notice a number of Bronze Age barrows on the right.
- Turn left by a Tennyson Trail wooden finger post, shortly before two metal gates. Almost immediately, turn left again and follow the Public Bridleway. This grassy path gently rises and then descends. Enter a wood through a metal gate and follow the bridleway downwards, keeping to the left edge of the wood.
- After a gate, turn right onto a track. After about 130yds (120m) there are fine views across the Mottistone estate down to the sea, and another Bronze Age barrow can be seen on the right. The path bends left 270yds (250m) after the barrow. Shortly before the next right bend, turn left down a diagonal crossing path.
- Head downwards to a wider crossing path. Ignoring the gate straight ahead, turn left for 15yds (14m) then right through a gate and continue down hill to the car park.
End: Mottistone Manor National Trust car park, grid ref: SZ405838
The Longstone: Dating from Neolithic times, the mysterious Long Stone is one of the oldest monuments on the Island. It consists of a 13ft-high sandstone pillar with a second smaller stone at its base. The stones may have been moved in Saxon times and were also repositioned during a Victorian excavation. They are believed to have marked the entrance to a long barrow or burial chamber, but may have been used in Saxon times as a meeting place; the Long Stone is also known as the Moot Stone, moot being the Saxon word for meeting, from which Mottistone takes its name.
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 4.25 miles (7km)
- Time: 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes
- OS Map: Landranger 196, Explorer OL29
- Terrain:This circular walk has an ascent of 700ft (210m). It has no stiles but there are some steep paths. Be careful of tree roots and overhanging branches, and the chalk tracks can be slippery in wet seasons. Watch out for traffic on the tarmac lanes. Dogs are very welcome, but please keep them under control and on a lead around wildlife. There is a dog bin in the car park. For those wanting a longer walk, this route can be combined with the other downloadable Mottistone trail (‘A Mottistone Meander – South to the sea’) to make a 7 mile (11km) figure-of-eight walk, starting from the car park.
- How to get here:By foot: Mottistone lies approximately 1 mile (1.6km) north of the Isle of Wight Coast Path. The waymarked Tennyson Trail from Carisbrooke Castle to The Needles is followed between points 5 and 6 on the map
By bike: ‘Round the Island’Sustrans regional route 67 passes along the B3399 through Mottistone
By bus: Southern Vectis (tel: 01983 827000) No. 12 service from Newport to Totland passes by Mottistone Manor. Alight at the green
By ferry: Yarmouth-Lymington 7 miles (11km), Fishbourne-Portsmouth 14 miles (Wightlink, tel: 0871 376 1000); East Cowes-Southampton 15 miles (24km) (Red Funnel tel: 0844 8449988)
By car: Mottistone lies on the B3399, between Brighstone and Brook. Mottistone Manor car park is to the west of the property