Newtown on the Isle of Wight is a special place, with a history, beauty and rich variety of wildlife for you to discover.

There are some lovely walks in this area and for those who enjoy a mix of history and nature Newtown makes for a wonderful day out

The village has an unusual history. It is built on the site of the Medieval Borough and the former building plots and streets are still visible. Originally called Francheville which translates as Freetown it was later renamed Newtown and has a fascinating and long history with indication that it was attacked by the Danes in 1001.

During the 14th century the town came into it’s own as a thriving town with busy harbour, the town was famed for it’s abundant oyster beds. The town was later hit by the plague and a French raid that devastated much of the town never to recover. By the 16th century Newport had taken over as the main harbour town and thriving commercial centre and Newtown dwindled down to a small settlement. More history on the town is available from the Newtown Old Town Hall visitor centre run by the national trust.

Now the town is popular tourist site due to the National Nature Reserve with meadows and woodlands to explore, for the nature lovers keep your eyes peeled for the famous Island red squirrels, rare butterfly’s and vast array of birds who make homes in the salt marshes and peaceful waters of the harbour which is dotted with boats all year round.



  • This route has wheelchair access
  • This route has buggy access

Newbridge – Calbourne – Brighstone & Shorwell or Newtown & Porchfield – Newport

Newtown Nature Reserve Facilities:

  • Free car park, toilets, visitor point, three bird hides
  • Mercia Seabroke Hide usually has volunteers to welcome you in season
  • Family & children
  • Programme of familiy activities called ‘Wildzone’
  • School parties welcomed, booking essential
  • Access
  • Fairly level paths, muddy if wet
  • Some stiles
  • Path suitable for wheel chairs through Town Copse
  • Path suitable for wheel chairs to Mercia Seabroke bird hide



Newtown, Shafleet, Isle of Wight

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