Total Length: 12 miles.
Duration: Experienced riders will complete this in 2 hours.
Classification: Hard. Mainly on roads. This route takes in some pretty heavy hitting hills.
This route otherwise know as ‘Route 12‘ is challenging only because it takes on a long steep climb out of Shanklin, past the beautiful St Balsius Church. The gradient is a fairly steady – 12%, but well worth the push to the top. If you need to stop, do not worry as there are plenty of places you can admire the view and get your breath back.
You’ll go past Bonchurch, which due to the water spring is one of the oldest settlements on the Isle of Wight. Five stone age burial mounds have been found at St. Boniface Down, the Saxon patron saint. Once at Bonchurch you’ll soon start the long descent in to Ventnor when you can pick up fish from the harbour freshly caught only a few miles offshore. If you do drop down in to Bonchurch for a look don’t bother coming back up the hill on your way to Ventnor, simply cheat and cycle along the beach path!
Stop in Ventnor for a coffee and a rest by Ventnor waterfall as your next climb is a big one. In fact, it is 25%. You can either try to push your gears in to your spokes looking for a non-existent lower gear, or do as we all do at routefifty7 and get off and walk!
Next stop, Ventnor Botanical Gardens. The unusual climate on the Island is more akin to the Mediterranean and enables a wide variety of plants considered too tender for much of mainland Britain to be grown. You can dismount here, lock your bikes up and walk down to Steephill Cove, (it’s too steep to cycle) it is a tiny little bay, which one of the Isle of Wight’s hidden gems. Take some cash though as card readers do not work under the cliff. Carry on and you will hit some little lanes which eventually start to head home. When you eventually arrive at Wroxal you will pick up the Red Squirrel Trail which soon brings you home.
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