The Isle of Wight Detour of Britain map

This September the Tour of Britain comes to the Isle of Wight; it promises to be an incredible spectacle for all those that head out to line the roads of the Island – find out more about the route in our Route Preview blog

Where is the best place to watch the action though? 

In this blog post, we have designed an off-road route perfect for gravel or mountain bikes – that would allow you to watch the action at an impressive five different vantage points along the route. This is your opportunity to experience the Island’s off-road riding, while watching the drama and action unfold in the professional road race. This is the ‘Detour of Britain’ (Isle of Wight stage)…

Vantage Point Distance on Detour of Britain Distance on Tour of Britain Stage
Ryde Seafront 0 km 0 km
Brading Down 8 km 21 km
Hillis Corner 34 km 77 km
Newport High Street 41 km 95 km
Freshwater Golf Course 59 km 145 km

Ryde seafront...

The route starts in Ryde, where the Isle of Wight stage of the Tour of Britain also begins. Ryde is easily accessible with a bike from the mainland using the Wightlink Fast Cat service to Ryde Pier Head or Hovertravel’s Hovercraft. Due to space restrictions, bikes can’t be booked on the vessels; it is a first come, first served basis. Being at the depart of the stage will allow you to witness the scale of the Tour of Britain operation, while you can soak up the atmosphere of excitement and trepidation ahead of this finale.

Aerial view of Ryde

Brading Down...

After capturing the start of the stage, you head out of Ryde in the opposite direction to the peloton – pedalling south through Upton and to the northern side of Brading Down. You then climb up to the Viewpoint Car Park at the top of Brading Down on an off-road route from Nunwell. When you reach this second vantage point you will be in prime position to watch the riders ascend the first major climb.

From Brading Down, it is time to head to vantage point #3 – this requires a longer stretch of uninterrupted riding. You descend onto the lanes of Adgestone, then through to Alverstone where you link up with the Sandown to Newport Cycle Path – this takes you through to the outskirts of Carisbrooke. 

View of Carisbrooke from Carisbrooke Castle

Skirting around Carisbrooke Castle, the route takes you up and over the National Trust’s Tennyson Trail and towards Porchfield. You should have a good amount of time to get here as the peloton will head out to Freshwater and Totland before they loop back around to head east. 

Hillis Corner...

Watch the peloton from Hillis Corner, before heading south through Parkhurst Forest and down onto the CowesNewport cycle path – taking you into the central town. The riders go up to Cowes, so you should have enough time to get into Newport ahead of them.

Newport High Street...

Newport should be a spectacular vantage point (#4) as the peloton passes through the town centre – promising an atmosphere much like a town centre criterium in the High Street.

As the riders speed out of Newport on an eastward route towards Shanklin, you head offroad in a western direction along the National Trust’s Tennyson Trail. This iconic trail will take you out through Brighstone Forest and into the outstandingly beautiful West Wight.

You should have time for a quick diversion off the Tennyson Trail down to Chessell Pottery Café for a refuel if you wish. During this time the peloton will be working their way around the hills of Shanklin and Ventnor, while you relax with a coffee or ice cream. 

Freshwater Golf Course...

From Chessell, make your way back onto the Tennyson Trail and up onto Afton Down. From up on Freshwater Golf Course you can see the section of the Military Road that will bring the riders in past Compton Bay, Compton Farm, and then up and over to Freshwater Bay. At this late stage in the race there should be plenty of drama unfolding, and this viewpoint is one of the most iconic on the Island. 

View of The Needles from the sea

An alternative would be to make your way through to the finish at the National Trust's iconic Needles Battery – there is a network of bridleways between Freshwater Bay and The Highdown Inn, but then you may need to proceed on foot to get around the road closures that will likely be enforced on the final kilometres of the stage.

Whichever one you choose of the above two options, by this stage in the day you should have seen a great amount of spectacular bike racing, as well as given yourself an impressive off-road ride.

Enjoy the ride!

P.S. For more off-road gravel riding fun on the Isle of Wight ahead of the Tour of Britain event, check out the Wight Prestige event hosted by Tim Wiggins and The Garlic Farm on the 2nd-4th September 2022.

N.B. Road closures are yet to be finalised for the event, and this may restrict access along the route. This Detour of Britain route has been designed to pre-empt these and avoid them, but you may need to be flexible with re-routing or finding slightly alternative vantage points.