Walking or cycling around the Medina estuary is a wonderful way to enjoy this beautiful area, see local wildlife and discover some great places to eat and drink.
You might spot some of our resident or visiting birds. Often feeding along the waters edge is the little egret, which is bright white against the colours of the estuary. You may also hear the evocative call of the curlew or the distinctive single note of the oystercatcher when in flight or see the spectacular dive of a tern.
The Medina estuary circular route (see picture below) incorporates a crossing on the new floating bridge and is approximately 9 miles. The Folly, Island Harbour and Newport Harbour can all be accessed by boat to provide alternative starting or finishing points.
The route encompasses walking and cycling access along the old railway line from Cowes to Newport. This passes through beautiful woodland and hedgerows with the chance of spotting a wealth of wildlife, including red squirrels.
There are glimpses of the estuary through the trees and at open points along the way, including Dodnor Creek nature reserve. It is part of the Red Squirrel Trail, a longer cycle route that stretches across the Island with Ryde via another cycleway.
The eastern bank of the estuary provides more open views across the estuary, as well as beside the water, on a lovely new shared route called Medina Greenway. This part of the route incorporates information about the wildlife of the estuary, sculptures and bridges that lead the walker or careful cyclist between Newport and Island Harbour (this part of the route is not suitable for road bikes).
Along the way walkers and cyclists will find great places to stop for refreshments including the Spy Vélo café on the west side by the floating bridge, the Folly Inn, The Breeze at Island Harbour, The Bargeman’s Rest at Newport Harbour and many others in the towns themselves. Every harbour user, both on and off the water, can help to reduce pollution and disturbance to wildlife. Please be aware of sensitive areas and local wildlife. Do not throw any litter or waste overboard. Reduce your speed, limit your wash and do not land or walk on the saltmarsh. Keep noise to a minimum. Thank you!The Medina River is a great place to see our wildlife
• Read more about the Medina Estuary in our 'Environment
• See more on 'Estuary Birds' on page 51 of the Cowes Harbour Handbook