St. Catherine's Down and Knowles Farm, Isle of Wight
Photo credit: Sophia Brading
A wild rocky coast with jutting cliffs, a windswept down and sheltered wooded valley.
This is one of the most wild and beautiful parts of the Isle of Wight with a wonderfully varied landscape in a relatively small area.
Turbulent currents swirl round St Catherine's Point and waves crash on the rocky shore. St Catherine's Lighthouse seems to be perfectly placed in the tumbling and slipping landscape, but is a reminder of how dangerous this coast was to shipping. Paths weave through the bushes and glades of Knowles Farm and suddenly emerge above great landslips beneath cream-coloured cliffs.
St Catherine's Down rises behind these cliffs and forms a whale-back hill with amazing views right across the Isle of Wight. Below this is the beautiful Wydcombe valley with its network of paths and ancient tree lined track ways.