The Military Road runs along the coast between Chale and Freshwater Bay was built by the military in the 1860's as part of the defence of the Island. It enabled troops to move from their barracks at Freshwater along the south west coastline.
For many years it was closed to the general public with gates at Afton Road (in the west) and at Whale Chine (in the east) plus others in between. However, pedestrians and cyclists did use it, but had to climb gates and other barriers, and tolerate the poor surface.
In 1930 the Isle of Wight County Council announced they intention to acquire the road from the War Office and the Seely Estate.
Reconstruction of the road at public expense commenced in the early 1930's, the final section was opened to the public in 1936.
There has been ongoing engineering work to maintain the road as in some areas it is very near the eroding coastline.