What the South Wight has to offer:
The South of the Isle of Wight incorporates some of the most exciting coastline from long stretches of beach with hidden fossils and exposed dinosaur footprints, to rugged cliff tops with exhilarating views and historical monuments and pretty villages steeped in history, the inspiration for artists and authors old and new.
You simply must visit
Blackgang Chine is a must for all the family with a fantastic variety of activities for all the family to spend a great day out. Themed areas like Frontierland where you can play Cowboys and Indians in a full sized Cowboy Town, and rides like Waterforce where you can choose the fast 'overflows', or the scary 'plug-hole' - you'll have to see it and experience it to believe it!
Superbly situated beside the sparkling waters of Sandown Bay, the twin resorts of Sandown and Shanklin have delighted generations of holiday-makers for over 150 years. Along Culver Parade you'll find tennis, bowls, GoKarting, crazy golf, a pitch and putt course, the Tiger Sanctuary and Dinosaur Isle Museum. At the southern end of town the Heights Health and Leisure Base has indoor swimming pools and further inland is a fine 18 hole golf course.
With its charming thatch-roofed cottages and winding main street lined with tearooms, Godshill is the quintessential English Village. Travelling South to Wroxall there's the Donkey Sanctuary and Appuldurcombe House now offering Owl and Falconry displays. Visit Chale Green Deli and Coffee shop and on to the Southern most tip of the Island St Catherine's with its ancient Pepperpot. Ventnor Botanic Garden provides a lovely walk and then lunch at their very successful cafe.
There are coastal paths around the Island and this section features the Isle of Wight's famous chines. Whale Chine is the most spectacular in a series of Chines along this stretch of coastline. Devil's Chimney provides an exciting walk through enchanted woodland down to the beach; Chale Bay is stunning; Wealdon Beds which have yielded fossilized remains of dinosaurs. With features like St Catherine's Lighthouse many feel this section offers the best walking and views of the entire Isle of Wight.
Sandown and Shanklin on the south-east coast share a wide crescent of golden sand, with safe swimming, water sports and a range of bars, pubs and cafés. The southern stretch, below Shanklin Chine, is the quietest and most attractive.
Ventnor has a wonderful Mediterranean light and, like Sandown and Shanklin, an enviable sunshine record. Steephill Cove is its prettiest beach, a peaceful little bay with a good beach cafe. Reach it via the coastal footpath from the Botanic Gardens, or La Falaise car park in Ventnor.
Places to eat
Try the local seafood, in particular crab, lobster, haddock dishes. The vast majority of pubs are highly geared up for food and usually the portions are on the large side. Fresh crab in particular can be tasty from beachside cafe's and can also be purchased from the fisherman at seafood huts selling direct, two places spring to mind: Ventnor Fresh Crab Beach Hut and a fisherman's house at Steephill Cove next to the café.