Ventnor hugs the cliffside of St. Boniface Down on the south coast of the Isle of Wight. It’s a traditional Victorian seaside resort with a modern twist. Originally a fishing village, it became a fashionable Victorian health resorts due to its unique microclimate.
By the Sea
The beach itself is red shingle and sand, with traditional deckchairs and beach huts for hire. When you’ve had your fill of swimming and sunbathing, you can buy freshly caught lobster or crab from Ventnor Haven fishery, eat fish and chips on the beach or try the Smoking Lobster for cocktails and a pan-Asian inspired seafood menu. Or enjoy the views from the huge deck of the joyously kitsch Spyglass Inn.
Quirkier features of the sea front include the island shaped children’s paddling pool looking up to Cascade Gardens and “Stokey’s solar system walk”. From here you can carry on to Bonchurch with its historic church and Inn. Alternatively, walking 30 minutes west along the coast path will take you to secluded Steephill Cove, and up to Ventnor’s Botanical Gardens, where you might catch sight of local red squirrels.
In the Town
The main town centre is a 5-10 minute walk up from the beach. You’ll find two small supermarkets, and other key amenities, alongside gift shops and a great range of restaurants and pubs. The Ventnor Exchange and the Arts Club provide hubs for the thriving cultural scene, which peaks at the annual Ventnor Fringe Festival each July.
Venturing into the surrounding area will take you to Appuldurcombe House, with gardens designed by Capability Brown, or to picturesque Godshill, with its model village, both within a fifteen-minute drive. In addition to the island’s beaches, family days out can include Blackgang Chine theme park, the activities at Tapnell Farm, or see big cats and monkeys at the Island’s animal sanctuaries. Activity lovers can walk any or all of the 67-mile coast path, cycle country lanes, or hire SUPs or kayaks at nearby Steephill Cove.
If you want to explore further afield, nowhere on the island is more than an hour away from Ventnor by car and local buses will take you to Ryde, Shanklin and Newport.