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Ventnor seafront

The town of Ventnor on the south coast of the Isle of Wight was a Victorian spa, and has an architectural style different to the rest of the island. In 2011, it was home 6,000 people.

Get in[edit]

The town is linked to other parts of the Island by Southern Vectis bus service 3, running at half-hourly intervals and 6, running at hourly intervals.

Get around[edit]

Ventnor is a very steep town, built on terraces rising from the beach & esplanade, 700 feet to the summit of St Boniface Down. Cycling can be quite difficult on some of these hills, with gradients of 1 in 4 or more. The 2 hills down to the beach in particular are very steep with 2 or 3 sharp hairpin bends.

Walking is by far the best way to get around, and the effort required to do so is one of the reasons why Ventnor became a fashionable health resort in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. There are also buses, the main terminus being outside Boots in the High Street. Ventnor is not connected to the train system anymore.


  • 1 The Botanical gardens, Undercliff Drive, PO38 1UL. These gardens are some of the best in the country, due to Ventor's unusual climate, being very southern and sheltered by the hill to the north. There is a little museum of smuggling in the grounds. The gardens are built on the site of The Royal National Hospital which was demolished in 1969. Formerly owned by the council and free to the public, the gardens have now been privatised, and charge entry. Tickets: £8.50 adults, £5 children. Ventnor Botanic Garden (Q974285) on Wikidata Ventnor Botanic Garden on Wikipedia
  • 2 Ventnor Heritage Museum, 11 Spring Hill, PO38 1PE. This small museum offers a wealth of information and photographic history of Ventnor's past, as well as many small books and pamphlets, many written by local volunteers. Admission £1.50, children free.
  • 3 Appuldurcombe House, Appuldurcombe Road, Wroxall, PO38 3EW (3 miles north of Ventnor), +44 1983 852484. Adults £4.00, children £3.00, concessions £3.50. Appuldurcombe House (Q4781788) on Wikidata Appuldurcombe House on Wikipedia
  • 4 Steephill Cove. A cove only accessible by foot at the southernmost tip of the island. There is an incredible seafood restaurant right on the beach; the owners catch their own lobsters and crabs daily, you would find it hard to get fresher seafood anywhere! And the view from the tables over the cove and out to sea is breathtaking.
  • 5 Blackgang Chine. This used to be a dramatic gorge through which one could walk to the sea. Landslides and erosion have destroyed the chine, but the bizarre entertainment park, with its animated figures, is still worth a visit. This is the UK's first and oldest theme park. Shanklin Chine, a smaller gorge, can still be visited. Bus #6 serves Blackgang. Blackgang Chine (Q880839) on Wikidata Blackgang Chine on Wikipedia



  • The Undercliff
  • The Landslip (to Luccombe and Shanklin)
  • St. Boniface Down
  • The beach is much smaller than the huge yellow sands at Sandown and Shanklin but it is less commercial, a better place to go to unwind. There is an arcade, and shops selling ice creams, buckets and spades and other seaside stuff.



The Met is a stylish tapas bar located right on the Esplanade with views out on the sea. [1]

The Crab Shed serves great crab and mackerel pasties. They're at the foot of Love Lane, open April-Oct W-Su noon-3PM.


The Spyglass Inn on the sea front is nice, and you can sit outside and watch the sea. The brave can try the "Oyster Stout" from the Ventnor brewery.


  • Ocean View House, 46 Zig Zag Rd, +44 1983 852729.
  • 1 The Royal Hotel, Belgrave Road PO38 1JJ, +44 1983 852186. Upscale old-world hotel, can feel dated. B&B double £200.
  • 2 Hillside, 151 Mitchell Ave PO38 1DR, +44 1983 852271. Splendid welcoming small hotel, in thatched villa with stylish modern interiors. No children under 12 or dogs. B&B double £200.

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