In and around Shanklin
Thousands of people come to Shanklin every year just to wander round the Old Village and admire it’s beautiful thatched buildings, which house pubs, restaurants, tea shops and gift shops. From here is the entrance to Shanklin Chine, first opened to the public in 1817. The Chine host a permanent exhibition to PLUTO – Pipeline Under The Ocean and changing exhibitions, which vary from war history, Island history, art and poetry history. During the late summer months the Chine is illuminated in the evenings. A walk down through this leafy gorge takes you out to The Fisherman’s Cottage – a thatched pub on the beach.
Once down on the beach there are a variety of amusements for children and overgrown kids; crazy golf at Jungle Jim’s, shooting games or even a ball pit. There’s also the more serious pitch and putt and another crazy golf on the Esplanade Gardens. The beautiful safe and sunny bay will keep people of all ages happy for hours on end people watching, swimming or doing water sports. As well as supplying sun loungers, deck chairs and water sports, the longshoremen also provide free first aid cover and facilities to call the lifeguard service in an emergency. There are many watering holes and cafés to keep you refreshed and full. There are countless parks and gardens in Shanklin to walk the dog, play on the swings or have a picnic.
Shanklin is a walking hub with the Worsley Trail starting just outside the Old Village climbing Shanklin and Luccombe Downs joining the Highland cows, feral goats and wild ponies with amazing views across three sides of the Island to St Boniface Down, the highest point on the Island. There is also the coastal path to Sandown along the cliffs to the East or Ventnor to the West through woods and round Horseshoe bay or up around Bonchurch ponds. Shanklin Esplanade and sea front is also an easy cycle ride to Sandown.
Volunteer run Shanklin Theatre is a central part of town in location and spirit. Locals are extremely proud of their achievement and it is an attraction in itself. The beautiful building plays host to a huge variation of acts – pop stars, comedy acts, plays and musicals. A visit to Shanklin wouldn’t be complete without a show at the Theatre.
A theme carried through the Island is it’s music scene and all year round the pubs in Shanklin, not just in the Old Village, but also in town and in the hotels, many of which host music events. The Village Inn often has solo artists, as does Vernon Cottage during summer months, The Crab Inn tends to have bands and Harry’s bar likes a good rock band. Holliers Hotel often have a pianist and singer. The Steamer Inn on the Esplanade plays host to well know local musicians playing Jazz & Folk, Bluegrass, Acoustic and Rhythm & Blues all year round. Evening entertainment is never far away in and around Shanklin town.
Things to Do: Isle of Wight
Whatever the weather and whatever the age group there is always something to do on the Isle of Wight and Shanklin is a fantastic base to see everything. Tourism on the Island really took off in the Victorian times and Queen Victoria’s summer palace Osborne House is a must see.
Going back even further in time are the Roman Villa at Brading, and Yarmouth and
During World War II the Island was a strategically important location and you’ll find remains dotted all over – pill boxes, the radar station, Nab Tower and military road are all remnants of the Wars.`
No coast is complete without the lighthouses. Most popular being St Catherine’s, on the South coast, and The Needles on the West, which is possibly the most photographed lighthouse in
For families a holiday to the Island is packed full of things to do and see. Blackgang Chine with it’s cowboy town and crooked house, Robin Hill Country Park for summer outdoor cinema and daytime activities and no trip would be complete without a ride on the chairlift at Alum Bay.
For animal lovers there is lots of choice depending on your kind of animal Most of the parks are charitable sanctuaries for animals who otherwise would have nowhere to go. Amazon World, Butterfly World, Owl and Monkey Haven, Seaview Wildlife Park and Sandown Zoo for tigers.
Food and Drink
The Island is rapidly becoming the gastro place to visit, with a Michelin star restaurant and Island grown produce of every kind. The garlic farm is the biggest producer of garlic in the country, vineyards, cheese producers and farmers are winning countless awards and Island tomatoes supply nearly all the major supermarkets. As an island there is a good supply fish, local crab, lobster and oysters. If merely eating it isn’t enough you can catch your own, see how it’s done and even have your fish smoked.
Where pubs are closing down around the country on the Island they are just getting better and better, helped by the fact that they can buy their award winning ale, beer, cider and wine all produced on the Island.
There are many ways to see the Island and it doesn’t take long to drive round it, but if you want to see the real Isle of Wight then the best way to do it is by walking or cycling. With 514 miles of walking trails there are walks for all abilities. Old railway tracks have been turned into easy walking and cycling routes. There are many different and reasonably priced walking books available and of course there are plenty of lovely pubs for stopping off on the way. Or for a completely different view try a flight in a light aircraft or a microlite, or even paragliding.
One of the most famous things about the Island is Cowes Week of course, but sailing and boating are popular all year round with boat charters, fishing charters, boat tours to the Needles, to Forts, or around the Island. Sea and lake fishing are excellent for all experiences from a simple ½ hour mackerel trip.
During the winter season league winners Wightlink Raiders ice hockey team play in Ryde. Also for not so nice days are the bowling or ice skating. For summery days try a banana boat ride, jet skis, surfing or a pedalo.