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Ventnor Esplanade circa 1900
Ventnor Esplanade circa 1900

Ventnor Pier circa 1910
Ventnor Pier circa 1910


Ventnor Park
Ventnor Park




Botanic Garden Visitor Centre
Botanic Garden Visitor Centre



Ventnor Cricket Academy
Ventnor Cricket Academy

Steephill Cove
Steephill Cove


Ventnor Harbour
Ventnor Harbour


Ventnor Esplanade (West)
Ventnor Esplanade (West)

Bluebells on St Boniface Down
Bluebells on St Boniface Down


Bonchurch Old Church
Bonchurch Old Church



St Catherine's Lighthouse
St Catherine's Lighthouse




Wight Light Gallery
Wight Light Gallery
Victorian Ventnor
Word of the beneficial healing qualities of its climate and waters made Ventnor a very fashionable destination and health resort for Victorians, building work soon flourished, and the population ballooned from under a hundred before 1830 to almost six thousand by 1900. Ventnor's sheltered climate aided patient rehabilitation from 1867 until 1969 at the old Royal National Hospital for chest diseases, now the site of Ventnor's famous Botanic Gardens. Today, Ventnor retains its bygone charm not least because of the survival of much of its Victorian architecture.
www.ventnorheritage.org.uk

Ventnor Heritage Museum
Just off the High Street is our fine Heritage Museum, staffed by volunteers and containing exhaustive and fascinating records of all aspects of the area from earliest times. Every year sees new exhibitions featuring Ventnor and district in days gone by, and the staff are always happy to talk at length about their favourite town. The shop has a splendid selection of booklets texts and pictures, and some unique gifts and souvenirs.
www.ventnorheritage.org.uk

Ventnor Park
Stroll around a finely preserved 'old fashioned' seaside park. Relocated from Ventnor's (now sadly lost) Victorian pier, the domed Edwardian bandstand plays host to jazz and brass bands most Sundays in summer. Lawns and flower beds are beautifully tended and awash with colour for much of the year. A long pond criss-crossed by stepping stones and waterfalls stretches almost the entire length of the Park, home to growing families of duck and moorhen, and there is a sanctuary alongside for small tropical birds. Just beyond, families can enjoy a summer round of pitch and putt, then cool off with a refreshing ice cream. Tall Mediterranean pines tower overhead, and the Park is filled with exquisite illuminations at night.

Ventnor Botanic Gardens
"Ventnor Botanic Garden exists to provide a public amenity, for recreation, education and plant conservation." Simon Goodenough, Garden Curator. Created in the grounds of the old Royal National Hospital, Ventnor's famous Botanic Gardens showcase exotic plants from around the world in themed gardens within a beautifully landscaped setting. Visitors can take a gentle walk through the Gardens, or learn more about plants and the environment in general in the Visitors Centre. The Temperate Showhouse has many more exotic species in a 'tropical' climate and, like the outdoor Gardens, some are virtually unique in Europe. Stop for cream teas and home made cakes in the Palm Court Café.
The Council runs a pay & display car park alongside, but the No.16 Rail Link bus service runs regular services to and from the Gardens, and entrance to the Gardens themselves is free.
www.botanic.co.uk

Cricket Academy
The IW Council opened its Cricket Academy in 2003 next to the Botanic Gardens, and it has since attracted budding batsman from around the country eager to learn more about their sport and craft. Short or long courses are available. The Academy also hosts several key annual events in the UK cricketing calendar, including the Celebrity Test and International Cricketers and the All Time Greats Celebrity Cricket Match.
www.isleofwightcricketboard.co.uk

Steephill Cove
Beautiful, secluded Steephill Cove lies on the round-Island Coastal Path, between the Botanic Gardens and Ventnor Bay. A popular stop for walkers and offering café and restaurant refreshments, Steephill still manages to remain a tranquil retreat with an appearance that has changed little with the centuries. This ancient fishing cove is still a working port, so come down and watch the crab and lobster fishermen bring in their daily catch.


Seafront Harbour
Now you can visit (or sail into) Ventnor Haven, currently a harbour for smaller craft but in the process of being expanded into a New England style working port and marina for all sizes of vessel. Previously you could only berth at north Island ports like Cowes and Yarmouth. Ventnor Haven now offers a unique and welcome stop-off point for round-Island sailing, as well as an interesting and evolving seafront attraction for visitors.
www.coastalwight.gov.uk

Coastal Visitors Centre (incorporating Tourist Information Centre)
Ventnor's Tourist Information Centre, as well as offering vital information resources for visitors, is home to the Island's world-famous Coastal Visitors Centre. Headed by Dr Robin McInnes OBE, one of the world's foremost authorities on coastal geology and environment, the Centre displays detailed yet accessible information on its (quite literally!) ground-breaking coastal geological and environmental studies focussing on coastal erosion and the area's unique landslip coastline. There is also a fine aquarium as well as information on the local coastal and marine habitat and the area's rare plant and sea life.
www.coastalwight.gov.uk

St Boniface Down
St Boniface Down towers over Ventnor town, protecting the sub-tropical climate from northerly winds. At around 800ft, it is the highest point on the Island and affords spectacular views south and west across the town towards St Lawrence, but most notably north when, on a clear day, you can see virtually the whole Island stretching away, and often even the Solent and English mainland beyond. The forest of Mediterranean Holms Oaks covering the slopes is the largest in Northern Europe. Bronze Age burial mounds are still visible on the Down, built as earthen or rubble mounds covering one or more burials and originally excavated in Victorian times.

Bonchurch
Lovely Bonchurch has been for centuries a retreat for many artists and writers with its leafy floodlit pond, cafes and tranquil atmosphere. Best discovered on foot - head east from Ventnor esplanade taking in the fantastic coastline along the sea wall, and you'll soon find Bonchurch Shore with its tea shops and pottery. Heading into the village, discover beautifully maintained Victorian villas of all styles tucked away in amongst the greenery, and the famous 11th century church - often frequented by Tennyson, Swinburne, Keats and Dickens - is one of the oldest in the south of England.
www.bonchurch.info

St Lawrence and Niton
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty lie to the west, home to many rare species of flora and fauna - some unique to the UK. St Lawrence is famous for its tiny 12th century church, and the picture-postcard village of Niton boasts pretty houses of stone and thatch. Wander down to Castlehaven Cove, a smuggler's haunt from centuries past, and famous St Catherine's Lighthouse at the Island's southern tip. Blackgang lies beyond with its spectacular landslips and popular Chine theme park. In nearby Chale, a short walk up the hill, you will find St Catherine's Oratory (fondly known locally as the 'Pepper Pot' due to its octagonal ) the last remaining Medieval lighthouse in Britain.


Wight Light Gallery
Fine Art Framers, Photographic and Picture Gallery
1A, High St., Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 1RY.
01983 857097
Stunning photographs of the Isle of Wight and beyond. Art cards, coasters, pottery, ceramics, gifts, traditional art for sale, scanning, reproduction, framing, photography courses, conference venue and newly licensed bar.

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