Shanklin to Ventnor Coastal Walk
This is a popular walk using a lovely section of the Isle of Wight Coast Path to take you between these two seaside resorts. It's a signposted 3.5 mile hike with some moderate hill climbs, a woodland section and fabulous views throughout. Most of the walk is on fairly flat paths but there are some climbs so a reasonable level of fitness is required. You can get the bus back or return the same way if you are feeling energetic!
Starting on the front in Shanklin head south past the popular Shanklin Chine with its lovely beach. The chine is worth further exploration if you have time. In it you will find interesting geological features, a wooded coastal ravine, waterfalls, trees, lush vegetation, and several footpaths and walkways allowing paid access for visitors.
After passing the chine you come to Appley Steps where you begin the steepest climb of the walk. It takes you up towards Luccombe village where there's some spectacular cliffs and scenery.
The route then heads through Bonchurch Landslips where there are some nice woodland trails, more interesting geological formations and sea glimpses through the trees. You'll also pass Old St. Boniface Church which is worth a visit. The nave and chancel dates from the 11th century, with the bell dating from the 16th century.
The final section takes you past Horseshoe Bay and Wheelers Bay before finishing on the front in Ventnor. The popular seaside resort is located to the south of St Boniface Down, the highest point on the island. Ventnor is built on steep slopes leading down to the sea and enjoys a microclimate which allows sub tropical plants to flourish. Visit the Ventnor Botanic Garden to see examples.
You can extend the walk by continuing west along the coast to St Lawrence and St Catherine's Lighthouse, the most southerly point on the Isle of Wight.
Above Ventnor you can climb to Ventnor Downs and St Boniface Down, the highest point on the island. There's fabulous views, wildflowers, heather and New Forest Ponies to be seen on St Boniface Down.
Shanklin to Ventnor Coastal Walk Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Shanklin to Ventnor Coastal Walk Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Shanklin to Ventnor Coastal Walk OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Shanklin to Ventnor Coastal Walk Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Head to the Bonchurch Inn for some refreshments on your walk. Located in an Island Stone building this noteworthy pub includes a delightful Dickensian courtyard where you can sit out and enjoy your meal on warm summer days. They also offfer authentic Italian cuisine, and comfortable accommodation if you need to stay over. You can find the pub just to the south east of the downs at Bonchurch Shute with a postcode of PO38 1NU for your sat navs.
In Shanklin head into Old Shanklin village and you could pay a visit to the Old Thatched Tea Shop. This quaint old tea room is located in a delightful Grade II listed cottage dating from the 17th century. It was originally built in 1690 as two or three fishermans cottages and it is believed to be the oldest building in Shanklin. Underneath the building is an original tunnel which takes you about 500 meters further on towards Ventnor. The tunnel was used by the Fishermen/Pirates to hide their contraband and as a get-a-way when Custom & Excise came knocking on the door. They serve delicious cream teas which you can enjoy in the beautiful fairy garden. You can find them at 4 Church Road, Shanklin with a postcode of PO37 6NU for your sat navs.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
The Sandown to Shanklin Walk heads in the other direction from the village. There's another nice cliff top path with fine beaches to enjoy here.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Isle of Wight Walks page.