The Isle of Wight is home to a number of quaint civil parishes and seaside resort towns, each of which has its own unique history and heritage. Take Ventnor, for example, which was established way back in the Victorian era and is located on the southeast coast of the island.
Ventnor is located around 11 miles from Newport, while it remains a much-loved and traditional seaside town on the island. It also has the distinction of being one of Britain’s most famous Victorian health resorts, thanks largely to its unique micro-climate.
This location is also home to some exceptional sights and activities, and there remains a diverse range of things to do in Ventnor. Below, I’ve outlined some of the best activities and what sets them apart from alternatives.
How to Make the Most of Your Trip to Ventnor
Visit the Donkey Sanctuary at Lower Winstone Farm
You’ll find a number of Donkey Sanctuaries across the length and breadth of the UK, from Belfast and Birmingham to Leeds, Manchester and even Ivybridge.
The Donkey Sanctuary in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight is particularly picturesque, providing a beautiful and relaxing home for unwanted and rescued animals. In addition to providing a comfortable home for unwanted donkeys, the site is also open to the public, while it carries out important educational work with local schools and even donkey therapy in decidedly residential settings.
Located at the Lower Winstone Farm on the winding St. Johns Road, the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary is an ideal spot for young families who are visiting the island. Here, you and your loved ones can interact with the donkeys and even feed them, while the staff are particularly knowledgeable and understand everything about each individual donkey (and even the Shetland ponies who are kept there).
If you want to catch a bite to eat after your trip, I’d recommend checking out ‘The Griffin’ restaurant on Godshill High Street. Here, you can enjoy healthy and contemporary cuisine, while there are also ample vegan and gluten-free options within a competitive price range of between £2 and £25.
Lose Yourself in the Blackgang Chine in Chale
Blackgang Chine is a high-octane theme park in Chale, and it’s a fun and immersive place where both adults and children can lose themselves for the day.
Interestingly, this is the UK’s oldest amusement park, and one that immediately transports you out of your everyday existence (and comfort zone) and into a truly magical world where attendees are only inhibited by the constraints of their own imagination.
For example, one segment of the park lets you round up fearsome, giant beasts while assuming the role of a brave dinosaur. This takes place in the so-called “Restricted Area 5”, and is ideal for those of you with adventurous children.
Then there’s Fairyland, which is home to your very own castle from which you can cast magical spells and transform your immediate surroundings.
I’m also a fan of Cowboy Town, where you can choose to be either an outlaw or a sheriff depending on the type of experience you want to enjoy and who you’re playing with. On a similar note, you can also challenge your friends or siblings to a duel aboard a swashbuckling pirate ship, which sits at the heart of the brooding Pirate Cove.
All things considered, this is one of the best and most existing things to do in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight, while it’s suitable for children of all ages and even offers something to adults (especially those of you who are young at heart and love nothing more than losing yourself in a truly unique location).
Experience Steephill Cove
But what sets this location apart from its rivals? Well, it boasts constantly changing and shifting sands along its coastline, while the surrounding shingle and stunning rock pools create an environment that’s ripe for exploration (often beneath the hot, beating sun).
Visitors never get tired of exploring the region too, with many families known to make the return trip each and every year. Over time, this has helped to establish Steephill Cove as a Ventnor and Isle of Wight tourist hotspot, and one that offers access to a growing number of restaurants, independent coffee shops and dessert parlours.
In this respect, Steephill Cove has evolved over the years, from a serene place of natural beauty to a more traditional English seaside town. So, you can book a day trip to the location and combine picturesque walks and sunbathing with a genuinely unique dining experience.
The most popular eateries include The Crab Shed (which serves fresh crab pasties on a daily basis) and the Beach Shack, while The Wight Mouse Inn also provides more contemporary cuisine and ample options for both vegetarians and vegans.
The nearby Bundle Inn also offers a quintessential British pub experience, which is ideal if you’re something of a foodie or travelling in a couple. What’s more, the location can be accessed easily on foot, and the picturesque walk there makes for a fun and enjoyable experience all by itself.
This is undoubtedly one of the best sites and things to do in Ventnor, while its focus on beautiful scenery and relaxing hikes along the coastline make it one of the most affordable options on this list!
The Last Word
So; there you have it; three of the best things to do in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight and a brief look at some of the best restaurants, cafes and coffee shops nearby.
There’s certainly enough to keep people of all ages occupied in Ventnor, while you could quite easily spend more than a couple of days in the parish without ever feeling bored or like you’re yearning for a new experience!