3 ways to spend your days in Ventnor

Steephill Cove

Steephill Cove is IOWs worst kept secret. A walk along the cliff from the carpark behind The Spyglass Inn (end of Ventnor Esplanade) will take you through Spring Gardens and on down to Steephill. The clue is in the name, there are lots of steps between Ventnor and Steephill so it’s not great for little ones or buggies. The beach there is small and pebbley, and there are a few lovely little restaurants and cafes. It’s great to go with older kids – 7+ who want to climb over rocks and mess around while you get a crab baguette and glass of wine at The Crab Shed. Make sure you take some cash with you as not all cafes/restaurants take cards. It’s worth booking ahead if you want to eat at one of the restaurant, alternatively get there early for lunch.

Ventnor Park and Putting Green

An alternative route to Steephill is to go into Ventnor town centre and turn right at Scott’s Hair Salon just past Boots. If you follow the road to the left, past the Rex (best pizza’s in Ventnor) you’ll arrive at Ventnor Pitch & Putt where you can stop for a drink while the kids play Pitch and Putt. When you’re done there carry on through the landscaped gardens and at the end you’ll find an outdoor gym which is always a hit with the kids. At the top end of the gym there’s a gap in the hedge leading to the path. Turn right to go to Steephill or turn left to circle back into Ventnor – it will bring you back in behind The SpyGlass.

Ventnor Botanic Garden

Ventnor Botanic Gardens are a great place for plant lovers – the unique climate in Ventnor means there are a multitude of plants and trees from around the world which all flourish in the gardens. They usually have a trail for young visitors to collect stamps, there’s a pond with Koi Carp, a small playground and a nice coffee shop with Garden brewed beers.

It’s also yet ANOTHER way to Steephill. Visitors to Ventnor Botanic Garden benefit from free parking. It’s a very scenic – and the simplest – way to visit Steephill. Go into the gardens, enjoy the route around and follow the map to the footpath which takes you back towards Steephill Cove. This way takes you down yet another steepish path/steps but is probably the most accessible for buggies. The benefit is when you’re done you can go back to your car in Ventnor Botanic Garden car park.

 

 

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Rainy days with kids

Wherever you go, there’s always a chance that your trip might be broken up with a day or so of rain. Whilst there’s plenty to do in the house with books, DVDs, Amazon Fire, toys and games for the family, as well as the bar billiards table, if you’re away with young children the chances are you’re going to want a break at some stage.

JR Zone – Newport

This is a great soft play in an industrial estate in Newport. For a softplay it’s a relatively ok place to spend some time (tip: check out the upstairs) while the kids go bonkers on the softplay. Kids up to about nine years old  love it. They also run special activities throughout the year so it’s well worth checking out their website to see what they’ve got going on.

Sandown Pier

This is a proper amusement arcade, with slot machines, noise and flashing lights. In the middle of the whole thing is an indoor crazy golf which is quite fun and two very rudimentary bowling lanes. Definitely one for the older kids – age 7+.

Butterfly World

This is on the way back towards Fishbourne in a garden centre type place. You walk through a covered ornamental garden set up, which has Coy Carp you can feed at certain times in the day – they come right up to your hand and take the food out. The Butterfly Garden is a big marquee full of Butterflies, a bit like a mini version of Wisley or Kew when they have the butterflies in the greenhouses. It’s ok for about an hour but isn’t a full day out. That said, the girls loved it.

Newport Cinema

Cineworld, Newport, Isle of Wight. If you book online make sure you get the right Newport!

 

Ventnor Fringe 2017 – Line Up

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The Ventnor Fringe Festival 2017 has announced an exciting lineup for 2017 including The Died Blondes, The Signalman, exclusive premiere screening of ‘Mahogany’ and loads of other bands, shows, art, film, talks, walks and activities. That’s not to mention the pop up bars and venues tucked away around the town.

It’s one of our favourite events in Ventnor so, if you’re around between 8-13 August, try and check it out.