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.
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 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.