Wednesday, 4 May 2011


Shanklin and Sandown appear as one place on the map, as they run into one another, but each has its own character. Shanklin has its own chine, and at the top of the chine is Old Shanklin, a picture postcard village complete with quaint thatched cottages. By contrast, the lower town has the appearance of a typical resort, with an esplanade lined by hotels and restaurants. A cliff lift is available for whisking people up to the top of the cliff. The poet Keats came to Shanklin for health reasons, staying at Eglantine Cottage in the High Street. Shanklin Chine, unlike its brash cousin along the coast, Blackgang Chine, is given over to nature lovers, with waterfalls, lush vegetation and pathways to facilitate exploration.

Sandown is a full-blown resort with all the bells and whistles. As well as the obligatory pier and promenade lined with restaurants, hotels etc., there is crazy golf, pitch and putt, tennis and bowls. Sandown is also the location of the Isle of Wight Zoo, which specialises in big cats. And if these magnificent animals are not enough to satisfy the budding zoologist, there is another attraction called the “Dinosaur Isle” (the big cats are real, the dinosaurs, sadly, are not). Sandown can be reached from Shanklin by means of a lovely clifftop walk.

For events on the island through the year, see here.

Map of the area.

File:Fisherman's Cottage, Shanklin, Isle of Wight - - 1714849.jpg
Fisherman's Cottage. Photo by Christine Matthews, via Wikimedia Commons

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