Tuesday, 3 May 2011


Ventnor was established as a seaside town by the Victorians, and in 1883 Henry Irwin Jenkinson, in his “Practical Guide to the Isle of Wight”, described it as “one of the most popular and best-known watering-places in the south of England”. It has a special character borne out of its position on the “Undercliff”, a product of the landslides which occur periodically in these parts. The town tumbles down the face of the Undercliff towards the Esplanade and beach in a manner that gives it an almost continental air. The unique environment of the Undercliff also contributes to the exceptionally mild climate enjoyed by this resort. A walk along the Esplanade brings you to Ventnor’s famous Botanical Gardens, consisting of 22 acres of subtropical vegetation.

There are many gracious buildings in Ventnor, and for many years a focal point of the town was the art deco Winter Gardens. This entertainment venue in its heyday saw performances by the likes of David Bowie and The Who, but recently became a victim of the recession when it closed after 75 years with the loss of 15 jobs. However, very recently it was revealed that there is a plan for a multi-million pound revamp of the venue, thanks to a michelin-starred Isle of Wight chef. The new venue would offer two restaurants, hotel accommodation and a multi-use cinema and theatre.

Map of the area.

File:Looking down on Ventnor (1) - geograph.org.uk - 1247731.jpg
Photo by Barry Shimmon, via Wikimedia Commons

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