The popular seaside resort of Shanklin is situated on the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight, in between Sandown to the north and Ventnor to the south. Famous for its sandy beach and the spectacular wooded ravine of Shanklin Chine, it is also home to a typical seaside esplanade at the top of the beach which is packed with a variety of restaurants and shops, perfect for a spot of lunch before heading to the sands for an afternoon in the sun.
At the top of Shanklin Chine sits the enchanting Old Village, a collection of charming thatched cottages and shops, including the famous Pencil Cottages Tea Rooms. The main town, in contrast, has a selection of more modern shops, restaurants and arts and crafts shops. In the summer, there is an open top bus route called The Sandown Bay Tour which serves the main tourist area of Shanklin and runs up to Sandown, and there is a railway link that will take you to many other parts of the island if you want to get out and about without taking the car.
Things to do in Shanklin
The spectacular geological feature of Shanklin Chine is not to be missed on your trip to Shanklin. Carved and changed by nature over thousands of years, it is a beautiful tree-lined gorge with an abundance of greenery all around. In the evening the Chine Lumiere lights up the trees and greenery in a whole host of luminous colours, giving it a really magical ambience. The Chine continues up to Rylstone Gardens in the Old Village where you can spend a happy afternoon pottering about the unique gift shops, perhaps squeezing in a scrumptious cream tea while you are there.
This tranquil and peaceful spot is perhaps one of the loveliest places in the area to simply sit back and take the sun. A haven for wildlife, including the beautiful red squirrels, this charming setting is just the spot to have a light lunch, followed by a round of golf on the 18-hole miniature golf course. Look out for the pretty displays of colourful flowers and hanging baskets, and if you can, try to catch one of the afternoon or evening concerts at Rylstone Bandstand. Just on the doorstep of the Old Village, it makes a wonderful day out for all the family.
This site of Special Scientific Interest is located between Shanklin and Whiteley Bank and is unusual for the Isle of Wight in that most of the wood is high oak forest with downy birch. Owned by the Woodland Trust, America Woods can be reached via the various public footpaths and bridleways that lead into the wood as there is very little parking available. The storms of late last century have created open sections which are gradually reverting back to woodland but it does give the feeling of more open forest. Particularly beautiful when the bluebells are out in spring, you might spot some red squirrels darting about from tree to tree; there are rumours of a badger sett in the woods but unless you are there late at night, it is unlikely that you will see one of our furry friends.
Catch a show at Shanklin Theatre, a lovely small and intimate venue in a beautiful old building, reminiscent of a past era. With a great variety of shows and musicals, excellent for inclement weather, it has hosted a variety of stars including Russell Watson and Brian Conley. The summer is a particularly special time where it puts on a professional summer season with a great variety of shows as well as hosting the Isle of Wight Dance Festival.
Shanklin Seafront and Beach
The lovely traditional feeling of Shanklin is due in part to the seafront with its colourful esplanade, lined with typical seaside amusements and attractions. Shanklin Beach, a long white sandy beach, is dominated by the sandstone cliffs and dotted with an array of colourful umbrellas and beach huts during the summer. There are water sports for those who want to do more than just relax on the golden sands, and if that sounds too much like hard work, you can just lie back and watch them from afar. If you need to get into Shanklin for supplies, just take the lift up from the beach and stroll the short distance into the town centre.
Pluto – Pipeline under the Ocean
A must-see for keen historians, especially those fascinated by WWII history, this famous pipeline is a great point of interest for tourists. Designed to supply fuel from storage tanks in southern England to the Allied armies in France during the Second World War, this section of undersea pipeline is visible in the Heritage Centre, where you can also see a short film of the Story of Pluto.
Shanklin is situated on the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight, between Sandown and Ventnor. Only 10 miles to the capital of Newport, you can also reach the popular resorts of Ryde, Brighstone and Cowes in under half an hour as well as being just under an hour's drive to the famous Needles Landmark Attraction and Tennyson Down.
Stay in Shanklin
If you would like to visit all that the lovely resort of Shanklin has to offer, why not have a look at our selection of cottages in Shanklin? The perfect base to visit the beautiful beaches and historic towns of the island, they are the perfect retreat to come home to after a busy day exploring the island.