Stuff To Do Island ‘n Shankers   Leave a comment

Well I suppose it depends what you like to do. We love walking, but there’s enough about that on the Walking Page and restaurants is covered, as is events, so I suppose we should discuss other stuff. At OSGH we’re not really geared up for children. It’s not a no no, but well people can work out for themselves if they think we’re suitable and there is loads and loads of advertising and info about kid’s stuff to do, so we’re going grown up.

For the really adventurous there is kayaking, surfing, rock climbing, with Isle of Wight Adventure Activities. Or you could go mackerel fishing, lobster hunting (?) or whatever you call it off of The Haven at Ventnor. There’s lake trout fishing, paragliding, pearl searching. You know what I mean.

I’m going west from Shanklin, round the Island and then in:

Shanklin Theatre
Just one of many theatres on the Island, but just a couple of minutes walk away. Run by volunteers and recently upgraded to attract larger acts, they have a variety of different performances, touring plays and musicals, pantomime at Christmas and tribute acts. 2011 even saw Gareth Gates! (See events)

Shanklin Chine with it’s entrance in the village, takes you on a leafy walk through to the ancient gorge to the bottom of the beach and the Fisherman’s Cottage – a good excuse for a pint! The 2012 exhibition is Turner’s paintings of the Island. Summer evenings see the Chine illuminated. There’s also the Vine Inn when you get to the bottom & come back half way up the cliff. They often have live music in there at the weekends.

Steephill Cove A secluded beach hidden away to the west of Ventnor, with a seafood shack and restaurant. If you want to eat at the restaurant here you have to book months in advance. The walk from Ventnor round to Steephill isn’t strenuous, but back up through the Botanic Gardens may need a breather half way! If you can’t get in at the Cove try the Botanic cafe, run by the Royal Hotel, with proceeds going to the Gardens. If you’re lucky you might catch a game of cricket

St Catherines lighthouse is a beautiful lighthouse in a very scenic location. There is a lovely walk down to it from the Buddle Inn (nice ale and food & a roaring log fire in the winter, folk night Friday night). Really photographic. Tours are sporadic, but the website will have more info.

The Pearl Centre Even if you don’t like pearls (let’s face it most of us are too young for pearls) they have a lovely café with amazing views. Or they will tell you how to tell a good pearl from a bad one and fake one. It’s all quite interesting for when we’re ready!

Dimbola Lodge, Freshwater
Photographic exhibits change regularly, but the IOW Festival is permanent. Brian May of Queen exhibited his photo collection here in 2011.

Yarmouth is a beautiful harbour town with a castle, lots of boats and lots of very nice restaurants. Nice place for a ‘mooch’.

Carisbrooke Castle
Beautifully preserved castle where Charles I spent his last days of freedom (in actual fact he thought he was amongst friends, but was then imprisoned and later taken for execution in London). See the donkeys bring the water up from the well and find out why they are called names beginning with ‘J’.

Quay Arts
Host arts, crafts, cinema, live events and exhibitions.

Osborne House
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s summer home, where the Queen lived her last days. Definitely a full day out! Beautiful gardens, architecture and history at it’s best. Swiss Cottage – the children’s ‘summer house’ believe me it’s no tree house. During the winter it is only open on specific days for guided tours. Recommend you book.

Quarr Abbey nr Binstead, a most amazing piece of architecture, a hidden gem with cafe, Monk’s art gallery, farm shop and pigs to feed. Free tours on 1st Tuesday of the month & weekly during summer.

St. Helens, Seaview, Bembridge If I had a shed load of money and was happy to look at the North Island every day then this is where I would live…possibly. Anneka Rice lives in Seaview (I think she still does anyway). It’s a lovely area for a spot of lunch on the Duver, a beer on the green or tea on the harbour.

Dinosaur Isle
An interactive museum opened in 2001. The Island is internationally recognized for it’s dinosaur remains and this modern museum is great for all ages. You could also visit Jurassic Jim in Shanklin, who has over 50 years fossil hunting experience. Buy a fossil momento and he’ll tell you the story of where it was found. If you’re feeling really childish Blackgang Chine still has dinosaurs of the fibre glass kind, and a cowboy village amongst other things!

Brading Roman Villa
A temperature controlled exhibition house (take a cardigan all year round) of the Roman remains found in Victorian times. A fascinating look back in time. Pick up a free guide volunteer (we grabbed Ivan) and they will make it much more interesting and also tell you about the land surrounding the area and how it has changed since Julius Caesar! You can see Bembridge from here, which used to be it’s own Island

Briddlesford Farm Go and see our butcher! Shop in the lovely farm shop, stroke the beautiful calves and have lunch at Bluebells. Wow, so much to do!

Garlic Farm
The UK’s premier grower of garlic and source of all things garlicky with an exhibition centre and of course a restaurant.

Possibly named for the church on the hill. Well worth the short climb.A charming place with tea rooms, model village and The Olde Smithy and a gastro pub.

Posted February 12, 2012 by shanklinrocks

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