Frequently Asked Questions
What are your opening hours?
Open all year, daily (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).
Winter opening time: 10am-4pm (November-March). Summer opening time: 10am-5pm (April-October).
What are your entrance fees?
Please *CLICK HERE* for entrance fees and special offers.
How do I reach Ventnor Botanic Garden by public transport?
The nearest railway station is Shanklin. From here, visitors should take the No: 3 bus to Ventnor town and change to the No: 6 bus which comes past the Garden.
Southern Vectis No: 6
Also the no. 31 bus leaves Ventnor (Boots) for the Botanic Garden at 10.18, 11.18 and 12.18 every day Monday-Friday (not Bank Holidays), and leaves the Botanic Garden for Ventnor Boots at 10.25, 11.25 and 12.25 (from the garden side of the road).
CLICK HERE for the No. 31 revised timetable and route while Undercliff Drive repairs undertaken.
How do I get into the Garden – where is the entrance?
Once you have parked make your way to the Gift Shop or the Admission Window located by the Visitor Centre.
What are your facilities for the disabled?
Ventnor Botanic Garden’s topography is through a natural valley. This valley is part of the reason for the unique microclimate which enables the Garden to grow the plants it can. The sides of this valley are steep in places, steeper than can be traversed with sloped paths with gradients recommended for wheelchair users; therefore there are parts of the garden which are, regrettably, not accessible easily or at all because the gradients are too severe, or steps have been used as the only way to allow access.
To mediate this problem there is a route through the majority of the garden which can be accessed with, for example, a wheelchair. Additionally, the Visitor Centre, built in 2000, has two lifts which allow access through the building. The Visitor Centre, its facilities are fully accessible to disabled people. The Visitor Centre have disabled toilet facilities.
There are wheelchairs available for the public to borrow for free, these can be found at the entrance of the Visitor Centre. During busy periods it is advisable to book these in advance.
There is no wheelchair access from the Garden to Steephill Cove. Wheelchair access to Steephill Cove is from Love Lane.
Are Gift Certificates available?
Yes. Gift Certificates for The Plantation Room Café, edulis Restaurant and the Garden are available. Please ask at the Gift Shop for details.
Do you hold Garden tours?
- Free Tunnel Tours at 2pm – meet at the entrance of the tunnel.
- Free Mushroom Chamber Tours at 2.45pm. Meet at the entrance of the heritage Centre (no 20 on the map). Visitors can upgrade their experience for the price of £2.50 per person to include a tasting at the end of the tour, where the mushrooms will be cooked for them by our chef.
- Two additional tours of the Garden are conducted by members of our Friends Society (daily from April to October at 11.30am and 2pm). Weather dependent.
Please call us on 01983 855397 for more details or check backboards on arrival.
Do you hire out the function rooms?
Yes. The Visitor Centre has two function rooms that are available for hire. They are ideal for seminars, conferences, exhibitions and functions. Additional information is available by calling us on 01983 855397 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you sell plants?
Yes we sell plants exclusively grown in the Garden nurseries, seeds and plants can be bought from the Plant Sales area situated in the Courtyard outside the Visitor Centre. We also sell online from this site *Click HERE* for redirection to our secure online shop.
Can I volunteer at the Garden?
Yes. There are opportunities for volunteering in many ways. Contact us on 01983 855397 or email email@example.com
Do you have any information on the old Chest Hospital?
The micro climate originally attracted the National Hospital for Diseases of the Chest in the 1860’s and 150 years later the health giving attributes of the micro climate continue to benefit VBG plants and Garden visitors. Arthur Hill Hassall, a polymath of his times, visited Ventnor to recuperate from an illness and foresaw the role the micro climate could play in alleviating the scourge of the day – tuberculosis. Over time families stepped up as benefactors to build the hospital wings or blocks as they came to be called. Each family had their crest installed over the entry door of the block they financed, which are currently displayed in edulis, VBG’s restaurant. Here at VBG we believe paving the way for future generations means standing firmly on the shoulders of the past. Our Heritage Centre, a restored building from the hospital, we hope will act as a focal point for improving our knowledge of the hospital history. The Heritage Centre within the Garden has old photographs, artefacts and literature on display. There is a rolling loop video of the empty hospital from the1960s filmed from the air.
What kind of food does the Plantation Room Café and edulis Restaurant serve?
Open daily from 10am all year round. Located on the top level of the Garden, The Plantation Room Café has a sheltered outdoor terrace which overlooks the historical Palm Garden. With free entry and parking, this cosy café provides a wonderful retreat for customers who are looking for a hot drink and catch up with friends.
edulis restaurant is set in a unique setting overlooking beautiful Ventnor Botanic Garden, giving the feeling of dining al fresco within the relaxed setting of our restaurant. Head chef Kirsty Lawrie brings a wealth of experience, having been restaurant manager for the Hambrough Group and the Hillside Restaurant. The ethos of edulis, meaning edible in Latin, is to serve super fresh cuisine sourced locally and picked fresh from the Garden daily. Home-grown ingredients range from sweetcorn and herbs to courgettes, pumpkins, squashes and edible flowers. Unique Garden made products are now available in our Shop to treat your family and friends. Many are made from rare and exotic ingredients grown here at Ventnor Botanic Garden such as our Arbutus & Strawberry Jam and Crab Pear Syrup. Menus are available upon request.
Do you deal with plant enquiries?
Yes. Our knowledgeable staff are available to answer any plant enquiry, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you help with my garden at home?
Yes. We have a special service called where our experts can visit your garden and our gardeners carry out work. CLICK HERE for details.
Do you reserve plants for sale or sell via mail order?
We can reserve plants for later collection (within a reasonable time frame) and in some circumstances we can propagate to order. For mail order enquiries, please contact Chris Kidd on 01983 855397 or email email@example.com
Can I have a memorial tree/bench in the Garden?
Although it has been done in the past, we currently do not allow the installation of any more memorial trees/ benches in the Garden. However, visitors are welcome to scatter their loved ones ashes throughout the Garden.
Is there access to Steephill Cove through the Garden?
With only a handful of cottages, brightly coloured canopied deckchairs, beach huts, lobster pots and an old donkey and not a slot machine, car or burger in sight, you would be forgiven for thinking that you had stepped back in time. Some people liken it to the hidden coves in Cornwall, whilst others think of the palm fringed bays of the Mediterranean, welcome to Steephill Cove on the sunny south side of the Isle of Wight.
Arguably the prettiest place on the Island, situated just south of the Victorian seaside town of Ventnor, Steephill Cove is a traditional, unspoilt fishing cove with a safe, sandy beach, nestled between rocky cliffs and smugglers' coves.
This little bay has no road access, making it a unique noise and pollution free beach. Parking at the Botanic Garden car park is £5 for the whole day, or combine your visit and park for free.
How far is it to walk into Ventnor?
By turning right outside the car park the road route will take approximately 25 minutes. The coastal path is prettier but very hilly and steep in places and will take about 30 minutes.
Do you hold wedding receptions at the Garden?
Our beautiful 22 acre subtropical Garden is full of elegant indoor and outdoor spaces. You have complete flexibility over creating the special day you as a couple want. If it's large, lavish or intimate celebration you want for your special day, we can tailor make a package for your ceremony and reception that suits your aspiration and budget.
For futher information, *CLICK HERE*
Initial enquiries and further details are available upon application to Kirsty Lawrie our Wedding Coordinator on 01983 855397 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can we bring our dogs into the Garden?
Dogs are permitted in the Garden on a lead.
Why are there no litterbins around the Garden?
The Garden does not have the resources to be able to empty the bins as regularly as would be required, particularly in the busier months, which could potentially lead to an increase in rodent infestation. Visitors are therefore encouraged to take their litter home. This policy has been adopted following the principles of the National Trust and other national bodies.