Tel: 01983 855397

The Tunnel

Our regular Tunnel Tours are currently postponed. Please email if you'd like to enquire about a private tour.

Ventnor Botanic Garden has many secrets, some dating back to the days of the Royal National Hospital that formerly stood on the site. Underground caverns, secret passageways and a tunnel through the cliff can be found by the visitors to the Garden.

A proposal to dig a tunnel from the gardens down to the shore was mooted in the late 1800s.  The Royal National Hospital annual report for 1875 states that “There can be no doubt that if the patients were able to obtain free access to the shore it would be very conducive alike to their recovery and their enjoyment.” Money for the tunnel at that time was not forthcoming and although it was built later, its function was by no means the rather romantic conception that has given rise to a good deal of speculation and comment; it was in fact used as a conduit for rubbish that was propelled through it and dumped into the sea. Steel tramlines are still visible on the floor. Exactly when the tunnel was built is unknown; possibly it was in relation to a new system of drainage and sewage disposal that was completed sometime in the 1880s. The tunnel was closed at both ends in 1940.

The 350 foot long vaulted roofed tunnel exits through the cliff midway down and is inaccessible. DO NOT attempt to locate the exit, or try to enter unless with one of our guides, as the cliff is extremely dangerous. Bolted gates are also in place for safety.




Here at Ventnor Botanic Garden, we encourage our visitors to come back time and again throughout the year. Whatever the season and whatever the weather, there is always something special to see at Britain’s Hottest Garden where the unique microclimate supports a superb sub-tropical plant collection across our 22 acres.

Membership benefits

As well as unlimited access to our Garden for 12 months, your membership includes:

  • Bring one friend for half-price Garden Admission.
  • Members Newsletter, via email, each month.
  • Easy access to Steephill Cove along the Coastal Path. The combined Garden/Steephill Cove visit is one of the Island’s treats.
  • Free parking.
  • Exclusive invites to our events.
  • Access to wellbeing classes in the Garden (incurs an extra charge.)

It’s simple, all you need to do is just show your Annual Membership Pass each time you visit and take advantage of all of the above.

How do I get an Annual Membership Pass?

Annual Membership Passes can be purchased in several ways:

  • Drop in, fill out our membership form, and we will issue it while you wait.
  • Give us a call on 01983 855397 and we will take your details.
  • Click here to buy via our online shop.
  • Request a Membership Application Form, fill it in by return and submit pay by BACS (use your name and application date as a reference.)

If we take your details over the telephone, or you order online, we will keep the cards here for collection the next time you visit. Your membership cards will not be posted unless requested. Please email to make a request.

How much does an Annual Membership Pass cost?

  • Adult Pass £29.50
  • From May 1st 2024 £35.00
  • Joint Pass (2 adults) £54.00
  • From May 1st 2024 £65.00
  • Family Pass (based on 2 adults and up to 3 children) £69.00
  • From May 1st 2024 £75.00
  • Child Pass (aged 6-16 years) £12.50
  • From May 1st 2024 £15.00
  • Child (5-years and under) FREE

Can I buy a Pass for a Friend?

Of course, you can! We think Annual Membership Passes make excellent gifts for friends, family, neighbours and even work colleagues.


Terms and conditions

*The Annual Membership Pass provides unlimited access to Ventnor Botanic Garden for 12 months from the date of issue. The expiry date will be clearly stated on the Pass. The Pass covers the person named on the Pass only. An Annual Family Pass includes access for two children when accompanied by at least one adult each day. Additional Passes for Children can be purchased separately. A maximum of one guest per Pass holder may receive half-price admission at one time. Annual Membership Passes do not provide access to special ticketed events. Discounts cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer including discounted pass offers. A maximum of one guest per Pass holder may receive half-price admission at one time. Member benefits can be redeemed throughout the year and are subject to change and withdrawal at any time.

Privacy Policy

We retain certain information about you when you become a Member of Ventnor Botanic Garden. You can read our Privacy Policy here.


Contact us

Refund Policy

Tel: 01983 855397  |  Ventnor Botanic Garden Community Company C.I.C  | Company Number: 07976468 | Registered Address: Undercliff Drive, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 1UL