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What’s local to Ventnor Botanic Garden?

From local walks around Ventnor to places to go, things to do and places you simply must see! Ventnor is a stunning Victorian coastal town which grew in the early days of steam when the railway network took Victorian tourists from the smog filled cities, all the way to the seaside. Ventnor Train Station may no longer be in use, but it once brought thousands of tourists to the beautiful and hilly town.

Highs and lows – Ventnor is a striking town that rises from the sea and then towers across the South coast of the Isle of Wight. St Boniface Down, a large and steep hill towers above the town and indeed, the whole of the Island as it is officially the Island’s highest point.

So, from the sandy beach, to the arty town and to the hills above – Let’s take a look at the fantastic things to do during your visit to Ventnor and its surrounding areas.

Local walks around Ventnor, Isle of Wight.

Coastal Walks –

If you park at Ventnor Botanic Garden, you’re just a stone’s throw from the beautiful coastal footpath that travels along the southern end of the Isle of Wight. Parking at Ventnor Botanic Garden for just £5.00 for the day, or free if you decide to enter the Garden during your visit – You can walk either East or West along the costal path from the Garden.

So, say you do choose to walk through the Garden first, head up to the top of the Japenese Garden town the Southern end of the Garden. You’ll find a wooden gate onto the coastal path that runs through the lower end of Ventnor Botanic Garden. Which way will you choose to walk?

Walk West –

Turn right out of the wooden gate from the Japanese Garden and you’ll head first past the Hops field and Wildflower Meadow that back onto the cliff. You’ll head past stunning dream holiday homes looking out into the English Channel. Passing stunning private bays such as Orchard or Monks Bay as you travel along the coastline. This route takes you along the edge of the Undercliff area, through to Niton.

You’ll pass through low woodland, and you may even see the odd small trail down to the bays as you go. However, when you reach Niton, make sure you pop down to Castlehaven. A stunning little bay called Reeth Bay. Here, you will find a small cafe, the village green and a small fishing harbour. Watch you don’t get cut off by the tide! But, a visit to this stunning area is well worth your time.

A little further on from Nition, you’ll discover St Catherine’s lighthouse and the choice for stunning walks around this area increases dramatically – Rise above the old landslide and formal amusement park to re-join the coastal walking route along the much taller cliffs toward the West Wight. Or Head down and onto the beach below Blackgang Chine. Lastly, you can head up onto an area known as Rocken End. This area looks over the stunning landslip area, the lighthouse and out into the Channel.

Walk East –

Walking East and toward the town of Ventnor itself. Turn left out of the gate at the bottom of the Garden and head through the woodland, up and down as the route twists along the top of the cliff. Drop down the steep hill, to the aptly named Steephill Cove. An absolutely stunning pebbled beach. You’ll see beautiful little beach huts and fishing boats, a perfectly positioned restaurant on the seawall and a unique mini lighthouse. This picturesque little bay is well worth the climb down, then of course back up! One not to be missed!

Looking for a longer walk? Then continue around the bay, past the lighthouse and you’ll walk along the seawall into Castle Cove. For uninterrupted views of the English Channel, this is the perfect place to explore with the family. Continue Eastward and you’ll rise up into an open grassy area named Flowers Brook. This beautiful open-air space is perfect for your Summer picnics. There’s a small stream over to the Eastern end with steppingstones for the children (big or small) to explore and discover. Perfect for adventure! You’ll see steps leading up to the next part of your walk as you rise up once more to the wooded coastal path that twists and turns toward the town of Ventnor.

Emerging from the trees, you’ll once again find yourself out in the open, the sea to one side of you and the huge white lettering spelling out the name of this stunning coastal town – Of course, ‘VENTNOR’. Which if you were out at sea, it can be seen for miles! You now see your first glimpses of the harbour town below. Ventnor beach is surrounded by eateries and boutique shops.

The beach itself is a beautiful place to visit, no matter the time of year. Winter storms or Summer paddling. You’ll see a mini version of the Isle of Wight in the form of a paddling pool under the cascades. The cascades, a waterfall with garden surrounding, topple down from the town above. A small harbour with freshly caught fish and crab on sale, overlooked by the bandstand. The bandstand offers a viewpoint across the bay, make sure you check out how far you are from home with the distance arrows to global destinations marked around the perimeter of the bandstand.

The coastal walk continues East from here where you can discover the solar system with an interactive art installation as you walk along the seawall. This route continues along to Bonchurch, a small historical village on the outskirts of Ventnor. With a beautiful duck pond, Bonchurch is a beautiful little side step from the main coastal route that then continues onward toward the towns of Shanklin and Sandown.

Inland Walks –

Inland from Ventnor Botanic Garden are several quaint countryside walks. One for the adventurous out there would be to the top of St Boniface Down. A steep incline standing tall above Ventnor Town.

Again, park at Ventnor Botanic Garden, this time head inland, back out onto the main road. Turn right out of the main gate at the Garden’s car park, walk along Steephill road toward Castle Rd. Castle Rd will take you upward and you’ll see glimpses of the towering St Boniface Down ahead. At the traffic lights, head toward the right and toward Zig Zag Rd – The name of the road aptly describes the road itself as you zig and zag toward Upper Ventnor. You’ll emerge onto Ocean View Rd, head right again and cross the road. You’ll see a path heading away from the road – Head up here and you’ll see a footpath that then leads up to the summit of St Boniface.

When you reach the summit, you’ll of course need a breather. However, when you’ve recovered, do explore! You’ll discover Ventnor radar station, chalk downlands and far-reaching views out across the Island, along the coast and far out to sea. You might even see a feral goat or two!

This hill is steeped in history and nature. Click here to discover more about this beautiful place and other interesting walks.

Must see places local to Ventnor, Isle of Wight.

Check out the beautiful, historic, and not to be missed attractions, walks, locations, viewpoints and places of interest in and around Ventnor, Isle of Wight. These areas are all within an easy walk or drive from Ventnor Botanic Garden, or if you are using public transport during your visit, check out the Island bus company website for timetable information.

  • Take a walk up, down and around the Isle of Wight’s highest point with St Boniface Down. Click here.
  • Ventnor Beach – Perfect no matter the time of year, from winter storms to summer paddling.
  • Ventnor Fringe – A popular event that takes place in the hieght of the Summer each year. For art lovers and creatives.
  • Steephill Cove – A beautiful idillic cove with endless views and great food!
  • The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary can be found just ten minuets drive from Ventnor Botanic Garden in Wroxall village. Drive northwards from Upper Ventnor.
  • Go wild with the kids at Canopy Skatepark just outside of Ventnor in a small village called Chale. Children looking a little bored? They won’t be for long!
  • If Golf’s your game, then Ventnor Golf Club is the place for you.
  • Learn a new skill at Tregear Pottery in the beautiful little village of Niton.
  • Ventnor Park & Putting Green, a beutiful Victorian park just moments walk from Ventnor Botanic Garden.
  • Check out Ventnor Heritage Centre in the heart of Ventnor town.
  • Looking for a shopping experience with a difference? Why not visit our very own Puya Boutique, here at Ventnor Botanic Garden.
  • Visit the Longshoreman’s Museum down on Ventnor seafront.

Useful Links

Ventnor is a beautiful place to visit and stay – If you plan to visit the area, check out these local tourism sites for the most up-to-date information for the Isle of Wight, including places to see and things to do.


Steephill Cove

Steephill Cove is a beautiful little fishing settlement of stunning beach huts, a mini lighthouse and a fantastic cafe and bar. This small cove provides a beautiful, almost private beach experience that is simply a must see!

Park your car at Ventnor Botanic Garden for the day (Check for pricing.) Take a wonder down the hill via the Garden, or along the main road and you’ll enjoy uninterrupted views of the English Channel. Listen to the waves break on the shore and simply watch the world go by.

You can walk along the costal route from Steephill, in either direction – Check out our local walk’s info (above.)

For more information on Steephill Cove and the local amenities, click here.