Fresh air needed after the festivities of Christmas & New Year, We decided to walk from Ventnor to Steephill cove. We set off by car from Wroxall passing Dairy Barn on our way. The day was mostly dry, but grey, with an ever changing sky on the horizon, not to mention a few rain showers, happily nothing too wet.
We parked at the Wheelers Bay car park in Ventnor ( which is free) …..keep it secret. Soon we were walking down the slope towards the sea. We turned right to walk along the revetment towards Ventnor, with Bonchurch behind us.
Ventnor is a wonderfully old fashioned Victorian seaside town, with a quaint feel. We walk on past Betsy and Spinky’s, selling one of the best fish and chip suppers on the Island. The Isle of Wight shaped paddling pool on our right. Many happy memories of playing there when we were children. Ventnor Haven Fisheries are on our left, selling fresh catch of the day. Blake’s run the beach huts along the sand to our left, these can be hired daily during the season. The Blake family have been working in the town as fishermen for over a hundred years.
As we approach the end of the esplanade we pass The Ale & Oyster on our right. Here one of us had a superb New Years eve meal of 8 sublime courses, with attentive service and then at midnight stood on the beach to watch the fireworks welcome in the New Year.
As you head towards Steephill Cove you pass through Flowers Brook. Further on down the hill to the sea again and along towards Steephill. You cannot see the cove until you turn the corner, then WOW. You are confronted by the prettiest old fashioned Enid Blyton cove. A small replica lighthouse looks out to sea. There are various seasonal cafes and restaurants. The Crab Shack to name but one, run by the Wheeler family, again a family of fishermen with long held roots to the cove. In summer you can buy fresh crab and lobster here.
If you follow the path up by the cafe and climb the steps you arrive on the coastal path at the back of Ventnor Cricket Ground and the Ventnor Botanic Gardens, the grounds of the former isolation hospital.
Follow the coastal path until you meet the footpath on the right that takes you up to the main rd. The road runs from Ventnor to St Lawrence. Once a through road to Niton, but in recent years landslides have caused the road to slip and is now shut further along. You can however still drive to Lisle Coombe, a wonderful B&B with a great deal of history. Buddle place can be reached by a drive along the Ventnor to Whitwell Road.
We decided to walk back along Steephill Court Rd, this is where the railway from Ventnor West was located. We pass the old station house a wonderful old building now being restored.
Dropping down and across the road we take the gate into Ventnor park. This immaculate park retains its Victorian feel and is tranquil and serene. Ducks on the banks and fish in the pond. The bandstand standing proud, where concerts are held Sundays during the summer months.
We return to the seafront and walk back along towards Wheelers Bay just as the clouds start to gather for another rain shower.