Isle of Wight Local Attractions

Ventnor is a Victorian town on the south side of the island which they say has its own micro climate giving it a reputation many years ago for helping people with breathing difficulties and chest problems. Many of the surrounding areas have been designated areas of outstanding natural beauty. There is a small shopping area in the centre which has amongst other shops, a Somerfield and a Chinese takeaway and several public houses. Ventnor boasts one of the islands 2 Blue Flag beaches, meaning its water quality & facilities including disabled parking etc. are considered to be of an excellent standard. There is also a car park at the shop level. Beach huts can be hired on the sea front although there is no access to this beach for a wheelchair user but its still pleasant to either sit on the promenade take a walk along the sea front to Bonchurch (please note the only way back is the way you came or up a fairly steep hill into Bonchurch). There are several places to eat and drink along the sea front at Ventnor, although some of these do not have inside wheelchair access.

 

Just a few miles from Ventnor is Shanklin, renowned for its quaint tea shops and pretty houses, next is Sandown, this has a particularly long stretch of beach with plenty to do for families with children. There are many other small towns and little coves etc. to be explored. Also not to be missed is the drive along the very long Military Road which has fantastic scenery, and gives access to many viewing/sitting/picnic points, here you can sit and watch the kite surfers, and sometimes the paragliders as they leave the cliff edge to take flight, there is also access to many of the National Trust walks. You can visit the large pearl centre and partake of some lunch at the The Wight Mouse at the Chale end of the road, (it is best to access this from the front of the pub if you are a wheelchair user). Then you can move on to Blackgang Chine, though this is mainly for children.

 

Our family particularly like Puckpool park, where we used to go as children, thankfully this is wheelchair accessible and we can still go there as a family. There are several disabled spaces particularly down the side of the café. Just next to the café is a path through to the sea front. There are several private beach huts here, but particularly during the week they are mostly empty so it is a very peaceful place to sit and pass the time looking out over the solent to the mainland. There is a good sandy beach for any children to play on, and there is level access paths either way so you could go along to Ryde with its shops and many children’s sea front entertainments, or in the opposite direction is Seaview and Seagrove Bay. There is the café and crazy golf and the bunkers to explore at Puckpool.

 

When you feel that you have had enough of sitting looking out to sea, there are many attractions and places to visit in and around the area such as the Ventnor Botanic Gardens. There is designated lift for wheelchair users down to the lower garden levels, which has a café where you can sit and enjoy a snack. Then there is Robin Hill Park, where there are activities and rides for the children and walks etc. for others. The Needles also has a good walk up to the Needles or for those who do not want to walk a bus, the start of this walk has a fair incline, but once over that initial bit the walk is truly spectacular and should be enjoyed by all your family. There is also the children’s rides and chair ride down to the beach. In the centre of the Island is the town of Newport, which has a large shopping area with shops such as M & S and many of the high street shops, a cinema, and many pubs and restaurants. The town has good level access for mobility impaired and wheelchair users. There are many, many other places to visit.

 

In addition to Ventnor's Blue Flag beach, Sandown has also been awarded a Blue Flag and there are 9 other beaches around the island that have received a Quality Coast Award from Blue Flag.org.

 

If your very lucky you may even get to see the elusive Red Squirrel which is native to the Island. There are also may other activities available such as Clay Pigeon Shooting, Boat trips, helicopter rides, swimming.

On top of all this there are many festivals which you may wish or not wish to visit throughout the year visit either www.islandbreaks.co.uk or the Ventnor Blog http://events.onthewight.com

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