From the mystical Shanklin chine to thatched-roof pubs on the beach, it was a magical way to spend a few days and the perfect location for a wedding.
Married in a Norman church, reception at the Roman Villa. A simply beautiful day.
We stayed in Shanklin old town, which is up the hill from the beach and filled with cute thatched cottages. The historic and tranquil Shanklin Chine is close by, and many a lovely old pubs and tea rooms. The Fisherman's Cottage, dates back to 1817 and is found at the bottom of the chine on the beach. With the fog swirling in and a cool sea breeze, we sat outside and enjoyed a meal and beverage (or two) on the beach. It's not difficult to imagine some salty sea dog fisherman passing by and even a smuggler or two.
I even saw a red squirrel running past as it's one of the few places in the UK where they still live with no pesky introduced grey squirrels to scare them off. It's a fairly steep old hill down to the beach from the village but there is a (scary-looking) lift back up if you need it. Give me a hill any day.
If you don't have a car you can travel by train from London's Waterloo to Portsmouth, catch the ferry, then jump on the island's train right from on the wharf on the other side. Serviced by old clunky tube trains, the line ends at Shanklin.
The coastal path is a beautiful hour-long walk from Shanklin to the Victorian seaside town of Ventor on a hot day. Best avoided when you're a bit tired after a wedding, although it will cure your hangover.
We stayed at the gorgeous Old Shanklin Guesthouse, after being advised to avoid Sandown as it's seen better days. I wish we could have explored more of the island but without a car, it's a bit tricky though we did give the buses a go and managed to see a fair bit on our short stay. Next time I will visit the Needles and Carisbrooke Castle.
Stay: Old Shanklin Guesthouse
Eat & Drink: The Fisherman's Cottage
Do: Walk The Coastal Path
Get there: South West Trains, London Waterloo to Shanklin (ferry included in train fare)