A secluded position behind walled gardens and well located for exploring the countryside,…
The Ventnor Downs rise steeply above the Victorian seaside town of Ventnor. With the sparkling sea below and the holm oak trees which have colonised the south-facing chalk slopes, there is almost a Mediterranean flavour to the landscape. On the top of the downs you find a complete change of landscape with large open areas of grass and heather. You can drive to the top of the downs where there are several car parks which lead onto areas of reasonably level footpaths, or you can climb the steep hills from the town of Ventnor. Humans share this wonderful place with ground-nesting birds like skylark and meadow pipit so in spring please keep your dogs under close control and stick to established paths in the designated and signed areas. You may be lucky to catch a glimpse of the herd of Old English goats which graze on Bonchurch Down and Coombe Bottom. They were introduced to the downs in 1993 to help control the spread of scrub and holm oak trees which would otherwise rapidly re-colonise the flower rich chalk grassland.
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About the area
Discover Isle of Wight
There’s a timeless quality to the Isle of Wight. For many it embodies the spirit and atmosphere of English seaside holidays. Small and intimate – at just 23 miles by 13 miles – it’s a great place to get away from it all. And with its mild climate, long hours of sunshine and colourful architecture, it has something of a continental flavour.
Explore the island’s varied coastline at any time of the year using the well-established Coast Path. Even in the depths of winter, the weather conditions are often favourable for walking. The island has more than 500 miles of public rights of way in all. There are numerous other things to do too. You could plan a week’s itinerary and not set foot on the beach. The island’s history is fascinating and it was long considered as a convenient stepping stone for the French in their plan to invade the UK mainland. Various fortifications – including Fort Victoria, Carisbrooke Castle and Yarmouth Castle – reflect its key strategic role in the defence of our coastline.
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