Ventnor, Isle of Wight
On the south-east of the island, is Ventnor. Sheltered by the highest point of the island called St. Boniface Down, this medium sized town seems to have it's own micro-climate and is often referred to as being the sunniest spot in Britain. Built on the cliffs and slopes surrounding it's beautiful sandy beach, it was the Victorians who first adopted this pretty place and really put their mark on it. Many of the Victorian buildings feature the high ceilings, fireplaces and bay windows of the era. (This is of course true of many Isle of Wight buildings, due to Queen Victoria's love of the island!)
Ventnor's stunning coastline makes it a popular beach resort. The esplanade offers cafes, bars and pubs, along with an arcade and large paddling pool, whilst the high street offers further restaurants, along with boutiques and gift shops . Over the recent years, as the Daily Telegraph reports, Ventnor is becoming more popular as a tourist destination, with more people investing in holiday homes here and businesses updating their premises to become the 'up and coming' town of the island. The Ventnor area offers a variety of accommodation, often with fabulous sea-views. On the outskirts of Ventnor is the Botanical Gardens, and just below that the pretty Steephill Cove.
On either side of Ventnor are the villages of St. Lawrence and Bonchurch. St. Lawrence is a mainly a residential area, nestled along the undercliff road in it's restful leafy foliage. However, it's ideal to stay in if you'd rather not stay in the busier Ventnor itself. Bonchurch is a picturesque little village, with a large lilly pond, the residing ducks and a little cafe opposite. Continue through the village to find the Bonchurch Old Church and Bonchurch beach. Further up the road is a wonderful little pub full of character. Steephill Cove is a charming, unique little cove, accessible only by foot. Keep walking West from Ventnor beach (through the car park) for a lovely coastal walk, or find it down a steep path from the Ventnor Botanical Gardens.