The Belmont - Shanklin, Isle of Wight

Shanklin Area

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Shanklin was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086 as ‘Senchiz’ with the manor belonging to Gosselin Fitz-Azor
Shanklin was a remote and sleepy little village until the second half of the 18th century when the beginning of the Romantic Age led to a new taste for beautiful scenery; hence the attraction of the Isle of Wight and Shanklin and the Chine in particular.

In the 1820s Shanklin’s first hotels were opened. If you are looking for a warm, sunny place to stay for a holiday, you could not find a much better place to come. The Isle of Wight has one of the best records for sunshine in the South of England.The tourist hot spots are to be found on the southeast side of the Island. Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor are the three holiday spots with the most sunshine, averaging 5 hours a day, with peaks of up th 8 hours per day in the summer months.Temperatures do vary between inland  and costal towns, although not by more than a couple of degrees.
Shanklin is a popular seaside resort and civil parish on the Isle of Wight, England, located on the South East coast of Sandown Bay. The town has a population of around 8,000. It hosts two sandy beaches, its old village and a wooded ravine. The esplanade along the beach is occupied by hotels and restaurants for the most part, and is one of the most tourist-oriented parts of the town. Shanklin Seafront is packed full of amusements, activities, golf courses and so much more!

Shanklin has one theatre, Shanklin Theatre, which is just off the top end of the High Street.
The two beaches; ‘Small Hope Beach’ and ‘Hope Beach.’ Small Hope Beach eventually meets Sandown Beach and has many beach huts available for hire, and a small cafe. Hope Beach stretches in the opposite direction. Above Hope Beach is the esplanade which boasts some traditional seaside attractions including an amusement arcade, a crazy golf course.
The main shopping centre consists of two roads, Regent Street and High Street, which comprises the largest retail area in the south of the Isle of Wight, significant for tourists but also as a facility for residents.

Shanklin Chine, with its unique microclimate means it is home to an unusual range of flora and fauna, as well as a couple of waterfalls. What you notice especially as you walk around its three acres is just how lush and verdant Shanklin Chine is. There are around 150 varieties of wild plants, at least 50 species of moss and liverworts as well as ponds and an aviary. The Chine Inn is a classic Inn, this building which has stood since 1621 must have some claim to being one of the oldest pubs with a licence on the Island.

In July and August 1819 the poet John Keats lodged at Eglantine Cottage in the resort’s High Street, where he completed the first book of Lamia and began a drama, Otho the Great, with his friend Charles Armitage Brown.
St Saviours on the cliff church dates from 1869 to 1905 and was designed by the architect Thomas Hellyer. The Foundation stone was laid on Ascension Day 1867.
Keats Green in 1896 was used for the after-church ‘parade’ on Sunday mornings and was one of the most distinctive features of social life in the summer. This  habit of strolling up and down, smartly dressed, recalls the unhurried and uncomplicated way of life of that time, you can still stroll along the green and admire the views of Sandown Bay and culver cliffs in the distance.

By the early 1870s Shanklin boasted over 40 hotels, and the Shanklin Esplanade and Piercompany was formed and applied for permission to build a pier. The 1200 foot pier opened to steamers on 18th August 1890. In 1987 it took winds of 108mph to blow Shanklin Pier, into the sea. When morning came, the grand Victorian pier was little more than a pile of rubbish.

Rylstone Gardens provide the most tranquil and beautiful spot to sit and soak up the sunshine. Look out for the extensive programme of events at the Bandstand located in the Gardens. Sunday afternoons is a favourite time to take to a deckchair and listen to the music. Local brass and concert bands predominate but visiting bands also appear under From the Mainland billings! This is one of the best venues in the South of England – you can hear every note, of every player, even in a big band. A rarity for outdoor venues!

Groves & Gardens Histree Trail.  The trail is 5.2 km long with an optional extension of 1.9km. The trail begins and ends at tower cottage gardens, Chine Avenue in Shanklin old village.

America Wood. Unusually for the Isle of Wight, most of this wood is high oak forest with downy birch. The storms of 1987 and 1990 have created open sections gradually reverting to woodland. A badger sett has been reported and red squirrels occasionally spotted.

Borthwood Copse is a delightful spot to wander amongst ancient oak and beech trees, sunny glades and chestnut and hazel coppice. You may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a red squirrel as it scurries through the upper branches in search of food.

In July 1868 the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow stayed at the Crab Inn in Shanklin’s Old Village during his last visit to Europe and left a poem about it on a stone by the pub. It is not generally held to be amongst his best work.

The 1980s indiepop band Trixie’s Big Red Motorbike were from Shanklin, and recorded some of their records there.

Situated just outside Shanklin The House of Chilli is a hothouse of chilli inspired creativity based on the holiday hotspot of the Isle of Wight. Our southerly location and tasty climate make for great chilli growing conditions. Our aim is not just to help the hardened chilliheads feel the burn, but to offer a range of products suited to all tastes and to spread the warming glow of chilli love.

Keats Green 1896
A really lovely stay with very good hosts. Thanks.- Marion & John, Spain