RECENTLY announced by leading travel writer Simon Calder as the sunniest town in the United Kingdom, the seaside resort of Shanklin already has so much going for it  — but it also has its many attractions for the Isle of Wight visitor.

Shanklin, a jewel on the southern end of iconic Sandown Bay, is not only on one of the most scenic stretches of coast in the UK, it is also rich in history.


The South Wight town has a bustling town centre, coupled with plenty of charm and character.

Isle of Wight County Press: Shanklin TheatreShanklin Theatre (Image: Wightlink)

Isle of Wight County Press: Shanklin Theatre's beautifully restored and refurbished auditorium is a big draw for the stars.Shanklin Theatre's beautifully restored and refurbished auditorium is a big draw for the stars. (Image: Shanklin Theatre and Community Trust)

Not only does Shanklin sit on a stunning piece of coastline — above its towering cliffs sits a large town, nestled in a picturesque, stunning rural area boasting, from so many points, incredible views.

Shanklin has more than its fair share of attractions. Here are just some to whet the appetite...

Shanklin Theatre

The English Heritage Grade II-listed building, owned by Shanklin Theatre and Community Trust, stages top quality shows and welcomes top celebrities from the worlds of music, comedy, dance and drama year after year.

The auditorium, with stalls and a balcony, can seat more than 600. It also has a bar in its basement, with the theatre run by five staff and 150 volunteers.

Shanklin Theatre is steeped in history. The former Shanklin Institute was destroyed by fire in 1925, before being rebuilt as a theatre.

During the Second World War, the theatre served as a local command and control centre, with its historical Map Room refurbished and available to view. 

Isle of Wight County Press: Shanklin Chine's illuminations are well worth seeing in an evening.Shanklin Chine's illuminations are well worth seeing in an evening. (Image: Visit Isle of Wight)

Shanklin Chine

Shanklin Chine is the Island’s oldest visitor attraction — drawing visitors to it for more then 200 years with its natural beauty and wonder.

The popular attraction's main waterfall tumbles down a stunning 45ft high cliff edge, with an impressive second, which falls 29ft, enhanced by the unique quality of its flora and fauna — beautifully illuminated in the evening.

It is also steeped in history. During the Second World War, the Chine was taken over and used as an assault course by 40 Royal Marine Commando in preparation for the Dieppe raid in 1942.

Celebrated poet John Keats said the Chine inspired his greatest work and a favourite subject for artists such as JMW Turner.

Isle of Wight County Press: Shanklin Old Village attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Shanklin Old Village attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. (Image: Visit Isle of Wight)

The Old Village

Shanklin Old Village is a quaint part of Shanklin town, featuring some of the oldest properties on the Island — the majority of which are thatched.

It is situated at a slightly lower level than that of Shanklin's main town and is famous for it’s small gift shops, tea rooms, arts and craft shops, pubs and restaurants.

Vernon Cottage cafe-restaurant celebrates its 207th anniversary this year.

The original Shanklin community was in the Old Village, which comprised of about a dozen fishermen’s cottages, many of which still survive.

Isle of Wight County Press: Rylstone Gardens bandstand in Shanklin.Rylstone Gardens bandstand in Shanklin. (Image: Visit Shanklin)

Rylstone Gardens

This wonderful park near to the Old Village has a traditional bandstand, which welcomes bands and singers throughout the summer, performing free concerts.

There is also an old-fashioned crazy golf course and a traditional tea garden at Rylstone Gardens.

Look out for their amazing displays of hanging baskets and flowers.

Shanklin seafront

Shanklin has long been known as a traditional holiday destination. Its seafront has everything you need for a great family holiday, or to just to enjoy with family or friends for a great day out. 

With beautiful expansive beaches, seafront hotels, cafes, pubs, restaurants, amusement arcades and adventure crazy golf, Shanklin is the epitome of the British beach resort.

Isle of Wight County Press: Shanklin beach is very popular during the summer season.Shanklin beach is very popular during the summer season. (Image: Pamela Parker)

The seafront is served by public transport and the historic Cliff Lift, which, if you don't fancy the long walk up into the top of the cliffs, is a Godsend to many.

Isle of Wight County Press: St Blasius Church in Shanklin.St Blasius Church in Shanklin. (Image: Google Maps)

St Blasius Old Parish Church

Situated to the south of Shanklin Old Village sits St Blasius Church — one of the most visited, charming and iconic on the Island.

The Church of England's Archbishop's Council describes St Blasius as "a friendly, welcoming church in an 860-year old building, in a delightful setting."

No arguments there. St Blasius — become a parish church until 1853 — is in a beautiful spot to relax, with a duck pond beside it to watch the wildlife.

Beside St Blasius is Big Mead, a large expanse of open parkland to the south of the Old Village. 

Isle of Wight County Press: Shanklin and Godshill Cricket Club's picturesque Westhill ground.Shanklin and Godshill Cricket Club's picturesque Westhill ground. (Image: County Press)

Shanklin Cricket Club

The club's ground, Westhill, in Westhill Road, is one of several delightful cricket grounds on the Isle of Wight, but is arguably the most peaceful and picturesque, nestled in the shadow of Shanklin Downs.

Home nowadays to Shanklin and Godshill Cricket Club, which sees its first team play in Division 3 (South) of the Hampshire League, Westhill was where Shanklin Cricket Club was formed in 1871.

For any cricket aficionado, Westhill is a splendid place to relax and watch England's most popular summer sport.

What are YOUR special Shanklin highlights and memories? Comment below, or send us a letter for publication, perhaps with a photo, to