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Bradshaw’s Guide

Ventnor, from East Cliff, Isle of Wight, England. Taken between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900. Original: Library of Congress


Ventnor, the capital of Undercliff, had no existence 40 years ago, but is now a respectable town, with a population of 3,208. This is owing to its delightful situation in front of the sea, and being protected by the cliffs behind. Trees have not grown so fast as houses, which being of stone have a white glare in the summer sunshine; but it is in winter that its peculiar advantages are felt by the invalid, who then enjoys a climate not to be had in any other part of England except Torquay. Lodgings are abundant and moderate. Myrtles, fuchsias, and other plants grow to a large size. The Downs behind, affording endless rambles, are covered with heath and thyme. Houses occupy every accessible spot up and down the cliffs, with the Channel and the shipping perpetually in view. There is a new church, with assembly rooms, baths, &c. A fine, pebbly beach below, and attractive walks of all lands.

In the season provisions are scarce, and therefore dear, a drawback felt at Shanklin and other places on this side of the Island. Four or five coaches by way of Brading or Newport run to and fro between this and Ryde daily. Occasionally a steamer touches for Cowes or Ryde; but this is rare, and the landing is by boat. Excellent lobsters, crabs, and prawns. Some curious caves have been formed in the chits by the sea along the beach.

About three miles inland is Appuldercombe, the seat of the Earl of Yarborough, a building of the last century, in a large park on the slope of a down, at the comer of which is the Worsley pillar. Sir R. Worsley here made a collection of marbles and paintings. Many of the family are buried in Godshill church, which is one of the best in. the island, and about four miles further.

Distances of Places from Ventnor
To: Miles.
Blackgang 7
Luccombe Chine Visited by the Queen and Prince Albert. ½
Sand Rock Here is a capital Hotel. 4
Shanklin 2
Steephill ½
St. Boniface Down 600 feet high. ½
Undercliff 2
Ventnor Cove ½
Wishing Well ¾

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Places nearby

  • Hampshire : Netley Abbey

    Remains of the church, chapter-house, refectory, &c., exist, all picturesquely wound with ivy or overshadowed with ash and other trees.

  • Hampshire : Portsmouth

    Portsmouth, the first naval port in the British Islands, 75 miles, from London by the South Western Line or 95 by way of the Brighton and South Coast Line.

  • Hampshire : Southampton

    The station, which is close to the quay, and has a commanding position on the banks of the Southampton Water, is admirably adapted for the convenience of passengers.