Shanklin is located on the south east of the Island. A coastal town, it forms part of Sandown Bay and has its own sandy beaches that run along the edge of the town.
Originally a remote fishing village, the town has a rich history, with expansion seen during the Victorian era after the Island fell in favour with Queen Victoria. It was previously famed for its mineral baths, the pier, which was destroyed in the great storm, and was host to Charles Darwin whilst writing the Origin of Species. World War Two saw the loss of the baths, but also witnessed the town contributing to the war efforts with the PLUTO pipeline providing fuel to the allies in France.
Central to the town is its historic old village. Full of thatched cottages, it provides a picture perfect location to shop and eat, with a selection of pubs, shops, restaurants, craft village and more. Whether you are picking up some art and craft, a stick of rock or bottle of something alcoholic, there are plenty of local goods to choose from to remember your stay. The town is also lucky enough to have the Island’s only Christmas shop – so get something special for the big day, whatever the time of year.
Accessible from both the old village and the beach is also Shanklin Chine, the historic gorge and a former haunt of smugglers hiding from detection! These days, you can enjoy the spectacular waterfall, the history of the chine and its special conditions making it a perfect location for many flora and forna.
Much of the town was formerly part of the Shanklin estate, including the chine and Shanklin Manor itself. Many of the features are now open to the public, such as the Big Mead park, which is a large grassed area, with play equipment and a pond. You can also catch a bit of cricket over at the club and also visit the historic St Blasius church.
Just outside the old village is Shanklin Theatre, renowned for its quality entertainment from both local and national performers. The talented local company offers a selection of summer shows and sell out Christmas pantomine, with other local players, schools and groups putting on shows throughout the year. As well as this, big name comedians such as Al Murray, Barry Cryer, Joe Pasquale, Dave Gorman and Reginald D Hunter and guest shows from Chris Packman, Michael Portillo, Suggs, Derek Acorah, Joe McElderry and stars of Strictly, are amongst those who have or will be visiting soon, so check out their programme for a show whilst you’re in town.
Further into town are the shopping areas of Regent Street and High Street, with major brands and independent shops. There are a selection of food shops, with a butcher, fishmonger, greengrocer, bakery, cafes, pubs and restaurants to visit. There are three supermarkets in the town, two from The Co-operative and one from Lidl.
Down on the beach, alongside the sandy shores themselves, you can also enjoy a variety of cafes, restaurants and attractions. Shanklin Seafront offers a selection of golf courses, fun park including rollercoaster and go karts, amusements, bowling, indoor play area and much more. You can also enjoy an open top bus down to the seafront or pop down on the lift. Of course, there is plenty of sand and water to enjoy a day full of fun with too!
Back on firm ground, there is a selection of coastal and countryside walks to enjoy, with the town having its own National Trust land and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You can even paraglide if you are feeling adventurous – and look out for the red squirrels too!
Situated at the end of the Island Line trains, it is well located for those travelling by rail, with bus services running through the town and major roads connecting it to all ports. All properties are just a stone’s throw from the town and within walking distance.
Images: 1) Shanklin Station sign / CC BY-SA 2.0 2) Shanklin -5 / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 3) Shanklin Beach — 12 Nov 07 /CC BY-NC 2.0 4) Someone Left a Hat / CC BY-SA 2.0 5) ‘Hello tourist!’ / CC BY 2.0 6) DSC_0687 / CC BY 2.0 7) Directions / CC BY-SA 2.0