Shanklin BeachShanklin was mentioned in the Domesday Book as Sencling, a name derived from its location, meaning a hill (kline) with a spring. The spring water was said to cure many ills and this, together with the other natural attractions of a wonderful location and an already famous Chine, led to the town becoming a fashionable Victorian watering hole. Its popularity was assured when the railway line from Ryde opened in 1864. A pier was built in 1890 and the cliff lift was opened in 1892 to link the town level with the undercliff Esplanade. Sadly, the magnificent pier was washed away in the Great Storm of 1987.

Shanklin is a town of great character and charm with many interesting small shops and a variety of hotels and apartments in former Victorian country houses. Sheltering cliffs provide the ideal suntrap position for the seafront Esplanade, where there is safe bathing from a sandy beach, water sports, car parks, hotels, amusements and a host of pubs and restaurants. The first week of August is traditionally Carnival Week with carnival parades in the town and sports and fireworks at the County Ground. Later in August Shanklin Regatta is one of the highlights of the year with a firework finale which lights up the bay.

Shanklin Old Village is a perennial attraction where most of the picturesque cottages clustered around the thatched Crab Inn have now become craft and gift shops or restaurants. Follow the lane from the Old Village to reach Shanklin's famous Chine, a dramatic fissure in the rock where a 45 ft waterfall cascades through boulders and ferns to the shore. The Chine's Heritage Centre features an exhibition about PLUTO - the Pipeline Under the Ocean, which was laid to pump fuel across the channel for the Normandy invasion forces.

Shanklin's public parks and gardens are a delight to visit. Tower Gardens and Rylstone Gardens run alongside the Chine, the latter having been called the most picturesque in the south of England. One can also stroll in the Big Mead, adjacent to historic St. Blasius Church, or along the spectacular coastal paths to Sandown or Bonchurch.

Godshill, just a short bus ride away, has a number of visitor attractions. The village is famous for its picture postcard scene of thatched cottages around the hill-top church.

See also:

Shanklin Chine   Shanklin Chine
When you wander through the tranquil setting of this historic gorge, take time to just sit and look...
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Shanklin Theatre   Shanklin Theatre
Musical rep theatre using professional artistes, open all year round including...
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Coastal Visitors Centre   Shanklin Beach
forms part of Sandown Bay which is famous for its Sandy beah and safe bathing...
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Places to go in Ventnor   Places to go in Shanklin
List of places to go in and around Shanklin on the Isle of Wight...
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