LOCATION


LOCATION (Please see our map below)

For Tearoom/Restaurant/Table Reservations 
01983 865411   
For Tourist Information and Gift Shop
01983 862606

Iconic Vernon Cottage sits at the top of Shanklin Old Village on the southern side of the Isle of Wight and celebrates its fabulous '200th Anniversary' this year (1817-2017).

Shanklin Old Village sits between Shanklin town and Ventnor and has been a favourite tourist attraction since Victorian times with it’s beautiful collection of period thatched cottages and the breathtaking Shanklin Chine, making it one of the most picturesque and historical destinations on the Isle of Wight.

From its elevated position and stunning views of the Old Village, VERNON COTTAGE - and its beautiful sunny Tea and Beer gardens - has three separate entrances, including a flat disabled-friendly entrance from the main Old Village Car Park and a sloping disabled-friendly access from the Tourist Information/Shop entrance. The garden is disabled-friendly, but due to being Grade 11 listed, the cottage itself has four steps up into it and there are also two steps into the cloakrooms. 

Vernon Cottage is just five minutes walk to the Blue Flag Shanklin Beach with its gorgeous soft sand. There is a a wheelchair//buggy friendly slope down to the seafront in addition to the steps and there is also the famous Shanklin Cliff Lift. The main Shanklin Town is five minutes in the other direction from Vernon Cottage.  

The lovely Vernon Cottage Tea and Beer Garden is the starting off point for the spine-tingling Old Shanklin Ghost Walks on Sunday nights (8pm) and is a lovely place to enjoy a Pre-Theatre Dinner before watching one of the great Shows at nearby Shanklin Theatre.
    
Nearby ‘Shanklin Chine’ is the Isle of Wight's oldest tourist attraction, which first opened in 1817 – the same year as Vernon Cottage was built – and its world-famous famous leafy gorge is much loved by poets, artists and writers. The winding woodland, with its steep sides is a magical place for rare plants, wildlife and enchanting waterfalls.

Jane Austen writing in June 1813 said, “we hired a Sociable and drove round... Shanklin Chine, lovely”. However, it was not until 1817, when a William Colenutt excavated the present path and opened it to the public, that the Chine began to attract increasing interest. It is not known what he charged but visitors were expected to contribute 6d (2.5p) in 1873. Amazingly, it remained at this figure until 1958.

Keats, too, found inspiration for some of his greatest poetry while staying at Shanklin in 1819... “The wondrous Chine here is a very great lion; I wish I had as many guineas as there have been spyglasses in it.”

 VERNON COTTAGE 
AND ITS SECRET TUNNEL ALL THE WAY TO SHANKLIN CHINE

The Chine was and remained for some time a favourite smugglers’ haunt and a tunnel led from the Chine Inn to VERNON COTTAGE in the Old Village. In fact, smuggling was so prevalent that excise officers were based in the Old Village until the Watch House near the Chine was built in 1820.

Victorian literary figures - among them, George Eliot, Macaulay, Dickens and Longfellow - were great admirers of the Chine. With the arrival of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at Osborne, Shanklin became a fashionable watering place, much frequented by European Royalty. The Chine was 'a must’ on every Victorian itinerary and contemporary descriptions abound in such phrases as “terrifically sublime” and “savagely grand”.

The formation of the Chine has taken place over the last 10,000 years. ‘Chine’ is a local word and now used only in the Isle of Wight and Dorset. It is of Saxon origin and means a deep narrow ravine, formed by water cutting through soft sandstone leading to the sea. The Saxon name for Shanklin was ‘Scenc-hlinc’ or ‘cup in the rising ground’. The Island has a number of chines but the two largest are Blackgang, where very little of the original remains due to erosion and Shanklin, unique in the quality of its flora and fauna. With a drop of 32m (105ft) to sea level in just over a quarter of a mile, Shanklin Chine covers an area of approximately three acres.


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Vernon Cottage - 1 Eastcliff Rd Shanklin - Isle of Wight - PO37 6AA