Located in Sandown Bay, Shanklin is a town with historical interest, with an old village and sandy beach. There are plenty of restaurants along the seafront and it’s a good place to visit for lunch, with a pleasant walk along the promenade towards Sandown. Alternatively, you can take an open top bus along the seafront in summer, for the ‘Sandown Bay Tour’.
All about Shanklin
A popular seaside resort located on Sandown Bay, the quaint village of Shanklin boasts a long, wide sandy beach and beautiful sandstone cliffs. When you add its charming, traditional buildings into the mix, you can see why so many tourists visit Shanklin every year.
It may only be a small village, but Shanklin has a lot to offer. In this guide, we’ll cover the best things to see, the top places to eat and how to get to Shanklin from our three holiday parks. It’s everything you need for your next trip!
Things to do in Shanklin
Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or a family holiday, there’s plenty to keep you occupied during your visit. Here is a selection of the top attractions in the area.
Apparently the oldest attraction on the island, Shanklin Chine is arguably what the village is most famous for. This stunning gorge is bursting with wildlife – around 150 species of wild plants grow here, and if you’re lucky you may see foxes, badgers, red squirrels, chipmunk and blue tits among other creatures.
If all the walking has helped you build up and appetite, we suggest stopping for a spot of lunch in the tea rooms within the gorge. It claims to serve the ‘original’ Isle of Wight cream tea, but if you don’t fancy that there are homemade cakes and light lunches available.
The golden sands of Shanklin Beach simply must be enjoyed on a warm, sunny day. Your kids – or grandkids – will love building sandcastles and going for a paddle in the sea. While there is a no pier here (it was destroyed during the hurricane of 1987), a vantage point now stands where its entrance used to be. The views from here are amazing, so bring a camera!
When the weather isn’t so great, the large arcade on the traditional promenade comes to the rescue. Inside, you’ll find a pirate-themed crazy golf course, bowling alley, go-kart track and a children’s play area – plenty to keep the whole family busy.
This hidden gem is free to visit, so perfect if you’re holidaying on a budget. Take a gentle stroll around the beautiful gardens, taking time to stop and play on the pitch and putt course and have a bite to eat in the tea room. The crab sandwiches come highly recommended, but the homemade cakes are just as tasty.
During the summer afternoons and evenings, concerts are played on the garden’s bandstand, so it’s well worth seeing what’s on before you visit.
Where to eat in Shanklin
Don’t let Shanklin’s size fool you, the village is fortunate to have a huge selection of excellent, highly-rated restaurants, pubs and cafes. Here are some of the most popular with residents and tourists.
If you’re coming to the island to celebrate an anniversary or birthday, then you must book a table at Pendletons. The food here is excellent, with fresh, locally-sourced produce used where possible. Plus, the wine list is extensive, so you’re bound to find a new favourite tipple here.
The friendly, efficient service means you’re never waiting for your food or drink for too long. It’s only a small restaurant though, so it’s a good idea to secure a table as soon as possible.
The Old Thatch Tearooms
You can’t miss this tearoom – it’s a beautiful, pink, Grade II-listed building with a thatched roof. It’s thought to be the oldest building on the island, but let’s be honest, it’s the cake and tea you really care about! Well The Old Thatch Tearooms is award-winning, offering a range of sandwiches, cakes, and more substantial meals, as well as cream teas.
Coeliacs will be pleased to know they are catered for here too. When the sun is out, we highly recommend eating outside in the magical fairy garden.
The Steamer Inn
If you’ve got little ones, you might not want to take them to a super-fancy restaurant for dinner. Luckily, there are plenty of great pubs in the area, and The Steamer Inn is possibly the best. Fresh fish is served here daily alongside a huge selection of wine, beer and real ales. There’s plenty of other great pub grub to choose from if you don’t like seafood, though.
The terrace is a great place to sit on a warm summer’s evening, as the panoramic views of the sea are incredible. What better place to watch the world go by?
How to get to Shanklin
No matter which of our three parks you’re staying in it’s possible to get to Shanklin in under an hour, so there’s no excuse not to visit! If you need directions, here’s how to reach the village from each park.
From Rookley Country Park
Rookley Country Park is the closest to Shanklin, as it’s just a 14-minute drive away. Start by heading south-east on the main road, then turn left onto the A3020 and continue to follow this road for five miles. Next, take the left onto High Street/A3055 and you’ll be at your destination in half a mile.
From Colwell Bay
This park is the furthest from Shanklin, but it will still only take you 45 minutes to reach the village. Begin by taking Monks Lane to Colwell Road/A3054 in Norton Green. Follow the A road until the second roundabout, at which you want to take the third exit on Medina Way/A3020. Again, continue following the A road until you reach Blackwater Junction/A3056. Stay on the A road for 6.7 miles, then turn right onto Sandown Road/A3055 and continue for about a mile until you reach Shanklin.
Parking in Shanklin
Shanklin may be a small village, but it’s not short on places to park. Here’s a list of all the car parks in the resort so you can plan your travel accordingly.
If you’d like to find out more about other popular villages and towns you can visit whilst you’re staying on the island, check out our other guides. Alternatively, give us a call on 01983 897210; we’re more than happy to help you plan your trip and secure you a great place to stay on the Isle of Wight.