Isle of Wight Shanklin

Shanklin is a traditional seaside resort with a good sandy beach, pier and amusements. It is lifted rather out of the ordinary by its chine, cliffs and old village – straight off an embroidered
tea-cosy. Immaculately thatched cottages, gables outlined with frilly white-painted barge-boards, sit snugly in gardens full of hollyhocks and honeysuckle. There is a pretty and popular pub, the Crab Inn – too popular, perhaps, service can be offhand – lots of places to eat, craft and antique shops. At the Rock Shop opposite the Crab, there are weekly rock-making demonstrations, usually on Monday.

The chine, a steep ravine that leads down to the shore, entrance off Old Village High St, is well worth a visit. It’s still genuinely picturesque and romantic. At the bottom, right on the beach, is the thatched and pleasantly pokey Fisherman’s Cottage Club – temporary membership only a few pence per week. A good place to sit drinking – they have a wide range of liqueurs – and eating crab sandwiches while keeping an eye on children paddling or building sandcastles. Open till 12.30 at night.

The main part of the town is at the top of the cliff reached by steep steps or a lift. Lots of handsome Victorian Isle of Wight homes, now mostly boarding houses and Isle of Wight hotel, and a jolly Edwardian theatre for summer shows. Newnhams, 26 High St, is a splendid old-fashioned grocer’s. In the arcade just below, the Odd Shop holds promise of a bargain among an assortment of junk. Tourist Information, 67 High St, Esplanade.

Virgin Australia