A walk down the Shanklin Chine after dark when hundreds of different coloured lights illuminate the narrow paths, streams and waterfalls, is a magical journey. You expect pixies to peek out from the side of the pathways or fairies to fly across the deep ravine as you walk toward the seashore.
Celebrating it's 200th Anniversary in 2017, Shanklin Chine is one of the oldest and most idyllic attractions on the Isle of Wight with luscious semi-tropical planting, pretty little bridges and a high waterfall dropping from the top. There are benches to rest your legs and take in the views and you might even see the tame robin or inquisitive squirrel if you’re lucky.
During the daytime it is just as pretty, with its greenery and lush undergrowth, mosses, lichens and liverworts. You can walk down to the beach and back again after the sun has gone down. Maybe you could take supper at the Fisherman’s Cottage pub at the mouth of the Chine and wander back through the enchanted light display.
‘Chine’ is a local word of Saxon origin, used only in the Isle of Wight and Dorset, meaning a deep narrow ravine, formed by water cutting through soft sandstone leading to the sea. There’s a drop of 32m (105ft) to sea level in just over a quarter of a mile as you descend and it covers an area of around three acres.
Towards the bottom the Heritage Centre hosts photographic and art exhibitions and the World War II and PLUTO exhibition. PLUTO was pipeline taking fuel to the Allies in France that ran through this gorge during WWII - bits of it are still in the Chine.
Then indulge in fresh home-made cakes, scones and tea, inside or outside at the tea shop (yum) and be sure to visit the gift shop.
- open daily from 7 April to 30 September and 21 - 29 October 2017
- generally opens at 10:00 - please check the calendar on the left for specific days and times
- 30 minutes before closing time
- the Chine does not have its own car park, so please use the Vernon Meadow car park just a few minutes walk away in the Old village (PO37 6AQ) or along Shanklin Esplanade (PO37 6BH)
- the walk from the top of the chine to the bottom is at times steep and with steps so unsuitable for wheelchair users
- children aged 4 and under are free of charge
- serving fresh home-made cakes, scones and hot and cold drinks
- well stocked gift shop at the bottom of the chine
We hope you enjoy your visit and don't forget to tweet a pic
Shanklin Chine Address: 3 Chine Hill, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, PO37 6BW