The ‘British Med’ is simply three hours from London and is cherished by kings. It gives among the finest coastal walks within the UK


With international travel resuming, London vacationers are wasting time hopping on flights to Green List locations like Portugal and Australia.

However, with some looking further afield for a much-needed trip, others stay closer to home.

The Isle of Wight is home to coastal towns so beautiful that they were loved by members of the royal family.

Ventnor in the southeast of the Isle of Wight is one of those places – a hidden gem on Britain’s largest island.

The seaside resort has one of the UK’s best coastal walks and with the beautiful green hills and pastel colored houses overlooking the English Channel, it’s not hard to see why.

A stroll along the coast in Ventnor

Queen Victoria was linked to the city after her doctor recommended visiting her.

Ventor became extremely popular as a health and holiday resort in the late 19th century and was referred to as the “English Mediterranean”.

After Queen Victoria’s visit to the Ventnor Hotel in 1855, the name was changed to Royal Hotel – something that happened to places she visited across the UK.

The hotel remains an important landmark on the island to this day. Rooms from £ 135 a night and the south-facing Geranium Terrace are a particularly exciting highlight of the lavish property.

The Royal Hotel where Queen Victoria stayed

The Royal Hotel where Queen Victoria stayed

Another place in town is the world famous Botanical Gardens – the hottest garden in Britain due to its unique location in the Ventnor Undercliff microclimate, an average of five degrees warmer than the rest of the UK.

On New Year’s Day 2020, 272 plants will bloom in the garden.

Ventnor Botanic Gardens is the hottest garden in the UK

Ventnor Botanic Gardens is the hottest garden in the UK

One of the city’s most magnificent hidden gems is Steephill Cove.

Walking distance only, tucked away at the base of the Ventnor Undercliff area, it is considered one of the most relaxing beaches on the entire Isle of Wight.

The city is not just made up of beaches and gardens, however.

If you fancy a day of culture, Ventnor also has its own arts festival held every summer.

Ventnor Fringe brings together the best of art, music and culture from across the Isle of Wight.

Ventnor hosts a popular arts festival every summer

Ventnor hosts a popular arts festival every summer

It is no surprise that Ventnor was a popular vacation spot for Queen Victoria. Only three hours from London, but it looks more like a Spanish island than an English island.

The fastest way to the “English Mediterranean” is by train from London Waterloo.

It’s an hour and a half drive to Portsmouth and Southsea followed by a ten minute bus to Southsea Hoverport.

This is continued with a ten minute hovercraft ride to the Isle of Wight and finally a one hour bus ride to Ventnor.