The ‘British Med’ just 3 hours from London worshiped by royalty and with one of the UK’s best coastal walks

As international travel picks up, vacationers in London are wasting no time boarding flights to Green List destinations such as Portugal and Australia.

However, as some seek further for a well-deserved trip, others come closer to home.

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

Ventnor in the south-east of the Isle of Wight is one such place – a hidden gem on Britain’s largest island.

The seaside resort has one of Britain’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 walk along the coast in Ventnor

Queen Victoria joined the city after being recommended for a visit by her doctor.

Ventor became extremely popular at the end of the 19th century as a spa and vacation resort and was known as the “English Mediterranean”.

After Queen Victoria’s visit in 1855, while staying at the Ventnor Hotel, it changed its name to Royal Hotel – which happened to places she visited across the UK.

The hotel is still a major landmark on the island today, with rooms starting at £ 135 a night and the south-facing Geranium Terrace, a particularly exciting highlight of the lavish accommodation.

The Royal Hotel where Queen Victoria stayed
The Royal Hotel where Queen Victoria stayed

Another site of the city is its world-famous botanical garden – the warmest garden in the UK due to its unique location in the Ventnor Undercliff microclimate, on average five degrees warmer than the rest of the UK.

On New Year’s Day 2020, the garden has 272 flowering plants.

Ventnor Botanic Gardens is the UK's hottest garden
Ventnor Botanic Gardens is the UK’s hottest garden

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

It is only accessible on foot nestled at the foot of the Ventnor Undercliff area and is known as one of the most relaxing beaches on the entire Isle of Wight.

However, the city is not all about beaches and gardens.

If you want to spend a day experiencing a bit of culture, Ventnor also has its own arts festival that takes place every summer.

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

Ventnor hosts a folk arts festival every summer
Ventnor hosts a folk arts festival every summer

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

The quickest route to the “English Mediterranean” is by train from London Waterloo.

It takes an hour and a half to travel to Portsmouth and Southsea, followed by a ten minute bus ride to Southsea Hoverport.

This is proceeded by a ten minute hovercraft trip around the Isle of Wight and finally a one hour bus ride into Ventnor.

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