Ventnor Downs, Isle of Wight
Dramatic views from the highest point on the Island.
The Ventnor Downs rise steeply above the Victorian seaside town of Ventnor. With the sparkling sea below and the holm oak trees which have colonised the south facing chalk slopes there is almost a Mediterranean flavour to the landscape. On the top of the downs you find a complete change of landscape with large open areas of grass and heather. It is such a rewarding area to walk in as there is great variety and some wonderful wildlife spectacles at different times of year and you can enjoy fantastic views from this high position. You can drive to the top of the downs where there are several car parks which lead onto areas of reasonably level footpaths. Or you can earn your supper by climbing the steep hills from the town of Ventnor. We share this wonderful place with ground nesting birds like skylark and meadow pipit so in spring please keep your dogs under close control and stick to established paths in the designated and signed areas. This can make so much difference to the survival of these vulnerable birds.
You may be lucky to catch a glimpse of the herd of Old English goats which graze on Bonchurch Down and Coombe Bottom. They were introduced to the downs in 1993 to help control the spread of scrub and holm oak trees which would otherwise rapidly re-colonise the flower rich chalk grassland.