Shanklin Chine, Isle of Wight
Welcome to Shanklin Chine
Enjoy the unique tranquillity of Shanklin Chine, the Isle of Wight’s oldest tourist attraction, which first opened in 1817. This famous leafy gorge is much loved by poets, artists and writers. The winding woodland, with its steep sides is a magical place for rare plants, wildlife and enchanting waterfalls.
Visit the hide with live action from the squirrels’ feeding station.
The Chine is illuminated after dusk during the summer season.
Tea Room and Gift Shop.
Take time to relax in the conservatory and tea room and also visit the gift shop where you will find many interesting items for sale.
On the beach below the Chine is Fisherman’s Cottage, built by William Colenutt in 1817. Enjoy a choice of excellent food and real ale on the sun terrace.
- Tuesday, 1 April to Sunday, 2 November 2014
open every day from 10am to 5pm
- Friday, 23 May to Sunday 7 September 2014
open every day from 10am to 10pm
illuminated after dusk
|Children 5 to 14 years old
|0 to 4 years old
|Family ticket 2 adults and 2 children
|2 adults and 3 children
|Group rate (more than 10 people)
excluding schools and reduced tickets
(due to restricted access)
|Dogs on leads welcome
|Train discount with Island Line trains: (on production of a valid train ticket)
In the 18th century the Chine was a rough walk for the intrepid but the few who struggled as far as the waterfall were deeply impressed by its beauty and grandeur. Reference is made to early efforts to ‘open the Chine up’ and there were certainly steps at the bottom that were used by excise officers on horseback.
Jane Austen writing in June 1813 said, “we hired a Sociable and drove round… Shanklin Chine, lovely.”
However, it was not until 1817, when a William Colenutt excavated the present path and opened it to the public, that the Chine began to attract increasing interest. It is not known what he charged but visitors were expected to contribute 6d (2.5p) in 1873. Amazingly, it remained at this figure until 1958.
Keats, too, found inspiration for some of his greatest poetry while staying at Shanklin in 1819… “The wondrous Chine here is a very great lion; I wish I had as many guineas as there have been spyglasses in it.”
The Chine was and remained for some time a favourite smugglers’ haunt and a tunnel led from the Chine Inn into the Old Village. In fact, smuggling was so prevalent that excise officers were based in the Old Village until the Watch House near the Chine was built in 1820.
The Chine was also a favourite subject for artists including Thomas Rowlandson and Samuel Howitt. The Island’s George Brannon, who rented a cottage on the estate, dedicated many of his engravings of the Chine to the owner, Mrs Walton White.
Victorian literary figures – among them, George Eliot, Macaulay, Dickens and Longfellow – were great admirers of the Chine. With the arrival of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at Osborne, Shanklin became a fashionable watering place, much frequented by European Royalty. The Chine was ‘a must’ on every Victorian itinerary and contemporary descriptions abound in such phrases as “terrifically sublime” and “savagely grand”