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Enjoy a magical day out at Ventnor Botanic Garden

Date: 19th May 2019
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Author: Sarah Twist
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Publisher: Darwin Escapes
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Park: Woodside Coastal Retreat
Local Area


With its own microclimate, Ventnor Botanic Garden in the Isle of Wight offers breath-taking surroundings and a wide variety of plants

Located only a 35 minute drive away from our own Woodside Coastal Retreat, in the heart of the Undercliff, Ventnor Botanic Garden is perfectly placed to be protected by the chalk downs from the northerly winds. Spend the day at the hottest garden in the UK, where there are plenty of things to do and fascinating plants to see.


About Ventnor Botanic Garden

In the undercliff of Ventnor it rarely rains, with a climate more similar to the Mediterranean, the Ventnor Botanic Garden in the Isle of Wight boasts an impressive collection of subtropical plants. Because of this warm climate, combined with the moderating impact of the sea, the Botanic Garden is unrivalled in being able to grow plants considered too delicate to grow in mainland Britain outside and unprotected.

Ventnor Botanic Garden Grows succulents, cacti, herbs, mature palm trees, Australian eucalyptus and colourful South African treasures, plus so much more. Enjoy an immersive experience, where you can travel the world through a range of landscapes, with plants designed and grown in geographical regions, for a delightful experience for all.


What’s at Ventnor Botanic Garden

As well as the general garden itself, there are particular places to visit and things to do, so we’ve listed them below for you:

  • The Tropical House – this house perfectly showcases the famous Victorian curvilinear conservatories. You’ll enter the conservatory through a derelict mineshaft that opens into a tropically heated house, where warm running water produces the humidity that these plants need to survive. The pool contains 22 tonnes of heated water and is home to the magnificent Amazonian Giant Waterlily during the summer.
  • edulis Restaurant – enjoy beautiful food from talented chefs who use the freshest of ingredients, including fruit and vegetables grown in the surrounding gardens. Check opening times as they do vary depending on season.

  • Plantation Room Café – a wonderful place to relax and enjoy good food, if the weather is on your side dine on the terrace and soak in the views across the colourful garden
  • The Gift Shop – the shop offers a range of products, including gifts and mementos, as well as showcasing local art, photography and fine china. There is also a range of produce made from the exotic and rare ingredients grown at Ventnor Botanic Garden
  • The Wellbeing Experience – Ventnor Botanic Garden boasts a rich history of improving health and wellbeing, being a chest and respiratory disease hospital during the Victorian era. Nowadays, they offer a wide range of yoga and wellbeing classes to be enjoyed in the tranquil garden

Secret places at Ventnor Botanic Garden

There are many hidden secrets around the garden just waiting to be found and explored, with some secrets dating back to the Royal National Hospital of the 1800’s, we’ve listed the best below.

  • The Tunnel – this hidden tunnel runs all the way through the cliff, from the garden to the peaceful shore. In 1875 the hospital requested a tunnel in order to help patients gain access to the shore, however it was rejected. It’s not clear when the tunnel was created, but it is assumed sometime in the 1880’s, but it was not built for patients (or smugglers as rumours suggest), it was actually built for drainage and waste disposal. It was closed at both ends in 1940, it is 350ft long with a vaulted roof. DO NOT try to find the exit or enter the tunnel without a guide. Ventnor Botanic Garden runs free guided tours at 2pm every day.

  • The Wall Lizards – these beautiful lizards are also known by their scientific name, Podarcis Muralis . They are often seen basking in the sunshine or heard running through the leaves of the Mediterranean Garden. Their origin is still under debate, with their homeland in Italy, the long standing population could have been accidently be introduced and naturalised, or the Isle of Wight is the northern most part of their natural habitat.
  • The Mushroom Chamber – inside the chamber you will find all kinds of mushrooms, as well as the team growing an extensive variety of edible mushrooms in the Fruiting Chamber, Ventnor Botanic Gardens also allows you to sample the grown mushrooms in the Plantation Room Café. Varieties include Shitake, Yellow and Red Oyster.
  • Secret Gardens – there are many little secret gardens hidden all over the 22 acres of Ventnor Botanic Garden, all off the beaten track and waiting for you to discover and explore. You’ll find romantic seating areas, tranquil locations and peaceful clifftop meadows boasting beautiful coastline views.

Opening times & Prices

Located at Undercliff Dr., Ventnor, PO38 1UL – Ventnor Botanic Gardens is only a 40 minute drive from our own Woodside Coastal Retreat destination.

The garden is open every day, 10am – 5pm

Prices for 2019

Ticket Type Cost
Adult £9.50
Child £6.00
Family (up to 5) £25

Woodside Coastal Retreat offers five star accommodation, with large open plan living spaces, sumptuous bedding and a range of lodges with hot tubs, so you can holiday in style. Guests also have unlimited access to our sister resort, Woodside Bay Lodge Retreat and the exceptional, five start facilities available. Including the Bistro Restaurant serves a range of delicious meals and boasts a fully stocked bar, as well as the Woodside Bay Spa Lodge offering a variety of luxury Aromatherapy Associates treatments.

Why not book your holiday to Woodside Coastal Retreat today and start exploring the Ventnor Botanic Garden, as well as the rest of this fascinating island

Photo Credits: Ronald Saunders, Garry Knight, Editor5807, David Anstiss, Loz Pycock

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