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Steephill Cove

With only a handful of cottages, brightly coloured canopied deckchairs, beach huts, lobster pots and not a slot machine, car or burger in sight, you would be forgiven for thinking that you had stepped back in time. Some people liken it to the hidden coves in Cornwall, whilst others think of the palm fringed bays of the Mediterranean, welcome to Steephill Cove on the sunny south side of the Isle of Wight.

Arguably the prettiest place on the Island, situated just south of the Victorian seaside town of Ventnor, Steephill Cove is a traditional, unspoilt fishing cove with a safe, sandy beach, nestled between rocky cliffs and smugglers' coves.

This little bay has no road access, making it a unique noise and pollution free beach. Parking is five minutes away in the award winning Botanical Gardens, or the private car park(cheaper) above the Cove on the main road.

If you are looking for noisy arcades, smelly burgers, pubs and kiss-me-quick hats, don't come here. If, on the other hand you like rock-pooling, watching children building sandcastles or simply lazing in the sunshine watching the yachts sail by then Steephill Cove is for you. We do see the occasional porpoise or seal too if you keep your eyes peeled! 

For lunch, pop in for a hot crab pasty or mackerel ciabatta (and a glass of rosé or local cider) at The Crab Shed. There is also a café for lunches and sandwiches. Teas, coffee, cakes and goodies in the Cove Coffee Shop too (all generally open Easter-October).

Surrounding the Cove are the most fantastic coastal walks. From here to the Needles enjoy outstanding natural beauty with only a few old cottages along the way. To the north spend a morning strolling through the Botanical Gardens which contain rare plants from all over the world, surviving here in this microclimate, sheltered from the north winds by the protective down lands. To the east, Ventnor is a 20 minute walk along the cliffs. This town has everything that the Cove cannot provide, shopping, more good restaurants and some great pubs - the Spyglass Inn is on the Esplanade to name one. Further a field another 15 minutes away, Bonchurch is a tranquil place named after the "Boniface Down" which towers above its pretty stone houses, large central pond and quaint shoreline.

Steephill Cove
Orchard Bay
Freshwater Bay
15 minutes walk west along the cliff tops
Ventnor Bay