Anyway, I suspect Shanklin Chine is one of those places that many Isle of Wight residents have never actually been to. My evidence for this claim is based on a survey of one, who was the plumber working at my Mum's house on the day of our trip.
"Where are you off to today?" he said.
"Shanklin Chine!" I cheered excitedly.
"Very nice!" he said
"Have you been?" I asked
"Nope" he replied.
For the benefit of the plumber, and anyone else who hasn't been, I can report back that it's worth a trip, with a couple of caveats.
Firstly, you need to be able to cope with quite a few steps. The friendly lady in The World's Smallest Ticket Booth did tell us exactly how many (I've since forgotten) but it was certainly enough that you need to be fairly fit and able.
Secondly, don't plan a whole day at Shanklin Chine. It took us under an hour, although you could pad it out with a cream tea or if you are one of those people that can spend 10 minutes sniffing an unusual flower.
We made the cavalier decision to override the ticket lady's advice and take the pushchair, which was perhaps unwise but it was an off-road one which was mostly being used to carry beach things rather than a child.
The Chine is effectively just a very pretty walkway with nice views and plants, but there are a few things to keep you occupied including some history about PLUTO (Pipeline Under The Ocean) and other local oddities which I would have spent more time reading about if my daughter wasn't pulling on my arm.
There were also some animals to gawp at and the tearooms looked idyllic.
There's also a clever ticketing arrangement where you can upgrade your ticket for something like 40p extra which means you can come back again later in the day and see the whole thing lit up. We declined, but I'd have coughed up the cash if we didn't have baths and Julia Donaldson books to read that evening.
The Chine emerges at the Luccombe Chine end of Shanklin beach, which I personally think is the nicer end. You exit through a turnstile which looks like it has been borrowed from a League Two football club and emerge near the pretty thatched pub (the Fisherman's Cottage).
So, not exactly a full day out, but a pretty little walk and some welcome shade on a warm day.
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