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Ventnor Botanic Garden
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Isle of Wight Day Trip from London
Ranked #4 of 20 things to do in Ventnor
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Set in the heart of the Ventnor Undercliff on the Isle of Wight, explore 22 acres of sub-tropical gardens with over 6000 species of plants, shrubs a champion trees. With it's magnificent location on the Island's Channel coast, the unique sub-tropical micro-climate ensures one of the longest growing in the whole of the UK. It's no wonder Ventnor Botanic Garden is such a popular destination for garden enthusiasts. Visit the Garden Hub a fascinating insight in to the world of running a Botanic Garden in the 21st Century, plus enjoy the Victorian Heritage Centre where you can find out about the sites use as a Victorian Hospital. Look out for Kids Discovery Days in the school holidays with hands on gardening and craft activities. Visitors can also enjoy daily tours of the secret garden tunnel and the underground mushroom fruiting chamber, so it's perfect for wet days as well as dry sunny ones. The stunning Festival of Flower Fireworks takes place each June, where hundreds of giant echium plants create a mesmerizing display for a month while in full flower. Later in August, Giant Amazonian waterlilies can be seen in the Tropical house, as featured on BBC2 in 2015. The garden takes it's growing very seriously and supplies lots of ultra-fresh produce to it's popular edulis restaurant where visitors can sample the delights of the season. Of particular note are the incredible salads where tasty, colourful micro-leaves are cut hourly from the green houses and served direct to plates for visitors to enjoy with other garden grown or Island produce like fresh Ventnor crab or Shorwell lamb. Look out for a number of special evening openings in the late spring and summer with garden and geographical themed offerings to tempt the taste buds of the most discerning diners. Craft beers are all the rage these days, so don't miss the chance to enjoy one of the Garden's two real ales over lunch or dinner. Botanic Ale, the Garden's signature golden beer, is brewed using it's own hops, grown on the cliff top facing the English Channel, the only commercial hop yard on the Isle of Wight. A new special edition Botanic Pale Ale has also been released for 2016 and is already proving popular with its 7.5% alcohol content and set to win prizes in the local craft beer world. Ventnor Botanic Garden also produces a range of delicious jams, chutneys and preserves which make great gifts to take home after a visit. More specialist produce like exotic shitake & oyster mushrooms are grown in the garden's underground mushroom fruiting chamber. These can be seen and sampled as part of daily guided tour of the facility. You can even take away dried mushrooms for cooking at home from the gift shop. The Garden also makes a fabulous pit stop at the end of a long drive, with the tranquil Plantation Room café available to all serving delightful home-made cakes and fair trade teas and barista coffee every day between 10am and 5pm. It's the perfect place to treat visiting friends and family any time of the year.
Worthing, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2013

What a beautiful place this is - wonderful gardens filled with many unusual plants from all over the world and also plenty of space for children to run about. There are plants to be bought, a pleasant café for lunch or tea and also a shop. Quite idyllic whatever the time of year. Be sure to make the effort and walk down to Steephill Cove, where there is also a very good café.

Visited October 2013
Thank Athena789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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862 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wonderful gardens, an unexpected delight.”
Reviewed 26 November 2013

Stunning gardens, beautiful on a sunny but cold November day and even better I imagine, on a warm day,
facilities limited when we visited but tea room open and staff smiley and helpful. We really enjoyed our visit. Recommended

Visited November 2013
Thank Hugh53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
108 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Tranquil afternoon”
Reviewed 25 October 2013

Visited these gardens (VBG) midweek and enjoyed a very pleasant stroll around the various designated areas; there was well placed seating allowing us to soak up the sun.

The Plantation Room Café is well worth a visit, with its covered veranda and sunny terrace; we sampled the organic loose leaf tea (considerable variety displayed in large kilner jars on the counter for you to choose from) served in a glass teapot and delicious white chocolate brownies. Homemade soup and a couple of hot dishes (lamb hotpot was one) were also available, but as we had made a dinner reservation for the evening we had to show some restraint.

If you should wish to visit the Gardens again within 7 days just retain your receipt and entry will be half price. (There has been considerable comment regarding the introduction of an entry fee, but we understand that since the council withdrew its funding the VBG has had to become a charity and it costs approximately £1,500 per day to remain open!)

As parking is included in the entry cost, we took advantage of this and walked down to Steephill Cove, a picturesque spot which can be accessed either by the lane adjacent to the cricket field or along the coastal path at the top of the Gardens near the play area.

Visited October 2013
Thank evyRomsey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Forest, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
111 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
Reviewed 21 October 2013

We spent several hours wandering round the botanical garden. It was obviously not the best time of year - October - to see the gardens in all their splendour. Most parts were lovely to stroll through but others - particularly the Hot House - could do with a bit of TLC. Being a charity, I felt that their budget was possibly limited and they could probably do with more staff (or volunteers) to carry out the vast amount of work that is necessary to keep the gardens up to scratch. We did manage to see a red squirrel, which was a real bonus. We would definitely visit again. The restaurant looked very nice, although we did not stay for any food or drink. The staff were all very friendly and informative.

Visited October 2013
Thank Janet C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Looe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“ventnor botanic garden”
Reviewed 20 October 2013

Some lovely parts and designs like fig tunnels and beautiful old trees. Needs a bit of a tidy in some places but still worth a visit.

Visited October 2013
Thank elaine s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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