The Ventnor Downs rise steeply above the Victorian seaside town of Ventnor. With the sparkling sea below and the Holm oak trees which have colonised the south-facing chalk slopes, there is almost a Mediterranean flavour to the landscape. On top of the downs you’ll find a complete change of landscape with large open areas of grass and heather. It is such a rewarding area to walk in as there is great variety and wonderful wildlife at different times of the year and fantastic views can be enjoyed from this lofty position.
Visitors can drive to the top of the downs where there are several car parks which lead onto areas of reasonably level footpaths. Or you can earn your supper by climbing the steep hills from the town of Ventnor. National Trust shares this wonderful place with ground-nesting birds like skylark and meadow pipit, so please do keep curious dogs under close control and stick to established paths in the designated and signed areas. This can make so much difference to the survival of these vulnerable birds!
You may be lucky to catch a glimpse of the herd of Old English goats which graze on Bonchurch Down and Coombe Bottom. They were introduced to the downs in 1993 to help control the spread of scrub and Holm oak trees which would otherwise rapidly re-colonise the flower-rich chalk grassland.
Don't miss out on:
• Spotting the Adonis blue butterflies on Bonchurch Down in late May and late August
• Admiring a wonderful show of bluebells on Luccombe Down in May
• Photographing the blooming heather in late summer on Luccombe Down
• Looking out for buzzards and ravens soaring over the steep slopes
There is such a varied collection of life in the Ventnor Downs to keep nature-enthusiasts and bird-watchers alike happy! Come and see all that there is to be offered.
- Tourism South East Award - Tourism South East Member 2013
|Open All Year|
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