Shanklin is a popular seaside resort and civil parish on the Isle of Wight, located on the east coast's Sandown Bay. The sandy beach, its Old Village and a wooded ravine, Shanklin Chine, are its main attractions. The Esplanade along the beach is occupied by hotels and restaurants for the most part, and is one of the most tourist-oriented parts of the town. The other is the Old Village, at the top of Shanklin Chine.
The main shopping centre consists of two roads, Regent Street and High Street, which comprises the largest retail area in the south of the Isle of Wight, significant for tourists but also as an amenity for residents.
Near Regent Street are the town's two main supermarkets, Somerfield and Lidl. There are also many local shops, including three newsagents, three bakeries, two arts and craft shops, several clothing and sports shops. The High Street also has shops, but is dominated by tourist shops and resturants.
Shanklin railway station is the terminus of the Island Line from Ryde. The railway used to continue south to Ventnor, but this section was closed in the 1960s.
Bus services to nearby towns and suburbs are run by Southern Vectis and Wightbus, on route 2, route 3, route 16, route 22 and route 23, principally from the bus stands at Somerfield. Destinations served include Newchurch, Newport, Ryde, Sandown, Ventnor and Winford. In the summer, an open top bus route called "The Sandown Bay Tour" is run, serving the main tourist areas of Shanklin and running to Sandown.
There are two theatres in Shanklin, Shanklin Theatre is just off the top end of the High Street, and The Portico Theatre is in Shanklin Old Village. In July and August 1819 the poet John Keats lodged at Eglantine Cottage in the resort's High Street, where he completed the first book of Lamia and began a drama, Otho the Great, with his friend Charles Armitage Brown.
In July 1868 the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow stayed at the Crab Inn in Shanklin's Old Village during his last visit to Europe and left a poem about it on a stone by the pub. It is not generally held to be amongst his best work.
Beaches and esplanade
Shanklin has two beaches; 'Small Hope Beach' and 'Hope Beach.' Small Hope Beach eventually meets Sandown Beach and has many beach huts available for hire, and a small cafe. Hope Beach stretches in the opposite direction. Above Hope Beach is the esplanade which boasts some traditional seaside attractions including an amusement arcade, a crazy golf course, and a children's play area, with slides, ball pools, bouncy castles, rigging, swings etc available to be hired for a childs birthday party. There are several seafront hotels, a cliff lift from the seafront to the top of the cliff, a putting course, several cafes and restaurants and pubs, and a large, clean beach. Shanklin used to have a pier, but this was destroyed in the Great Storm of 1987.
Further along the beach is the Fisherman's Cottage pub. This is at the
bottom of Shanklin Chine, from which the town takes its name (originally
onomatopaecally "Chynklyng Chine"). The Chine is open to the
public for a small fee and continues up to Rylstone Gardens in the Old
Village.. It contains a small section of the pipe of the "Operation
Pluto" pipeline which ran across the Isle of Wight and out from Shanklin
and another branch from Sandown to supply fuel to the D-Day beaches.