From the Esplanade and Steephill to Ventnor Downs, the trail can be visited in a leisurely day and will guide visitors through the town, where people are able to discover interesting buildings and structures and learn more about the history of the area.
The trail also takes in the Botanic Garden, the site of the National Hospital for Diseases of the Chest founded by Dr Arthur Hill Hassall (pictured left), and the Winter Gardens which opened in 1936 and remains a pioneering example of Art Deco architecture.
A new ‘Time Travel Ventnor’ leaflet and information boards at key locations in the town will help people navigate the nine heritage hotspots.
Ventnor’s transformation from a quiet hamlet to a bustling Victorian holiday destination only occurred in the mid-19th Century when the health benefits of its microclimate were recognised. Ventnor and the surrounding area has a rich and interesting history and a string of distinguished visitors and residents including Sir Winston Churchill; Edward Elgar; Mahatma Gandhi; Lord Macaulay; Karl Marx; Edmund Peel; Haile Selassie; Alfred Noyes and Algernon Swinburne.
Richard Downing, Chair of the Ventnor and Undercliff Heritage Partnership, has said:
“Ventnor is a near perfect example of a small Victorian town, with a history going back to the Bronze Age. We have a thriving Heritage Museum, and by putting boards at key locations we can share our heritage with visitors, school children and Island residents in an accessible way”.
David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, added:
“Ventnor has continued to thrive and, as a visitor destination, is currently enjoying something of a renaissance in popularity, not least of all because much of its Victorian architecture has remained unaltered.
“The new Time Travel Heritage Trail will bring to life the best of Ventnor’s rich history and help visitors get the most out of a visit to the town”.
Formed in May 2013, the Ventnor and Undercliff Heritage Partnership have already published the family activity I Spy Ventnor (http://ispyventnor.co.uk) and produced 2 heritage trail leaflets for St. Lawrence (http://ventnorheritagetrail.co.uk/stlawrence.html).
The new ‘Time Travel Heritage Trail’ has been funded by the East Wight Landscape Partnership, who in turn are funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. For more information, visit www.timetravelventnor.co.uk.