Navigational tips and beauty spots around the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight.
Ventnor – the Palm Springs of Wight
Bracing Ventnor in a postcard from the 1890s. Photo: Photochrom
You might think that Ventnor’s charm as a destination collapsed along with its pier in 1993 but you’d be wrong. The climate of that sheltered stretch of the island is unique – it was home to the Royal National Hospital for the treatment of tuberculosis and chest diseases from 1867-1969. Ventnor has attracted the great and the good for many years.
Famous former residents include Karl Marx, who stayed at 1 St Boniface Gardens in 1882-3 hoping for relief from the catarrh, bronchitis and pleurisy that eventually claimed him. Mahatma Gandhi came down from his London law school to stay at Shelton’s Vegetarian Hotel at Osborne House on Madeira Rd in 1890, and in 1938 Haile Selassie, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, spent a summer at Ventnor’s Beach Hotel, since demolished.