More About the IOW
The Beautiful Island
The Island is the largest in the English Channel but for six months of the year is the smallest
county in England. In the remote past the island was part of the English mainland. About 7,000
years ago the sea broke through the narrow strip of land which joined the western end of the
island to the rest of Great Britain.
The island is 23 miles long and 13 miles wide with a
population of c 126,000.
Shanklin stands 150 feet to 250 feet above sea level. Keats wrote of it ‘a thing of beauty and
joy forever’. The Chine is Shanklin’s main attraction and can be entered down Chine Hollow just
down from Pencil Cottage.
The word ‘Chine’ means chink or fissure and Shanklin Chine is about
180 feet wide by about 280 feet deep and has been created by water erosion from a spring near
the old church.
The Isle of Wight is also proud to be one of only two areas in Britain where the red squirrel
can still be found. They live in and around the village and we have set up a ‘squirrel run’ in
the lower garden so keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready.