An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

Ventnor Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens boasts a large collection of rare and exotic plants and lies at the heart of Ventnor Undercliff, a remarkable microclimate on the south coast that averages around five degrees warmer than the rest of the UK. ‘Britain’s Hottest Garden’ talks of itself as an experiment to understand which plants are likely to thrive in the warmer UK of the future. Founded by Sir Harold Hillier it is the site of various national collections and some of the biggest specimens of Giant Amazonian Waterlilies in the world are grown in its large tropical house. The warmer climate has also attracted amazing wildlife such as wall lizards, slow worms and Iberian ants. A guided tour of a Victorian tunnel heralding from the days when the site was a National Hospital for Diseases of the Chest leads down to the sea. Check for more details here

Whilst you are on the Isle of Wight why not try:

Walk to the Isle of Wight’s highpoint on St Boniface Down

Enjoy a swim and crab pasty at Steephill Cove

The Needles and Tennyson Down circular walk

Watch an Isle of Wight sunset

Circular walk St Catherine’s Oratory

Look for the Milky Way

Spot a sea eagle

Go fossil hunting

Go rock pooling at Bembridge

Go star gazing

Ride The Needles chairlift

Other islands nearby:

Brownsea Island

Hayling Island

Portsea Island

Thorney Island

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