We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Prehistoric Ramble”
Review of Bonchurch Landslip

Bonchurch Landslip
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Bonchurch
Attraction details
Reviewed August 27, 2013

My partner and I happened across this place whilst driving between Shanklin and Ventnor. I lived on the Island for many years but never knew about it - what a delightful find!

We were only on the Island for a couple of days and time was limited, so we couldn't explore as much as we would have liked and to be honest, we were unprepared for a long trek along what we later discovered was described as an activity for "Experienced Walkers". So, unsuitably armed with a pair of flat shoes each and a disturbing lack of a flask of tea, we descended into the Devils Chimney.

What was exceptionally refreshing whilst exploring this small chunk of Jurassic Park was the apparent lack of the sanitised "'elf & safety" measures too often present in more touristy areas. The paths had been reasonably maintained albeit for the odd missing plank on the walkways but it really is the old fashioned "Enter at your own risk" type of environment that people of my age remember from our childhood (and we are still here to recall it). Verdant lush ferns mix with bee ridden buddleias and fallen branches while we deviated along the ad hoc lanes created by adventurous meanderthals.

You can see where the fossil hunters had been furtively prospecting in the rocks and I can imagine that all sorts of prehistoric artifacts have been found in the past (we did spot a stubborn Ammonite poking out of a rock face).

After chatting to the shy, well hidden Red Squirrels, we sat on the Wishing Rock and rested our weary calves. I am sure that my partner had wished for a bucket of tea because as we wended our way back to the car park, we found the oh so welcome and perfectly placed Smugglers Haven Tea Rooms.

We plan to take a whole day exploring this incredibly beautiful area on our next visit to the Island. This time armed with proper walking shoes. And tea.

3  Thank BlindMouseGB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (36)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

32 - 36 of 36 reviews

Reviewed August 11, 2013

Beautiful, enchanting scenery with coves and grottos galore,leads down to the coastal path. I recommend following this to explore the rugged beaches below, a beautiful area. The Devils Chimney is very spooky as it becomes dark, we went down as the sun was setting. It is a very narrow space with steep, slippery steps so not recommended for toddlers or anyone with mobility issues.

1  Thank supermouse27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

I absolutely love this walk. I usually start at Ventnor and walk all the way through to Shanklin. It takes about 1hour 15 mins walking at a reasonable pace.Wear sensible shoes as it is very hilly and uneven in places. The views along the way are spectacular.
The cafe at the top of the Devils Chimney is a lovely place to stop mid way for tea and cakes. I think it is called the Smugglers Haven. The gardens attached to the cafe have beautiful views across the sea.
Continue walking through Luccombe and you will find a local resident selling home made jams and marmalades that are just gorgeous. The path eventually brings you out close to Rylstone Gardens in Shanklin.

4  Thank Lavender1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

I read about this place while looking for things to do. Then searched it on Google. There was were some pictures and videos of the place. This is simply a landslip.

The nearest landmark is "Smugglers' Haven Cafe and park, Leeson Road, Upper
Bonchurch, Ventnor, Isle of Wight."

I had taken the Number 3 bus form Sandown and got off at "Bonchurch, adj Bonchurch Car Park"

The descend was amazing. And I would advise you to choose a nice sunny day to visit this place. There are some warning signs about some part of the route being closed. Though we did pass through the Devil's Chimney and returned back.

The space is small and you would need to remove your backpack to pass though it.

It was a nice place, not very popular, thought there was an occasional passer by.

7  Thank annomalies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2012

For hundreds of years artists, writers and poets have been fascinated by 'The Landslip', a dramatic landscape hidden away on the edge of the sea. It is situated in the Undercliff, about five miles of soft ground that has been falling from the towering sandstone cliff since the last Ice Age.
Charles Dickens stayed in a villa in the beautiful village of Bonchurch, near Ventnor, that lies at the western end of The Landslip, and wrote part of 'David Copperfield' there. He also took long walks up the Downs that rise above the coast to nearly nine hundred feet. Several cliff staircases were created many years ago, the most famous being 'The Devil's Chimney'.

The coastal footpath takes you on a fairly flat walk through The Landslip to Shanklin Old Village, several miles of woodland and fine coastal views over Sandown Bay to the chalk headland of Culver Cliff. The path is uneven and can be muddy and slippery in places, so stout shoes are advised.

Or, if you are feeling energetic and have children who love climbing, you could explore the Landslip. For this you will need walking boots. Since the last big landslip some fifteen years ago a series of sturdy wooden staircases have been built down the cliff-side to connect The Devil's Chimney with the coastal path. On reaching the top of the Chimney you can look out from the Parapet Walk onto the tree canopy or gaze down over the sheer rock wall into the wooded Landslip. The Victorians loved exploring The Fairy Glade and rubbed the rock known as 'The Wishing Seat' smooth.

This landscape is not static, however. The huge landslide of the late nineties made it look like an earthquake zone, the land criss-crossed with deep fissures ressembling stepping stones. The coastal path had to be re-routed, a huge earthbank surmounted and wooden stairways constructed up the now almost vertical cliff-side. A stand of mature beech trees where I used to sit just slid down to the shore.

The Landslip is open to everyone and there is no charge. In summer there is a kiosk selling refreshments on the coastal path at Luccombe and above The Chimney is the Smugglers Haven Cafe and toilets. Or you can walk down the hill from Luccombe to Rylstone Gardens, a delightful public park in Shanklin's Old Village where there's a cafe and public toilets. From the Old Village you can catch a bus back to Upper Bonchurch or Ventnor.

13  Thank Maggie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Bonchurch Landslip also viewed

Shanklin, Isle of Wight

Been to Bonchurch Landslip? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing