The seaside resort of VENTNOR and its two village suburbs of Bonchurch and St Lawrence sit at the foot of St Boniface Down, the island's highest point at 787ft. The Down periodically disintegrates into landslides, creating the jumbled terraces known locally as the Undercliff, whose sheltered, south-facing aspect, mild winter temperatures and thick carpet of undergrowth have contributed to the former fishing village becoming a fashionable health spa. Thanks to these unique factors, the town possesses rather more character than the island's other resorts, its Gothic Revival buildings clinging dizzily to zigzagging bends.
The floral terraces of the Cascade curve down to the slender Esplanade and narrow beach, where former boat-builders' cottages now provide more recreational services. From the Esplanade, it's a pleasant mile-long stroll to Ventnor's Botanical Gardens.