Built on a series of terraces on the lower slopes of St Boniface Down, the timeless village of Bonchurch is recognized as much for its natural beauty as it is for its historical connections.
Beginning at the foreshore the village is fronted by Monks Bay and Horseshoe Bay. The wide beach at Monks Bay provides a safe bathing area for children and exposes an abundance of fabulous rock pools to explore at low tide. Further to the west, Horseshoe Bay provides several amenities including a café / restaurant specializing in locally caught seafood, an ice cream stall, a pottery workshop, car parking and public toilets.
Climbing the footpath towards the village you will pass St Boniface Old Church. Rebuilt in 1070AD, the church was once visited by Charles I who attended a funeral here during his imprisonment on the Island at Carisbrooke Castle.
The heart of the village is the Pond, home to an abundance of wildlife including ducks and moorhens. Huge carp rise to the surface for scraps of bread thrown by visitors. You may even see a herring waiting patiently for is catch in the shallows.
Across the road is The Pond Café – a fabulous bistro style restaurant. The Pond Stores and Post Office next door sell a variety of groceries including alcoholic beverages, daily newspapers and magazines as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. All just a 5 minute walk from Carmel Cottage.
Walking on up the Shute, you will pass the New Church dating back to 1780. Following the road round is the Bonchurch Inn. The Pub serves an excellent Italian Menu as well as many traditional favourites and a good selection of Real Ales.
The top of the Shute leads to Upper Bonchurch with many footpaths leading to the Downs behind and the Landslip to the East. The view from Upper Bonchurch is spectacular, overlooking Lower Bonchurch and The English Channel. If you’re feeling energetic, climb St Boniface Downs, to the most elevated position on the Isle of Wight. At 830ft the entire island is at your feet with unbroken views of farmland and woodland across The Solent to the Mainland.