Ventnor has been a famed healing destination since Victorian times, when the queen’s physician, Sir James Clark, declared its clean, coastal air and mild climate had therapeutic benefits: “nothing along the south coast will bear comparison with it”, he enthused. Wealthy Victorians flooded to the area to enjoy its mild winters, and dubbed Ventnor ‘the English Mediterranean’, and ‘Mayfair-by-the-sea’ thanks to its popularity amongst well-heeled Londoners. Initially drawn to the island for its recuperative qualities, many 19th Century visitors were equally charmed by its natural beauty, with writer Charles Dickens describing nearby Bonchurch as “the prettiest place I ever saw in my life”.
Celebrating Ventnor’s historical reputation as a health resort, and the uplifting environment of the Isle of Wight’s stunning south coast, we are excited to launch our new Royal Wellbeing Experiences. You can expect all the luxurious comfort of a mini-break at The Royal, enhanced by a range of relaxing and restorative wellbeing experiences, including mindfulness classes, yoga, meditation, and sound baths.
Studies have found that being outside in a natural environment can improve memory and attention span, so leave your stresses behind and give your mind - as well as your body - a break whilst in Ventnor. Wander down to the beach and enjoy a rejuvenating stroll or gentle jog along the seafront, filling your lungs with fresh, coastal air, and letting nature’s soundtrack of waves on the shingle shore soothe any mental angst. Beachcombing may be an enjoyable way to make your walk more mindful, and give you some free souvenirs to take home that will remind you of your relaxing weekend on the Isle of Wight. Nearby Ventnor Botanic Garden makes an equally uplifting destination to enjoy locally, with its twenty-two acres of rare and subtropical plants and trees. Ecotherapy (spending time in nature) has been shown to benefit mental health conditions, such as anxiety, mild depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). As well as walking through this beautiful green space, admiring its stunning flora and fauna, you might even spot one of Ventnor’s famous wall lizards basking in the sunshine.
With an average 1888 hours of sunshine per year, the Isle of Wight is one of the sunniest places in the UK, and Ventnor in particular enjoys an exceptionally temperate microclimate, thanks to its sheltered position beneath the 800ft high chalky cliffs of St Boniface Down. Even during the winter months, it’s often mild enough to sit outside on The Royal’s sun-kissed Geranium Terrace and soak up some essential vitamin D, whilst you enjoy a barista-made coffee or indulge in our legendary Afternoon Tea. Whilst it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays, just 15 minutes of sunlight two or three times weekly will give you enough vitamin D to promote calcium absorption, which directly improves bone health, and strengthen your immune system. Sunshine also elevates our mood by boosting serotonin (the happiness hormone) levels, and helps us sleep better by balancing circadian rhythms.
Queen Victoria’s doctor, James Clark, may not have been able to identify the scientific benefits of Ventnor’s natural assets, but he was absolutely right that the area has great healing potential! Book onto one of our new Royal Wellbeing experiences to give your mind and body a boost.