By accident I happened upon the Shanklin Chine (below), a beautiful gorge leading from the lower edges of the village out to the seafront via a tiny enchanted forest. Visitors can amble through this oasis of spectacular, fertile wilderness - featuring an imposing waterfall and more than 150 varieties of wild plants, as well as the infamous red squirrel...now all but extinct on mainland Britain. After an extremely pleasant stroll through the chine, I paused to examine the squawking avery of exotic birds before downing a divine cream tea - scones and cakes all homemade by the lovely chief cook and bottlewashing lady on the premises.
Finally surfacing back into civilisation...I felt the call of a restorative snifter and came upon this curious establishment (below) in Ventnor. Not afraid to fly the the old union flag with gay abandon, this pub positively revelled in Great Britain's halcyon days, displaying paraphernalia from those long-forgotten times when the men were real men and the women were glad about it. The locals gathered round, banging on about local issues the way local people do (...are YOU local?)...and a merry atmosphere pervaded the place on this beautiful sunny August bank holiday.