The Crab Shed, Steephill Cove, Ventnor, Isle of Wight

You’ll find one of the best crab shacks in Britain hidden away in a ‘secret’ cove on the sunny southern shores of the Isle of Wight. Accessible only by foot with a sandy beach and rockpools that are ideal for crabbing, it’s a good jaunt for both foodies and families alike.

Steephill Cove on the Isle of Wight

Psst… This one’s a secret. Steephill Cove is where the Islanders go when they want to get away from it all. With a crab shack, a beach café and a taverna-style restaurant, it’s one of the few places in Britain where, on a summer’s day, when the sunlight glistens on the blue waters of the English Channel, you’ll feel like you’re holidaying on a Greek isle. Not to be missed.

The Foodie Travel Guide

  • Eat a delicious lunch
  • Go rock pooling
  • Relax in a deckchair
  • Walk and enjoy the view

Visit a Secret Cove

It’s worth the 15 minute walk down to Steephill Cove and, as the name implies, the steep climb back up again afterwards. The cove which is privately owned, is utterly charming with just a few houses (some of which are available as holiday rentals). It has everything you need – a few eateries serving delicious food and drink, deck chairs and umbrellas for hire, and a gift shop selling buckets and spades, homemade cakes, ice creams and retro sweets.

Eat a Delicious Seafood lunch

Sit down for a seafood lunch at The Boathouse restaurant (open May-September, booking essential), in the beach café or at our favourite, The Crab Shed. The Wheeler family has been landing crab and fishing here for over 500 years.

 The Boathouse Restaurant at Steephill Cove near Ventnor
 Glass of Rose and lobster pot Wheelers Crab Shack 

Tuck in to a Crab Pasty

The Crab Shed delivers the simplest food but it gives the greatest pleasure. Order a crab pasty with a glass of chilled rosé and eat it looking out to sea with the sand between your toes. Other favourites on the menu include fresh mackerel and lobster, all available weather-permitting. There are just a handful of tables (all outside), so it’s a good idea to arrive early before the day’s catch literally runs out. For dessert, buy an ice cream to enjoy on your walk back up.

 Restaurant signage at Wheelers Crab Shed at Steephill Cove
 Crab Pasty with crab motif at Wheelers Crab Shed at Steephill Cove  


Tips

  • Park in the car park at Ventnor Botanical Gardens and walk down enjoying wonderful views of the English Channel
  • Combine with a visit to the gardens which also host an annual Hop Festival
  • Buy fresh fish in Ventnor harbour or go out on a fishing trip
  • Enjoy beautiful walks all along the south coast towards the Needles

Cook’s Tip

Potted crab on toast makes a simple and delicious light supper.


WHERE TO STAY ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT

The Hambrough Ventnor Isle of Wight

The Hambrough

Ventnor, Isle of Wight

The Hambrough offers boutique rooms overlooking the sea, a short walk from Ventnor beach.

Rooms from £108 a night.

The George Hotel Yarmouth Isle of Wight

The George

Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

In the heart of Yarmouth, the George is an elegant 17th-century town house.

Rooms from £125 a night.

Hillside Ventnor

Hillside

Ventnor, Isle of Wight

Offering boutique rooms and a restaurant, Hillside has panoramic sea views with a Scandinavian feel.

Rooms from £156 a night.


DOGS

Fox terrier, Mr Hendricks, expert on dog friendly days out in Devon

A fantastic walk and day out for me but you must keep me on a lead and clean up after me.

Mr Hendricks


HOW TO FIND  STEEPHILL COVE

Steephill Rd, Genevra, Ventnor, Isle of Wight PO38 1UG