Shanklin Chine, Isle of Wight

What are Chines?

Chines are mentioned now and again in this website, tourist guides, direction signs, maps etc. So what are they exactly?

A Chine is a narrow gully or gorge normally with a stream that cuts through it and runs into the sea, this is particularly dramatic if the cliff face is made of clay or sand. These are common on The Island around the South East/South West coastline. Many of these Chines date back in history.

The word Chine comes from the Saxon word 'Cinan' which means a gap or yawn.

Some famous Chines:

Shanklin Chine, located in Shanklin Old Village/Shanklin Esplanade. This historic Chine or gorge dates from 1817 and hosts some rare plants and ferns. It was once used by Commando's for their training during WW2 and a small section of P.L.U.T.O. {Pipeline Under The Ocean} still exists today. Shanklin Chine is a recommended attraction to see and is in my attractions section of this website.

Blackgang Chine, Niton. The Blackgang Chine Theme Park is located near to where the chine used to be in Victorian times and before. This has been reclaimed by the sea due to devastating effects of Landslip. This area was some 300 metres further out to sea than it is today. There is however still some natural beauty and vastness caused by the effects of Landslip to appreciate up to the present day. The Blackgang Fantasy Park is also a recommended attraction to go and see especially if you have children.

Other Chines:

Shepherd's Chine is on the South West coast in between Chale and Brook.

Whale Chine is also on the South West coast in a similar place to Shepherd's Chine but nearer Chale.

Luccombe Chine is near Luccombe Bay on the South East coast and is accessed by steep steps from a rough coastal path, this Chine is also recommended to see but is quite difficult to reach this isolated area. In the picture below the steep steps can be seen leading to the beach whilst the Chine itself is towards the right of the picture.

Luccombe Chine

- All these last three Chines are pretty much in their 'natural' state and maintenance has been kept to a bare minimum.