But the town also has a sunny beach and more than its share of sunshine and thought its piers were wrecked by a hurricane it has many of the seaside's traditional entertainment.
This little town is a firm favourite with the tourists and this is mainly because of its old village that has been lovingly cared for and is sheltered by Shanklin Down with Shanklin chine which is a large fissure in the cliffs that is about 320ft deep and 190 feet wide and was carved ut by a stream that cascades into a pool below.
The name Shanklin derives from the Chine which the Saxons called Scen-hlinc which means 'cup in the rising ground' and it was known to the Romans and the manor of Shanklin was listed in the Domesday Book as being in the possession of Fitz-Azor.
A huge tank was built here during the Second World War as part of the PLUTO (Pipeline Under The Ocean) scheme for pumping fuel across the English Channel to France to keep the invading forces supplied, and details of this can be seen at the Heritage Centre at thet op of the Chine.
At the head of the Chine is the Old Village a picturesque group of thatched cottages, shops and hotels and there is a grassy strip on the duff top that is known as Keats Green after who it was named when the poet stayed here in Eglantine Cottage in the High Street. The cottage though has now been turned into a hotel.
Keats it is said wrote many poems here on the island and these included Endymion which begins
'A thing of beauty is a joy
The village is also a good starting point for walkers at any time of year and a favourite is across the Worsley Trail to Wroxall or along the coastal path to Luccombe which lies as its Saxon name implies, in a valley. Luccombe chine runs down the cliff face to the shore with a flight of 200 steps and the footpath goes through some spectacular landscape
The old church is in a clump of ash trees sheltered by the Down and most of its ancient fabric has long gone though it still has a few treasures like a 16th century chests that is carved with the name of Thomas Silkstead, who was Cathedral Prior at Winchester, and the the date 1512.