Queen Victoria’s Private Garden Terrace Revealed

A garden terrace where Queen Victoria sat and painted watercolours at Osborne, her Isle of Wight home, will open to the public for the very first time after a major conservation project, English Heritage announced today (Tuesday 27 June).

The terrace’s panoramic views across the Solent – compared by Prince Albert to the Bay of Naples – can now be enjoyed by the public for the first time as they would have been by the royal couple over 150 years ago. In a project worth over £600,000, the terrace’s centrepiece Andromeda fountain, bought by Queen Victoria during the Great Exhibition in 1851, has been returned to working order and the elaborate Shell Alcove, decorated with thousands of seashells from the beach below, has been painstakingly restored to its former aqua blue and vivid red glory. The public will also be able to experience the terrace’s Victorian planting scheme and the famous royal myrtle plant, given to Victoria by Prince Albert’s grandmother, up-close. The myrtle, traditionally included in royal wedding bouquets since the marriage of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, has been used by HRH Queen Elizabeth II and more recently by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

English Heritage has also reinstated the classic ‘Osborne yellow’, inspired by the warm Italian sun, to the terrace walls which once again match the golden hue of the rest of the house and restore Victoria and Albert’s original vision.

Samantha Stones, English Heritage’s Properties Curator at Osborne, said: “Queen Victoria loved to be outside in the fresh sea air and the terrace was a place of peace. Opening up this previously closed space to visitors gives them another glimpse into the private lives of the royal couple. Our conservation project now reinstates Albert’s original vision of Osborne.

“Matching the yellow of the walls, restoring the beautifully decorated shell alcove with its aqua blue canopy, and seeing the Andromeda fountain with her surrounding sea monsters in working order has truly brought the terrace back to life.”

The Lower Terrace was designed by Prince Albert as a key part of his overall vision for the royal couple’s family home away from the hustle and bustle of court life. Dubbed ‘Albert the Creator’ by Victoria, her husband was very much at the forefront of creating their new residence, enlisting the help of his ‘Adviser in Art’ Ludwig Gruner to create the magnificent Italianate terracing as the crowning glory of their new house.

The Garden Terrace at Osborne will open to the public on Wednesday 28 Jun 

With thanks to the Friends of Osborne and an individual donor for their most generous support of this conservation project.

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For further information or images please contact:

Emma Gough, National PR Assistant at emma.gough@english-heritage.org.uk or call 020 7973 3390

Notes to editors:

Queen Victoria’s Journals

Queen Victoria often wrote about the terrace in her journals:

  • (Of the Shell Alcove) – Tuesday 3rd August 1852: There is a most charming tame magpie at Barton, which is most amusing, & has been here the last few mornings, pecking at our shoes & boots, running after us, & taking away all the shells from the workmen, who are ornamenting the Alcove below. It is most mischievous having gone into several people’s rooms & carried things away, proving itself quite a “Gazza Ladra”.

RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 3 August 1852 (Princess Beatrice’s copies)

  • Wednesday 5th December 1849: It cleared sufficiently in the afternoon, for us to take a walk, & watch the proceedings on the lower terrace, which is what is truly called “a great job”

RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 5 December 1849 (Princess Beatrice’s copies)

  • Sunday 2nd June 1850: We walked about on our 2 Terraces, & sat in the alcove, beyond the clock tower. We both said how we daily rejoiced in the purchase of this dear place, & what we had laid out upon it, for it certainly is quite perfection for us & our Children & we enjoy it more & more. This evening, after our little “tête à tête” dinner, we went out for a little on the Terrace, & nothing could have been more enchanting. — the calm sea stretched out before us, & innumerable birds singing, the only sounds to interrupt the quiet of the place.

RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 2 June 1850 (Princess Beatrice’s copies)

 Wednesday 30th July 1851: The outer wall of the terrace round the foundations of which ruins a walk, is surrounded by a bed of flowers, the greater part of which are trained up the wall & I cannot describe the brilliancy of the effect.

RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 30 July 1851 (Princess Beatrice’s copies) 

  • Sunday 17th July 1853: Everything in great beauty. The roses out in profusion on the lower Terraces. The new fountain there is beautiful. —

RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 17 July 1853 (Princess Beatrice’s copies)

  • Sunday 23rd July 1854: We afterwards spent the evening on the Lower Terrace, walking & sitting in the Alcove, the air perfumed with the smell of honey suckle, jasmin, roses, magnolias, &c. —

RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 23 July 1854 (Princess Beatrice’s copies)

  • Sunday 2nd August 1857: Sitting in the lower Alcove from 5 to 7, reading & writing. Such a glorious day & evening; the deepest blue sky & sea, the Terrace brilliant with every colour of flower, the air quite perfumed, — so enjoyable.

RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 2 August 1857 (Princess Beatrice’s copies)

Osborne is the royal family home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on the Isle of Wight. Designed by Prince Albert, it reflects the couple’s passions, tastes and style. Ornate furnishings and artefacts from The Royal Collection fill rooms and corridors where Victoria entertained heads of state, inventors, princess and princesses and ruled the vast British Empire.  “It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot” said Queen Victoria of Osborne and the stunning views across the Solent reminded Prince Albert of the Bay of Naples. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/osborne/

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites – from world famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to Cold War bunkers. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.

www.english-heritage.org.uk

Registered charity no. 1140351

 

The Isle of Wight is dancing to a different beat this summer

The Isle of Wight Festival takes place from June 8 to 11 this year at Seaclose Park, Newport, on the Isle of Wight.  And, due to popular demand, 2017 sees the return of Day Tickets in addition to Weekend Tickets.

2017 will be the 16th Isle of Wight Festival since it was successfully re-launched in 2002 to become one of the most popular weekends of the summer, with a proud heritage of show-stopping headliners such as Foo Fighters, The Rolling Stones, The Killers, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Blur and Fleetwood Mac.

A full range of ticket, travel and camping/accommodation options are available for The Isle of Wight Festival from www.isleofwightfestival.com.  Pricing options include: Weekend with / without Camping – £195; Day Ticket: Friday – £60 / Saturday and Sunday – £80; Student – £175; Teen – £145; Children Under 12: Free; Disabled Access – must be purchased via the Ticketmaster Special Access Number 0800 998 440.

A variety of travel options including ferry, speed boats, river crossing, Big Green Coach Company and National Rail, and details can be found here:  https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/isle-of-wight-festival-2017-p904681

The Isle of Wight quite rightly has a reputation for being “Music Isle”.  Other upcoming events in 2017 include:

Classic Isle, July 8/9

Classic Isle is back in 2017 with a new venue, a new format and renewed vigour for what promises to be a festival to remember.  Operating from Barton Manor in Whippingham the venue offers a new and intimate setting in the expansive grounds, with a secluded lake as a centerpiece, and one of England’s finest Jacobean Mansions as the backdrop to a Classical Music Festival which prides itself on providing World Class Musicians and local talented prodigies performing on a single stage.  Lawn tickets have remained at a £35 a head for this year which allows guests to bring a hamper and rug or chair and sit on the lawn nestled directly in front of the stage.  VIP tickets are also available.

https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/classic-isle-p1388911

Rhythmtree Festival, July 14 to 16

Rhythmtree Festival will be returning to Three Gates Farm from July 14 to 16.  The Isle of Wight’s most original, fun-filled, family friendly festival returns to Calbourne for its 8th consecutive year. With a reputation for bringing together a diverse mix of high quality music and family entertainment, Rhythmtree Festival 2017 will showcase a range of music by musicians from the Island, UK and beyond.  This safe, friendly, family oriented festival is held in beautiful, tree surrounded farmland, close to the West Wight Heritage Coast and free camping and parking are included in the weekend ticket price.  Adult day ticket costs from £27.50, adult weekend tickets cost £80.

https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/rhythmtree-festival-2017-p1426111

V-Dub Island, August 11 to 13

A family-friendly camping event, the annual V-Dub Island festival is part music and part meeting place for VW enthusiasts.   There are three stages and over 80 bands and DJs – and the chance to take part in a range of activities, including a Drive-Out on Saturday where festival-goers will be guided through the heart of the beautiful ‘Back of the Wight’ and have the opportunity to take part in the popular ‘Run to the Surf’ competition at Compton Bay, one of the Island’s award-winning beaches.    And there’s plenty to do for the kids too with Little Dubbers at V-Dub 2017.  A main stage will showcase acts and entertainment, games, competitions, interactive classes, performances and even an opportunity for them to take to the stage as part of a mini open mic session.  A Family Weekend ticket for 2 adults and 2 children costs £80 and includes camping on site at South Fairlee Farm, Newport.

https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/vdub-island-2017-p1371361

 Jack up the 80s, August 12/13

International-selling pop group S Club have been announced as the latest act to join the Jack Up The 80s party, taking place on August 12 and 13.  Everyone knows “there ain’t no party like an S Club party”, so who better to capture the party spirit of the 80s than one of the UK’s best-loved pop acts?  Original members Jo, Bradley and Tina will be performing all their hits, including the Number 1’s Bring It All Back, Never Had A Dream Come True, Don’t Stop Movin’ and Have You Ever, as well as Reach and S Club Party on Sunday August 13.  Known worldwide for their feel-good music and party vibes, S Club have recorded over 10 million album sales and won 2 BRIT Awards and will now take to the stage at Smallbrook Stadium, treating Jack Up The 80s fans to what is expected to be just one of the many highlight performances of the weekend.  Day tickets will cost £38, weekend tickets £50.

https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/jack-up-the-80s-p988491

Eklectica @ Robin Hill, September 9/10

Robin Hill Country Park will host a new, boutique music festival – Eklectica – on September 9 and 10 this year.  Described as a festival with a twist, Eklectica is a combination of acts that promise to be diverse, quirky and creative – headlined by internationally renowned, show stopping tribute bands – all set within the woodland setting of Robin Hill.  The Amphitheatre boasts the idea of turning quirky into an art form by showcasing all kinds of entertainment.  From circus to poetry, comedy to fine art, theatre to burlesque, it includes a line-up including The Victorian Circus Duo, Professor Elemental, The Mime Guys, Vintage Comedy Duo, The FB Pocket Orchestra, Dave Sharp’s Speed Painting and The Ventnor Darlings.  Adult day tickets costs £35, or £30 for those aged 10 to 17, £20 for children (5-9), infants (4 and under) are free.

https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/eklectica-robin-hill-p1409381

For further tourist information, and accommodation details, visit https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

-ENDS-

For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson,  Tel: 07766 705672, Email: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to Editors

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwight.org

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

The 2017 Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea (June 23 to July 9)

Some of the UK’s top bloggers from from britmums.com, london-unattached.com, bestbitsworldwide.com and vickyflipfloptravels.com, joined Director of Discover Ferries Bill Gibbons and CEO of Visit Isle of Wight David Thornton in the new Signature Lounge on board Red Osprey to celebrate National Ferry Fortnight (6-20 May) and launch the countdown to the Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea today (Friday 12 May).

The Bloggers were on the Island to learn about what’s great for families this year, and experience the Solent crossing during National Ferry Fortnight, a country-wide promotion taking place this month. The Bloggers were briefed about the Island’s main themes and  campaigns and introduced to new festivals taking place this summer, including Isle of Wight Pride (15th July), and the Isle of Wight Festival of Running (2nd to 4th June).

The Isle of Wight’s annual Festival of the Sea this year sets sail on June 23, for a voyage that will last until July 9, and with the range of nautical festivities – including a pirate festival on golden sands, delicious seafood fresh off the boat, and spectacular yachting extravaganzas featuring thousands of boats.

Now in its 5th year, the Festival of the Sea was created by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) to celebrate the Island’s maritime history, heritage and holiday appeal.

Highlights for 2017 include:

Pirate Plunder at Blackgang Chine

24th and 25th June & 1st & 2nd July

They will be hoisting the Jolly Roger to give young scallywags the chance to join a Scurvy Crew at Blackgang Chine, where there will be opportunities to learn how to sword fight like a true Blackgang Buccaneer and take part in the smugglers’ next treasure hunt.

Challenge the Wight

24th June

A strenuous 26.5-mile hike/run across the Isle of Wight at night.  It’s a chance to walk from the Needles Landmark Attraction to Yaverland to raise money for Challenge & Adventure a local charity that helps disadvantaged and challenging young people on the Isle of Wight.  A ‘lite’ route (12 miles) or kids route (4 miles) is also available.

Round the Island Race in association with Cloudy Bay New Zealand

1st July

This most famous of annual yacht races, and the largest of its kind in the world, regularly attracts entries exceeding 1,500 yachts and upwards of 12,000 sailors racing the 50 nautical miles westabout course around the Isle of Wight, starting and finishing in Cowes.

Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra present “Carnival at Sea”

1st July

A ‘Carnival at Sea’ by the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra at Medina Theatre, from 7:15pm.  This family friendly concert will celebrate the Islands strong links with the sea – with a programme that includes Rule Britannia and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Mardi Gras Parade in Ryde

1st July

A day-long carnival event by the sea.  Take advantage of a free day of fun and celebration with a parade and festival featuring over 1000 children and young people in fabulous carnival costumes.

Shipwreck Isle 2017, Appley Beach, Ryde

2nd July

Ahoy there!  Join in a thrilling pirate festival set on a spectacular beach, on an enchanted isle.  Expect live pirate music, cannon and firearms demonstrations, stunt action sword fights, young pirate’s entertainment and much, much more skullduggery.

Panerai British Classic Week 2017

6th – 13th July

The Classic Week, now in its 11th year takes place in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight.  Since 2010, it is the only UK regatta forming part of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge series, the leading international circuit for classic and vintage yachts.  Social events included as part of the week include an Open Yachts Pontoon Party on the July 9; a Themed Crew Party – “Pirates of Penzance”- on July 10; a prize giving Gala Dinner on the July 12 and the famous Parade of Sail past the Royal Yacht Squadron on the final day, July 13.

The Edinburgh Cup and South Coast Championship, Cowes

9th – 15th July

A Regatta for the International Dragon fleet.  Designed in 1929, the International Dragon combines classic elegance with grand prix performance, the world’s greatest sailing venues and some of the best sailors from around the globe.  One of the Dragon fleet’s most prestigious trophies is the Edinburgh Cup which was presented to the class in 1949 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and is awarded annually to the winner of the International Dragon British Open Championship.

For full details of these and other Festival of the Sea events, visit https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/events/festival-of-the-sea.

Festival of the Sea leaflets will be available from Island tourist information points and ferry terminals from Monday 22nd May.

For further tourist information, and accommodation details, visit https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

-ENDS-

For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson

Tel: 07766 705672

Email: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to Editors

The attached image shows David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight (far right) with bloggers from london-unattached.com, britmums.com, bestbitsworldwide.com and vickyflipfloptravels.com, joined by Bill Gibbons (third right) from National Ferry Fortnight at the launch of the Festival of the Sea brochure.  The image was taken in the new Signature Lounge on board Red Funnel’s vessel, Red Falcon.

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwight.org

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

The nations oldest white tiger, ‘Zena’, celebrates her 21st birthday at the Isle of Wight Zoo

The Isle of Wight Zoo will be hosting a weekend of celebrations in an exciting two day event over the weekend of Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st May, to help celebrate the 21st birthday of one of its much loved big cats, ‘Zena’, the white tiger. Zena is the oldest white tiger in the UK and believed to be one of the oldest in Europe.

Having been rejected at birth by her mother at Longleat Safari Park, Zena arrived at the zoo at the tender age of 3 weeks in early summer 1996. The founder’s daughter and now CEO, Charlotte Corney, soon became surrogate mum to the orphaned cub which she lovingly hand-raised and would go swimming within the sea around Sandown Bay.

During her adolescence Zena quickly found her way into the hearts and minds of the zoo team and its extended family of Island residents and mainland visitors. In 2007-8 Zena was transported into living rooms all over the world thanks to her starring role in ITV’s award-winning series ‘Tiger Island’ which was based at the Isle of Wight Zoo.

Reflecting on the past 21yrs Charlotte fondly recall’s “It seems like a mere moment ago that Zena was a small, white bouncing bundle of a tiger. She is the chalk to her older sisters’ cheese, she’s the ‘tom boy’ always delighting in an opportunity to get dirty or show her mischievous side. It’s been the greatest gift to have been her human mum and watch her grow up into a fine, if not ‘refined’, lady! She has been, and continues to be, a central character even in her mature years and I have no doubt that she has sparked many a persons’ desire to value more the wonderfully diverse wildlife which we share our world with. I am proud of her for that and, well, for just being utterly, uniquely, ‘Zena’. ”

Zena is a resilient individual having overcome the removal of her right eye after battling the effects of glaucoma followed by cataract surgery in her remaining eye – but even these challenges have failed to diminish her zest for life and Zena readily adapted to her reduced vision. She also has a form of  inflammatory bowel disease which requires specialist management by her carers, every day she devours freshly minced chicken laced with probiotics to keep her healthy.

White tigers are not albinos but rather naturally occurring ‘leusictic’ forms of the ordinary orange colour form. The last known wild white tiger was shot in 1958 in Central India.

In the wild a tiger’s maximum life span would rarely span past 10-15 yrs so approaching her 21st birthday, Zena is certainly a grand old lady, yet she still retains her looks, charm and charisma.

Visitors planning to enjoy the weekend’s events will be able to take advantage of a special celebratory 2 for 1 entry voucher available to download from the zoo’s website from today 17th May. http://www.isleofwightzoo.com

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Media enquiries: Karen-Jane Dudley, Marketing & Events Officer, Isle of Wight Zoo
marketing@isleofwightzoo.com  01983 403883 http://www.isleofwightzoo.com
Notes to editors:

The Isle of Wight Zoo is a charity (‘The Wildheart Trust’) which aims to promote the survival of endangered species through first class educational and recreational experiences, exemplary animal management, conservation and research. The Zoo is best known for providing a lifelong home for rescued big cats which come to the Zoo at different stages of their lives and from a variety of backgrounds. The Isle of Wight Zoo is currently home to 4 tigers, 3 lions and 1 jaguar.

 

 

Magicians and musicians bring family fun to The Needles this half term

Family fun comes to The Needles this half-term with visits from magicians, musicians, stilt walkers and even more.

The Isle of Wight’s landmark attraction is hosting eight days of entertainment to keep the kids happy across the bank holiday weekend and beyond.

There will be free entertainment for visitors this month as street dance and Bollywood-style dance shows mix with balloon modellers and surprise ‘meet and greet’ character.

There’s also music from local reggae legend Derek Sandy and performances by top magicians David Randini, Andy The Illusionist and Foxy the Funky Magic Genie.

Marino Zanti, general manager at The Needles Landmark Attraction, said:

“We’re planning half-term so that it’s genuine fun for all the family.

“Our attractions will be open all week, including the chairlift taking visitors from the Alum Bay cliff-tops to the beach below.

“We’re also pleased to be welcoming Wight Crystal Water and people from Taste of the Wight who will be offering free tastings of locally-sourced produce on Tuesday, May 30.”

Half-term family fun at The Needles takes place from Saturday, May 27 to Saturday, June 3.

Supersaver tickets are available online at The Needles’ website giving a 25% discount on all rides and attractions.

For more information about The Needles Landmark Attraction visit the website: www.theneedles.co.uk, follow on Twitter @VisitTheNeedles or at facebook.com/visittheneedles

For more half-term events and activities on the Isle of Wight this May, go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/what-on/events

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For further information, please contact Paul Baker on 0151 304 7017.

About The Needles Landmark Attraction

The Needles Landmark Attraction gives visitors access to wonderful views of The Needles, the Isle of Wight’s world famous chalk stacks.

Take an unforgettable chairlift ride from the cliff-tops to the multi-coloured sands of Alum Bay, where you can take a pleasure boat out to The Needles.

The Needles offers a range of attractions including a Sand Shop where visitors can make their own souvenir using the multi-coloured sands from Alum Bay, glassmaking at Alum Bay Glass, the Sweet Manufactory, 4D Cinema, Jurassic Golf, plus a range of children’s rides and amusements.

Refreshments are available at the 250-seat self-service Marconi’s Restaurant and fully-licenced Marconi’s Tea Rooms. These newly-refurbished eateries are named after the pioneering inventor who sent the very first wireless transmission from his base at Alum Bay.

Cirque De La Quirk announces their line up at the Isle of Wight Festival 2017

Cirque De La Quirk returns to the Isle of Wight Festival 2017 with a new and exciting festival experience including headline performances from Stanton WarriorsKrafty Kuts, Dub Pistols and Sam and The Womp. Festival goers will have the chance to step into a worry free and nonsensical world with Previous year’s have including live body painting, dance offs and sock wrestling and 2017 promising to being bigger and better.

This year’s festival takes place 8th-11th June at Seaclose Park, headlined by Rod Stewart, Arcade Fire, David Guetta and Run DMC as well as performances from Bastille, Rag’n’Bone Man and The Kooks.

Cirque De La Quirk explain this year’s out of this world theme:

The whirlwind of Cirque de la Quirk will be back this year with a vengeance!!! Picking up where they left last year, the Cirque will be amping up the immersive festival experience. 

Their world will plunge you into a community embracing style, individuality and rebellion. In this territory there are two factions. Will you be the eccentric aristocrat or the rowdy rebels? 

Two Factions:– 

The Nostalgias; steeped in etiquette and dressed to the nines, the closest thing to aristocracy that anyone could hope for. They enjoy their own company but due to their impulsiveness, their rash and emotive nature they can even rub each other up the wrong way, let alone the other side. 

The Mechanicals are a very different animal. Where the Nostalgias shut themselves away with sofas and mustaches, the Mechanicals are curious schemers who reside in the wooded area. They were once the scientists, mathematicians and geniuses of this world but their time in the wasteland and endless need to solve everything that has gone wrong has had an effect. Their yearning for answers has shifted and their thirst for knowledge has been replaced by a thirst for anarchy. 

The life loving population will try to make you sway from one to the other and when chosen you can pit your wits against others in a feast of games, puzzles and activities throughout the weekend. Fun for all ages, the music and performers will allow you the chance to try your hand at being a circus master or sock wrestling champion – put to the soundtrack of, squelchy beats with a bit of kick every evening!!

Which side will you choose – you’ll have to test your mettle to find out!!

Dulcie MacKechnie

Junior PR Account Executive

First Floor

1-11 Carteret Street

London
SW1H 9DJ

Tel | 0203 327 7170

Mob | 07951657111

Email | dulcie.mackechnie@dawbell.com

 

New Web content to boost Cowes tourism

Visit Isle of Wight and Destination Cowes have collaborated to replace the single “Cowes” page on the official tourist boards top ranking site (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) with a whole new collection of detailed pages designed to showcase Cowes and East Cowes and everything it has to offer.

At the same time, the old Cowes.co.uk site, which was quite out of date, has been removed, and the domain now points to the new pages on the Island’s tourist board site.

David Thornton explains: We wanted to have the best of both worlds: to use the popularity of Visit Isle of Wight’s website, which now attracts over 2.4million visitors a year, but retain the link “Cowes.co.uk” as a trusted source of local information about Cowes, East Cowes and the surrounding area. By combining our resources and content like this, we’ve created a whole new platform for Cowes, with new social media plug ins to complement activities.

The creation of the official tourism site builds on the development of the Destination Cowes brand – a partnership formed by Red Funnel, English Heritage, Cowes Town Council, Visit Isle of Wight, Cowes Harbour Commission, Cowes Yacht Haven and both the Cowes and East Cowes business associations to help market the area.

Cowes.co.uk provides a wide-ranging guide to the town. Visitors will be able to find advice about cultural sites, activities and attractions, what’s on, as well as information about where to stay, eat, drink and shop.

Destination Cowes believes the new website will play a significant role in increasing the appeal of the Cowes and East Cowes to visitors and ultimately lead to more people visiting the towns and the wider Island. The new site includes a range of features including increased social media integration and blog and video content.

Stephen Brooks, the Chairman of Destination Cowes, said: “Our target is to reach 1 million people through the site. This, plus our social media, will show potential visitors what Cowes and East Cowes have to offer. Attracting more visitors will help our local businesses grow, creating jobs, facilities and prosperity for local people.”

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “As the maritime gateway to the Island with a wealth of places to visit and explore, Cowes offers an exceptional visitor experience.

“The Cowes.co.uk address signifies a new energy and collaboration to really get Cowes on the map and we hope that local businesses will get behind it by supplying great, relevant content from interesting blogs and special offers to fantastic images and video content.”

Visit Isle of Wight confirmed that this pilot project to upgrade individual town and area content online through closer partnership with resorts across the Island is something they would like to do more of in the future.

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 For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Tel: 07766 705672, Email: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to Editors

Attached image taken in Cowes High Street LtoR:  Mark McNeill, Cowes Town Council, Stephen Brooks, Chairman, Destination Cowes, Simon Dabell, Chairman, Visit Isle of Wight, Ryan Stoffell, Red Funnel, Gina Baldwin, Red Funnel and Karl Love, Councillor for East Cowes.

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwight.org

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

 

Visit Isle of Wight launches 2017 Wight in Bloom Competition

Isle of Wight gardeners are invited to celebrate their work and take part in this year’s Wight in Bloom competition launched yesterday (8th May 2017) in the The Chelsea Garden at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Newport, Isle of Wight.

Wight in Bloom is an annual community-based competition that celebrates the Island’s diverse range of gardens – from the small space to the large tourist attraction.

Sponsored by Red Funnel and organised by Visit Isle of Wight, the competition encourages gardeners to create colourful floral displays that will make the Island a brighter place to live and visit.

This year there will be 11 categories including:  Best Small Front Garden, Best Large Front Garden, Best Commercial Garden, Best Senior Citizen Complex, Best Young People Initiative, Best Community Floral Project, Best Small Tourist Attraction Garden, Best Large Tourist Attraction Garden, Best Creative Use of a Small Space, Best Edible Garden and New for 2017 Best Water Feature.

Gardens can be entered into the competition from 19th May until the closing date of 30th June.  Judging will take place from 3rd to 30th July when a team of local horticultural experts will visit the gardens to decide the first, second, highly commended and overall winner of The Peggy Jarman Trophy.

Wight in Bloom are supporting the Earl Mountbatten Hospice by purchasing EMH sunflower seed packets to give to entrants of this year’s Wight in Bloom competition. It is hoped that these will be grown across the Island during the summer to support the EMH 35th Anniversary and to brighten up gardens and open spaces.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “Wight in Bloom is hugely important; it remind us all that a great deal of the Island is on constant show, and we need to look our best all the time. There are many green-fingered experts living on the Isle of Wight, from TV celebrities to groups of eager school children, all of whom help to make the Island look terrific. This annual competition is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on our “Garden Isle” heritage for the benefit of tourists and Island residents alike.”

Entry forms with full details of the categories can be found at the Visitor Centre, The Guildhall, Newport, the Red Funnel website www.redfunnel.co.uk/wightinbloom  Visit Isle of Wight website www.visitwight.pro , the IW County Press Shop and all main Island garden centres.

Wight in Bloom Patron Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL will present the Awards at a garden party ceremony in September.

Wight in Bloom has over the past two years worked with schools to encourage participation into the competition. It has recently developed an initiative to deliver a pilot mentor scheme for new School Garden Coordinators.

Working in collaboration with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening project, Wight in Bloom will assist a team of experienced school garden coordinators and local horticultural experts to provide support to enable less experienced schools to set up a garden project. For further information on how to join the scheme please contact the Wight in Bloom Co-coordinator at bloom@visitwight.org.

Claire Matthews, RHS Campaign for School Gardening said “The RHS Campaign for School Gardening inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development. The direct benefits of gardening for children are wide ranging. Registration to the Campaign is free and you can join by logging on to https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/register”.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO commented “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the ever popular Wight in Bloom. The annual competition is a great opportunity for first-time and seasoned gardeners to showcase their skills with categories designed to encourage young people and community groups to take part”.

For further information, please contact Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29/07766 705672, sue@visitwight.co.uk

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

The image shows LtoR:   Nigel Hartley, CEO of Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Tom Madge, Head of Marketing at Red Funnel, David Thornton CEO of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd and Nicola Bell and Mel, both volunteer gardeners at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

Categories for the competition are:

  1. BEST SMALL FRONT GARDEN (Under 15 metre frontage)
  2. BEST LARGE FRONT GARDEN (Over 15 metre frontage)
  3. BEST COMMERCIAL GARDEN (Public House, Restaurant, Shops, Café, Business, Hotel/Guest Accommodation/Self Catering/ Caravan sites)
  4. BEST SENIOR CITIZEN COMPLEX (Private and Public Sector, Healing and Meditative gardens)
  5. BEST YOUNG PEOPLE PROJECT (Schools/youth groups)
  6. BEST COMMUNITY FLORAL PROJECT (Community Groups, Parish or town councils, High Streets, Church Grounds)
  7. BEST SMALL TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)
  8. BEST LARGE TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)
  9. BEST CREATIVE USE OF A SMALL SPACE (window box, balcony, hanging basket, recycled objects for containers, vertical planting)
  10. BEST WATER FEATURE (Includes area directly surrounding pond/water feature/fountain only) NEW for 2017
  11. BEST EDIBLE GARDEN (mix of flowers, vegetables and herbs, can be a source of food and a decorative display).

+  Overall Winner of the The Peggy Jarman Trophy

About Visit Isle of Wight

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

About Red Funnel

Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.

In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and two food & beverage brands, ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’.

The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a wide range of community and niche interest events.

Red Funnel’s 2017 Charity of the Year is Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

For further Red Funnel press information contact:

Isle of Wight/Hants
Amy Grinstead
Carswell Gould
redfunnel@carswellgould.co.uk
023 8023 8001
 

About RHS Campaign for School Gardening

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development.

RHS Campaign for School Gardening work with schools has shown that the direct benefits of gardening for children are wide ranging:

  • Improves physical and mental well-being
  • Builds life skills such as confidence, teamwork and communication
  • Enhances literacy, numeracy and oracy skills
  • Enriches the entire curriculum from science, maths and geography, to art, design and languages
  • Encourages a better and healthier lifestyle
  • Teaches about the environment and sustainability
  • Helps young people engage with their surroundings better and develop a sense of responsibility

 

 

ISLE OF WIGHT GARLIC FESTIVAL – 19/20 AUGUST 2017

Round up the family and join us at this year’s Isle of Wight Garlic Festival – the island’s unstoppable not-to-be-missed huge summer show, now in its 35th year.

There’s garlic galore of course, and this year’s expanded food theatre kitchen will feature BBC star chef and best-selling author, Valentine Warner, while on Sunday, we have everyone’s star baker Jane Beedle – from Britain’s hottest TV show, Great British Bake Off. Both will be demonstrating favourite recipes, signing books, chatting and maybe even posing for a selfie. They are supported all weekend by an array of local food people and talented chefs.

On the big Garlic Festival stage this year, we’ve booked classic 60’s and 70’s hitmakers, Marmalade. Their top ten hits include; Reflections of my life, Falling apart at the seams, Lovin’ things and the number one smash hit, Ob La Di Ob La Da.

As part of their nationwide tour, we have also secured the only Island date for The Quo Experience, the band that sounds and looks incredibly close to the real thing. The boys are guaranteed to have you rocking all over the Isle to your favourite Quo hits. As ever, the best of the Island’s local talent will be supporting, including our own fabulous Derek Sandy Band.

The Garlic Festival arena will feature non-stop live entertainment, including the return of The Vander Brothers new Quad wheel. These acrobats delight and amaze as they walk on the outside of the human hamster wheel at death defying height. As ever, we’ll have talented animals galore, and humans, with the ever popular Garlic games. Whatever the weather, the Garlic Festival is a great day out – with loads for everyone.

And he’s back! After a three year absence, Titan-the-Robot is here on both days.

With hot or cold food of all kinds, entertainment galore, the Island’s biggest marquees full of arts, crafts, and food businesses of every kind – and of course, dozens of Island charities raising thousands of pounds – it’s no wonder everyone, including the Times and the Telegraph call this ‘One of Britain’ best food shows.

David Holmes 07813 890221

@IOWGarlicFest

www.garlicfestival.co.uk

MONKEY HAVEN ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT IS ENGLAND’S TOP SMALL ATTRACTION

The Isle of Wight’s Monkey Haven has been named as the best Small Visitor Attraction in the country by tourism chiefs at VisitEngland.

On Monday 24th April, the primate rescue centre was given the top spot in the 2017 Awards for Excellence at a ceremony hosted by comedian Sue Perkins at London’s Hilton Waldorf.

A spokesperson for VisitEngland, the country’s official Tourist Board, commented: “Congratulations – winning the award allows you to claim justifiably to be the best in your category in England.”

The animal sanctuary just outside Newport is home to rescued monkeys, owls, meerkats and other exotic creatures. The judges praised the Keeper talks, website, new signage and high standards of maintenance.

It’s been a hugely successful year for the team, as in February, they were awarded a prestigious gold accolade from VisitEngland and they’ve maintained their top slot on TripAdvisor as the most popular attraction on the Isle of Wight.

Founder Don Walser, who attended the ceremony with his daughter Kelly Wickes commented: “We are amazed and delighted! This award means so much to us. Six years ago, when we set up a primate rescue centre on the Isle of Wight, everyone thought we were crackers. Now we’re the best small attraction in the country.”

“We’re a small charity but thanks to the support that we’ve had, we’ve been able to continually expand and evolve and care for growing numbers of creatures in crisis, from monkeys who’ve been smuggled through customs to meerkats who’ve been victims of the cruel pet trade.”

Don, who attended the ceremony wearing his lucky monkey tie, added: “Thank you to everyone who has made this possible – our dedicated team of staff and volunteers, and every single person who’s visited us or supported us in any other way. This award is for you all.”

  • Monkey Haven is open every day from 10am. The new free App is out now! Please visit Monkeyhaven.org for more info.

For further information, pictures or quotes, please contact Kelly Wickes on 07740 106279 or email kelly@monkeyhaven.org

 

Visit Isle of Wight Press Office