Welcome Aboard the Festival of the Sea



Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) is inviting local landlubbers and salty sea dogs alike to get on board and join in the fun as it celebrates the Island’s maritime history and heritage with a nine-day Festival of the Sea from Saturday, September 14th to Sunday, September 22nd.

Aimed at giving out-of-season visitors more things to see and do during a September stay on the Island, it is also seen as a great opportunity for people living on the Island to get involved in a whole range of sea-themed events and nautical activities.

The so-called “Anchor” events included in this year’s Festival will include:

-Fishbourne Beach Arts, September 15th-22nd.  (See local artists at work in different venues around the area including Quarr Abbey, The Fishbourne Inn, The Royal Victoria Yacht Club and the Green and Beach at Fishbourne; stroll around the life-size commissioned sculptures made from original sea chain, watch seafood cookery demonstrations, take sailing lessons and play games on the beach).

-Spyglass Inn Songs of the Sea & Shanty Festival, Ventnor, September 14th.  (A day long celebration of sea shanties, smuggling tales and freshly caught seafood taking place in one of the Island’s most popular pubs overlooking Ventnor Bay).

-Red Funnel Food Show, Cowes, September 15th.  (An event featuring inspirational cooking demonstrations by top island chefs, using local produce including the catch of the day from local fisherman.  There will be a chance to try and buy Island produced food and drink, and pick up gifts from the Isle of Wight Artisan Market).

-Sea to Shore: The IW Kite Festival, Yarmouth, September 21st. (Professional kite flyers and community kites made through a summer workshop programme come together for the annual IW Kite Festival. Stalls, guided walks, workshops and lots of flying!).

-UKSA Community Fun Day, Cowes, September 22nd.  (The US Sailing Academy in Cowes is opening its doors to offer a free day of a have-a-go day of sailing, windsurfing and kayaking – with taster sessions of many of their watersports).

-Pirate Hover Open Day, September 22nd.  (Meet the hovercraft pilot, tour the terminal and flight deck, take part in a Q&A session with the engineers, and enjoy a 20-minutes pleasure trip.  There will also be prizes for the best dressed pirates.   Price from Ryde – £19 per adult, £13 per child).

A raft of other “satellite” events and promotional activities are also being brought under the Festival of the Sea banner, including evening cruises to Lymington and Hurst Castle, seafaring suppers and local talks, walks and bicycle rides.

Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) – the not-for-profit limited company created to increase the economic benefits of tourism on the Isle of Wight – is spending around £25,000 on marketing the Festival of the Sea both on and off the Island.  This includes regional newspaper advertising, south coast radio advertising, on-board ferry TV advertising and lift advertising at South East Coast shopping centres.

All events can be viewed on the Visit Isle of Wight website (http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/festival-of-the-sea) and will be listed in an official festival guide, which will be available from Island tourist information points in Ryde, Shanklin, Ventnor, Brading (Railway Station) and Brighstone.   A digital version will also be available for downloads via VIOW and partner websites:  Wightlink, Red Funnel, Hovertravel and the Isle of Wight Council.

During festival weekends, there will be a pop-up tourist information point on board car ferries to encourage people to make the most of the various events and promotions.

Simon Dabell, Visit Isle of Wight’s Chairman, said: “With 64 miles of coastline, beach resorts and wonderful coastal scenery, The Festival of the Sea is a perfect fit for the Island.

“During September, we realised that there was a series of small events already being planned by individual businesses and community organisations and we decided to offer our help in marketing these events to a wider audience, developing a marketing initiative to wrap approximately 50 events into a nine-day festival”.

Visit Isle of Wight has also teamed up with the organisers of the Little Britain Challenge Cup (LBCC) to offer one lucky winner the chance to officially launch the Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea on Saturday, September 14th, by firing the famous Royal Yacht Squadron cannons to start the race.   The winner (plus 1) will also get to spend a few hours out on the water with official press photographers before returning to dry land to enjoy a delicious lunch at the Spyglass Inn in Ventnor and an overnight stay at the Bedford Lodge in Shanklin.

Festival of the Sea events can be found at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/festival-of-the-sea




For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer, Tel: 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

Notes to editors:

Festival of the Sea images and artwork can be downloaded here: http://visitwightpress.com/festival-of-the-sea/

The prize winner for the Festival of the Sea competition will be drawn on 30th August.  For more information, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/competitions/festival-of-the-sea-competition

Festival of the Sea brochures will be available on board ferries and from the following tourist information points:

1.         Brading Railway Station/Heritage Centre, Station Road, Isle of Wight, PO36 0EB.

2.         Brighstone Tourist Information Point: Seven – Cafe + Bar + Restaurant, Main Road, Brighstone, Isle of Wight, PO30 4AH.

3.         Ryde Tourist Information Point: Kollective Gifts, Esplanade, Ryde, PO33 2DY.

4.         Shanklin Tourist Information Point: Vernon Cottage, 1 Eastcliff Road, Shanklin, Isle of Wight PO37 6AA.

5.         Ventnor Tourist Information Point:   Seasons Newsagents & Post Office, 8-10 High Street Ventnor Isle of Wight PO38 1RY.

Sue Emmerson
Press Officer
Visit Isle of Wight Ltd

(Please note, I work Tuesdays to Fridays)

Visit Isle of Wight

Osborne House Estate

York Avenue

East Cowes

PO32 6JX

Tel: (01983) 201048
Email: sue@visitwight.org
Web: www.visitisleofwight.co.uk

Twitter: @VisitWightPro