A SUMMER OF MUSIC AND ARTS ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT

The Isle of Wight Festival got the summer off to a Red Hot Chilli Pepper style start with fabulous music and great vibes. It was a fantastic opening to the Isle of Wight’s festival season as now a whole range of smaller music and arts events are gearing up to welcome you to ‘Festival Island’.

Ryde Arts Festival

The next big arts event on the horizon is Ryde Arts Festival and this year the eclectic collection of talented artists have taken the commemoration of the outbreak of WWI as their inspiration for art, music and poetry under the title ‘Ryde on the Brink of War’.  Events run from June 27th to July 6th with most being held in their converted church ‘The Depozitory’ and free entry for many exhibitions and activities. www.rydeartsfestival.org

Newport Jazz Weekend

Kicking off on Thursday July 17th with the Derek Nash Acoustic Quartet, Newport Jazz Festival runs from July 17th to 20th. Friday features an appearance from the Simon Allen Quintet with top UK trumpeter Martin Shaw, Tom Cawley on piano and David Newton. One of the highlights of the weekend will be a Tribute to Louis Armstrong featuring the Bateman Brothers and vocalist Maggie Reeday, followed by a Tribute to Oscar Peterson led by pianist Craig Milverton. For the full line-up see www.newportjazzweekend.co.uk

Rhythmtree

Rhythmtree is the Island’s world music festival and this year it will, as usual, feature a fantastic line up of world-class musicians playing everything from guitars and keyboards to full brass sections, hang drums and didgeridoos at this family-friendly festival from July 18th to 20th. Rhythmtree has a great reputation for bringing together an extraordinarily diverse rich mix of high quality music and will introduce visitors to some of the most exciting, dynamic and innovative bands that exist and thrive below the radar of today’s mainstream music scene. www.rhythmtree.info

Postfest

For a small but perfectly formed festival make your way to Postfest over the weekend of July 25th to 27th at the Island’s only museum to all things postal – including a field full of post boxes.  The cream of local bands can be seen and heard at this boutique festival that runs from 10am till 9pm daily.  There’s free entertainment for kids and a plethora of local crafts and this year there’s even an indoor arena. http://postfest.co.uk

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, the biggest sailing festival in the UK, descends upon Cowes for the first week of August and on Sunday August 3rd there is a fantastic Family Day. UKSA at Cowes Yacht Haven has children’s flag-making, colouring and painting and on-the-water spot prizes are awarded for families racing together. Wight Stars produce Wind in the Willows at Northwood House at 14:30 and there’s an open-air cinema here in the evening. JackFM feature on Cowes Parade throughout the day and adventurous families can enjoy an exhilarating RIB ride with Solent RIB Charters or the spectator boat service with both providing a significantly discounted family ticket price for the day. www.aamcowesweek.co.uk

V Dub Island

V Dub Island Festival from August 10th to 14th celebrates the Volkswagen car and camper van, and the culture surrounding them – not just for owners, the festival is also for ‘like-minded people’. This year think ’Flower Power’ as the festival moves to the old 1970 pop festival site at Afton and Sunday night headliner is Bestival curator and Radio 1 DJ Rob Da Bank and the Cuban Brothers. www.v-dubisland.com

Ventnor Fringe

Transforming the Island’s southern-most town for a week in August (12th to 17th), the Ventnor Fringe is a unique gathering of artists from across the world who come together to showcase new work.  Inspired by the famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the event will be celebrating its fifth year in 2014 and will encompass midnight ‘lock ins’ at the local library, intimate church concerts, ‘pop up’ cinemas, gigs in locals’ houses, mystery tours, woodland sing-alongs and parties on the harbour with 360-degree views over the bay.  There is also an extensive programme of family entertainment and the Free Fringe, with busking and street theatre around the town. http://ventnorexchange.co.uk/vfringe

Carnival Island

Before any of the more recent festivals, the Isle of Wight had the festivities of carnival every summer and this year is no exception with parades in Newport, Cowes, Ryde, St Helen’s, Sandown, Shanklin, Ventnor and Yarmouth on ‘Carnival Island’.  This year Sandown Carnival is celebrating 125 years (main carnival Saturday July 26th and illuminated carnival and fireworks on Wednesday August 27th). www.sandowncarnival.com

Ryde Carnival – reputedly the oldest carnival in the UK at 126 years has its main procession on Saturday July 2nd and a glorious illuminated carnival bringing the season to a close on Saturday August 30th. www.rydecarnival.com

Apps for all – plan your holiday

The Isle of Wight Official Tourism app is a great way for visitors to start planning their holiday prior to arriving on the Island.  Developed by Visit Isle of Wight, the app contains all the essential information to make the most of a trip to the Isle of Wight; it’s like having a mini-guidebook in your phone.  Select a period of history on the Island such as Dinosaurs, Ancient Britain and Romans, Medieval Worlds, Tudors and Stuarts, Victorians and Modern times and Dinobot Hunt and see attractions, monuments and heritage sites.

Now in its second great year, the Dinosaur Island app meanwhile, brings the incredible story of these creatures from the cretaceous period to life, giving visitors to the Isle of Wight the chance to see the dinosaurs roaming the sites where they were discovered and to take photographs of family and friends actually walking on the Isle of Wight with dinosaurs.  For full details, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/dinosaur-island.

For all tourist information, go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

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For further information, please contact:   Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to Editors:

Photo attached:   Ventnor Fringe Festival image entitled VENTNORVILLE! Created by Hannah George and Matt Hit at ‘The Yurt In The Woods’.  Please credit Lucy Boynton.

 

Isle of Wight visitors are being invited to discover the secret of Time Travel this summer

Actress Celia Imrie is the “voice” of the Isle of Wight in a TV ad enticing UK holiday-makers to visit the Island – and to journey back in time to follow a new Time Travel trail with the Transformers: Age of Extinction film.

Aiming to follow in the giant footsteps left behind by Dinosaurs last year, the Isle of Wight is now looking to capitalise on the upcomingblockbuster, and will be offering to send visitors on a journey back to the future with the help of a new Time Travel app and visitor’s passport.

Free to download, the app is available to iPhone users from Apple’s App Store along with an Android version from Google Play.

The Time Travel element of the Isle of Wight Official Tourist Guide app –created in tandem with Transformers: Age of Extinction – includes a range of family-friendly experiences and attractions from which users can create their own time-trails set against the Island’s past, present and future.  Anyone without a smartphone can still create their own time-trails using the Time Travel section of the website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

An associated Time Traveller’s Passport (launched July 10th) will encourage families to visit historic attractions and heritage sites linked to the Dinosaur era; Ancient Britain; the Roman Empire; Medieval times; the Tudors and Stuarts; the Victorians; the present day; and a Dinobot Hunt set in the future.

Families will be able to collect time travel stamps from locations highlighted in the time travel passports handed out on board ferries and will then be able to claim prizes online or by post once they return home after their holidays.  The prizes include Isle of Wight attractions tickets, free holiday travel, cinema tickets, merchandise and a top prize of a visit to Paramount studios in Hollywood – the studio behind the films – and a holiday on the Isle of Wight.

The summer-time campaign comes on the back of a new movie tie-in with Paramount Pictures, which will be launching Transformers: Age of Extinction in UK cinemas on July 5th.

It is the fourth instalment of the live action Transformers film series, and stars Mark Wahlberg in the lead role.  It will also introduce several new prehistoric robot characters, including the Dinobot T-rex Grimlock.

As well as featuring the voice of Celia Imrie, the TV ad also includes a clip from the new movie and invites visitors to travel through time at iconic time-period Isle of Wight locations, while highlighting a range of accommodation – from glamping and beach holidays to luxury hotels – and the Island’s spectacular scenery.

Produced by Visit Isle of Wight, the TV ad features the new animatronic dinosaurs at the popular family theme park, Blackgang Chine; costumed characters at the IW Steam Railway; children play-acting at Carisbrooke Castle; and walkers and cyclists exploring some iconic Isle of Wight scenery.

The Dinosaur Island augmented reality app launched last summer by Visit Isle of Wight is being launched (from July 10th) to include an appearance by a Transformers: Age of Extinction Dinobot.

The Dinosaur Island experience can currently be triggered at 6 meteorite locations around the Island, and new sites are being added at The Needles, Blackgang Chine, The Isle of Wight Steam Railway, and even on board ferries to the Isle of Wight (enabling passengers to ‘see’ dinosaurs flying overhead as they cross the Solent)

The Time Travel campaign also features a sustainable transport element – with opportunities to enjoy car-free travel on steam trains, open-topped buses, steam-train, by bike and on foot.  And some aspects of the experience have even been specially designed to be completed without a car.

For further details visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

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For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672      E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

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

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

IN CINEMAS JULY 5

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is the fourth film in director Michael Bay’s global blockbuster franchise.  Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Li Bingbing, Kelsey Grammer, Sophia Myles, T. J. Miller, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor and Titus Welliver star.  The film begins after an epic battle that left a great city torn, but with the world saved.  As humanity picks up the pieces, a shadowy group reveals itself in an attempt to control the direction of history…while an ancient, powerful new menace sets Earth in its crosshairs.  With help from a new cast of humans, Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) and the Autobots rise to meet their most fearsome challenge yet. In an incredible adventure, they are swept up in a war of good and evil, ultimately leading to a climactic battle across the world.

Produced By Don Murphy & Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce.

Based on Hasbro’s Transformers™ Action Figures.  Written By Ehren Kruger. Directed By Michael Bay.

www.thetransformersmovie.co.uk

For further information please contact Jenny Erwood, Head of Publicity Paramount Pictures UK Theatrical, jenny_erwood@paramount.com

Bicycle Island is “a cycling paradise”

The Isle of Wight launches major new cycling campaign for holiday-makers

The Isle of Wight has officially launched a new campaign to promote the Island as the top cycling destination in the UK.

Green, eco-friendly, and bang on-trend, “Bicycle Island” takes – as its starting point – all of the reasons why Lonely Planet guidechose to name it in its Top 10 listing of the world’s best cycling destinations, as well as why it received similar accolades from National Geographic Traveller and the London Evening Standard.

The Island could already offer its visitors more than 200 miles of bridleways and cycle ways, easy access to several bike hire companies, and an unbeatable backdrop of both coast and countryside.

But its cycling offer is now increasing by the day – with miles of freshly surfaced cycleway being created in key areas, and recent cycle-holiday innovations from baggage transfer options on multi-day routes, to several new “Bike-friendly Buses” with specially designed racks that can carry up to six bikes, at no extra charge.

Well funded through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), and well co-ordinated by Visit Isle of Wight, the scheme is set to grow dramatically over the next two years – and is aimed at helping the Isle of Wight become the recognised market-leader in terms of bicycling holidays in the UK.

Full details can now be found on the official tourist board’s website at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/bicycle-island.

Visit Isle of Wight has already held workshops and meetings on the Island to encourage local businesses to get involved.

The Isle of Wight Council is working with Community Action Isle of Wight to provide a Bicycle Island Development Grant Scheme, which is aimed at helping local businesses invest in new products and services to benefit visitors and residents alike.

The funding is helping them turn their ideas into new products for holiday makers who choose to use two wheels rather than four to explore the Island, and could be in the form of new cycle-hire companies – or existing firms increasing the range of services on offer.

Tom Ransom, who previously helped promote cycle tourism in New Zealand, is co-ordinating “Bicycle Island” for Visit Isle of Wight.  He was taken-on through the Isle of Wight Council’s successful LSTF bid.

He says, “We now have many tourism operators and accommodation providers wanting to be involved in the campaign.  Whether it’s investing in hire bike services or becoming accredited as “Cyclist Welcome” accommodation, more and more businesses on the Island are becoming cycle aware.  And the Bicycle Island web pages provide a really valuable platform for us to promote the Island as a genuine cycling paradise”.

The site shows the key multi-day route themes, mapping and – crucially – all of the specialist back up services available to visitors wanting to tour Bicycle Island.

The most obvious innovation for visitors to the Island is the creation of a host of day rides and three new waymarked multi-day themed trails.  Routes cover most interests, and some are specifically aimed at helping couples and families who would never normally consider taking on a cycling holiday, to take to two wheels.

The Taste Around the Island Cycle Route, for example, is a relaxed 64-mile, four-day tour on quiet country lanes.  The route highlights the best food-and-drink experiences on the Island with luggage forwarding and accommodation in quality B&Bs also available.

The Red Squirrel Trail, mostly on traffic-free cycle ways and disused railway lines, is an especially family friendly overnight mini-tour.  This “rail trail” route, similar to the French “Voies Verts” provides a gentle gradient and outstanding backdoor views of specialist wildlife habitats including some key red squirrel spotting stops along the way.

Finally, The Chalk Ridge Extreme Route has been created for more adventurous off-road cyclists.  The 50-miles route offers some of the country’s most stunning chalk-ridge single tracks with panoramic views over the whole island.

For full details, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/bicycle-island.-ENDS-

For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672

E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

War Horse Warrior remembered with a statue at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight

English Heritage has announced that a statue of the ‘real War Horse’, Warrior, is to be installed at Carisbrooke Castle.

Commissioned by the Seely family from celebrated equine sculptor, Philip Blacker, the half-size bronze depicts General Jack Seely astride Warrior, whose newspaper obituary read “The horse the Germans could not kill”.

It has been loaned to English Heritage for the duration of the First World War centenary and accompanies the current Carisbrooke Castle Museum exhibition, ‘Men and Horses Go to War’.

Warrior was bred on the Isle of Wight, went to France with General Jack Seely on one of the first boats in August 1914 and survived four years on the Western Front leading the famous last cavalry charge at Moreuil Wood in March 1918.

He returned home safely and, four years to the day of the Moreuil Wood charge, won the Isle of Wight point to point.  He lived to the grand age of 33 – an almost unbelievable feat when eight million other horses and mules sadly became casualties of war.  A book about Warrior’s life was first published in 1934 – and again in 2011- with original Sir Alfred Munnings pictures of the horse.  It is the same famous Munnings picture of Jack Seely astride Warrior which has formed the basis for the Blacker Sculpture.

The Warrior statue will be located in the Princess Beatrice garden, adjacent to the Chapel of St. Nicholas which has served as the Isle of Wight’s war memorial since after the First World War.

Brough Scott, author and grandson of Jack Seely says: “It is both thrilling and appropriate that Warrior and my grand-father should now stand together in Carisbrooke Castle at the very centre of the Isle of Wight where they spent so many great times both before and after their war time adventures.  I hope all those who come to see them will be as uplifted as we have in the re-telling of their unbelievable story.”

English Heritage Senior Curator Rowena Willard Wright said: “The story of Warrior and General Jack Seely is remarkable.  It is both a love story and a thriller, and a hundred years on, is as resonant, as it ever was.  We are honoured to have been asked by the family to display this stunning work which we hope will engage visitors to Carisbrooke in a very unique and personal piece of England’s First World War history.”

The Chief Executive Officer for Visit Isle of Wight, David Thornton, meanwhile, added: ““The centenary of World War One this year means that the installation of a statue of Warrior at Carisbrooke Castle is an extremely fitting and timely tribute.  I’m sure that the work, which will be seen by thousands of visitors, will help to illustrate the Isle of Wight’s connections to the true story of the original Warhorse.   It’ll be become another reason for planning a visit to the Island in general, and Carisbrooke in particular.”

Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight is open daily from 10am to 6pm.  For more information www.english-heritage.org.uk/carisbrooke

And for all tourist information from the Isle of Wight, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

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For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672

E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

Or,

Isobel Uden PR Manager, South East

Tel: 01304 209891

Email: Isobel.Uden@english-heritage.org.uk

Notes to editors:

English Heritage is the custodian of over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites through which we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.

MIDSUMMER WIGHT’S DREAM

Midsummer on the Isle of Wight begins as the sun rises on June 21st at the ancient Neolithic Longstone nestled beneath the peak of Mottistone Downs. Bathed in natural beauty the Island is a beautiful sight at this time of the year and here are a few ways you might celebrate midsummer with us.

Naturally

Wait for the sun to rise at the 4,000 year old Longstone at around 4.30am – and see a ceremony by the Island’s druid community that involves the breaking of bread and the drinking of mead at daybreak or at noon. http://www.wightdruids.com/

Wander around Mottistone Manor Garden with its fabulous hardy tropical garden, flowering borders and secret sunken path in search of a murderer on Midsummer Eve (June 21st) http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottistone-gardens/things-to-see-and-do/events/

Travel back in time to the golden age of steam travel at the IW Steam Midsummer Night’s Steam (June 21st). http://www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/events.aspx

Go to see seven of the beautiful gardens of Brighstone village on June 29th as they are open under the National Gardens Scheme. www.ngs.org.uk

Take a Twilight tree climb and be at one with nature in the bows of an ancient oak tree with views out over the Solent as the sun goes down. http://www.goodleaf.co.uk/2014/twilight-tree-time/

Culturally

Be transported to the Caribbean courtesy of the Hambrough Hotel group as you tuck into tasty Trinidadian barbecue washed down with rum-laced coconuts on the terrace overlooking the sea at the newly reopened Ventnor Winter Gardens. http://www.thehambrough.com/

Fire Your Imagination @ Chessell Pottery by decorating a flower vase (June 17th – 22nd) or flower pot (June 24th to 27th), at this picturesque pottery and tea gardens cradled within in the West Wight countryside. http://www.chessellpotterybarns.co.uk/

See the cream of the Isle of Wight’s young acting talent when Wight Stars CIC perform Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats at the Island’s best theatre space, Medina Theatre, from June27th to June 29th.Cats – The Musical, a Youth Group Production Show performed by Wight Stars CIC.

Take the kids to Quay Arts’ free family art drop in on June 21st run by internationally renowned Island artist Tim Johnson and pop upstairs to see the exhibition of Turner Prize winner Martin Creed’s work in the West Gallery. http://www.quayarts.org/

Settle yourself with a picnic on the lawns of Osborne House overlooking the Italianate Terraces and travel back in time to see Shakespeare’s Globe perform Much Ado About Nothing between  June 18th and June 21st. http://www.quayarts.org/globe_theatre_tickets.aspx

Celebratorily

Immerse yourself in the Isle of Wight’s agricultural, equine  and farming culture when you visit the IW County Show on June 28th http://www.riwas.org.uk/

Dance in the streets when the Mardi Gras sets the town of Ryde alive with the sounds of samba and calypso on June 28th. This is New Orleans meets Trinidad meets Rio on the Isle of Wight!  http://www.thenewcarnivalcompany.com/mardi-gras/

Take part in the finale of Visit Isle of Wight’s Festival of the Sea at Small Hope Beach at Shanklin in ‘All At Sea’, a beach festival with birdman competition, cardboard boat race, sand sculpture competitions, pirate lessons, live music and an undercover beach bar on June 28th and 29th. www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/festival-of-the-sea

Sportingly

Follow the fabulous host of yachts and see some of the most stunning coastline in the country as you watch the Round the Island Race June 21st – or even take part! Applications close on June 18th.

Experience the Island from the saddle of your bike on our Bicycle Island when you take a specially designed trail. Try ‘Taste Round the Island’, the ‘Red Squirrel Trail’ or the ‘Chalk Ridge Extreme’. http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/bicycle-island.

Imaginatively

Design your own tailor-made time travel experience on the Isle of Wight (available from July) by downloading ‘The Isle of Wight Official Tourist Guide’ from the App Store (Apple) and Google Play. Select a period of history on the Island such as Dinosaurs, Ancient Britain and Romans, Medieval World, Tudors and Stuarts, Victorians and Modern Times, which includes World Wars and Dinobot Hunt and see which attractions, monuments and heritage sites are from these particular time periods.

Developed by Visit Isle of Wight, The Isle of Wight Official Guide app contains all the essential information you need to make the most of a trip to the beautiful Isle of Wight – from Where to Stay, Things to See & Do, What’s On and Food & Drink.

Now in its second great year, the Dinosaur Island app meanwhile, brings the incredible story of these creatures to life, giving visitors to the Isle of Wight the chance to see the dinosaurs roaming the sites where they were discovered and to take photographs of family and friends actually walking on the Isle of Wight with dinosaurs.  For full details, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/dinosaur-island.

For all tourist information, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

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For further information, please contact:   Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

EXPERIENCE THE BIGGEST DINOSAURS EVER IN THE NEW AND EXCITING ‘RESTRICTED AREA 5’

Visitors to Blackgang Chine, the oldest theme park in the country, are in for a real treat this season with dinosaur fun galore planned for the enjoyment of all the family.

After forty-two years of providing fun and memories for generations of families, Blackgang Chine’s Dinosaur Land, filled with much loved static dinosaurs, has undergone a major reinvention, taking experiences with dinosaurs to another level, with the opening of its new and exciting attraction, ‘Restricted Area 5’.

Enter through the gates of ‘Restricted Area 5’ at your own risk!    Marvel at the gargantuan scale of the new life-size moving dinosaurs and encounter the most realistic experience since time began.  The journey through the ‘Restricted Area 5’ enclosure will bring you up close and personal with dinosaurs of all types including an Iguanadon, Stegosaurus, screeching Raptors, an Argentinosaurus bigger than a double decker bus and the most gargantuan TRex ever seen – all making their own distinctive sounds and reacting to the visitors – but only if you’re brave enough!

Fans of our resident celebrity baby Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaurs, Shadow & Sheila, will also be delighted with the return of their ‘LIVE’ performances during the summer holidays and to meet their new baby dino friends – our walking Procomsognathus dinosaurs, Jack & Jill, our baby Brachiosaurus, George, and the mischievous ‘Caulkie’ the Caulkicephalus – all with personalities of their own!  

From Friday 18th July – Sunday 31st August, Blackgang Chine is open later for the school summer holidays, (10am – 6pm) with special late night openings every Monday (10am – 9pm from 28th July) for ‘Are you brave enough’ a very special dino night, and every Wednesday (10am – 9.30pm from 30th July) for their famous fireworks extravaganza.     All tickets include ‘unlimited FREE returns for 7 days!

For further information visit : www.blackgangchine.com

ENDS.

NOTE TO EDITOR

Please find attached images for your use.

For further information please contact Michelle Russell, Marketing and Communications Manager, Vectis Ventures on 01983 732123 / 07436 283630 / michelle@vectisventures.co.uk

 

Highlight events revealed for Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea – (16 – 23 June 2014)

One of the largest yacht races in the world has been revealed as the headline event during this year’s annual Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea (16-23 June 2014), a seven-day celebration of the Isle of Wight’s vibrant maritime culture.

The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race(21 June 2014) regularly attracts over 1,500 boats and is one of the largest participation sports in the UK. Organised by the Island Sailing Club, the spectacular yacht race is set to provide a breathtaking pinnacle for both spectators and sailors during the Festival of the Sea. It is, however, just one of around 70 sea-themed eventson offer right across the Isle of Wight, including seafood tastings at Island restaurants, live music performances at waterside pubs, arts and crafts and lighthouse tours.

The anchor event highlights for 2014 are:

  • Cooking up a storm Delicious fishy dishes will be served up at the Round the Island Race Village in Cowes Yacht Haven (Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 June), featuring the Red Funnel Cowes Food Festival and Cookery Theatre. Look out for a range of trade, food and craft stalls, and soak up the atmosphere with evening entertainment and live musicians
  • Zoo by the sea Watch the tigers at the Isle of Wight Zoo make a splash during special aquatic feeding demonstrations (22 – 23 June)! See the Marines compete against the big cats in a not-to-be-missed ‘Tug-O-War’. Check out the marine conservation themed activities for both adults and children. And explore the zoo’s historical connections during a celebration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, highlighting PLUTO, the WW2 Pipeline Under the Ocean, vital arteries that pumped millions of gallons of fuel from Britain to Allied forces in France.
  • Sea safaris: Celebrities of the seabed Enjoy a coastal cruise past secluded bays and coves to the old harbour at Ventnor, pull lobster pots and seabed nets and then experience a fast cruise back to Ventnor (17 – 18 June 2014).  And join OceanBluecrew from Ventnor Haven as they watch the leaders of the Round the Island Race fleet as they round the southern tip of the Island (21 June 2014)
  • Lighthouse family All children under 15 receive a free lighthouse-themed goody bag, during a celebration of the 500th anniversary of Trinity House at St Catherine’s Lighthouse, near Niton, Ventnor. Open from 1pm until 4:30pm every day during the Festival of the Sea, except Saturday 21 June, 2014.
  • Palace by the Sea Watch a special outdoor performance of Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing in the opulent seaside setting of Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s Palace by the Sea (18 – 21 June, 2014). This Shakespeare’s Globe production will be performed on the lawns of this historic venue and has been brought to the Island for the first time by Quay Arts.
  • Time travelling tour “Literatours – Festival of the Sea” is a time-travelling tour around the Island features the voices of actors Celia Imrie, Hugh Bonneville and Richard E Grant. Enjoy anecdotes from the Island’s literary history with readings from celebrated authors who have lived on the Island, along with music from Island composers. Catch the tour from Cowes Parade at 10am on Sunday 22 June 2014.

And the festival frivolities don’t end there! Following on from the Festival of the Sea, an All at Sea event is being held at Small Hope Beach, Shanklin, on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 June 2014. Billed as an alternative beach experience, this is the Island’s first beach festival with a twist. Introducing the first ever Birdman contest, cardboard boat race, UK sand sculpture heat and, of course, pirate lessons.

A full list of events can be found on Visit Isle of Wight’s website, and a new event guide has also been produced and is available at ferry ports, tourist information points on the Isle of Wight and some tourist attractions.

David Thornton, Chief Executive of Visit Isle of Wight, the Island’s official tourist board, said: “This is the second year we have celebrated the Island’s deep connections with the deep blue all around us. We’ve had great support from attractions across the Island who’ve been coming forward to put on sea-themed events, and we’re sure that there will be something for everyone. It’s events like this that really highlight the Island’s all-year round appeal and its attraction for everyone – from the solo sailor to the fun-seeking family.”

With its 57 miles of stunning coastline and bucketful of beach awards, the Isle of Wight is one of the UK’s best known seaside resorts and effortlessly delivers the traditional beach holiday experience.

For information about how to travel to the Island and where to stay, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk!

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For more information, please contact Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight press officer! 07766 705672, sue@visitwight.co.uk

Visit Isle of Wight Ltd

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

The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race

Held on the longest day this year, Saturday 21st June, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, regularly attracts over 1,700 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it the largest yacht race of its kind in the world and the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK.

Competitors come from all over Great Britain, from other parts of Europe and from as far away as Australia and the USA to race the 50 nautical mile course around the Isle of Wight. Starting on the famous Royal Yacht Squadron ‘line’ in Cowes, the massive fleet, often flying brightly coloured spinnakers, races westabout to The Needles, around St Catherine’s Point and Bembridge Ledge buoy, and back into the Solent to the finish line at Cowes.

For those not competing, the Island and the South coast have many great vantage points to watch the Race unfold, such as the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Hurst Castle, and The Needles

(separate vantage point list/map http://www.roundtheisland.org.uk/web/code/php/ main_c.php?map=rir14&ui=rir4&style=std&override=&section=race&page=course )   http:// www.roundtheisland.org.uk

Media enquiries: Peta Stuart-Hunt, ISC Race Press Officer | 07711 477707