SHIPWRECK ISLE IS A SAIL AWAY SUCCESS

Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) has hailed this weekend’s Shipwreck Isle a sail away success as thousands of people flocked to Ryde seafront to celebrate the pirate-themed event.

Shipwreck Isle – part of the DMO’s annual Festival of the Sea held to promote the Island’s seafaring history and attract early summer visitors – took place at Appley beach in Ryde on Sunday 28th June.

Famed for its golden sands, Gothic-style tower and long promenade, Appley was invaded by pirates who came ashore and entertained the crowds with cannon demonstrations, sword fighting and set up the Pirates of the Caribbean village.   One of Europe’s top Jack Sparrow lookalikes, Simon Newton, who doubled for Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, was at the festival for photographs and stunt-action sword fights.

Younger visitors were invited to dress up in their swashbuckling outfits for pirate storytelling, tug-of-war and treasure hunts.

Funded and co-ordinated by the DMO, Visit Isle of Wight believes the event has the potential to attract huge numbers of visitors from all over the world – especially those who like dressing up in flamboyant pirate costumes and enjoy great entertainment!

David Thornton, CEO, and Visit Isle of Wight, said: “I am delighted that VIOW was able to secure Shipwreck Isle for the Island and we are excited about the obvious potential that the crowds yesterday indicated, and hope to be in a position to confirm next year’s dates by the end of July.

“VIOW and our partners Wightlink, have done an excellent job in making sure this event has been marketed and promoted to off-island visitors in Portsmouth and Southsea.  Wightlink also contributed hugely in the pre-event planning by making sure that all the ‘Pirates’ were able to travel over with their various gear”.

Mark Persad, Head of Marketing at Wightlink, said: “It’s great that so many people came to support the event and enjoy a free day of fantastic swashbuckling fun. This was a brilliant start and we very much hope the pirates will return for a second year. Once again, it’s proven that the Isle of Wight is the place to be for great days out”.

The event was organised by Roger Crouch, who ran the Hastings Pirate Festival for five years, which became a huge draw for local people and visitors alike.  Roger said: “We created a true family day, which I am sure will grow to be an annual event for the Isle of Wight.

“My thanks to all that took part, the majority of which gave their time freely to participate, such as the Pirates of the Caribbeanand the Living History groups. Huge thanks also to Visit Isle of Wight, Wightlink and John Hawkins and his team of Beach Events & Solutions, who co-promoted and helped event manage the day.

John Hawkins said: “We are proud and delighted to work with so many amazing people to help launch what we believe will become a stand-out event in the Isle of Wight.

“Appley beach is one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever encountered and the whole town and local businesses have been hugely supportive, which has made this event a pleasure to work on.  With the wind in our sails, I have no doubt that Shipwreck Isle has many more treasures to uncover over the coming years”.

Katie Jones, Events Manager for Visit Isle of Wight, added: “Shipwreck Isle was a great success and we are looking forwards to working closely with John and Roger in the future and planning an even more fun-filled event next year.

“Thank you to everyone who attended and made the extra effort with their spectacular costumes; you all looked great”.

With around 100 activities from musical events, food shows, cookery displays and food-tasting, opportunities to charter boats, open days, tours and talks, all with a seaside theme, there are still plenty of opportunities for salty seadogs and landlubbers to drop anchor and enjoy the event.  http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/festival-of-the-sea

From July 2nd to 5th, Hovertravel will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a 1980s themed weekend. Travellers will be greeted with music, fancy dress and giveaways at the terminals http://www.hovertravel.co.uk/.

The finale on July 4th and 5th will be the ‘All at Sea’ beach festival at Hope Beach in Shanklin, with children’s entertainment, the Cardboard Box Boat Race and the Isle of Wight Birdman Rally – where competitors attempt to glide gracefully into the sea in homemade contraption http://www.beach-events.co.uk/.

You can pick up a copy of the Festival of the Sea guide, including times and locations of all the events at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/festival-of-the-sea

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

ENDS

Notes to editors

The Festival of The Sea, which was created by the Island’s Destination Marketing Organisation, Visit Isle of Wight, will involve 100 events on land and at sea. The Festival is now in its third year and will take place from June 22nd to July 5th.  Visit Isle of Wight is supporting the Festival of the Sea 2015 with a £20,000 advertising campaign in newspapers and on radio stations across the South Coast and in London.

The headline event is the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, on June 27th, which is organised by the Island Sailing Club and typically attracts 1700 yachts and 16,000 sailors. Competitors from around the world will attempt to circumnavigate the Island’s 50 nautical mile course, with crowds enjoying a coastline view.

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.

 

ISLE OF WIGHT VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE READY TO WELCOME VISITORS

The Isle of Wight Visitor Information Centre opens to the public on Thursday 25th June after the official handing over of the keys by Jonathan Bacon, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council to Simon Dabell, Chairman of Visit Isle of Wight in a short ceremony today (24th June)

The Visitor Information Centre will be open six days a week from Monday to Saturday, 10.30am to 3.30pm (subject to change dependant on season and later on special event nights).

VIOW Travel Ambassadors will be greeting visitors with a warm welcome and inspirational ideas to help them make the most of their stay. Funded by Visit Isle of Wight and the IW Council through a successful grant application from central government, Phase One of the Guildhall project has involved the opening of the Visitor Information Centre and relocating Visit Isle of Wight from Osborne House to the centre of Newport. The total cost for this first phase of Guildhall work (excluding Travel Ambassador staff) has been approximately £20,000.

Visit Isle of Wight are currently in talks with the Isle of Wight Council to re-open the Island Museum. This involves a great deal of negotiation with collectors, the Council and volunteers, but it is hoped that the museum will open its doors before the end of 2015.

It is hoped that the project will be taken to a  third phase that involves restoration and development of the whole of the Guildhall building to house a larger collection of Island treasures and create space that can be used for visiting exhibition galleries and other civic and community functions. This phase is likely to take up to three years and will be reliant on the Isle of Wight obtaining in excess of £4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

David Thornton, CEO of Visit Isle of Wight said:

I am delighted that we have been able to open a new Visitor Information Centre here in the heart of Newport, and would like to thank everyone at the Isle of Wight Council as well as our Board partners for their support in making this happen. Today is only the beginning of a whole new chapter in promoting the Island and providing a world class service to our guests. There’s plenty more to come.

Jonathan Bacon, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council said:

The Isle of Wight Council is delighted to show its continued support to Visit Isle of Wight by providing the Guildhall property as part of our ongoing commitment to marketing the Isle of Wight as the UK’s Holiday Island. We are working with VIOW and the Museum group to reopen the Island Museum as soon as practical.

ENDS

 

Press contact: Michelle Gladdis, Tel: 01983 201048, 07850 384613,

E-mail:michelle@visitwight.org

 

Notes for Editors:

1st image attached:  Left to right – John Metcalfe, Shirley Smart, Jonathan Bacon (Isle of Wight Council), handing key to Simon Dabell (Chairman of Visit Isle of Wight), Zoe Stroud, David Thornton (Visit Isle of Wight)

The Visitor Information Centre is located at GUILDHALL, HIGH STREET, NEWPORT, ISLE OF WIGHT, PO30 1TY

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

Have a fun-filled weekend on the Isle of Wight with Wightlink Ferries this 27-28 June

Return Wightlink car ferry travel and 2 nights camping from £16.95 per person per night*

This June, visitors to the Isle of Wight will have the most fun-packed weekend ever – with five family-friendly events taking place across the Island on the 27 and 28 of the month.  From pirate-themed adventures and carnival parades, to getting up close to small farm animals or watching boat races from treetops, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained.

For parents looking to entertain young scallywags and get away for a weekend break before the summer rush, Wightlink Ferries has teamed up with Nodes Point Holiday Park, offering return car ferry travel and two night’s camping on a non-electric camping pitch for just £16.95 per person*.  Families who do not own a tent will not be left shipwrecked either. Nodes Point offers ready to use tents with all equipment provided, except sleeping bags, and has partnered with Wightlink to offer return car ferry travel and three night’s stay in one of these tents for up to six people from just £30 per person**.

 

Located near Bembridge, just over 2 miles away from the Appley Beach where Shipwreck Isle will take place (see below), Nodes Point Holiday Park boasts unbeatable views of sandy beaches and direct access to St. Helens Beach, as well as an indoor fun pool for kids to splash about. And, with action-packed activities and an all-weather multi sports court, there is plenty to keep the family entertained.

To book these late deals please visit: www.park-resorts.com or call: 0843 5611188.

Shipwreck Isle

On the 28 June 2015, a new event arrives on Appley Beach near Ryde on the Isle of Wight. “Shipwreck Isle” will bring swashbuckling fun for all during this day-long pirate-themed extravaganza, and Wightlink Ferries can take you there. From 11am-6pm, this latest edition to the Isle of Wight’s event calendar will make a seadog out of all visitors. Stunt action sword-fighting, cannon and firearms demonstrations, live pirate music, and Blackbeard’s Market are all on the agenda, as well as a special “Pirates of the Caribbean” Village on the beach for landlubbers to enjoy.

Round the Island Yacht Race

The annual J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race returns to the Isle of Wight on the 27 June 2015. The race is one of the biggest yacht races in the world and attracts over 1,700 boats and 16,000 sailors each year, so families have plenty to watch throughout the day as the boast complete the 50 nautical mile coast. With all the great vantage points dotted around the Island, families can take in the race whilst enjoying a picnic and the fresh Island air.

Tree Boating

Goodleaf tree climbing has the perfect day out activity for those looking to add some adventure to their Round the Island Yacht Race experience. On Saturday 27 June, Goodleaf will rig up the giant oak for a two hour tree boating climbing experience, offering a bird’s eye view of the Race as it reaches Ryde. After learning the ropes, families will ascend into the canopy to relax in a tree boat and take in the views from this unique viewpoint. Priced from £39 for adults and £29 for children (aged 8-17).

Isle of Wight County Show

On the 27 June the Isle of Wight County Show provides an agricultural day out for all the family. Bringing all the attractions of a traditional country show, such as falconry, locally produced food, pole climbing, small animal farm and much more, the show offers visitors to the Island the opportunity to see some of the Island’s best farm animals. Priced from £8 for adults and children under 16 go free.

Mardi Gras

This year 25 schools are set to take part in the Mardi Gras parade on the 27 June. From 6pm the carnival will take to the streets of Ryde to depict the history of British democracy from 1215 to the present day. Spectators can watch this spectacular parade as it makes its way through Ryde showcasing a variety of bright costumes and floats all designed with the ‘Magna Carta Masquerade’ theme in mind.

 

Wightlink’s convenient foot and car passenger services means families don’t have to travel far to feel a million miles away. Families travelling by car can enjoy frequent services from Portsmouth or Lymington that transfer them to the Island in just 40 minutes. Alternatively, those travelling from London on foot can board one of the many regular trains heading to Portsmouth, directly opposite the Catamaran terminal, prior to hopping on board the Catamaran for a brief 20 minute journey to the Island with easy onward bus and train connections on the other side.

With so much fun to be had, you’d be a scurvy ridden sea dog to miss it!

*based on a family of four travelling and staying from 26-28 June 2015. Subject to availability. Ferry travel valid for one car of up to 6m in length.

** based on a family of six travelling and staying from 26-29 June 2015. Subject to availability. Ferry travel valid for one car of up to 6m in length.

 

ENDS

 

For more information about Wightlink Ferries, please contact:

Sophy Norris               01392 248 934            sophy.norris@flagshipconsulting.co.uk
Belinda Hallworth        0207 680 7114            belinda.hallworth@flagshipconsulting.co.uk
Nadia Fidler                0207 680 7122           nadia.fidler@flagshipconsulting.co.uk

 

Wightlink – Part of Island Life

 

Wightlink is the leading cross-Solent ferry operator carrying almost five million holidaymakers and Islanders across the Solent to the Isle of Wight every year. Nine ferries on three routes provide Island-wide coverage and complete 48,000 sailings a year giving Islanders an easy and frequent service to the mainland, and tourists an accessible way to enjoy a taste of Island life.

 

You can step off the train from London, hop on a Wightlink catamaran and be on the Island in just 22 minutes, the car ferries take around 40 minutes from Portsmouth and Lymington. On board, passengers and drivers alike can relax in the lounges and enjoy some refreshments before arriving on the Island to enjoy the range of attractions, events and experiences that make the Isle of Wight a leading destination for tourists.

 

The opening of the Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey has cut journey times to Portsmouth from Greater London. By contrast, Wightlink’s port at Lymington is reached by an attractive drive through the scenic New Forest.

 

Prices:

 

Mainland

Day Return: Car + 7 passengers from £43.75* Short Breaks (2-4 nights): Car + 7 passengers from £54.25**

*Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 and returning 06/05/15.

** Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 returning between 08/05/15 and 10/05/15.

 

Island
Day Return: Car + 7 passengers from £43.75* Short Breaks (2-4 nights): Car + 7 passengers from £54.25**

*Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 and returning 06/05/15.

** Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 returning between 08/05/15 and 10/05/15.

 

Book Early, Be Flexible, Save Money

 

More information can be found at www.wightlink.co.uk

 

Nadia Fidler
Flagship Consulting Limited

DDI: +44 20 7680 7122
T: +44 20 7680 7104

Flagship Consulting Ltd
Coppergate House
16 Brune Street
London E1 7NJ

@flagshipcons
www.flagshipconsulting.co.uk

 

A WHOLE SEASONS FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY!

Step into the land of imagination.   Overlooking the stunning South coast of the Isle of Wight, Blackgang Chine offers an enchanting experience like no other.  Let your imagination run wild as you venture on a journey of discovery where you can fight pirates on-board your own ship, discover life size moving dinosaurs and escape from danger, become sheriff of your own town, round up the outlaws and lock ‘em up – or experience the magic of being fairy princess in your own castle!

Filled with an eclectic mix of attractions, theme worlds and exciting rides, you’ll find adventures around every corner, something for all the family.

New for 2015 :

Meet our new ‘hatchling’ Triceratop dinosaurs in Restricted Area 5 …… but only if you’re brave enough!  Visitors are advised to enter through the gates of ‘Restricted Area 5’ at their own risk – and marvel at the gargantuan scale of the life-size moving (animatronic) dinosaurs.  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 one of the largest animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex in the country – all making their own distinctive sounds and reacting to those who dare walk past.

Plus enjoy hours of fun in Cowboy Town which is now bigger and better than ever. The town’s been remodelled to include new buildings like the National Bank with its safe and gold bars, a red tin tabernacle Church and a new General Stores where all would-be cowboys can stock up on provisions and get their own ‘wanted’ poster!  For the little ones, there’s a new covered tots play area.

And, don’t miss our late night openings during the summer school holidays with :

Dino Nights; ‘Are you brave enough?’ every Monday from 20th July – 31st August.   A whole evening of dinosaur entertainment.   Come and meet Shadow & Sheila, our mischievous baby T’rex dinos and their baby dino friends– all with personalities of their own!    Plus .. are you brave enough to enter ‘Restricted Area 5’ in the evening when the dinosaurs begin to stir? With lots of dinosaur fun, interaction and music around the park, this really is a night out like no other ….. but only if you’re brave enough?!

Big Night Out Fireworks Extravaganza every Wednesday night from 22nd July – 26th August.   Our famous fireworks nights are back with a bang!  Enjoy an evening of fun and entertainment including street performers, magicians,  circus skills workshop, roaming dinos, live music, a BBQ and ….. to bring your day to a spectacular end, our awe-inspiring musical firework display set off from the cliff edge!

Blackgang Chine is open daily until 1st November.     All admission tickets include FREE unlimited 7 day returns.    Please check the website for opening times, prices and full calendar of events.  www.blackgangchine.com

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

Wightlink Ferries re-launches award-winning #wightlive campaign for second year

This year spotlight is on Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival

Chance to win VIP tickets for 2016

Join in the #wightlive conversation for a summer of cultural fun on the Island  

9th June 2015.   As the Isle of Wight Festival nears, Wightlink Ferries is once again putting itself at the heart of the Island’s festival heritage with its award winning #wightlive campaign.

To highlight a summer of celebration, great music and festival fun, music fans are being invited to put themselves “centre stage” in exchange for the chance to win a pair of VIP Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival tickets for 2016, including ferry travel with Wightlink.

Festival goers will be encouraged to take photos of themselves and friends enjoying the Isle of Wight Festival and/or Bestival and share the photos on Twitter, Instagram and on Wightlink’s Facebook page. By tagging their pictures #wightlive, posters will automatically enter the VIP competition and be added to the wightlive.co.uk gallery where viewers can vote for their favorite images. The overall winner will be chosen from the Top 10 highest voted photos.

Wightlink Ferries is also asking all festival goers and fans to join in the festival celebrations and conversations by using the hashtag #wightlive as well as the individual festival hashtags. In this way they can join in the festival vibe throughout the summer. Last year festival orgainsers, famous attendees and acts all joined in the hashtag and this is expected to grow in 2015.

The 2014 campaign, run in collaboration with Visit Isle of Wight, resulted in over 2000 competition entries and a 155% increase in Wightlink’s social followers for during the campaign. The winner, Hannah Wilcox who took a picture during the Biffy Clyro set at the Isle of Wight Festival, is returning in 2015 with her Access all Festivals Pass. She has recently blogged her top festival tips on the Wightlife blog.

The success of #wightlive 2014 led to Wightlink and its PR agency Flagship Consulting winning a bronze at the prestigious Travel Marketing Awards and resulted in Wightlink being named the top transport provider in the UK for the campaign at the Social Travel Britain Awards 2015.

David Thornton, Chief Executive of Visit Isle of Wight, commented: “The Isle of Wight boasts a superb range of over 50 festivals including the Festival of the Sea in June and Isle of Fright in October, as well as star-studded events such as the Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival. #wightlive is the perfect way to share photos of “Festival Island”and we hope many visitors as possible are inspired to return and experience it for themselves.”

Adding her support to the #wightlive campaign, Bestival Co-Promoter Ziggy Gilsenan said:“The Island has a huge festival heritage and the Bestival crew is proud to call it home. We’re chuffed to be part of #wightlive and helping festival lovers show the world what makes the Isle of Wight one of the best places to visit and live.” Isle of Wight Festival Promoter John Giddings added: “It’s an incredible honour to provide entertainment for so many people at the festival and #wightlive helps spread the Isle of Wight Festival experience around the world, so we’re delighted to support it.”

Mark Persad, Head of Marketing at Wightlink, said: “By sharing their best Isle of Wight experiences, competition entrants are not only in with a chance of winning an exclusive experience at two of the best festivals in the country, they are helping to raise awareness of the Island’s world class reputation for events via social media. As well as showcasing the Island to international audiences, the competition also supports Visit Isle of Wight in their work with the ultimate aim of boosting the Isle of Wight’s tourism industry.”

For more information and competition entry rules, visit www.wightlive.co.uk

ENDS

For more information about Wightlink Ferries, please contact:

Sophy Norris               01392 248 934            sophy.norris@flagshipconsulting.co.uk Belinda Hallworth        0207 680 7114            belinda.hallworth@flagshipconsulting.co.uk Nadia Fidler                0207 680 7122           nadia.fidler@flagshipconsulting.co.uk

Wightlink – Part of Island Life

Wightlink is the leading cross-Solent ferry operator carrying almost five million holidaymakers and Islanders across the Solent to the Isle of Wight every year. Nine ferries on three routes provide Island-wide coverage and complete 48,000 sailings a year giving Islanders an easy and frequent service to the mainland, and tourists an accessible way to enjoy a taste of Island life

You can step off the train from London, hop on a Wightlink catamaran and be on the Island in just 22 minutes, the car ferries take around 40 minutes from Portsmouth and Lymington. On board, passengers and drivers alike can relax in the lounges and enjoy some refreshments before arriving on the Island to enjoy the range of attractions, events and experiences that make the Isle of Wight a leading destination for tourists.

The opening of the Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey has cut journey times to Portsmouth from Greater London. By contrast, Wightlink’s port at Lymington is reached by an attractive drive through the scenic New Forest.

Prices:

Mainland

Day Return: Car + 7 passengers from £43.75* Short Breaks (2-4 nights): Car + 7 passengers from £54.25**

*Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 and returning 06/05/15.

** Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 returning between 08/05/15 and 10/05/15.

Island Day Return: Car + 7 passengers from £43.75* Short Breaks (2-4 nights): Car + 7 passengers from £54.25**

*Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 and returning 06/05/15.

** Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 returning between 08/05/15 and 10/05/15.

Book Early, Be Flexible, Save Money

More information can be found at www.wightlink.co.uk

 

ISLE OF WIGHT’S FESTIVAL OF THE SEA 2015 SETS SAIL

One of the world’s largest yacht races and an appearance by Johnny Depp’s stunt double are amongst the highlights of a two-week seaside festival returning to the Isle of Wight this month.

The Festival of The Sea, which was created by the Island’s Destination Marketing Organisation, Visit Isle of Wight, will involve 100 events on land and at sea. The Festival is now in its third year and will take place from June 22nd to July 5th.

The headline event is the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, on June 27th, which is organised by the Island Sailing Club and typically attracts 1700 yachts and 16,000 sailors. Competitors from around the world will attempt to circumnavigate the Island’s 50 nautical mile course, with crowds enjoying a coastline view.

On June 28th, Appley Beach will be transformed into ‘Shipwreck Isle’ with cannon demonstrations, sword fighting and Jack Sparrow lookalike Simon Newton, who doubled for Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Younger visitors are invited to dress up in their swashbuckling outfits for pirate storytelling, treasure hunts and sand sculpture workshops.

From July 2nd to 5th, Hovertravel will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a 1980s themed weekend. Travellers will be greeted with music, fancy dress and giveaways at the terminals.

Seaside and riverside pubs will be offering live music throughout the fortnight, including: The Spyglass Inn, Ventnor (June 22nd and 29th), The Bargeman’s Rest, Newport (June 24th to 28th and July 2nd to 5th) The Steamer Inn, Shanklin (June 26th to 28th and July 3rd to 5th) and The Buddle Smuggler’s Inn, Niton (June 27th).

Other events include the What Knot Crafts Exhibition in Freshwater (June 26th), the Messing About in Boats art exhibition in Cowes (June 24th to July 5th), St Catherine’s Lighthouse tours (throughout the Festival) and a Pearl Masterclass at Isle of Wight Pearl near Brighstone (throughout the Festival).

The finale on July 4th and 5th will be the ‘All at Sea’ beach festival at Hope Beach in Shanklin, with children’s entertainment, the Cardboard Box Boat Race and the Isle of Wight Birdman Rally – where competitors attempt to glide gracefully into the sea in homemade contraptions.

David Thornton, CEO of Visit Isle of Wight said: “The Isle of Wight’s Festival of the Sea is bigger and better than ever, with everything from the thrilling spectacle of world class yacht racing right through to sword fighting on the beach at Appley. You can take a tour of a lighthouse, hear some live music or join the family-friendly finale in Shanklin. The Isle of Wight’s rich nautical history deserves to be celebrated in style – and this year we’re confident we’ve got something for everybody.”

Visit Isle of Wight is supporting the Festival of the Sea 2015 with a £20,000 advertising campaign in newspapers and on radio stations across the South Coast and in London.

This is the third year running that Visit Isle of Wight has co-ordinated this festival.

You can pick up a copy of the Festival of the Sea guide, including times and locations of all the events at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/festival-of-the-sea

ENDS

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

Notes for Editors:

Image attached:  “Jack Sparrow”. One of Europe’s top Jack Sparrow lookalikes, Simon Newton will be at the festival for photographs and a bit of swashbuckling. Simon doubled for Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

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

Shipwreck Isle (28th June)

This events is organised by Roger Crouch, tel. 07739 373567, e-mail rogercrouch07@btinternet.com

All at Sea (4/5th July)

This event is organised by John Hawkins, Beach Events, tel. 07973 669 176, e-mail john@beach-events.co.uk, www.beach-events.co.uk

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

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

 

 

 

 

WIGHT IN BLOOM SEEKS BUMPER CROP OF ENTRIES

Organisers of Wight in Bloom, who recently launched this year’s event in spectacular style on board a Red Funnel ferry, are asking Islanders to enter the competition to brighten up their gardens, improve the local environment and create a dazzling floral greeting for visitors.

The competition is similar to the RHS Britain in Bloom campaign, which sees local communities work together to plant, prune, and dress local gardens and enhance communal spaces ready to be judged by the competition supporters.

Sponsored by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) – who have taken over management of the competition alongside Red Funnel Ferries – Wight in Bloom 2015 is being developed as a curtain-raiser to VIOW’s Garden Isle campaign, which will coincide with Visit England’s Year of the Garden 2016.

Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL has been appointed Patron of the event, while previous organiser, Peggy Jarman, was made President and given an “Outstanding Achievement” Award at a floating garden party on board Red Eagle last week (26th May).   The floating garden created by Ventnor Botanic Garden was unveiled to a packed audience of supporters, including previous winners of the annual competition.

There are 8 categories to choose from and judging will take place early July for prizes that include trophies, gift vouchers and gardening tools.

To inspire both dedicated gardeners and enthusiastic amateurs to fill their towns with brightly coloured floral displays, Parish Councils can apply for a grant of £200. Hoping to make their towns stand out from the crowd this year, Bembridge and Northwood have already entered the Best Community Floral Project category while Godshill has entered this and the Best Young People Initiative categories. For further details on how to apply for the grant email bloom@visitwight.org.

Wight in Bloom categories are:

1 – Best Small Front Garden

Any individual household may enter their front garden.

2 – Best Large Front Garden

Any individual household may enter their front garden.

3 – Best Public House

An individual property which has a large external garden and includes hanging baskets,

tubs and window boxes and other external garden features.

4 – Best Accommodation Garden

Hotel/Guest house/Self Catering/Accommodation provider.

5 – Best Senior Citizen Complex/Nursing Home/Care Home

Open to all public and private sectors to enter the exterior of their complexes.

6 – Best Young People Initiative

Head teachers or youth leaders may enter a group of children/young people, who have undertaken a particular floral or environmental project in the school or community.

7 – Best Community Floral Project

Groups of local people/organisations/town or parish councils may get together and enter

a project which they have undertaken in their area and may involve a floral design, conservation, litter clearance, tidying up of sites, etc. (To include church grounds).

8 – Best Tourist Attraction Garden/ Restaurant/Business

Free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are both eligible to enter this category.

 

Mike Fitt OBE, Wight in Bloom Campaign Advisor, said: “Wight In Bloom is a competition for everyone to enter, as individuals or in groups, no matter what age or ability. It is not only about beautiful floral displays but also about efforts to make the local environment a cleaner and greener place for all to enjoy, helping to celebrate this fantastic Garden Isle of ours.”

The winners of Wight in Bloom will be announced at a Garden Party in August, where a glass trophy, sponsored by The Needles Landmark Attraction will be presented to the overall winner of Wight in Bloom 2015.

An application form can be found online at www.visitisleofwight.co.uk or www.redfunnel.co.uk, alternatively pick one up from the IW County Press office, Red Funnel ferry terminals or IW garden centres.

ENDS

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

Notes to editors

Image attached “The Festival of Flower Fireworks now on display at Ventnor Botanic Gardens”

The Festival of Flower Fireworks, part of the 2015 Garden Isle celebrations, focuses on the Botanic garden’s amazing Echium plants, with their huge flower spikes growing over 3m tall.

The Garden’s Mediterranean walk contains hundreds of plants, each with a flower spike containing thousands of flowers with every shade of colour between sapphire blue and dusky pink. The result is a stunning floral explosion likened to a natural firework display that all botanic fanatics visiting the island will simply adore.

Echiums have been grown at Ventnor Botanic Garden for over 30 years, with plants originally imported from the Canary Island of La Palma. Here the plants grow to gigantic sizes in the wild, especially in the dry mountainous upper reaches of the Island, enjoying the warm climate arid terrain. At Ventnor, the original Echium plants have self-seeded in the sheltered sub-tropical micro-climate giving rise to a large collection hybridised plants that flower from the end of May to late June.

The Echium displays are currently exploding into the spotlight, with the Garden open 7 days a week from 10am for visitors to enjoy the magic of these flower fireworks.