Visit Isle of Wight launch Travel Ambassador Scheme

An exciting tourism initiative aimed at encouraging visitors to “drive less” and “see more” has been officially launched by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW).

Developed as part of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) project, a newly-trained team of Travel Ambassadors has been appointed to welcome visitors and encourage them to consider using sustainable transport options during their stay on the Island.

Based at the new Guildhall Visitor Centre in Newport – which forms part of VIOW’s new headquarters since it relocated to the heart of the Island last month – the four travel ambassadors will also be available at locations across the Island to help anyone who needs travel advice.   These include the ferry ports, attractions, key transport hubs and events both on and off the Island.

With a host of themed events planned throughout the summer including “Bike and Walk” weeks, the “meeters and greeters” will provide information and special offers on some of the Island’s great car-free experiences, from riding an open-top “breezer” bus to hiring bicycles, taking exhilarating countryside walks and enjoying unique views of some of the Island’s unspoilt countryside from the seat of a railway carriage.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said:  “The Travel Ambassadors will play a vital role in helping VIOW and our key stakeholders to spread the word about everything this beautiful Island has to offer.

“Visitors can appreciate their surroundings far more if they are taking the bus or train instead of automatically jumping in their car.  By taking public transport holidaymakers are also putting money back into the local economy and benefitting by connecting with local communities”.

Zoe Stroud, LSTF Visitor Project Manager, said: “We want visitors to have the most up-to-date knowledge of how to get around the Island and make the most of their visit.    Our ambassadors are passionate about using social media to share their experiences of enjoying car-free activities and connecting with people even before they arrive.

“We are keen to develop the service further and would like to hear from tourism providers who feel they could help us to build new opportunities and benefit from the new service.  If this applies to you, then please e-mail zoe@visitwight.or

The opening times of the Guildhall Visitor Centre in Newport are:  Monday – Friday 10.30 to 3.30 and Saturday 10.30 to-2.30, with later opening times on special event days.


For further information, please contact:   Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 521555 extension 29, 07766 705672, E-mail:



Visitors to The Needles Landmark Attraction on the Isle of Wight this August can sample a flavour of the Caribbean, enjoy stunning fireworks displays and lend their support to a number of local charities.

Every Thursday The Needles will be the setting for Music & Magic in the Skies, a musical fireworks extravaganza. Each week the event will raise funds for a different Isle of Wight charity.

The charities being supported are Beaulieu House; Challenge & Adventure; Ability Dogs 4 Young People and Youth Trust.

Also, on Tuesdays in August, The Needles will be bouncing with reggae sounds and celebrating all things Caribbean. Derek Sandy will be performing at the Landmark Attraction every Tuesday this month from 1pm until 3.30pm, while visitors will be able to purchase Caribbean-themed food, cocktails and even gifts.

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


“These spectacular fireworks events should be a lot of fun for all the family, while also helping to raise awareness and much-needed funds for some very worthy island causes.

“Meanwhile, local legend Derek Sandy will be providing the Caribbean vibes and reggae sounds for a taste of the tropical, right here on the Isle of Wight.

“It certainly promises to be a truly awesome August at The Needles.”

For more information about The Needles Landmark Attraction visit the website:, follow us on Twitter: @VisitTheNeedles or via


For further information please contact Paul Baker on 0151 304 7017


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Get ready for the Garlic Festival!

The Island’s biggest summer show returns with something for all the family on the 15th and 16th August 2015

It’s not just garlic – full entertainment line-up includes family fun, feats of strength and highwire action, Frozen sing-alongs and live music. “Yo DJ pump this party!”

This year’s Garlic Festival is shaping up to be the best ever – with the biggest and widest ranging line-up yet. From top chefs to million selling chart acts to one of the world’s strongest men – you’ll find it all at Fighting Cocks Crossroads, just outside Newchurch, on the weekend of August 15th/16th.

It’s definitely a foodie weekend! TV chef and bestselling author Rachel Khoo, well known for Little Paris Kitchen and Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook, will be the star name in the Food Theatre. Rachel will be appearing on the Sunday and will also be signing copies of her new book.

This year’s expanded theatre kitchen will feature demonstrations all weekend from talented chefs and foodie experts, showcasing the best in local produce. Colin and Natasha Boswell from Newchurch’s Garlic Farm will be hosting demonstrations on both days, along with Garlic Farm chef Phillip Hopkins. Anna Sacchini, owner of Ryde’s Ristorante Michelangelo will showcase the ‘soul’ of Italian cooking and will be cooking gnocchi – with garlic of course! Salina Rahim-Campbell of L’ailolive will be bringing Malysian flavours to the Garlic Festival, via London’s Borough Market. Salina will be presenting Japanese Gyoza Dumplings using the Garlic Farm’s Elephant Garlic. We are also joined by Tessa  Crosbie and Jessica Case, winners of the Fit2Cook competition for Hampshire and Dorset Year 8 & 9 students, from Christ the King College. They will follow Rachel Khoo in our Sunday line up.

Music lovers are guaranteed a great weekend. On Sunday festival-goers can enjoy Angie Brown and The Rhythm Method. Singer songwriter Angie Brown is known internationally for her vocals on Bizarre Inc’s 1992 smash hit “I’m Gonna Get You Baby”. Angie has worked with Chaka Khan, Fatboy Slim, Beverley Knight and Grace Jones. Angie also made a stunning appearance on BBC TV’s The Voice last year. Angie’s mix of club classics and classic soul will headline the Sunday line-up in style. Earlier in the day it’s a chance to singalong with the hits of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, delivered by the Jersey Guys, the UK’s  original tribute show to the smash hit musical Jersey Boys.

On Saturday the Garlic Festival goes stadium rock with the 80s Hair Rock Experience, bringing the music of Bon Jovi, Europe, Whitesnake, Queen and Aerosmith to the show. Expect big choruses, big sing-alongs, and – of course – big hair.  There’s also Bootleg Blondie, Europe’s official Blondie tribute band, who will deliver all of Blondie’s classics in stunning style.

Don’t miss strongman The Mighty Smith, three times winner of the UK’s Strongest Man competition, who will be performing feats of strength like bending six inch nails in his teeth, walking on a bed of broken glass and holding a chair – with a seated lady on it – in his teeth! It’s a family show with visual humour and audience participation, as well as a children’s tug of war with prizes.

It might be August but don’t miss out on getting Frozen with Ana and Elsa! Coming to the Garlic Festival from Disneyland you and the family can “let it go” with singing, dancing, a snow machine, games and the chance to meet and take photos with the sisters of Arendelle.

The Garlic Festival welcomes the Flying Seagulls Project, a charity workshop who thrilled the crowd at Glastonbury earlier this year. The team of experienced kids and street-style performers will bring bundles of energy and a carnival-style show with clowning and high-wire action. Look out for the team at their very own Gypsy Wagon stage!

It’s a welcome return to the arena for Bob Hogg and The Lamb National who were a runaway success at last year’s show. Bob’s team of working sheepdogs will inform and entertain, herding ducks around the assault course, followed by the Lamb National Sheep Race. Adults and children alike will love the sight of the Herdwick sheep running down the track and over the jumps, all wearing brightly coloured coats and with jockeys on board.

Animal lovers will be spoilt for choice at this year’s event, with Haven Falconry bringing birds of prey and ferret racing. There’s dog agility from Wight Wizards and look out for the alpacas too!

Throughout the weekend you can take part in the Garlic Games, hosted by the beautiful and slightly pungent Garlic Queen.. There’s a fancy dress parade and the IW Model Engineering Society will be steaming up with their miniature engines. The kids can take on In2Action’s climbing wall and play inflatable aeroball and there’s magic from Randini with Punch and Judy.

Garlic Festival promoter David Holmes says: “We can’t wait for this year’s Garlic Festival and we’re really excited about our line up which I really believe offers something for everyone, regardless of age. It’s the Island’s biggest summer show and this year we’re making the Food Theatre bigger than ever and we’re thrilled to welcome Rachel Khoo on the Sunday. Family tickets for the show are a priced at £25 and with all the other displays, children’s entertainers and live music it’s definitely an event not to be missed.”

Tickets for the 2015 Garlic Festival are only available on the gate on the day of the show. Adult tickets are priced at £9.50, with children (aged 5-15) at £5.00.Under 5’s go FREEwith concessions at £8.50.Family Tickets for 2 adults and 2 children are priced at £25.00.




Visitors to Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight are in for a real treat this summer as falconer, Steve Hain, has introduced a ground breaking new falconry demonstration this week – the first of its kind ever shown in the UK.

As part of his evening show, Steve has trained his Harris Hawk, ‘Baldric’, to fly around the park’s illuminated amphitheatre wearing a ‘live’ headcam that beams images directly onto a huge screen.    This enables the audience to experience a true ‘birds eye view’ as every movement by the bird is captured, so you can actually see where and at what the bird is looking.   This includes images of the audience themselves, ‘ducking’ as the falcon swoops low above them.

Steve said, “It’s taken three years of training ourselves and the bird for this one demonstration but I’m absolutely delighted that we have managed to achieve such a ground breaking feat in falconry terms. As a falconer, I am always looking for new ideas to push ourselves as well as falconry in general.  Falconry is one of those sports where you never stop learning and with filming our birds, it has allowed us to see different aspects of how our birds work and fly.  With this new headcam, it’s not just fun for the public, it also allows you to see the head movement of the birds.  We have already worked out that while sitting still, their head movement is not smooth but moves in a jerky motion.  These head cams are just the start of even more ground breaking demonstrations to come.”

The falconry headcam demonstration is part of Robin Hill’s ‘Stunning Nights’ evening entertainment programme which takes place every Tuesday and Thursday evening during the summer holidays.

Steve Hain, of White Falconry, has worked in falconry for over 16 years, ten of which have been spent running the demonstrations and courses at Robin Hill Country Park – and captivating hundreds of thousands of visitors!

For more information, visit /

For further information please contact Michelle Russell, Marketing & Communications Manager, Vectis Ventures Limited :  07436 283630 / 01983 732123 /

Natalie Dormer to star in BBC’s factual drama telling the story of the Isle of Wight’s “Scandalous Lady W”

Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer is to star in a BBC2 factual drama on August 20th, re-telling the tale of the Isle of Wight’s “scandalous” Lady in Red.

Natalie Dormer will star as Lady Seymour Worsley who, aged 17, married Sir Richard Worsley the 7th Baronet of Appuldurcombe House on the Isle of Wight, on September 20th 1775.

Badly suited to one another, the couple’s marriage began to fall apart shortly after it began.  Lady Worsley was rumoured to have had 27 lovers, one of whom was Captain George Bissett – Sir Richard’s best friend.

The BBC TV drama – titled The Scandalous Lady W – will recount the 18th century scandal on the Isle of Wight, which shocked the British upper classes.  Natalie Dormer (Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, The Tudors) leads a cast of British actors in the gripping 18th century factual drama produced by Wall to Wall Media and directed by Sheree Folkson for BBC Two.  The untold true story of Lady Worsley is brought to life by award-winning writer David Eldridge.

Eldridge based his screenplay on author Hallie Rubenhold’s book Lady Worsley’s Whim.  The book is inspired by the full length oil painting of Lady Worsley that hangs in Harewood House in Yorkshire.  She is depicted wearing a bright red riding habit.

Dormer plays Seymour Worsley, a passionate, courageous woman at the centre of a very public trial brought by her powerful husband Sir Richard Worsley, played by Shaun Evans (Endeavour, The Lost Weekend).  The one-off ninety-minute factual drama is currently scheduled to appear on BBC2 on August 20th.

Located near to Wroxall on the Isle of Wight, Appuldurcombe House today is the shell of a large 18th-century baroque house, cared for by English Heritage.It stands in Capability Brown designed grounds where there is also an Owl & Falconry Centre.

Sir Richard Worsley became the seventh baronet in 1768 and took up residence at Appuldurcombe in 1772.  He represented the peak of the Worsleys wealth and influence, becoming a privy councillor and “comptroller of George III’s household”.  By 1782, he had completed the rebuilding of Appuldurcombe in the Palladian style. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, meanwhile, was hired to redesign a huge ornamental park around the house.

The ‘new’ Appuldurcombe was a wonder to behold: a gem of Georgian architecture situated in landscaped grounds set in beautiful countryside.  However, Richard was disastrously unsuccessful in his marriage to the heiress Seymour Dorothy Fleming, which lasted from 1775 to1782.  The proceedings of their scandalous divorce case ruined his public reputation and the failure of the marriage doomed the Worsley dynasty.

For further details of Appuldurcombe House, visit

All other tourist information about the Isle of Wight can be found at


For further information, please contact:
Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer
Tel: 07766 705672

Cowes brings colour and spectacle to the Isle of Wight

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight has been a significant fixture on the British sporting summer calendar ever since 1826, and has gone on to become one of the longest running and most successful sporting events in the whole of the UK.

Offering a breathtaking combination of colour and spectacle, it is a highlight for residents and visitors to the Isle of Wight alike, as well as yet another reason for planning a visit to the Island in the height of summer.

The first ever race at Cowes was for a Gold Cup valued at £100. Just seven yachts competed for this under the flag of the Royal Yacht Club (later to become the Royal Yacht Squadron which is celebrating its bicentenary this year). The following year King George IV indicated his approval of the event by presenting The King’s Cup, which was subsequently competed for at every event up to 1939, and the event became known as Cowes Regatta.

The regatta has evolved enormously since 1826 and, in staging up to 40 daily races for between 850 and 1,000 boats, it is today the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world.

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week will take place this year from Saturday August 8th to 15th, and will feature an exciting and diverse blend of competitive sailing – as well as a strong social scene.

The 8,000 competitors range from world class yachtsmen to weekend sailors and household celebrities, and in excess of 100,000 visitors come to enjoy the festival atmosphere and experience that the event offers.

Traditionally a key component of the British Summer “Season”, taking place after Goodwood and before the Glorious 12th, the event has attracted both British and foreign Royalty – and many famous faces. The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Anne are frequent visitors.

Events of particular interest this year include a Family Fun Day on August 9th; Ladies Day on August 11th, which is a celebration of women in sailing, as well as a spectacle in its own right; and the Artemis Challenge on August 13th when visitors can watch some of the best boats and sailors in the world set off on a 50 mile sprint around the Isle of Wight, to win a £10k charity prize. (Teams competing in the Artemis Challenge in the past have included sports stars Zara Phillips, Amy Williams, Will Greenwood, Mike Tindall and James Haskell, as well as other stars from the world of entertainment, including Davina McCall & Bryan Adams).

Further details about Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week can be found at and the event can be followed on social media through @Cowes_Week and #CowesWeek.

The Isle of Wight, or course, has a great sailing heritage, and is the perfect place to visit for anyone who not only wants to watch events such as Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, but also the wants to spend time on the water themselves

UKSA in Cowes, for example, offers a full range of courses (; as does the Medina Valley Centre in the sheltered tidal estuary near to Newport (

For a full round-up of all sailing opportunities on the Island, visit


For further information, please contact:
Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer
Tel: 07766 705672 E-mail:

Artemis Investment Management brings the Red Arrows back to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

Cowes Week Ltd, organisers of the world’s best-known sailing regatta and highlight of the British Sporting Summer is delighted to announce that Artemis Investment Management has extended its support of the regatta in 2015 to include an awe-inspiring aerial display by the Red Arrows which will significantly enhance the shore-side programme at this year’s regatta.

Artemis Investment Management, sponsors of the Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes week, have stepped-in with support to ensure the regatta’s Red Arrows display goes ahead in 2015. The timing is perfect,  as this year’s edition of the celebrated annual charity race around the Isle of Wight looks set to be the largest in its nine year history. Over the years, the 50 mile sprint around the island has welcomed some of the world’s most celebrated sailors and the celebrity guests onboard are expected to match the impressive fleet.

Commenting on the announcement, Dick Turpin, Partner at Artemis Investment Management LLP said: “We’re delighted to offer our support to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week by ensuring the appearance of the world famous Red Arrows again this year, completing the line up of spectacular aerial displays and providing the Cowes Week audience with some unforgettable shore-side entertainment”

Kate Johnson, Commercial & Marketing Director for Cowes Week Limited added: “We’re delighted that Artemis are supporting this year’s Red Arrows display. It will be a fitting end to a spectacular day on the water at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. The Artemis Challenge starts at 10am on Thursday 13th August. It will be a racing start not to be missed and we recommend watching from behind the cannons by the Royal Yacht Squadron, or along The Green. The Red Arrows display will begin at 6.50pm, head to Cowes Parade for the best view”

“In addition, we’re extremely excited to announce an incredible display by an RAF Typhoon, which wowed the crowds at Cowes Week in 2014. The Typhoon display is at 7.30pm on Friday 14th, ahead of the magnificent Firework display which will begin at 9.30pm”

The full entertainments schedule for this year’s regatta is available online at This information is continuously updated so anyone planning their trip to Cowes during the regatta should check back regularly.

This year’s regatta takes place 8-15th August and those thinking about entering to take part in the racing are reminded that the standard entry fee ends on Friday 31st July at noon. Anyone who can’t take part for the full week can pick whichever day – or days – are convenient to them. Enter at

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2015 takes place from the 8-15 August.

Cowes Week 2016 takes place from the 6-13 August.


Notes to Editors:

 About Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

Cowes Week is one of the UK’s longest running sporting events, having first taken place in 1826. The aspirational and inclusive sailing regatta is the largest of its kind in the world, attracting between 800 and 1,000 yachts in up to 40 classes. Around 7,000 competitors race during the week ranging from weekend sailors to World Champions and Olympic medallists.

The lively festival atmosphere at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week means there is plenty of social and exciting onshore activities for sailors and the thousands of spectators who visit Cowes each year. The next edition of the regatta takes place from 8-15 August 2015 (a little later than usual due to the tides). Entries are now open online.

The event is supported by its Title Sponsor, Aberdeen Asset Management and the following supporting sponsors also help to make the event a success: Nyetimber, Liz Earle, Boss Watches, Chatham Marine, Chilgrove Gin, CNBC, Gill, Isle of Wight Council, Sunsail,  and Volvo Car UK. The Official event charity is UKSA, supporting youth sailing opportunities.


About Cowes Week Limited

Cowes Week Limited (wholly owned by Cowes Combined Clubs Limited) was formed in November 2007 to provide a single management board with overall responsibility for the event. This ensures that the business operation of both the shore-side and racing elements are managed in a streamlined way.

About Aberdeen Asset Management

Aberdeen is an independent asset management company. Formed out of a management buy-out in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1983, it is now a FTSE 100 company operating on the ground in over 23 countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Defined by a pure focus on asset management, including equities, fixed income, property and multi-asset portfolios, Aberdeen’s investment solutions are driven by commitment to straightforward, transparent investment approaches that stress intensive, first-hand research and a long-term view.

The company manages £330 billion in assets on behalf of institutional and private investors, as of 31st March 2015.

Aberdeen participates in sponsorships where it can get actively involved and make a difference to an event, individual or team. Aberdeen’s current sport sponsorship portfolio includes properties across golf, sailing, rowing and hockey. The group is also involved with a number of cultural and arts sponsorships.

To find out more about Aberdeen’s capabilities visit:

To find out more about Aberdeen’s sponsorships visit:


Ten Reasons To Visit The Isle of Wight This Summer

The Isle of Wight – proven in the past to be one of the sunniest places in the whole of the UK – has a hot summer season of festivals, events and activities for its visitors to enjoy this year.  Here’s just ten reasons to spend some time there this summer:

1. The Carnival Capital of the UK

The Isle of Wight is home to the oldest carnival in the UK.  Ryde Carnival was first held in 1888, following a highly successful and hugely popular event of the previous year, which marked the Queen’s Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria who attended the event herself.  This year’s Ryde Carnival takes place on Thursday, August 27th.  All the Island’s major towns host similar carnivals, and have also been joined on the summer calendar by Bestival’s Carnival Fancy Dress Parade.

2. Dinosaur Isle

Named the “Dinosaur Capital of Britain” in 2013, the Isle of Wight is the perfect destination for anyone inspired by the latest Jurassic World movie.  Download the Dinosaur Isle app to follow in the footsteps of giants and have photographs taken with them, or head to Compton Bay or Yaverland beaches to search for fossils.  Dinosaur Isle at Sandown, meanwhile, is an interactive museum with life-sized reconstructions, some of which move, that also houses over 1,000 fossils.

3. Sailing Isle

The Isle of Wight’s world-famous Cowes Week is scheduled to take place this year from August 8th to 15th.   But Visit Isle of Wight and Universal Yacht Charter have also joined forces to create a new Bike & Sail experience for the summer.  This new short active break is expected to attract interest amongst groups of friends, families and perhaps businesses looking for something slightly different.

4. Music Isle

Having already successfully staged the latest edition of The Isle of Wight Festival, the Island will be staging v-Dub between July 23th and 27th, followed by one of the world’s best music festivals, Bestival, from September 10th to 13th.

5. Isle of Arts

Each July, Isle of Wight artists and crafts-people open their studios, homes or exhibit in public venues over two open studios weekends.  This gives visitors the opportunity to meet local artists, see their work and find out more about the techniques they use and the passions which inspire them.  Open Studios is a free event and offers the chance to view and purchase a great range of work including painting, sculpture, print-making, photography, textiles, jewellery and ceramics.  Open Studios will be held in West Wight from July 17th to 20th and in East Wight from July 24th to 27th.

6. Garden Isle

The newly introduced “Wight in Bloom” has as its Patron Alan Titchmarsh, and will result in a garden party/awards ceremony this August.  Perennially popular with green fingered visitors, the Island can lay claim to Osborne House, Ventnor Botanic Gardens, and Appuldurcombe House with all of its Capability Brown associations.  A new Isle of Wight Gardens Trail is also planned for launch this summer.

7. Taste of the Wight

Rachel Koo will be the special guest at this year’s Garlic Festival over the weekend of August 15th/16th; the Isle of Wight’s annual Sweetcorn Fayre will this year take place on September 26th to 29th; and the Bembridge Harbour Food Festival is set for September 25th/26th.  A full listing of Taste of the Wight events can be found here.

8. Attractions Isle

Children will enjoy the Island’s mix of attractions this summer, including Punch & Judy at Osborne, the Knight School at Carisbrooke Castle, The Railway Folk at the IW Steam Railway, Dino Nights at Blackgang Chine and Music & Magic in the Skies at The Needles Landmark Attraction with entertainment, fun and interaction for the whole family.   There are also lots of outdoor nature activities like nature trails, bug hunts as well as lizard safaris at Ventnor Botanic Gardens – and a unique rockpooling opportunity to discover the amazing array of marine life that has made a home Under the Pier – bring a net and a bucket if you have one and make sure to wear wellies or waterproof shoes. Expect to get a bit splashed!

 9. Pure Wight

Adventurous visitors should consider Compton or Freshwater Bay for surf lessons, or kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding to hidden caves and Victorian forts.  For a thrilling view of the coastline, take a high-speed RIB ride around The Needles or paraglide from a hillside near the unspoilt chalk cliffs of the West Wight. Rewarding views and a treetop hammock are on offer for those who conquer technical tree climbing, whilst those searching for something a bit different should consider climbing into a three metre inflatable ball and ‘zorbing’ their way down a hillside. Or if G-forces are not your thing, stick to two wheels and glide around a Segway course.  For these and more Pure Wight adventures, visit

10. Bicycle Island

The family-friendly Red Squirrel Trail has been tailored for cyclists who prefer car-free cycling on mainly flat, gentle routes.  Stop-off at golden beaches and cafes passing woodland and the wild flower grassland of Alverstone Mead nature reserve.   Bring your own bike – Island Coasterbuses can take up to six bikes each – or why not hire one?   Routfifty7 bike hire are based just 300yds from Shanklin railway station and lead directly on the Red Squirrel Trail as well as the Chalk Ridge Extreme Trail and the Round the Island Taste Trail.   More routes and bike hire companies can be found at


For all other information about the Isle of Wight, visit





For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672


Enjoy Island life for the day with Wightlink Ferries – New day trip rates at £45 per family ticket make an Isle of Wight escape a summer must do

Wightlink Ferries has introduced a new foot passenger family rate on its fast Catamaran service from Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde, and families can now hop over to the Island for a day trip for just £45.  A family ticket is valid for a family group of up to five people; minimum 1 adult and maximum 2 adults in the group, making a return day trip from just £9 per person*.

The Catamaran journey to Ryde, one of the Island’s most bustling towns, takes just 20 minutes, making a day trip to England’s largest Island a must do for castaways this summer.   Alternatively, foot passengers can travel from Portsmouth to Fishbourne or Lymington to Yarmouth for a slightly longer journey of 40 minutes at only £37.50 for a day trip.

Alongside the new rates, Wightlink has introduced a new section to its website that highlights the range of brilliant things to do in a day–  Some can be reached on foot or by bike (foot passengers can take bikes on board the ferries at no additional cost) and others can be reached by the Island’s excellent public transport network.

Five of Wightlink’s favourite family days out this summer are:

Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s famous Royal residence in East Cowes, is transforming its spectacular grounds into an open air Luna Cinema under the stars for three nights during August. Families can indulge in a selection of hot food and drinks served from a range of vintage vehicles prior to enjoying the evening entertainment. Tickets cost £13.50 per adult and £9.00 per child.

Foot passengers disembarking the Catamaran at Ryde Pier can catch Southern Vectis bus route 4 towards East Cowes and arrive at Osborne House in just 30 minutes.

Throughout the summer, Robin Hill Adventure Park will play host to a number of stunning summer evenings, with lots of carnival style entertainment, live music and performances. Standard tickets cost from £13.50 each.

Families bringing their bikes along for the day can peddle to Robin Hill from Ryde Pier in just 45 minutes.

The Garlic Festival, 15-16 August, has become one of the Island’s most iconic events and is a superb family day out. Alongside the celebration of garlic (including in ice cream and beer form) there is live entertainment and music.  Rachel Koo will be this year’s guest chef. Tickets cost £9.50 per adult.

For families looking to combine some exercise into their visit, the 5.7 mile walk from Ryde Pier to the Garlic Festival is the perfect option.

Blackgang Chine has been attracting visitors for more than 170 years and is the perfect spot to keep the kids entertained. From spending the day as a princess, to drawing guns at noon or enjoying a dinosaur ride, there is plenty of fun to be had. Standard tickets cost from £16 per person.

Southern Vectis bus Route 7 runs from Yarmouth Bus Station, close to the Terminal. Route 7 connects to the Island bus interchange at Newport. From here Route 6 runs regular services to Blackgang Chine.

Located on the Isle of Wight’s beautiful heritage coastline, The Needles Landmark Attraction offers an exciting family day out. For spectacular views of Alum Bay Beach and Needles Rocks, take a ride on the chair lift.

This is the ideal attraction for foot passengers arriving into Yarmouth, as families can get on board the frequent number 7 bus route and arrive at The Needles in just 25 minutes.

Providing the perfect opportunity to unwind, relax and enjoy family time together, there is no better place to visit than the Isle of Wight for a special summer escape, even if just for a day**.

For more information on the exciting events and activities taking place on the Isle of Wight during summer, download Wightlink’s Wightlife brochure, which is available as an app, via  Also, check out the Wightlife blog at

*Adults includes any person aged 16 and over

**Longer stays are also encouraged. Explore a range of accommodation options and offers at


For more information about Wightlink Ferries, please contact:

Sophy Norris               01392 248 934  
Belinda Hallworth        0207 680 7114  
Nadia Fidler                0207 680 7122 


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.



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.


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

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