It was anchors away last weekend (18/19 June) as Shipwreck Isle sailed into port and the golden sands of Ryde became a pirates’ paradise for two glorious days.

Hundreds of salty seadogs and buccaneers headed to Ryde for the free event, which is part of Visit Isle of Wight’s (VIOW) Festival of the Sea celebrations.

VIOW worked with Roger Crouch, the man behind the Hastings Pirate Day event – to make Shipwreck Isle even bigger and better than before.  Held for just one day in 2015, the hugely popular event was extended to two-days with events and activities that included a Pirates of the Caribbean Village, Blackbeard’s market, live stunt action and an evening of entertainment on the Saturday night.

Visit Isle of Wight believes Shipwreck Isle has a genuine potential to grow into a major, world-class event for the Island – and encourage more out of season visitors to its shores.

Katie Jones, Events Manager for Visit Isle of Wight, said: “This year’s Shipwreck Isle went extremely well and created a real buzz as local people and visitors interacted with pirates and the various pirate-themed events and activities.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Roger and his team as well as Island businesses people like Airon Baker and Damien Walsh, who were involved in creating such a fabulous event”.

The Festival of the Sea runs from 18 June -3 July and during that period there are lots more sea-themed events and activities for visitors and local people to enjoy.

A new highlight this year, the world’s leading annual solo sailing race, the Solitaire Bompard – Le Figaro comes to Cowes from June 22 to 26.

The Solitaire Race Village in Cowes will be free to visit during five full days of fun, and will include food markets, a drinks bar, live music, plus an opportunity for those who want to try their hands at sailing on the Solent – courtesy of the sailing academy UKSA.  Alongside the live entertainment, there will be a host of interactive family-friendly stands and activities.

Other major events include the Shakespeare Mardi Gras on 25th June and the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on 2nd July.

For more information about these and other Festival of the Sea events, please go to

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


Notes to Editors

Image of Shipwreck Isle attached.

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 ( the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities:


A new Isle of Wight camping and caravanning guide which invites visitors to “Come abroad to the Camping Capital of the UK” to discover the Island’s “camping secrets” has been launched by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW).

The “Isle of Wight Pocket Book of Camping Secrets” has been produced by VIOW who have teamed up with Solent Co to showcase the many different types of camping and caravanning holidays available on the Island, including award-winning sites in beautiful countryside and coastal settings, family-run holiday parks with five-star facilities, or more unusual options like gypsy caravans, tree houses, Eco lodges and tipis.

For many adults and children, the joys of camping and caravanning in the great outdoors are clear.  It’s great for outdoor pursuits like walking, cycling and water sports – and an easy walk back to camp, where you can watch the sun set over the sea in the evening, star-gaze on a clear, dark night, or listen to waves break on a nearby beach – all magical, memorable experiences.

The camping and caravan sector is of enormous importance to the Island’s overall tourism economy and VIOW is keen to increase market share by promoting its camping, glamping, holiday parks and wild camping sites to families and couples who currently don’t choose the Isle of Wight for their outdoor adventure holidays.

David Thornton, CEO of Visit Isle of Wight and self-confessed Island campaholic said: “Many people love the freedom that camping offers and the Isle of Wight has so many great camping possibilities.

“You can tour the Island in an iconic VW campervan, stay at gorgeous campsites and explore coastal cycling trails and walking routes, or take romantic afternoon picnics while enjoying the comfort of your luxury camper van or eco lodge.

“We believe our new Isle of Wight pocket book of Camping Secrets will intrigue and engage our audience leading them to discover some of the best camping and caravanning experiences in the UK”.

Also in the new guide, camping and glamping owners reveal what got them started in the business and share their secrets for getting the most out of the trip. There is also a directory of holiday parks, camping and touring providers – plus the chance to win some great holiday prizes, including a seven night camping holiday on the Island for the next three years!

In 2017, the winner of the holiday prize will be able to choose to stay at one of Park Resorts three holiday centres on the Isle of Wight:  Thorness Bay near Cowes, Lower Hyde in Shanklin or Nodes Point near Bembridge – and enjoy two camping holidays in 2018 and 2019 as well!

The main prize also includes an Outwell family tent, free ferry travel to the Island, free bike hire and tickets to some of the Island’s top tourist attractions.   There are some great runner-up prizes too, including free Hovertravel passes, walking boots and attractions tickets

Distribution of the ‘pocket size guide will be through individual requests generated via VIOW’s advertising campaigns, camping stores and other retail outlets in the Midlands and the North of England and selected Tourist Information Centres.   It will also be featured at a selection of exhibitions that VIOW and its travel ambassadors will be attending from now until March 2017.

A dedicated “Camping Capital” page on the VIOW website has also been developed to showcase the Island’s camping and caravanning offer.   A digital version of the Isle of Wight Pocket Book of Camping Secrets will be available later this year.

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


Notes to Editors

The attached (2) images were taken at Appuldurcombe Gardens Holiday Park on the Isle of


Left to right:  David Brooks, Director of Solent Co, David Thornton, CEO of Visit Isle of Wight and Kevin Sanders, Director of Appuldurcombe Gardens Holiday Park.

The Isle of Wight pocket book of Camping Secrets features a unique blend of Festival camping, Woodland camping, Glamping, Lo-Fi camping, Camping on the go and Family camping.    Commissioned by Visit Isle of Wight as a brand new separate publication and teaming up with publishing partner Solent Co, the guide is a 32-page document and includes an accommodation directory and a map.

The design and artwork was produced by Words&Stuff, a copywriting and design agency based on the Isle of Wight.

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 ( the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities:



Father’s Day delights on the Isle of Wight

It’s Father’s Day on Sunday, June 19th so why not treat Dad to an overnight stay on the Isle of Wight where he can enjoy some great gift experiences?

He could learn about the restoration and maintenance of steam trains, relax and indulge in the Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea, pick up some tips on how to create the perfect coastal garden – and even become a pirate for the day at the Island’s annual Shipwreck Isle celebrations!

Shipwreck Isle

Shiver me timbers and man the riggings m’hearties for Shipwreck Isle 2016! The pirate extravaganza is returning to Appley Beach as part of the Festival of the Sea and will be even bigger and better than last year as Ryde seafront is transformed into ‘Shipwreck Isle’. Expect cannon demonstrations, sword fighting and lots more swashbuckling adventures as the Island celebrates its nautical past with a fun-filled weekend for Dads of all ages.

Where: Appley Beach, Ryde, Isle of Wight.
When: Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June.
Cost: Free
More info:

Stay: The Royal Esplanade Hotel, pleasantly situated facing the Solent in the attractive seaside town of Ryde. Tel. 01983 562549,,

Father’s Day Workshop at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Steam trains… how do they keep going and how do we know how to repair them? Bring Dad along as the Island’s steam railway throws open its workshop doors and invites you to come and wander around and meet both the old hands and new apprentices who are being trained to do the work of a bygone era. Plus the chance to be transported by steam train through some of the Island’s countryside – and visit the Train Story Discovery Centre to see the impressive historic collection of locomotives, Victorian and Edwardian carriages and other rare rolling stock.

When: Sunday 19th June
Where: Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Havenstreet, near Ryde, Isle of Wight PO33 4DS.
Cost: On the gate prices: adult £13.00, child (5-15) £6.50, infant (0-4) free, family ticket £32.50 (2 Adults and 2 Children). If booked online: adult £11.50, child (5-15) £6.00, infant (0-4) free, family ticket £29.00. The prices include train rides. Please note, there is an extra charge for admission to the railway’s new Birds of Prey Centre.
More info:

Stay: Hotel Ryde Castle, the Esplanade, Ryde. Tel. 0845 6086040,

Father’s Day Weekend at Chessell Pottery Barns

Bring out Dad’s inner artist with a fun morning or afternoon spent painting pottery at this small, family-friendly pottery on the Isle of Wight. Over Father’s Day Weekend if your Dad is spotted sporting one of the studio’s aprons, he can have his studio fee (worth £5.99) on them. Put the money towards a delicious Ploughman’s lunch and a glass of local ale in the pottery’s Courtyard Café.

Where: Chessell Pottery Barns, Brook Road, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight PO41 0UE.

When: 18/19 June

Cost: Studio fee (including all materials) £5.99 per person, plus cost of pottery (from £7.50). Ploughman’s lunch (optional) £10. Pottery is ready a few days later to collect, or it can be posted to your home address.
More info: Please book by telephoning 01983 531248,,

Stay: Brook House, which offers luxury self-catering accommodation in the beautiful and unspoilt village of Brook in rural West Wight.

Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea

A great gift for gourmet Dads, this robust afternoon tea with a masculine slant includes Fish Finger Sandwich, Tartare Sauce, Quail Scotch Eggs, Roast Beef, Yorkie & Gravy, Pork & Apple Sausage Roll, Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Bagel, Pancetta & Potato Scone and Chicken Butter, followed by Boozy Trifle, plus a pint of George’s Brew or two halves of your choice.

When: Book the experience by calling the hotel for availability and they will reserve a date that suits you – note, 24 hours’ notice is required. The ‘Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea’ is served daily from 3pm to 5pm.
Where: The George Hotel, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, PO41 0PE.
Cost: £26 per person, plus postage (free to e-mail voucher).
More Info: Email, tel. 01983 760331,

Stay: The George Hotel, a 17th Century townhouse enjoying a wonderful location nestling on the water’s edge between the castle and pier in the bustling harbour town of Yarmouth.

Design and inspiration with the Isle of Wight Coastal Gardener

Find out about which plants thrive in coastal conditions and learn how to create the best possible environment for your plants to flourish as the Coastal Gardener shares his ideas on designing and planting and offers advice about your own garden (please do bring along plans and or photographs of your garden). You will also visit his own coastal garden in Bembridge and take a short walk along the coast to see what’s thriving on the cliff edge and beach.

Where: This course will be run at the Nursery at Fakenham Farm, Eddington Road, St Helens, Isle of Wight PO33 1XS.
When: Saturday 18th June 2016.10.30am to 3.30pm
Cost: £45.00 which includes all materials, equipment and seeds – please bring your own gloves if you like to wear them.
More info: To reserve your place please call/text 07977 550050 or email

Stay: The Spinnaker, a beautifully restored Edwardian hotel, set in the heart of the chic village of Bembridge. Tel. 01983 873572,

For full details about visiting the Isle of Wight, go to

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