Isle of Wight goes big on Tiny Homes Holidays

Now open for business, Tiny Homes Holidays is a new, ethical way to take a break on the Isle of Wight.

The Tiny Homes Holiday concept is all about downsizing your space and upsizing your free time – and living simply in a smallholding environment.  It has been created by the people behind Vintage Vacations, the first Airstream caravan holidays in the UK.  Like Airstreams, the tiny house movement originated in the US, among people choosing to downsize and live more simply.  And the same ethos applies on the Isle of Wight site.

The three architect-designed Tiny Homes – Eilidh, Hygge and Silva – are set in a smallholding environment adjacent to the Parkhurst Forest, with walking trails, cycle routes and wildlife galore, including the Isle of Wight’s famous red squirrels.  Tranquil coastlines and the coastal town of Cowes are a cycle ride away.

The development incorporates many eco-friendly measures, including solar power, composting toilets, wood burning stoves and water recycling.

There will initially be three Tiny Homes on the site, eventually rising to six, but the aim it to purposefully keep it…tiny!

Should they wish, guests will be able to spend time working in the mandala gardens, and – if they do so – they will also be able to help themselves to the produce.  There will also be various workshops and events on offer in a separate studio that will reflect the philosophy of Tiny Homes.

The Isle of Wight Tiny Homes have been finished to the highest standards…making them truly tiny, but perfectly formed.  They have also been designed with holidaymakers in mind – featuring everything to make a stay here comfortably luxurious and with enough space for storage.  The idea, however, is to travel light and fit right in; and ingenious internal architecture is aimed at surprising guests at just how spacious Tiny can feel!

The Tiny Homes Holidays have also embraced the ‘Tourism for All’ concept: all of the first phase of homes have been thoughtfully designed to cater for all guests including those with hearing, visual or mental impairment, older guests and people with certain types of Dementia.  The aim is to offer a great holiday experience for these guests and their carers and families.

An adjacent Studio has begun to offer a schedule of workshops, courses and experiences.  Courses will range from pilates and yoga to painting and drawing, clothing upcycling and theatrical costumes, to life coaching, bread-making, and workshops for pregnant couples.

Further detail can be found at

Timed to coincide with the opening, Tiny Homes Holidays have also announced details of their “Tiny Winter Retreats”.  Prices for Winter breaks start from £175 (2 nights midweek).  Taking place in the on-site purpose-built studio, guests can learn how to make their own lingerie from a former Agent Provocateur designer, or come for a lovely weekend crafting unusual and nature-inspired Christmas decorations. “Knickers to the Weekend” break runs from November 10-13 – from £275 per person (3 night stay and 2 day course); “Make Christmas”, meanwhile, runs from December 1-4 – from £224 per person (3 night stay and 2 x 3 hour workshops, 5 projects)

For all further details about the Isle of Wight, visit


For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson

Tel: 07766 705672


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

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to,,,,


IN TIME for National Grandparents Day (Sunday 01 October 2017) Parkdean Resorts has enlisted the support of five regional tourist boards to celebrate why the UK is great for multigenerational breaks.

‘3G’ groups were amongst the 500,000 holidaymakers the UK’s largest holiday park operator welcomed last year, giving families the chance to spend quality time together – the most common reason for multigenerational holidays according to a recent survey by Saga Travel Insurance*.

Parkdean Resorts has identified Cornwall, the Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Northumberland and Essex as increasingly popular regions for grandparents, parents and grandchildren to seek adventure during a break, away from the distractions of school, work and everyday routines.

Self-catering staycations can be a cost-effective option bookable all-year-round, with holiday parks home to spacious accommodation fitted with essentials, as well as a variety of facilities and activities all ages can appreciate – especially as grandparents are often enjoying more active retirements.

John Waterworth, chief executive of Parkdean Resorts, said: “Some of my best memories of my grandparents are from holidays altogether in Cornwall, as well as at the caravan they owned in the North East. We explored the local areas, spent endless days at the beach and played board games on the rare occasion it rained. It still makes me feel a great sense of happiness when I think of those fond memories to this day.

“Caravan holidays have changed a lot since then, but their appeal for multigenerational breaks remains the same. We’re keen to encourage families to holiday together and enjoy uninterrupted moments, and are pleased to have partnered with a number of the UK’s tourist boards who share the same values, highlighting some of the best regions for ‘3G’ breaks.”

Surrounding areas also have plenty to discover as highlighted by the five tourist boards, encouraging children and teens to ditch tech and engage in exciting experiences, making life-long memories with loved ones, from crabbing in Looe Harbour to paddle boarding on the Isle of Wight.

Visit Cornwall recommends families walk across the causeway to St Michael’s Mount, go to Pendennis Castle and play knights and kings, explore the streets and alleyways of St Ives, take a ferry trip out of Falmouth and tuck into some Cornish pasties.

Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, said: “Cornwall is a unique destination as it attracts the senior market, families and is loved by children, making it an ideal place for a holiday with three generations in tow.

“There’s nothing better than families holidaying altogether at the place where grandad and grandma used to take their children, seeing their grandkids play on the same beach. It is the ultimate nostalgia trip.”

Visit Isle of Wight recommends cycling along the family-friendly Red Squirrel Trail, trying out water sports from sailing to waterskiing, getting aboard the Isle of Wight Steam Railway and meeting dinosaurs at Dinosaur Isle.

David Thornton, chief executive of Visit Isle of Wight, said: “The Isle of Wight is packed with history and adventure from dinosaurs to pirates, making it a destination full of discovery that will excite thrill-seeking teenagers as much as mini explorers, parents and grandparents.

“The Island’s exciting natural environment is the perfect holiday playground, and is just four miles from the mainland. There really is something to keep the whole family happy come rain or shine.”

Visit Norfolk recommends going under the sea at Sea Life Great Yarmouth, animal spotting at Banham Zoo, going on a boat cruise on the Broads, playing hide and seek in Thetford Forest and heading out on a steam train on The Poppy Line.

 Pete Waters, manager of Visit Norfolk, said: “Norfolk is a great region for 3G breaks as its natural and built capital are ideal for all ages to enjoy, with accommodation providers increasingly catering for multiple generations holidaying together. Not only do 3G breaks help to spread the cost, but also provide an opportunity for quality time, sometimes not always easy to do with busy schedules or families living far apart.

“Regardless of the season, Norfolk’s 93 miles of coastline are always great to explore, as well as the variety of visitor attractions which have invested in weather-proofing their facilities in recent years to ensure a great day out irrespective of the weather.”

Northumberland Tourism recommends exploring nature and history at Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens, learning about the county’s Roman heritage at the Roman Army Museum next to one of the most complete sections of Hadrian’s Wall, and heading to Bamburgh Beach to build sandcastles or marvel in the beauty of Bamburgh Castle.

Jude Leitch, director at Northumberland Tourism, said: “We prefer the slower pace of life in Northumberland, making it the perfect place for an unforgettable multigenerational holiday – whatever the time of year. From the gardens of our stately homes and castles bursting into bloom in spring, to the darkest skies in Europe twinkling with thousands of stars in the winter, there’s something for all interests and ages.

“Generations have lived as part of the Northumberland landscape for centuries, creating a rich heritage and protecting a way of life together. We hope visitors to the county will discover the warmth of our welcome, and return time and time again to holiday together as a family unit.”

 Visit Essex recommends spending the day at Colchester Zoo, taking a trip to Osea Island to appreciate scenery that rivals overseas landscapes, exploring Dedham Vale – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and tucking into fish and chips and ice creams on a traditional day at the seaside at Southend-on-Sea, Clacton-on-Sea or Mersea Island.

Carol Jolly, tourism marketing & PR manager at Visit Essex, said: “In Essex we are extremely lucky to have a bit of everything – an amazing coastline, wonderful rolling countryside, quaint villages and inspiring towns, as well as over 450 visitor attractions ranging from beautiful historic houses to galleries, museums and theme parks.

“I believe visitors to Essex will be pleasantly surprised by what we have to offer and will enjoy the many different facets of our wonderful county whatever their age, making us a go-to destination for families enjoying holidays together.”

In line with National Grandparents Day, Parkdean Resorts is offering grandparents and families looking to book a multigenerational break a 10% saving on selected spring and early summer 2018 holidays at any of its holiday parks. The discount is available on bookings made between 01 October and 22 October 2017, by using code 3GHOL when booking online. Minimum price after offer is applied is £99 on breaks and £149 on seven night stays. Cannot be used with any other discount.


For further information on Parkdean Resorts visit or call 0330 123 4850.


For all media enquiries, photography requests or more information please contact Kayleigh Hepburn or Sally Crossley by emailing / or call 0191 232 5690.

Notes to editors:

Parkdean Resorts formed in November 2015 following the merger of Parkdean Holidays and Park Resorts. As a result the company is the largest holiday park operator in the UK with a combined total of 73 holiday parks stretching across the country. Vauxhall Holiday Park in Great Yarmouth was acquired by Parkdean Resorts as part of the first major acquisition since the company merged.

Holidaymakers have an unrivalled choice from one operator of holidays and short breaks across the UK with parks in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, East Anglia and Lincolnshire, Essex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent and Sussex, Lake District, Lancashire, Northumberland and County Durham, Yorkshire, Scotland and Wales.

A varied range of accommodation options are available on a break with Parkdean Resorts, including static caravans, lodges and glamping, as well as taking a touring or camping pitch. There’s also the option to own a caravan or lodge holiday home at 68 of the parks, meaning UK breaks can be enjoyed more frequently.

In December 2016, Parkdean Resorts was named Best UK Holiday Parks Operator, Best Camping & Mobile Holiday Company and Best Large Holiday Company for Customer Service at the British Travel Awards.


Visit Isle of Wight’s Royal Resurgence Hits The Mark

The recent release of Victoria & Abdul is helping the Isle of Wight reach new markets across the world.

A coordinated campaign – with financial investment from Visit Isle of Wight – is making its way into national media, capitalizing on the success of the new movie from Universal – much of which was filmed at Osborne, the beloved East Cowes home of Queen Victoria.

Visit Isle of Wight has helped to put the Island back in to the hearts and minds of potential visitors, with coverage surrounding the film appearing in national newspapers The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun and The Sunday Mirror.

The launch of a dedicated heritage trail – Explore Victoria’s Island – is also attracting attention. An online article from Ireland’s 2nd largest tv broadcaster (TV3) shows the continued interest generated by Visit Isle of Wight’s campaign.

Visit Britain say the value of film tourism is huge:

“Research by VisitBritain shows that films are powerful motivators for travel with more than a third of all potential visitors to Britain wanting to visit places they have seen in movies or on TV. Films also shine the spotlight on less visited but equally inspiring destinations, boosting tourism across more of Britain.”

Visit Isle of Wight CEO David Thornton said:

“In 2016 when our Churchill Trail made it onto Forbes online in front of 40million worldwide viewers, we started to realise the full potential of creating trails as a way of gaining powerful exposure for the Island in new markets. For a destination like the Island, where the landscapes and attractions are essentially the same year after year, we have to create new stories for journalists to write about, or we lose valuable digital and print space to competing destinations. New trails are an extremely cost-effective way of doing this.

“The Victoria’s Island Trail was launched to coincide with the Victoria and Abdul movie, and has already generated coverage in the Times, the Sun, The Telegraph, The Mirror, The Daily Star, specialist publications like Coast Magazine, in Press Association blogs and regional newspapers. If we had to buy this space to promote the Island it would be way beyond our advertising budget.

“Here on the Island, we’ve proved time and time again that these trails deliver fantastic value for money and grab the attention of prospective visitors in a media hungry world that’s always looking for the next new thing to write about. Associating ourselves with a new movie, and at the same time as series 2 of Victoria is airing on ITV, provides new reasons to visit the Island, and due to the timing, works to encourage autumn and winter visits. Extending the season and attracting new visitors from higher demographic groups were two of the principle aims the Industry asked us to concentrate on within the Wight BID plan this year”.

For more information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Tel: 07766 705672, Email:




Explore Victoria’s Trail –

The Times article

The Daily Telegraph article

TV3 – Ireland’s second most popular TV channel–Abdul

Syndicated piece across 4 publications in North London and Hertfordshire
Practical Motorhome
Popular blog website

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

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to,,,,

Major refurbishment for Red Eagle

Red Funnel, the Isle of Wight specialist has confirmed that it is to spend £3m on a major refurbishment of its ro-pax ferry Red Eagle in the New Year.

The work will be similar to the new look given to Red Falcon and Red Osprey in 2014 and 2015 and will be carried out by local marine businesses. The main contract has been awarded to Trimline in Southampton, with aluminium fabrication work contracted to Wight Shipyard Ltd in East Cowes. The refit will be carried out in Southampton.

The refurbishment of Red Eagle, coupled with the order for Red Jet 7, already amounts to an investment of over £10m in Red Funnel’s cross Solent services by the consortium of UK and Canadian pension funds who acquired the business in July 2017. The decisions underpin the new owners’ commitment to growing the cross-Solent market and helping to stimulate the Isle of Wight’s economy.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO commented “We are delighted to make this exciting announcement so soon after ordering Red Jet 7. The refit of Red Eagle will bring the interior right up-to-date with a contemporary new look and a class-leading travel experience for customers which matches the best in the UK ferry industry. Once again we are particularly pleased to award the work to local suppliers, supporting jobs in both Southampton and in East Cowes on the Island.”

Work on Red Eagle will start in January 2018 and will be completed in time for the summer timetable which starts on 29 March. The project will see a significant increase in the number of internal seats for customers and involves a complete refit of B Deck including a state-of-the-art galley and new toilets. On A Deck, there will be a dedicated pet’s lounge and a purpose built Signature Lounge offering a premium club experience for discerning travellers.

Modern seating styles and tables, subtle colours and clever LED lighting will create spaces which are perfect for socialising, working or just relaxing. High-capacity Wi-Fi, USB charging points, air conditioning and digital entertainment are just a few of the features available to everyone on board. Outdoor space to soak up the sun will be available on A and AA Decks.

For more information about the transformation of Red Eagle please visit


Notes to editors

About Red Eagle

Red Eagle was the last of three Raptor Class ro-pax ferries ordered by Red Funnel from Ferguson Shipbuilders at Port Glasgow in the early 90’s. Replacing Netley Castle, Red Eagle entered service in 1996 and travels 45,500 miles every year between Southampton and East Cowes. To accommodate a strong growth in traffic, the ship was lengthened in 2005 by 9.6m and an additional through car deck was added with capacity for 70 cars or small vans. The work was carried out by Remontawa shipyard in Gdansk.

About Red Funnel

Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.

In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and two food & beverage brands, ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’.

The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, The Red Funnel IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, Isle Walk Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a range of community and niche interest events.

Red Funnel’s 2017 Charity of the Year is Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.


For further Red Funnel press information contact:

Isle of Wight/Hants
Amy Grinstead
Carswell Gould
023 8023 8001
Sophie or Frances
Four Communications
020 3697 4200


The Isle of Wight is a Finalist in the Family Traveller Awards 2017

The Isle of Wight has been announced as a finalist in this year’s annual Family Traveller Awards in the “Best UK region for Families” category.

The public will have until 20th October 2017 to vote for the Island and every vote will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a holiday for a family of four to Malta, worth £4,000. The winners for each category will be decided on by the expert judging panel and the responses from the public, with the winners being announced by a celebrity host at a glamourous celebration in London this November.

Now in its third year, The Family Traveller Awards are dedicated to finding the best of the best in family travel and celebrating brands that work hard to make family holidays special.

New for the 2017 Awards is the Reader’s Choice Awards – where the winners will be selected based solely on the majority public vote, with no input from the judging panel. Kids will call the shots in the ‘Best UK Days Out for Families category’, while mum and dad can have their say on what they think is the ‘Best UK Region’ and the ‘Best UK City Break’ for families.

Vist Isle of Wight is the Destination Management Organisation for the Isle of Wight and work in partnership with Visit England, Visit Britain, Tourism South East and other tourism bodies to promote the Island to UK mainland and overseas audiences. Their top-ranking website ( receives over 2.4million visitors a year.

In 2015, the Isle of Wight was Highly Commended for “Best Domestic Destination for Families” while Wightlink were Highly Commended in the “Best Family Ferry Operator” category.   Last year, the Isle of Wight Festival won in the “Best Family Festival” category.

Included in the Family Traveller Awards finals this year are the Isle of Wight in the Best UK region for Families category, Wigwam (which has a location at Tapnell Farm) in the Best Holiday Rental category, Carisbrooke Castle (English Heritage) in the Best UK Day Out category, Kingswood Family Adventure, (which has a location in Bembridge) in the Best Activity Specialist category and the Isle of Wight Festival in the Best Family Festival category.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “The Family Traveller Awards give consumers the opportunity to reward travel and tourism enterprises for outstanding performance and it’s wonderful to see the Island and so many of its tourism businesses in the running for these prestigious awards.

“We’re up against some big industry names, so please do spread the word and encourage everyone you know to vote for the Isle of Wight and circulate the message “Pure Island Happiness” is what the whole world needs right now”.

Last year, the awards were met with huge support from the travel industry and public, with over 27,000 public votes received. This year there are 21 different categories, up from 18 in 2016, ranging from Best European Hotel for Families, to Best Family Festival and Best Activity Specialist for Families.

This year, the panel of judges will consist of a range of travel experts, including: Jane Anderson, editor of Family Traveller magazine; Simon Reeve, BBC presenter; Mariella Frostrup, BBC Radio 4 presenter; Sue Ward Davies, travel director of ELLE and Jane Knight, travel editor of The Times.

To vote, go to      

Everyone who votes will be automatically entered into a competition to in a £4,000 family holiday to Malta


Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Tel: 07766 705672, Email:


About Family Traveller:

Family Traveller is the UK’s premier media brand focusing on all things related to family centric travel. Family Traveller has a monthly reach of over 500,000 affluent UK families with a specific target audience of 30-50-year-old mothers with an ABC1 demographic. Family Traveller magazine is available at Waitrose stores nationwide and selected independent retailers. Our social media following is 100,000+ and the website has over 350,000 monthly unique visitors. The Family Traveller awards received 2,600 nominations in 2016 with a public vote recorded at 27,000.

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


Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to,,,,


Wightlink’s £45million investment in the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route improves punctuality

Statistics from August 2017 – the busiest month of the year – show Wightlink’s terminal improvements have made a significant difference to punctuality on the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route.

The numbers of sailings arriving on time this August on Wightlink’s busiest service increased by more than a third, compared to August 2016 levels. This is because staff can load and unload its flagship St Clare more quickly using new double deck boarding ramps. Cars and small vans embark and disembark on the upper deck while lorries, coaches and other large vehicles use the lower deck. The new system has reduced the turnaround time to around 15 minutes.

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield says: “We thank our customers and neighbours for their patience during our construction work at both Portsmouth and Fishbourne. The temporary disruption to our services has been worth it because punctuality has improved. We are delighted that the majority of our sailings are now running on time, even on some of the busiest days during the holiday season, and will welcome our new ship Victoria of Wight in summer 2018.”

Isle of Wight CounciI Leader Councillor Dave Stewart says: “I have followed with interest the progress of Wightlink’s £45million investment in the Portsmouth route since it gained planning permission last year. I am pleased the new two-tier boarding ramps at Fishbourne and Portsmouth are now working well and helping to make the service more efficient. We look forward to the new ship arriving next year.

“The investment by Wightlink is an important part of our ambition to regenerate the Island’s economy as we move forward.”

More improvements to the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route lie ahead. Plans have been unveiled for a new terminal entrance at Fishbourne to reduce queuing and Wightlink’s new customer building in Portsmouth is nearing completion.

For more information, contact Karen Woods 07775 694266<>

Karen Woods, Communications, Wightlink, Isle of Wight Ferries, Portsmouth Harbour, Portsmouth, PO1 3PS

M: 07775 694266



New event at Blackgang: Extinction

Breaking news!   A meteorite has crashed down upon Blackgang Chine and the effects are most peculiar.   Instead of causing extinction, it has brought our pre-historic animals back to life.   Are you brave enough to come and discover more in this new event, Extinction, taking place at Blackgang Chine on Isle of Wight Day, Saturday 23rd September.

Come and meet our not-so-extinct baby dinosaurs and mischievous dodos and be amazed by our Shadow & Sheila show featuring our very playful resident T-Rex dinos.     Plus join our Victorian hunters in the NEW Dino Digs show, in their quest to dig for pre-historic remains in this fun, interactive activity.  What will you find in the depths of the sand?

Lots of fun with a little bit of mischief and mayhem too, for all the family to enjoy.  Park open 10am – 5pm with activities starting at 11am.  For full programme visit :


For further information please contact Michelle Russell, Vectis Ventures Limited : 07436 283630 /

Visit Isle of Wight launches new Literary Heroes Trail

Following hard on the heels of the launch of its Victoria’s Island Trail to celebrate the appearance of the Victoria & Abdul movie, Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) has now published a new Literary Heroes Trail which visitors to the Island can follow all-year-round.

One of the highlights of the Literary Heroes Trail is the newly re-opened Farringford in Freshwater, where the renowned poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson once lived (

The dramatic Gothic house has been the subject of a meticulous five-year restoration project, and is decorated in a late 19th Century style that reflects Tennyson’s tastes and interests.  The grounds have also been returned to their authentic Tennyson-era appearance, complete with a full walled garden.

Other key locations on the Trail include the sailing village of Seaview, where author Enid Blyton was a regular visitor; and the traditional seaside resort of Ventnor, where Charles Dickens rented Winterbourne in Bonchurch – describing it to his wife as, “The prettiest place I ever saw in my life.”

Author Lynne Truss – a regular visitor to the Island – edited the new Literary Heroes Trail leaflet.  “I’m not the first writer to be inspired by this jewel of an island,” she says.  “Writers have breathed the air here, walked the cliffs and gazed at the glittering sea – and then dashed home to put pen to paper.”

Continuing the rich literary tradition of the island, the latest Isle of Wight Literary Festival (taking place from October 12 to 15) once again offers a diverse programme – with speakers ranging from poets, politicians, historians, biographers, journalists, fiction writers, award-winning authors, actors and scientists.  The event is mainly based at Northwood House, a Grade II* manor house set in 20 acres of parkland in the heart of Cowes.  (

The launch of the trail follows the success of the Isle of Wight’s Victoria’s Island Trail, which was created specially to celebrate the release of major feature film ‘Victoria & Abdul’ in cinemas.  Victoria’s Island Trail includes well-known places the Queen loved as well as lesser known locations that reveal deep connections between the Royals and the Island.

Both Trails are designed for anyone with an interest in a bygone era – an era which proved to be especially golden for the Isle of Wight; and find out why the Island continues to influence a whole new generation of authors.

Visitors can use the Literary Heroes Trail to navigate their way around the Island using an interactive map, and pick-and-choose from a host of Island hotspots linked to the literary greats; from secluded villages and hamlets, to bustling seaside towns.

The trail also reveals some of its own, home-grown talent, including Oscar winning screenwriter Anthony Minghella who wrote The English Patient.

A video about the Isle of Wight Literary Heroes Trail featuring author, Lynne Truss, can be seen here:

For more information, including details of the full range of accommodation, visit


For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29/07766 705672,

Notes to Editors

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

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight. Go to:,,,,





This autumn, Robin Hill’s popular electric woods event, Festival of Light inspired by Diwali, will be celebrating the 70th Anniversary of India’s independence with stunning, creatively themed light, colour, sound and entertainment that captures the many aspects of Indian culture: wild India, modern India, decorative India, historical India, urban India, celebration and spiritual India.

Every evening from 30th September – 4th November, 6pm – 10pm, visitors can experience the lush colours, flavours and magic of the Asian sub-continent set in Robin Hill’s glorious autumnal ancient woodland as they venture on a journey of discovery of India.

To celebrate the 70th anniversary, this unique outdoor event takes on a fresh approach which will immerse visitors in different experiences within each woodland area, transformed by innovative, contrasting themes and lighting effects.

From the bright lights and digital feel of modern India, venture into the wild and enchanting forests, discover elephants, tigers, monkeys … creatively brought to life.   Walk down the highway and find yourself amidst the hustle and bustle of urban life and Indian bazaars … absorb the aromas of Indian cuisine.  Then escape to a spiritual, more serene setting in our Woodland ponds where you can relax and enjoy quiet contemplation before taking part in the celebrations; party to Bollywood music and enjoy colourful kaliedoscopic fun!  Your journey continues through decorative India where you’ll discover beautiful examples of art, murals and light shows and then to draw your cultural journey to a close, we take a nostalgic look back at India’s history creatively curated through light and sound.


No electric woods Festival of Light event would be the same without the magic of Holi powder, which will be a highlight for many visitors!  Come and get colourful again this year, with a free bag of coloured powder for first time visitors.

Amidst all this exciting activity, take time to enjoy the enhanced authentic Indian menu of curries and kebabs, Asian sweets, and traditional teas; providing a true ‘taste of India’ in the exciting setting of an Indian bazaar.

During October half term, 21st – 29th October, Robin Hill Country Park will be open during the day from 10am and continue into the evening with Festival of Light inspired by Diwali.    Additional evening entertainment includes Lantern decorating and Rangoli art workshops, Rama & Sita’s Lantern Parade, Dr DJ: the South’s No.1 Bollywood Bhangra Experience, spellbinding aerial silks display, Wings by Twilight, a stunning birds of prey experience and much more!

Please see website for further information:



Please find attached images for your use.

Celebrated across the world, Diwali is the largest, brightest and most popular festival in the Indian calendar. The word Diwali means “row of lighted lamps”, with light symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, prosperity over poverty and knowledge over ignorance. It’s a time for lighting diyas (or lamps), laying out colourful rangolis (colours), enjoying fireworks, exchanging gifts of sweets and celebrating with dance, music and storytelling.

Diwali starts on Thursday 19th October this year.

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

Experience the magic ……….Blackgang Illuminations

This October, as the autumnal mists form and the sun sets, a mystical air will envelop Blackgang Chine (on the Isle of Wight) as the magic of Blackgang’s Illuminations return bigger, better and more magical than ever!

On 6th & 7th, 13th & 14th & 20th October – 4th November, as the daylight begins to fade, the park re-awakens with exciting and dynamic interactive lighting effects and displays.  Behold, as the Rumpus Mansion story unveils for the first time; an unmissable 3D animation which uses the Rumpus Mansion building as a canvas to portray the untold story of the dastardly ‘Mr Rumpus and the release of Rumpus past!’.

Plus join your favourite Blackgang characters as they host an evening of magical fun with fairy dance and circus workshops, crafts, potions and fairy tale activities.  Meet our mystical dragon, Cedric, and his mischievous friends Godwin & Finnigan – not forgetting the most magical character of them all, our Fairy Queen!

During half term, Saturday 21st – 29th October, there will be lots of additional activities and entertainment for visitors to enjoy – including Ecuador the Bubble Wizard.  Be amazed as he creates breath-taking bubble sculptures before your very eyes, blow smoke magically into bubbles and put you and your friends inside bubbles too!   Plus don’t’ miss the evening’s grand finale … an amazing NEW fire show!

Blackgang Chine is open 10am – 9pm on 6th & 7th, 13th & 14th & 20th October.   During half term, 21st – 29th October, the park is open 10am – 9pm with additional entertainment.  Blackgang is open evenings only, 5pm – 9pm, from 30th September – 4th November.    The season will finish on 4th November with a Fireworks Extravaganza!

For full programme of events please visit



  • Please find attached images for your use.

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