Category Archives: Industry News

Visit Isle of Wight launches 2017 Wight in Bloom Competition

Isle of Wight gardeners are invited to celebrate their work and take part in this year’s Wight in Bloom competition launched yesterday (8th May 2017) in the The Chelsea Garden at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Newport, Isle of Wight.

Wight in Bloom is an annual community-based competition that celebrates the Island’s diverse range of gardens – from the small space to the large tourist attraction.

Sponsored by Red Funnel and organised by Visit Isle of Wight, the competition encourages gardeners to create colourful floral displays that will make the Island a brighter place to live and visit.

This year there will be 11 categories including:  Best Small Front Garden, Best Large Front Garden, Best Commercial Garden, Best Senior Citizen Complex, Best Young People Initiative, Best Community Floral Project, Best Small Tourist Attraction Garden, Best Large Tourist Attraction Garden, Best Creative Use of a Small Space, Best Edible Garden and New for 2017 Best Water Feature.

Gardens can be entered into the competition from 19th May until the closing date of 30th June.  Judging will take place from 3rd to 30th July when a team of local horticultural experts will visit the gardens to decide the first, second, highly commended and overall winner of The Peggy Jarman Trophy.

Wight in Bloom are supporting the Earl Mountbatten Hospice by purchasing EMH sunflower seed packets to give to entrants of this year’s Wight in Bloom competition. It is hoped that these will be grown across the Island during the summer to support the EMH 35th Anniversary and to brighten up gardens and open spaces.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “Wight in Bloom is hugely important; it remind us all that a great deal of the Island is on constant show, and we need to look our best all the time. There are many green-fingered experts living on the Isle of Wight, from TV celebrities to groups of eager school children, all of whom help to make the Island look terrific. This annual competition is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on our “Garden Isle” heritage for the benefit of tourists and Island residents alike.”

Entry forms with full details of the categories can be found at the Visitor Centre, The Guildhall, Newport, the Red Funnel website  Visit Isle of Wight website , the IW County Press Shop and all main Island garden centres.

Wight in Bloom Patron Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL will present the Awards at a garden party ceremony in September.

Wight in Bloom has over the past two years worked with schools to encourage participation into the competition. It has recently developed an initiative to deliver a pilot mentor scheme for new School Garden Coordinators.

Working in collaboration with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening project, Wight in Bloom will assist a team of experienced school garden coordinators and local horticultural experts to provide support to enable less experienced schools to set up a garden project. For further information on how to join the scheme please contact the Wight in Bloom Co-coordinator at

Claire Matthews, RHS Campaign for School Gardening said “The RHS Campaign for School Gardening inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development. The direct benefits of gardening for children are wide ranging. Registration to the Campaign is free and you can join by logging on to”.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO commented “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the ever popular Wight in Bloom. The annual competition is a great opportunity for first-time and seasoned gardeners to showcase their skills with categories designed to encourage young people and community groups to take part”.

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


Notes to Editors

The image shows LtoR:   Nigel Hartley, CEO of Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Tom Madge, Head of Marketing at Red Funnel, David Thornton CEO of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd and Nicola Bell and Mel, both volunteer gardeners at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

Categories for the competition are:

  1. BEST SMALL FRONT GARDEN (Under 15 metre frontage)
  2. BEST LARGE FRONT GARDEN (Over 15 metre frontage)
  3. BEST COMMERCIAL GARDEN (Public House, Restaurant, Shops, Café, Business, Hotel/Guest Accommodation/Self Catering/ Caravan sites)
  4. BEST SENIOR CITIZEN COMPLEX (Private and Public Sector, Healing and Meditative gardens)
  5. BEST YOUNG PEOPLE PROJECT (Schools/youth groups)
  6. BEST COMMUNITY FLORAL PROJECT (Community Groups, Parish or town councils, High Streets, Church Grounds)
  7. BEST SMALL TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)
  8. BEST LARGE TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)
  9. BEST CREATIVE USE OF A SMALL SPACE (window box, balcony, hanging basket, recycled objects for containers, vertical planting)
  10. BEST WATER FEATURE (Includes area directly surrounding pond/water feature/fountain only) NEW for 2017
  11. BEST EDIBLE GARDEN (mix of flowers, vegetables and herbs, can be a source of food and a decorative display).

+  Overall Winner of the The Peggy Jarman Trophy

About 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:

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, IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a wide 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

About RHS Campaign for School Gardening

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development.

RHS Campaign for School Gardening work with schools has shown that the direct benefits of gardening for children are wide ranging:

  • Improves physical and mental well-being
  • Builds life skills such as confidence, teamwork and communication
  • Enhances literacy, numeracy and oracy skills
  • Enriches the entire curriculum from science, maths and geography, to art, design and languages
  • Encourages a better and healthier lifestyle
  • Teaches about the environment and sustainability
  • Helps young people engage with their surroundings better and develop a sense of responsibility




The Isle of Wight’s Monkey Haven has been named as the best Small Visitor Attraction in the country by tourism chiefs at VisitEngland.

On Monday 24th April, the primate rescue centre was given the top spot in the 2017 Awards for Excellence at a ceremony hosted by comedian Sue Perkins at London’s Hilton Waldorf.

A spokesperson for VisitEngland, the country’s official Tourist Board, commented: “Congratulations – winning the award allows you to claim justifiably to be the best in your category in England.”

The animal sanctuary just outside Newport is home to rescued monkeys, owls, meerkats and other exotic creatures. The judges praised the Keeper talks, website, new signage and high standards of maintenance.

It’s been a hugely successful year for the team, as in February, they were awarded a prestigious gold accolade from VisitEngland and they’ve maintained their top slot on TripAdvisor as the most popular attraction on the Isle of Wight.

Founder Don Walser, who attended the ceremony with his daughter Kelly Wickes commented: “We are amazed and delighted! This award means so much to us. Six years ago, when we set up a primate rescue centre on the Isle of Wight, everyone thought we were crackers. Now we’re the best small attraction in the country.”

“We’re a small charity but thanks to the support that we’ve had, we’ve been able to continually expand and evolve and care for growing numbers of creatures in crisis, from monkeys who’ve been smuggled through customs to meerkats who’ve been victims of the cruel pet trade.”

Don, who attended the ceremony wearing his lucky monkey tie, added: “Thank you to everyone who has made this possible – our dedicated team of staff and volunteers, and every single person who’s visited us or supported us in any other way. This award is for you all.”

  • Monkey Haven is open every day from 10am. The new free App is out now! Please visit for more info.

For further information, pictures or quotes, please contact Kelly Wickes on 07740 106279 or email


National Ferry Fortnight, 6 – 20 May 2017

Britain’s annual National Ferry Fortnight will this year take place from 6 – 20 May 2017. Now in its ninth year, National Ferry Fortnight is run by Discover Ferries, the industry body for the ferry industry as a two week showcase of Britain’s extensive 75-plus ferry routes and the benefits of travel by sea.

This 2017 Discover Ferries’ National Ferry Fortnight campaign theme is Ferry Together – encouraging family and friends to spend more time together.  Research undertaken by Discover Ferries at the beginning of 2017 highlights how little quality time families are spending together due to the hectic nature of modern life. Results showed that the average family spends just three weeks of real quality time together each year, and just 36 minutes on the average week day. In comparison, adults spend almost four times as long – one hour and 55 minutes per day – watching TV or playing on their gadgets. Children are also staring at a screen of some kind for around two hours and 22 minutes a day.

As a result, two thirds of parents say holidays and trips away from home are the only real time they get together. Going out for meals together was found to be the best way of spending quality time together on holiday, followed by doing activities together, the evening entertainment and the journey there. And almost half of those surveyed said the entire holiday counts as quality time.

Bill Gibbons Discover Ferries director said: “Our research has shown just how incredibly important every second of holiday time is in our busy lives. Almost half of the people we surveyed said their whole holiday counts as quality time together.  Our members do their utmost to make the ferry journey the very start of the family holiday experience. Unlike an airplane where you’re strapped in alongside each other in front of computer screens, a ferry journey gives people time to stretch their legs, eat a meal together or watch wildlife together. National Ferry Fortnight will be a celebration of ways to spend that treasured time together.”

The 11 members of Discover Ferries are Brittany Ferries, Caledonian MacBrayne, DFDS Seaways, Irish Ferries, Isle Of Man Steam Packet Company, Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, NorthLink Ferries, P&O Ferries, Red Funnel, Stena Line and Wightlink. During National Ferry Fortnight 2017 Discover Ferries’ members will be publishing holiday ideas and added-value offers on ferry routes to France, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Ireland, Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly and Scottish islands.

To keep in touch with #ferrytogether #NFF2017 please follow @discoverferries on Twitter, like Discover Ferries on Facebook and sign up to the newsletter on




Discover Ferries press office, Four Travel

Contact: Arthur Duncan / Debbie Hindle/Zoe Poulton

Email:  | Tel: 0203 697 4200

A new, luxury, exclusive venue opens for business on the Isle of Wight

Haven Hall is a new venue, offering an idyllic setting for weddings, exclusive-use ‘house party’ gatherings and corporate away days.

Its location, on top of the cliffs at Shanklin, with stunning views overlooking Sandown Bay, helps make it an ideal backdrop for all manner of events – or just a relaxing holiday.

The house and grounds have been extensively refurbished and landscaped giving Haven Hall a tranquil atmosphere in a relatively isolated location.  The cliff path that circles the Island is just a few steps away from the garden gate makes it easy for guests to enjoy a stroll and explore the area.

Haven Hall’s seven bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms are described as “a perfect blend of period style and modern facilities”.  The generous family style rooms feature luxurious interior design, beautiful views and all have super-king sized comfortable beds and chandeliers.  Each room is different and distinctive, with differently paneled headboards and special lighting effects.

Further accommodation is available in seven apartments, which include everyone’s favourite: The Penthouse.  This two bedroom suite features an ultra chic lounge with leather sofas, and a kitchen with marble countertops.  The quirky period décor extends onto a private Victorian balcony overlooking the entire garden with spectacular views of the whole of Sandown bay.  Both bedrooms have super-king size beds, high attic ceilings and period features, as well as three en-suite shower rooms.

All of the accommodation has been carefully designed for comfort so that guests can feel inspired and relaxed.  While no children under 18 are permitted to stay, the property also features a beach hut, swimming pool and tennis court.

Perfect for small, exclusive weddings, Haven Hall is now also taking bookings for corporate events, and houseparties where groups of friends and relatives can come together and enjoy their little bit of Haven on the Isle of Wight.

Sample prices for Haven Hall are: £247 per room per night, with a 30% discount for three nights or more.

Further details can be found at

Visit Isle of Wight, meanwhile, has a special page on its website forcusing on weddings venues across the Island, which also features the chance to win a two-night stay at The Hambrough in Ventnor, with free entry to Ventnor Botanic Garden, Osborne, and ferry travel for two.  For full details, visit

Isle of Wight goes big on Tiny Homes Holidays

Opening in 2017, Tiny Homes is a new, ethical way to holiday on the Isle of Wight.  Currently scheduled to open in late summer, Tiny Homes 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 architect designed Tiny Homes 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 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 will all be 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.

In time, there will be a full 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.

Tiny Homes Holidays is currently on schedule for a soft opening on the Isle of Wight in July, when is hoped press visits will also be welcome.  They will then be ready for guests from late summer.

Further detail can be found at

Also new for 2017, on the Isle of Wight will be the appearance of the Island’s first Modulogs, which will offer year-round accommodation for up to 6 people, in a glamping pod at Tapnell Farm.

As well as having the best views at Tom’s Eco Lodge, the Modulogs were designed specifically with their guests in mind.  The cosy accommodation pods are fully insulated and kitted out with heaters, comfy sofas (which fold out into sofa beds), log burners, dining tables, compact kitchens with all the essentials, two bedrooms, and separate shower room and toilet.  Both have WiFi, and electricity for lighting and plug sockets.  Outside, each Modulog has its own decking area, with seating, BBQ area, and a log-burning hot tub designed for up to 6 people.  Prices range from £300 for 2 nights (low season); £1,299 for 7 nights (peak).

For further details, visit

For other examples of what’s new on the Isle of Wight this year, 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,,,,


The Needles Landmark Attraction reopens for a new season this weekend (April 1) with the launch of a refurbished restaurant and plans for the celebration of a historic event from the Isle of Wight’s past.

During the winter the attraction, which welcomes more than half a million visitors each year, benefitted from a £100,000 investment, most notably to its restaurant and sweet factory.

The eatery has been completely overhauled and renamed Marconi’s Restaurant, in tribute to Guglielmo Marconi the Italian inventor and electrical engineer who undertook pioneering work to send the first long-distance radio transmission in 1897, from a base at The Needles.

This year also marks the 120th anniversary of that feat and, along with the opening of the new restaurant, The Needles plans to honour Marconi’s achievement with a special event during the summer.

The new Marconi’s Restaurant, formerly called The Pantry, is a self-service restaurant seating up to 250 people and offering al fresco dining during warmer days.

It offers a new menu for 2017, updated with a selection of both healthy foods and tasty treats, freshly prepared on-site each day.

The Sweet Manufactory, famous for its Wight Mints, has also been revamped including the viewing area where younger visitors delight in watching the master confectioners create delicious sweets before their eyes.

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

“I’m really looking forward to the start of this new season as we mark the 120th anniversary of Marconi’s first long-distance radio transmission at The Needles.

“The refurbished Pantry looks superb and how fitting that we could pay tribute to the great man with plans for a special celebration later in the season.

“The Sweet Manufactory has also had a revamp and there’s been other improvements across the site to improve the experience for the tens of thousands of people we’re expecting to visit.”

All attractions at The Needles will be open daily from April 1, including the chairlift to the beach at Alum Bay, the 4D Cinema, children’s rides, Jurassic Golf, the Taste of the Wight outlet and Alum Bay Glass.

Supersaver tickets are available online at The Needles website giving a 25% discount on all rides and attractions.

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


For further information, please contact Paul Baker on 0151 304 7017.

Paul Baker
PR Account Manager

Boxed Off Communications Ltd
Box Studios, 17 Boundary Street,
Liverpool, L5 9UB

0151 304 7017 | 07757 943147
Connect on Twitter Linkedin



English Tourism Week (ETW) will take place between 25 March and 2 April 2017.

Co-ordinated by Visit England and created in partnership with Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) around the country, ETW is a week-long celebration of the quality and vibrancy of the thriving English Tourism industry,

During the week, there will be a variety of local and national events, discounts and special offers being made available by tourism businesses around the country.

The Isle of Wight attracts around 2.3 million visitors a year with a tourism economy worth more than £550 million a year and supporting a third of employment on the Island.

VIOW has invited businesses involved in the Island’s tourism and hospitality industry get involved in this free marketing and communication ‘hook’ for the Island. The DMO has produced a toolkit containing logos, banners and other useful assets which event organisers, accommodation providers, attractions, restaurants etc can use to brand and advertise their offers.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “With summer just around the corner, English Tourism Week is the perfect opportunity for us to ride on the back of the national promotion in social media, digital marketing and press activity.

It kick-starts the holiday season and shows prospective visitors from around the world the natural beauty and rich cultural history of the Island.”

ETW events on the Island include:

Spring in Your Step (25/26th March) created by VIOW, is the perfect opportunity to take in the some of the stunning scenery the Island offers and introduce your family to walking on the Island. There are plenty of walks to choose from, including the Garlic Farm Tour, the Mountbatten Connection and the History & Myths of Brading Marshes. So, get those walking shoes out of the cupboard and prepare to enjoy a new view of the Island.

Vintage Vacations were one of the first places to offer Glamping holidays in the UK and they’re celebrating English Tourism Week by opening their doors for a ‘look see’. Find out why the Independent called them the “Country’s coolest caravan park” – and have a look at the American Airstream Caravans which have been such a success for them. Pop along between 12 and 4 on Thursday, March 30.

Mothering Sunday is the 26th March so why not treat mum to afternoon tea at the Needles Old Battery, with a specially prepared menu including delicious cakes, sandwiches, scones, and tea or coffee. Booking is essential and it’s £12 per adult and £6 per child.

For more Mothering Sunday events taking place on the Island, go to

Dark Wight Skies is a free event at the Isle of Wight Observatory in Newchurch on 30th March. Open to all – bring warm clothes and a torch.

During ETC and beyond (24th March to 11th May), the 5 Star Leconfield Hotel situated on St Boniface Downs is offering a 15% discount on all new, on-line B&B bookings. Just apply the code ETW17 to the promotional code box before booking your stay.

Brooke House in Shanklin is offering 3 nights for the price of 2 when staying on a B&B basis between 18th March and 2nd April. This beautiful Victorian house offers period features alongside all the comforts of modern living. Please mention when enquiring.

Enjoy a romantic one-night stay at Keats Cottage where John Keats stayed and wrote his poetry in 1819. This offer for two people is priced £99 and includes a two course dinner and freshly cooked breakfast. It is valid on Thursday, Friday or Saturday night (when the restaurant is open) until the end of March when booked directly with Keats Cottage.

For more special events and offers during ETW, go to

For more information about English Tourism Week, please visit

For all tourist information about the Isle of Wight, visit

For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Tel: 07766 705672, Email:

Notes to Editors
English Tourism Week
An annual celebration of English tourism, ETW is a series of events showcasing visitor experiences in England. English Tourism Week also highlights the value of tourism.

The English tourism sector touches everyone – visitors, residents, businesses and employees. It’s one of the few sectors active in every part of the country. It’s the third largest employer, every day supporting 2.6 million jobs and is a major employer of school leavers and young people and an incubator for entrepreneurs.

The visitor economy is worth £106bn a year to England supporting thousands of businesses and impacting on the performance of supplier industries including farming, transport, retailing, sport, museums and galleries, the theatre and other performing arts. Tourism cannot be offshored – it only happens here!

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,,,,

Isle of Wight invites holidaymakers to “Return to Adventure Island”

The Isle of Wight is being promoted as one, big holiday island attraction in a summer-long campaign that’s being dubbed “Return to Adventure Island”.

Just launched, and based squarely on the fact that visitors and families have been coming on holiday to the Island for almost two centuries, the campaign is designed to help illustrate that fact that there are now more reasons than ever before to book a visit the Isle of Wight.

Visitors over the decades have discovered there are so many places to see and things to do on an Island the size of Inner London.  So many of them are natural, some are man-made, but all combine to offer a host of holiday memories that last a lifetime…and also keep generations of families coming back for more.

It’s a timeless, magical Island, that can only be reached from the mainland across a small strip of water – giving trippers, tourists and travellers that true holiday feeling.

And in 2017 The Island will welcome several new attractions and experiences, including the Tiny Homes Holidays concept; Modulogs at Tom’s Eco Lodge; a magical Underwater Kingdom at Blackgang Chine; Jurassic Golf on Shanklin Seafront; and even the appearance of the little Squirrel Monkey which has just been rescued by Monkey Haven.

The Island as a whole is perfect for families who want to enjoy themselves together at the likes of Needles Landmark Attraction, or follow in the footsteps of Dinosaurs along the beaches; and the Return to Adventure Island campaign captures the essence of it all – from the glorious beaches to thrilling adventures, and the great range of accommodation to fabulous festivals.

Stay in a treehouse.  Search for red squirrels.  And learn bushcraft on the beach.  Then, after lobster on chips, take an exhilarating ride to a Victorian fort.  Or, travel back in time with the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, and visit a National Museum of Poo!  As visitors over the centuries have discovered, every day can be a fresh adventure.

Betters still, it’s all just two hours hours away from London, followed by a 10 minute Hovercraft ride to the Island – with car and passenger ferries connecting the Island from Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.

The ferry companies and Hovertravel run regular promotions, including day returns from £5, and it’s also possible to also book great value tickets that combine transport with entrance into the leading attractions

Full details can be found at

Visitors who book their holiday to Isle of Wight through Visit Isle of Wight, meanwhile, will be invited to download a free app for their iPhone or Android smartphone.  The Adventure Island App, which launches on April 1, is packed with insider’s tips and trails to help holidaymakers make the most of their stay.

It also gives all visitors the chance to take part in a virtual treasure hunt with lots of prizes on offer including, for one lucky family, the chance to win back the entire cost of their holiday.

The Return to Adventure Island website will also feature all of the latest special offers for deals on accommodation: when searching to find the perfect place to stay, just look out for the blue suitcase featured on selected accommodation for special deals with ferry inclusive prices.

For all tourist information about the Isle of Wight, visit


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

Sue Emmerson, Tel: 07766 705672, Email:

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,,,,

Top 7 reasons for visiting The Isle of Wight in 2017

Underwater Kingdom at Blackgang Chine

A new magical theme world, Underwater Kingdom, will be opening at Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight next Spring.  Visitors will be able to experience the most amazing array of colourful, larger than life, sea creatures whilst discovering magical underwater caves, a vibrant luminescent coral reef, an abandoned sunken shipwreck and a hidden kingdom.

Tiny Homes

Opening in 2017, Tiny Homes is a new, ethical way to holiday on the Isle of Wight.  Scheduled to open in the Spring, Tiny Homes is all about downsizing your space and upsizing your free time – and living simply in a smallholding environment adjacent to Parkhurst Forest with its walking trails, cycle routes and wildlife galore (including the Isle of Wight’s famous red squirrels).

Shanklin Chine is 200!

The Island’s longest-established tourist attraction, Shanklin Chine, celebrates its bicentenary in 2017.  A number of special events to mark the occasion are planned throughout the season including an official 200th anniversary party, which includes the launch of new book that documents the long history of the attraction, which was famed for its many regular high profile visitors in Victorian times – Jane Austen, John Keats and Charles Dickens and many others.  A new photographic exhibition as well as a sculpture trail are also planned for 2017, with magical evening lighting events known as the Chine Lumière featuring in summer and late October.

Autistic Holiday Centre to open on the Isle of Wight

Hartlands (previously Hartland Hotel) now owned by the SpectrumBreaks project has undergone a major refit.  Completing in October 2016, the centre provides families with autistic children holiday accommodation and facilities including Indoor Hydro Swimming Pool, Cinema, IT Room, Activity & Sensory Room, Coffee Lounge, Games Room, Art Room, Gymnasium and Sauna.  The Hartlands is a Victorian holiday centre situated in Shanklin on the south coast of the Isle of Wight.  The centre has been designed by its owners, with help from a leading specialist Dr Viv Hinchcliffe, to provide self-catering accommodation and facilities to support families with members of any age on the Autistic Spectrum.

The Isle of Wight Distillery launches new limited edition oak aged HMS Victory ‘navy strength’ gin

The Isle of Wight Distillery has recently launched the first of four batches of its limited edition oak aged HMS Victory ‘navy strength’ gin at a special event held on board the HMS Victory in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.  They also produce Wight Mermaids Gin, Rock Sea Vodka, Apple Pie Moonshine and coming soon, Isle of Wight Whisky.  Visitors can sample it at pubs and farm shops across the Island as well as from two or three mainland stockists and also online.   They are based in Ryde, where it’s possible to visit their vineyard home.  Admission is free and there is a café and shop on site too.

Dame Judi Dench to star in a new film about Queen Victoria

Osborne on the Isle of Wight, the seaside residence of Queen Victoria, is a location for a major feature film due to be released in 2017 directed by Stephen Frears and starring Dame Judi Dench entitled “Victoria and Abdul.”

Love Island

Romantic Breaks and Dining Out on the Isle of Wight during February and March. Watch the Visit Isle of Wight website for further details and special offers.

For all tourist information about the Isle of Wight, visit


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

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, 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,,,,

Limited edition ‘Gift of Pure Island Happiness’ available this Christmas

Romantic gift givers are invited to share some Isle of Wight love this Christmas with an exclusive limited edition gift package only available from Visit Isle of Wight, the destination management organisation for the UK’s holiday Island.

Featuring a unique collaboration with Liz Earle, the Gift of Pure Island Happiness gives the purchaser a beautiful gift for under the tree on Christmas Day as well as a voucher for a romantic short break on the Isle of Wight in 2017.

On Christmas Day, the lucky recipient of The Gift of Pure Island Happiness will receive a beautifully presented gift box with full details of their stay, an award winning Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth starter kit from Liz Earle and a set of specially commissioned postcards featuring stunning Isle of Wight scenes.  Also included is your hotel reservation for the perfect romantic spring break, a map of the Isle of Wight and codes for discounted travel to the Isle of Wight.

Prices range from £245 to £425 and the luxurious accommodation on offer includes stays at The Caledon Guest House in Cowes, The Leconfield on Bonchurch Downs, The Royal Hotel, Ventnor and The Liz Earle House at The Westbay Club and Spa in Yarmouth.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said “The Isle of Wight in spring is a fabulous place to take your other half and create some wonderful holiday memories. Wrap up warm and walking along one of our gorgeous beaches or to relax by a log fire, in a cosy countryside pub with a glass of wine in your hand; the Isle of Wight really is the perfect romantic destination.

The Gift of Pure Island Happiness promises the recipient an unforgettable short break to look forward to in the spring, staying at a wonderful hotel or resort and enjoying quality time together.”

Ordering is simple via the Visit Isle of Wight website. Helpful Visit Isle of Wight Travel Ambassadors will then handle the booking process and send the gift out via Royal Mail in good time for Christmas.

All that’s needed is for the purchaser to put the gift under the tree and enjoy the moment…and the thought of the romantic Isle of Wight spring break to come.

For more information and to purchase The Gift of Pure Island Happiness head to


For more information contact
Abi Fox,, 01983 521555 ext. 22


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 an industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities

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The Gift of Pure Island Happiness is a collaborative gift package created by Visit Isle of Wight and supported by Liz Earle and Isle of Wight accommodation providers. It is a pilot scheme for 2016.

There are 4 fantastic Pure Island Happiness gift boxes to choose from

  • The Silver package at £245 which includes 2-nights in a luxury B&B.
  • The Gold package at £295 which includes 2-nights in a high-quality hotel or B&B and dinner for two on one of the nights.
  • The Platinum package at £345 which includes 2-nights at one of the Island’s most luxurious hotels, a glass of champagne on arrival and dinner on one of the nights.
  • The Premium package includes 2-nights stay at West Bay in the House of Liz Earle Beauty, The Liz Earle Pure Radiance Facial for two people (exclusive to the Island Wellness Spa), complimentary Guest Membership of the Country Club, a selection of Liz Earle Naturally Active products to take home with you, free car ferry travel for two, a bottle of Prosecco plus few local groceries to get you started, including fresh Isle of Wight bread, eggs, milk, cheeses and tomatoes.

Once people have enquired about a particular package they will receive a call from a Visit Isle of Wight Travel Ambassador

The Gift of Pure Island Happiness could also be purchased for birthdays or anniversaries encouraging visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and explore the Island in the Spring.