Isle of Wight Festival 2013

Seven reasons for visiting the Isle of Wight in 2018

Bed and breakfast – in a tree

Goodleaf on the Isle of Wight will be unveiling a new tree top experience in April/May, 2018.  Taking place in the grounds of historic Jacobean manor house Northcourt, in Shorwell, Goodleaf Tree Climbing will offer Tree Top Camping for the very first time on the Isle of Wight.  Sleeping in special ‘Tree Boats’ imported from the USA, climbers will learn the ropes with recreational tree climbing experts Goodleaf, before spending the night sleeping high in the canopy of a beautiful 15 metre beech tree in this beautiful location deep in the rural heart of the Island.  Supper can be taken at the local pub The Crown Inn in Shorwell before ascending into the canopy, relaxing and enjoying a bird’s eye view from your “bed for the night”.  Breakfast will be delivered to you in your hammock by the instructor.  The cost is £350 per person; £450 for two people; and £550 for three.  There will be a maximum of ten overnight camps a year. https://www.goodleaf.co.uk

Celebrating 175 years of magic

Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight, the oldest theme park in the UK and one of the most iconic tourist destinations, will celebrate its 175th anniversary in 2018. Numerous events will be taking place throughout the year that befits this magical, wacky, wonderful theme park. Blackgang Chine was founded by Alexander Dabell in 1843 when all that stood here was the Chine itself – a spectacular gorge that cut some 500-feet, deep into the cliff face. The Victorians travelled from far and wide to experience its breathtaking views; and the very first ‘attraction’ was the skeleton of a whale which had been washed up onto the beach – and is still on display at Blackgang Chine today. (Blackgang Chine received the royal seal of approval when Queen Victoria visited in August 1853 to see the whale skeleton). The park is still owned and run by the descendants of Alexander Dabell, (the current owner’s great, great, grand-father) and the magic has only grown over the years.  Blackgang Chine is now filled with an eclectic mix of attractions, theme worlds and rides – offering something for all the family and the generations of families who continue to visit year after year. https://blackgangchine.com

Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography

Julia Margaret Cameron – one of the greatest portraitists in the history of photography, and a member of a Freshwater Circle of glittering literati on the Isle of Wight – was the subject of an exhibition at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in 2014, and featured in special exhibitions at the V&A in London to mark the 200th anniversary of her birth in 2015. She will be in the headlines again in 2018 when Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography (is staged at the National Portrait Gallery in London, from March 1 to May 20.  This major new exhibition brings together the works of four giants of Victorian photography, Lewis Carroll (1832–98), Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79), Oscar Rejlander (1813–75) and Clementina Hawarden (1822-65). Dimbola Lodge at Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight, was the home and workplace of celebrated Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. It is now a Museum and Gallery dedicated to her life and work, as well as a showcase for contemporary exhibitions from photographers around the globe. Dimbola Lodge has also been called the best kept secret on the Isle of Wight. http://www.dimbola.co.uk

50 years of a Music Festival on the Isle of Wight

2018 will mark 50 years of an Isle of Wight Festival on the Island.  It’s the 50th anniversary of the first Music Festival on the Isle of Wight. “The Great South Coast Bankholiday Pop Festivity” took place overnight on August 31 and September 1 at Hell Field, Ford Farm, near Godshill in 1968 attended by approximately 10,000 people;  and was followed in 1969 by the Wootton Festival with Bob Dylan, and in 1970 at the Afton Festival (at East Afton Farm and not far from what is now site of Dimbola Museum & Galleries) with Jimi Hendrix and The Doors amongst many others, attracting an incredible estimated 600,000 souls. http://isleofwightfestival.com

There are also plans being drawn up for a commemorative event in 2020 to celebrate this colossal and world-famous music event on the same site at East Afton.

Tiny Homes Holidays

Opened towards the end of 2017, Tiny Homes Holidays is a new, ethical way to holiday on the Isle of Wight. Tiny Homes are 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).  Another new trend being introduced here, thanks to the construction of a small studio is #studycations. http://www.tinyhomesholidays.com/

Isle of Wight 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 in cinemas worldwide, Visit Isle of Wight has 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 (https://farringford.co.uk).  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 walled kitchen 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 – herself, 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.” The trail also reveals some of its own, home-grown talent, including Oscar winning screenwriter Anthony Minghella who wrote The English Patient. https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/inspiration/literary-heroes-trail

Isle of Wight to host UK Pride in 2018

It has recently been announced that the Isle of Wight will host the next UK Pride, just one year after the Island’s first ever Pride event. https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/isle-of-wight-pride-p1427001

For all tourist information about the Isle of Wight, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

-ENDS-

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

Sue Emmerson                  Tel: 07766 705672           Email: sue@visitwight.org

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 www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwight.org.