Tag Archives: Capability Brown


It’s time to pull on your walking boots and enjoy the Island’s rich and varied landscape at the Autumn Walking Weekend which starts on Friday 21 October.

Experienced walkers will be leading 50 walks, suitable for all ages and abilities, ranging from gentle ambles to challenging rambles.

Highlights of the Autumn Walking Weekend include the ‘Tassles and Torches’ night walk starting at 9pm from Sandown Bay Academy which is raising money for Breast Cancer Research and the ‘Live on honour walk’ in aid of the Poppy Appeal, which will take walkers along the scenic Warrior Trail which was created to commemorate one of the Island’s most prominent First World War stories.

There are walks for children including special fossil walks running daily throughout the weekend at Brook Chine, giving people the chance to discover dinosaur footprints and fossil trees. Have fun in the park at Lily-May’s Duck Feeding Walk, taking place at Big Meade in Shanklin on Saturday 22 October. Or why not make some furry friends and take some Llamas and alpacas for a walk around their farm at Wellow. It’s a fabulous chance to find out all about these beautiful creatures. Walks are taking place daily throughout the weekend.

For those with loud voices and a love of music, Sing Along With Den is the perfect walk – you are welcome to bring along your musical instruments and help Den to sing his way along the three mile route from Merstone on Saturday 22 October, starting at 2pm.

For lovers of history there are many walks to exercise both body and brain. The Robert Hooke Trail takes in the fields and footpaths which may have been trodden by the influential 17th century scientist who was born in Freshwater in 1635 (21 October at 11am). There are two special walks to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. The Isle of Wight Garden Trust is offering expert guided tours of the gardens and inner park at Appuldurcombe which were designed by Capability Brown. The walks take place on 21 and 23 October with donations going towards the conservation work of the Isle of Wight Garden Trust.

Our four-legged friends are not forgotten, with the special RSPCA Big Walkies dog walk, starting at Seaclose Park in Newport at 10.30am on Sunday 23 October. This is a sponsored walk raising money for the RSPCA Isle of Wight Branch (Godshill Animal Centre), with a choice of three or five kilometre routes.

For full details of all of the walks taking place between Friday 21 and Monday 23 October, please go to www.isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk.


Notes to Editors:

Issued by:
Helen Wheller, Media Team Leader

Email: helen.wheller@iow.gov.uk


Top 10 reasons for visiting The Isle of Wight in 2016

1. Listen with Mother

This year’s Acoustic Isle takes place from February 24 to March 6 – which also happens to coincide with Mothering Sunday.  The Isle of Wight’s Acoustic Isle music festival now takes place each year and builds on the Island’s strong musical heritage and festival scene.  This “unplugged” music event features hundreds of musicians coming together to perform a series of relaxed gigs in Isle of Wight pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants…and even on board selected ferries.

2. Anchors aweigh

The Isle of Wight’s Festival of the Sea will once again be staged in 2016, from June 18th to July 3rd.  The Festival will coincide with the Round Island Yacht Race on July 2nd – an even bigger race than those held in Cowes Week which will be held from August 6th to 13th.  2016, meanwhile also marks the arrival of another major sailing spectacle on the Isle of Wight in late June – La Solitaire du Figaro .

3. Winston’s walk

An Isle of Wight “Churchill Trail” is scheduled to be launched this Easter.  Winston’s parents, Randolf and Jenny Jerome, met at a party on a yacht moored off of Cowes.  Randolf proposed to her two days later in the garden of an Island cottage on the seafront.  Local author Anthony Churchill has written an impressive coffee table book on the connections between the Churchill family and the Isle of Wight.  Based on that, the new trail visits the locations that have a connection to the family across the Island.

4. Squirrel away an E-bike

The Isle of Wight will launch an entirely new electric bike scheme from this Spring.  Red Squirrel Electric Bikes will feature 25 former French postal service bicycles, which can be hired online, or in person, and then picked-up on arrival at the Island from Visit Isle of Wight’s Visitor Centre at The Guildhall in Newport.  Hire cost is £35 per day (over 14s only), and will includes a map listing charge points at island pubs and cafes, plus cycle helmet and high-vis jacket.  The scheme will be rolled out to include other parts of the island in the near future.  For more information go to visitisleofwight.co.uk, or follow on Twitter @RedSquirrelBike.

5. A new moo-seum for the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is set to welcome a new all-weather family attraction, in Spring 2016.  Tapnell Farm Park (the full website will go live in March), near Yarmouth, will offer a range of new activities including animal encounters, an immersive “moo-seum”, a fun-packed indoor soft play barn, outdoor play areas with pedal go karts and a “Jumping Pillow”, farm tours, café and refreshment area, and gift shop.  Central to the new offering will be a host of interactive animal encounters allowing visitors to get up close and personal with a range of farm animals, as well as a friendly mob of wallabies.  The farm park will give visitors of all ages the opportunity to learn about cows with an interactive “moo-seum”, set in the working farm’s former milking parlour. The attraction will stand alongside the award winning Tom’s Eco Lodge and the popular Cow Co restaurant.

6. Oriental spirits set to rise in electric woods

A stunning spectacle of Oriental themed light, sound and entertainment will mark the Chinese New Year at Robin Hill’s award-winning electric woods during February half term.  From Saturday 13 to 21, visitors can experience the park’s mystical woodland illuminated with a Far Eastern twist to capture the spirit of one of the world’s most popular celebrations.  As dusk falls, the oriental theme will truly take effect as a dazzling array of coloured lanterns, flags and features bring the ancient woodland to life.  Visitors can enjoy a series of new sound and light displays dispersed around the woodland – each display taking on a different elemental theme of ‘earth’, ‘wind’ and ‘water’ with ‘fire’.  There will also be new lighting effects never seen before in the electric woods.  Chinese themed entertainment, refreshments based around an authentic oriental menu, and a traditional tea ceremony will complete the experience.  Open every evening from 5pm to 9pm during, tickets will cost £10.95 per person (aged 4+) and are available to purchase in advance from the website.

7. Isle of Wight hits the right note in 2016

The Island boasts two of the biggest events on the summer calendar in The Isle of Wight Festival which takes place from June 9th-12th in 2016, and Bestival scheduled for September 8th-11th in 2016.  Other music events scheduled for the Isle of Wight in 2016 include Newport Jazz Weekend and V-Dub Island.

8. The Year of the English Garden

Taking the tercentenary of Capability Brown as a starting point, VisitEngland has named 2016 The Year of the English Garden.  So what better time than now to promote The Isle of Wight as ‘The Garden Isle’?  Highlights of our horticultural year will once again spring up across the Island throughout the year.

9. Time for bed

North House – a country town house – set in the heart of Cowes old town is set to offer an ultimate getaway on the Isle of Wight.  In addition to 16 bedrooms North House will have a restaurant, bar, library, country garden and swimming pool.  Rooms will boast king-sized beds, well stocked in-room pantries, coffee machines, spacious bathrooms with roll top baths and walk in showers, fluffy bathrobes and slippers!  North House is scheduled to open late April 2016.  Another newcomer for 2016 is VIP Cottages.

10. Be arty on the Isle

The Ventnor Fringe is a celebration of the arts, showcasing emerging and established talent across every creative discipline on the Isle of Wight.  The Fringe will take place from August 9 to 14 in 2016.  Other arts events on the Island this year include Isle of Wight Arts Open Studios throughout July; The Isle of Wight Literary Festival from October 14 to 18; and Quay Arts throughout the year.

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


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 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

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

Seven Things You Never Knew About The Garden Isle

Taking the tercentenary of Capability Brown as a starting point, VisitEngland has named 2016 The Year of the English Garden.  So what better time than now to promote The Isle of Wight as ‘The Garden Isle’?  Here’s “seven things you never knew” – from the seasonal, to places with gardens where you can stay, or eat…

1. The Woman in Red and Capability Brown

The 18th century home of Worsley family, Appuldurcombe House – made famous recently by the BBC TV drama Woman in Red – is the only known Cabability Brown site on the Island.  A Study Day is set to take place here in October, and will feature talks, lunch, and tour of the grounds.

2. Blooming July

The flowers of the famous Giant Waterlily at Ventnor Botanic Garden Ventnor Botanic Garden will come into bloom this July.  With leaves up to 3-metres in diameter, this rare lily usually flowers after midnight.  Special evening openings will be arranged – although they are not easy to predict, as the Waterlily decides when it will flower only on the afternoon immediately before!

3. By Royal Appointment

Sovereign’s Gate Osborne are two holiday cottages that have been developed in this iconic building. The holiday cottages have their own private garden where guests can relax and soak up the grandeur of Osborne; and once the public have left, guests have Osborne’s extensive grounds and private beach to themselves.

4. A garden on the beach

Appley Park in Ryde forms a component of the grounds of St John’s House which was believed to have been landscaped by Humphry Repton – the man widely regarded as Capability Brown’s successor – in around 1798.  Enough remains of the ancient coastal woodland and original features to give the site a fascinating historic perspective.  A garden on the beach, there are plenty of places to eat and activities for all the family.

5. A model garden tearoom

An unexpected place to find such an ornate garden, Godshill Model Village features 3,000 specimens of conifers and shrubs, many of which have been carefully pruned using the ‘niwaki approach’.  The gardens at Godshill Model Village are in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Partner Garden Scheme for 2016.  On fine days, Nammet Hut opens for refreshments.

Step onto the Island to see bluebells in April

Borthwood Copse, in Sandown is a remarkable area of ancient woodland, which was once a medieval hunting ground.  Mottistone Manor’s pathway on the walk to the Longstones is also covered in bluebells, which sometimes flower from April due to the Island’s favourable climate.   Mottistone Gardens itself – considered by some to be the finest of all the gardens on island – will be hosting a highly original murder mystery set in the 1920s within its grounds on July 2nd and 30th this year.

7. Botanic splendour in historic setting

The 15-acre Northcourt Gardens are nationally recognised by Historic England and placed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, developed over the last 400 years around one of the Island’s oldest manor houses.  The garden includes a serpentine mount and walks, spring-fed stream, woodland and ornamental borders.  The special microclimate and soil conditions support over 4,000 different plant varieties from around the world.  The gardens are privately owned but open for charity on the afternoons of May 8 and June 18.  There will also be a tour of the gardens on May 18 at 14.00.

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29, 07766 705672, sue@visitwight.org

Image of the gardens at Osborne attached:  please credit English Heritage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further details of Appuldurcombe House, visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/appuldurcombe-house/.

All other tourist information about the Isle of Wight can be found at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.


For further information, please contact:
Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer
Tel: 07766 705672
E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk