Tag Archives: Dinosaur Isle


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 www.parkdeanresorts.co.uk or call 0330 123 4850.


For all media enquiries, photography requests or more information please contact Kayleigh Hepburn or Sally Crossley by emailing kayleigh@opr.co.uk / sally@opr.co.uk 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.



New remains of what may be the oldest marine reptile to have been found on the Isle of Wight have just gone on display at Dinosaur Isle, Sandown.

The paddle bone; a femur, belongs to a large predatory reptile that would have been swimming in seas that formed over the Island millions of years ago. The bone has been identified by experts from the museum as belonging to a Plesiosaur, and closest resembles a Colymbosaurus, an animal that would have been similar in appearance to the Loch Ness monster, and swam the seas in the Jurassic period over 150 million years ago.

The bone was found at Yaverland Beach by a member of staff at Dinosaur Isle, Alex Peaker. Only a small part of the bone was exposed and took staff several days to remove the rock that encased the bone so that it could be identified. It is now on display with other fossils from the Island seas at Dinosaur Isle.

Alex Peaker, assistant community learning officer at Dinosaur Isle, who found the bone, said:
“The animal appears to have been a juvenile when it died and would have only been around 4 metres in length, but when fully grown it could have reached lengths of almost 10 metres.

“A combination of the age and type of rocks that are exposed on the Island mean that marine reptile remains such as Plesiosaurs are rarely found. Across the Island the oldest rocks that we have exposed are from the Lower Cretaceous, and are about 125 million years old, but we believe that this fossil may be much older.”

Commenting on the find, Richard Smout, Isle of Wight council heritage service manager said:
“Thanks to the eagle eyes of Alex and the team’s perseverance in painstakingly uncovering this hidden treasure, we now have an extremely rare find to display in our much loved Dinosaur Isle, just, in time for the Easter half term.

“I really recommend a visit as you will see dinosaur skeletons as they are found by the fossil hunters and can watch our volunteers preparing the latest exciting finds, as well as having the chance to view this latest extremely rare find.”

The oldest rocks exposed on the Island are from the Cretaceous period and date back to the Cretaceous period approximately 125 million years ago, but some of these rocks are known to contain much older fossils. During a period when the seas were encroaching on the land of the Island a large Jurassic escarpment had formed, allowing fossils that had formed 25 million years before hand to be eroded out of their Jurassic rocks and deposited into the younger Cretaceous rocks. It is believed that the new find is one of these much older fossils.


Notes to Editors:

More information about, and photos of the find can be found on the Dinosaur Isle facebook page at www.facebook.com/dinosaurisle or for more information on Dinosaur Island, please visit http://www.dinosaurisle.com/newhomepage.aspx




Fun and frolics on the Isle of Wight this February half-term

The February half-term presents the ideal opportunity for taking the family away and a break on the Isle of Wight with its traditional seaside resorts and activities to suit toddlers through to teens, will give the whole family a holiday to remember.

Experience the great outdoors as you go in search of dinosaur remains, cycle the traffic-free Troll Trail, or build a snowman out of sand.

This half-term, you could also be one of the first to see rescued tiger Simi in her new Isle of Wight home, or swing by the award-winning Monkey Haven – a sanctuary for monkeys and other animals in need.  And if it should rain on the ‘sunshine isle’ you can always jump for joy at the Island’s new all-weather trampoline park with its 40 interconnecting trampolines, or set a new record at the Island’s all-weather karting track.

These and more great adventures can be enjoyed on the Island this February half-term:

Sandman Snowman Spectacular

Come to Small Hope Beach in Shanklin and build a sandman/snowman.    Past years have seen the beach populated by mermaids, dolphins, dogs, sandmen, sand ladies and a whole array of other characters.  There’ll be hot chocolate on hand to warm chilly fingers and the nice people from Gift to Nature will also provide the coal and carrots for your creations – you just need to bring a spade, the creative ideas and bags of enthusiasm.

Date:               21st February, 2-4pm.

Where:            Small Hope Beach, Shanklin, PO37 6EA.

Cost:                £2 per person – suitable for adults and children.

More:               Call 01983 201565 for more details.


Electric Woods: Spirit of the Orient

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.  Visitors can enjoy a series of new sound ‘and light displays dispersed around the woodland and  children can join in the celebration by taking part in a fun and interactive dragon procession with a 12m long dragon costume.  There will also be an amazing falconry show in the amphitheatre, which includes the falcon, Baldric, showing off his new ‘head cam projection’ where visitors literally get a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the show.

Date:               February 13- 21, from 5pm to 9pm.

Where:            Robin Hill Adventure Park & Gardens, Downend, Near Arreton, Newport PO30 2NU.

Cost:                Tickets cost £10.95 per person (aged 4+) and are available to purchase in advance from the website: www.electricwoods.co.uk

More:                   http://robin-hill.com/events/february-2016-

Victorian Fun and Games at Osborne

Experience a range of fun games and pastimes played by children in Victorian England and learn how the royal children would have lived and played at Osborne.

Date:               15th to 19th February

Where:            Osborne, York Avenue, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO32 6JX.

Cost:                £10.50 (adult), £6.30 (age 5 to 15), £9.59 (concession) £27.50 (family).   Free for English Heritage members.

More:               http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/victorian-fun-and-games-Osb-15-02-2016/

Woodland event at Borthwood Copse, near Sandown.

Have fun exploring the ancient woodland at Borthwood Copse at this National Trust family event.  Find out more about the life of the Island’s native red squirrels, woodland trails, wild art and balancing poles. Have a go at creating your own squirrel dray and make a squirrel mask.  Bring a picnic lunch and wear trainers, or walking boots, with good grip for balancing on wooden poles.

Date:               February 17, 11am to 3pm

Where:            Meet at Borthwood Copse (SZ 566 844). Parking limited, Bus route No. 8

Cost:                Free – donations to cover cost of materials welcome.

More:               http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/50d545e4-0dfe-4161-80b0-0c3f3cd197d2/pages/details

Activity Days at Newport Roman Villa

The well-preserved remains at Newport Roman Villa provide a fascinating insight into country life in third century Britain. The villa has a superb bath suite with under floor heating and remnants of mosaic floors.  This February half-term families can get hands on at two fun activity days:  ‘Clay Day’ on February 15 and ‘Crafty Day’ on February 17.   Visitors can also find out more about the Roman occupation of the Isle of Wight by exploring the exhibition area, which displays artefacts found throughout the Island.

Date:               February 15 (Clay Day) and February 17 (Crafty Day), 11am to 3pm

Where:            Newport Roman Villa, Cypress Road, PO30 1HA

Cost:               £1 per person to include entry to site and all activities – no booking required.

More:              For more information call 01983 823433 or e-mail museums@iow.gov.uk

Wildlife Activity Day at Freshwater Fruit Farm

Amphibians and reptiles are hibernating at this time of the year but there are red squirrels in the garden and a wide variety of birds.   So get out of doors and join members of the Wight Squirrel Project for a range of activities that include searching for wildlife around the farm, storytelling, plus homemade hotdogs for lunch.

Date:               February 16th, starting at 11am

Where:            Freshwater Fruit Farm, Wilmingham Lane, Freshwater, PO40 9UG.  Parking is available on site.

Cost:                £3 including lunch for children and £1.50 for refreshments (tea/coffee/biscuits) for adults.

More:               Please call 01983 753413 to book your place and for any queries.

Half-term fun at the Garlic Farm

There are lots of fun activities taking place throughout this February half term at the Island’s Garlic Farm.   So come along to the farm and learn all about garlic with regular talks and demonstrations.

Date:               13th to 21st February, 11am to 3pm

Where:            The Garlic Farm, Mersley Lane, Newchurch, PO36 0NR

Cost:                Entry to the farm is free and activities are individually priced – see website for more details.

More:               http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/halft-term-fun-at-the-garlic-farm-p1247201


For more fun and frolics this February half-term, go to http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/inspiration/february-half-term


A fossil from a now-extinct species of elephant has gone on display at Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown following its discovery in the Isle of Wight.

The shoulder bone of the Palaeoloxodon antiquus – which had straight tusks – was found protruding from the sand on the west coast of the Island in March this year by local resident Paul Hollingshead.

He took it into the museum for identification and donated the fossil for visitors to enjoy. It is thought the bone is around 100,000 years old and dates from the Ipswhichian period.

Paul said: “I wasn’t actually looking for fossils at the time the find was made. I remember it was a big five metre tide so I knew the water would go out a long way, when I saw what looked like a bit of bone showing from the sand.

“I stopped and realised it was a bit bigger so I started clearing all of the sand and stones away from it. I was shocked how big it was and spent around two and a half hours digging it out.

“I was hoping it was a dinosaur bone so was quite shocked to find out it was from an elephant.”

Alex Peaker from Dinosaur Isle added: “You don’t really associate elephants with the Isle of Wight but this find shows they did roam the Island many years ago.

“Although the bone was found in March, it took us several months of conservation work to preserve it to ensure it can go on display, which it now is.

“We want to thank Paul again for his discovery and his generosity in donating the bone to the museum.”

More information about the discovery can be found at www.facebook.com/dinosaurisle.


Notes to Editors:

An image of Paul with his son Shay and daughter Lily and the elephant bone Paul discovered is attached.   Please credit IW Council and Dinosaur  Isle if you use this image.

Issued by:

Simon Butler, Media Relations Officer
Tel: 01983 821000 ext 6254
Mob: 07976 347636
Email: simon.butler@iow.gov.uk

Beat the queues, save money and enjoy the best of the Isle of Wight’s top attractions this autumn

15-30% savings on attractions when booked in conjunction with Wightlink ferry travel

This autumn Wightlink Ferries is inviting families to beat the queues and save up to 30% on entrance to the Island’s top attractions with its exclusive bundled ferry and attraction tickets fares. With many Island attractions open year round, autumn is the ideal time to visit the Isle of Wight – whether for a day trip or a little longer –  and it is the perfect escape for families with pre-school kids.

Wightlink’s convenient car passenger services operate from Portsmouth and Lymington, getting families over to the Isle of Wight in just 40-45 minutes. Foot passengers board the catamaran service at Portsmouth Station (the ferry terminal is just a few steps from the platform), which takes just 22 minutes to cross the Solent and arrive at Ryde pier. Adult tickets from £12.20 return and child tickets from £8.90 return.

Wightlink’s top five autumn escapes, particularly perfect for families with young children, include:

Dinosaur Isle

Step back in time and discover the lost world of dinosaurs inside this giant pterosaur-shaped museum. Visitors can retrace the footsteps of some of the scariest creatures that roamed the land, discover the skeletal remains found by fossil hunters and watch palaeontologists working on their finds.  Dinosaur Isle is open year round.

Book family tickets (two adults and three children) in conjunction with Wightlink ferry travel and enjoy a 20% discount.

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Passengers enjoy a leisurely 10 mile trip across the stunning Isle of Wight countryside in this beautifully restored Victorian and Edwardian steam train.  It is the perfect day trip escape for Wightlink foot passengers arriving into Ryde, as they can connect to The Steam Railway’s Smallbrook Station by using the Island Line train (caught at the ferry terminal in Ryde).  The Isle of Wight Steam Railway is open year round; however opening hours vary outside the summer months.

Book family tickets (two adults and two children) in conjunction with ferry travel and enjoy a 30% discount.

Osborne House

Families can wander inside the lavish stately home where Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their nine children once resided. After taking a look at the richly decorated Royal Apartments, families can head outside to explore the extensive grounds and Swiss Cottage in their autumn glory.  Osborne House is fully open until 2nd November, and has limited opening (at a reduced price) year round.

Book family tickets (two adults and three children) in conjunction with ferry travel and enjoy a 20% discount.

Amazon World Zoo

Get up close and personal with 200 exotic South American animals on a journey through the Isle of Wight’s own Amazon jungle. Amazon World Zoo is open year round.

Book family tickets (two adults and two children) in conjunction with ferry travel and receive a 15% discount.


For press interested in a trip to the Isle of Wight with Wightlink, to see why an autumnal break on the Island is the ideal escape (especially for families with younger kids), we would be delighted to arrange a one night stay for a family of four during November.

This would include ferry crossings, B&B and a meal for two at one of the Island’s eateries. 


For more information about Wightlink Ferries, please contact:

Nadia Fidler                0207 680 7122           nadia.fidler@flagshipconsulting.co.uk

Sophy Norris               01392 248 934            sophy.norris@flagshipconsulting.co.uk

Wightlink – Part of Island Life

Wightlink is the leading cross-Solent ferry operator carrying almost five million holidaymakers and Islanders across the Solent to the Isle of Wight every year. Nine ferries on three routes provide Island-wide coverage and complete 48,000 sailings a year giving Islanders an easy and frequent service to the mainland, and tourists an accessible way to enjoy a taste of Island life.

You can step off the train from London, hop on a Wightlink catamaran and be on the Island in just 22 minutes, the car ferries take around 40 minutes from Portsmouth and Lymington. On board, passengers and drivers alike can relax in the lounges and enjoy some refreshments before arriving on the Island to enjoy the range of attractions, events and experiences that make the Isle of Wight a leading destination for tourists.

The opening of the Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey has cut journey times to Portsmouth from Greater London. By contrast, Wightlink’s port at Lymington is reached by an attractive drive through the scenic New Forest.



Day Return: Car + 7 passengers from £43.75* Short Breaks (2-4 nights): Car + 7 passengers from £54.25**

*Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 and returning 06/05/15.

** Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 returning between 08/05/15 and 10/05/15.

Day Return: Car + 7 passengers from £43.75* Short Breaks (2-4 nights): Car + 7 passengers from £54.25**

*Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 and returning 06/05/15.

** Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 returning between 08/05/15 and 10/05/15. 

Book Early, Be Flexible, Save Money

More information can be found at www.wightlink.co.uk

Nadia Fidler
Flagship Consulting Limited

DDI: +44 20 7680 7122
T: +44 20 7680 7104



The Isle of Wight is to feature in a prime time TV programme focusing on Britain during prehistoric times.

‘Dinosaur Britain’ is a two part programme to be broadcast on ITV on Monday 31 August between 9pm and 10pm and on Tuesday 1 September from 8pm until 9pm.

The Isle of Wight will be part of the second programme on the Tuesday.

Film crews visited Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown where the focus of their attention were the skeletons of a Neovenator and a Mantellisaurus.

Both skeletons show signs of injuries, suggesting both dinosaurs were involved in vicious fights.

Presenter Ellie Harrison was shown various bones in the museum’s laboratory and looked at what the injuries may have been as a result of.

The programme will be using CGI graphics to show dinosaurs during pre-historic times.

Alex Peaker from the museum was involved in the filming. He said: “The programme makers came here in June and carried out lots of filming and interviews.

“We were more than happy to assist. The stories behind the skeletons of the Neovanator and the Mantellisaurs will make for fascinating viewing.”

Councillor Ian Stephens, Executive member for tourism, culture and heritage, added: “The Isle of Wight is well known as being the dinosaur-fossil capital of Britain and the programme will further enhance our reputation as one of the world’s best sites for pre-historic discoveries.

“I look forward to watching it and seeing what the experts have established from studying fossils in the museum.”

Chief executive of Visit Isle of Wight, David Thornton, says the programme will benefit the Island’s image, adding: “This new dinosaur documentary further enhances our reputation as the dinosaur capital of Britain which started in 2013 when the Natural History Museum in London awarded us that title.

“It continues with our special Dinosaur Isle app which allows visitors to be photographed while walking with dinosaurs on the Island.”

ITV describe Dinosaur Britain as telling the amazing story of many of the dinosaurs that once roamed our country revealing how they hunted, what they ate and how they died from the evidence revealed from their bones.


Notes to Editors:

The programme was produced by Maverick Television

Issued by:

Simon Butler, Media Relations Officer
Tel: 01983 821000 ext 6254
Mob: 07976 347636
Email: simon.butler@iow.gov.uk

Get social media updates from the Isle of Wight Council. Go to www.facebook.com/isleofwightcouncil, www.twitter.com/iwight and www.youtube.com/IWCouncil



A group of international scientists is to be hosted at Dinosaur Isle next week (Tuesday 25 August) as part of the ‘Flugsaurier’ conference, dedicated to the research of the giant prehistoric flying reptiles, the pterosaurs.

The conference is being held by the University of Portsmouth (led by former Island resident Dr Dave Martill), having previously being held in the USA, Brazil, China and mainland Europe.

This is the first time that the international conference has been hosted in England, and for its first day the event is convening on the Island.

Delegates from around the world will be joining staff from Dinosaur Isle to see the classic locality of some of the Island’s famous pterosaurs, such as the Caulkicephalus.

Caulkicephalus was discovered at Yaverland and formally named as a new species by Dr Martill and former museum staff member Dr Lorna Steel in 2005. The original remains of the specimen can now be seen on display at Dinosaur Isle.

During the afternoon of the event, hosted by the Friends of Dinosaur Isle, the international team will be studying the important collection of pterosaurs held at the museum.

Dr Jeremy Lockwood, chair of the Friends of Dinosaur Isle, said: “The Flugsaurier conference attracts some of the world’s foremost experts on pterosaurs and it is tremendous to know that such high profile scientists value our museum and are aware of the importance of the collection.”

Councillor Ian Stephens, Isle of Wight Council Executive member for tourism, culture and heritage, said: “This visit and Dinosaur Isle’s inclusion in the conference is a real coup for the museum and the Island, and recognition at the highest level of the importance of the Island in this field.

“It also further underlines our determination on the Island to attract more top events and visitors to our shores, including experts in their field, to appreciate the many qualities, places of interest and attractions we have.

“I would like to congratulate staff at the museum and the Friends of Dinosaur Isle for their continuing excellent work and am delighted with the recognition they have received with this conference.”


For more information, e-mail: mail@iow.vuelio.uk.com




Ten Reasons To Visit The Isle of Wight This Summer

The Isle of Wight – proven in the past to be one of the sunniest places in the whole of the UK – has a hot summer season of festivals, events and activities for its visitors to enjoy this year.  Here’s just ten reasons to spend some time there this summer:

1. The Carnival Capital of the UK

The Isle of Wight is home to the oldest carnival in the UK.  Ryde Carnival was first held in 1888, following a highly successful and hugely popular event of the previous year, which marked the Queen’s Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria who attended the event herself.  This year’s Ryde Carnival takes place on Thursday, August 27th.  All the Island’s major towns host similar carnivals, and have also been joined on the summer calendar by Bestival’s Carnival Fancy Dress Parade.

2. Dinosaur Isle

Named the “Dinosaur Capital of Britain” in 2013, the Isle of Wight is the perfect destination for anyone inspired by the latest Jurassic World movie.  Download the Dinosaur Isle app to follow in the footsteps of giants and have photographs taken with them, or head to Compton Bay or Yaverland beaches to search for fossils.  Dinosaur Isle at Sandown, meanwhile, is an interactive museum with life-sized reconstructions, some of which move, that also houses over 1,000 fossils.

3. Sailing Isle

The Isle of Wight’s world-famous Cowes Week is scheduled to take place this year from August 8th to 15th.   But Visit Isle of Wight and Universal Yacht Charter have also joined forces to create a new Bike & Sail experience for the summer.  This new short active break is expected to attract interest amongst groups of friends, families and perhaps businesses looking for something slightly different.

4. Music Isle

Having already successfully staged the latest edition of The Isle of Wight Festival, the Island will be staging v-Dub between July 23th and 27th, followed by one of the world’s best music festivals, Bestival, from September 10th to 13th.

5. Isle of Arts

Each July, Isle of Wight artists and crafts-people open their studios, homes or exhibit in public venues over two open studios weekends.  This gives visitors the opportunity to meet local artists, see their work and find out more about the techniques they use and the passions which inspire them.  Open Studios is a free event and offers the chance to view and purchase a great range of work including painting, sculpture, print-making, photography, textiles, jewellery and ceramics.  Open Studios will be held in West Wight from July 17th to 20th and in East Wight from July 24th to 27th.

6. Garden Isle

The newly introduced “Wight in Bloom” has as its Patron Alan Titchmarsh, and will result in a garden party/awards ceremony this August.  Perennially popular with green fingered visitors, the Island can lay claim to Osborne House, Ventnor Botanic Gardens, and Appuldurcombe House with all of its Capability Brown associations.  A new Isle of Wight Gardens Trail is also planned for launch this summer.

7. Taste of the Wight

Rachel Koo will be the special guest at this year’s Garlic Festival over the weekend of August 15th/16th; the Isle of Wight’s annual Sweetcorn Fayre will this year take place on September 26th to 29th; and the Bembridge Harbour Food Festival is set for September 25th/26th.  A full listing of Taste of the Wight events can be found here.

8. Attractions Isle

Children will enjoy the Island’s mix of attractions this summer, including Punch & Judy at Osborne, the Knight School at Carisbrooke Castle, The Railway Folk at the IW Steam Railway, Dino Nights at Blackgang Chine and Music & Magic in the Skies at The Needles Landmark Attraction with entertainment, fun and interaction for the whole family.   There are also lots of outdoor nature activities like nature trails, bug hunts as well as lizard safaris at Ventnor Botanic Gardens – and a unique rockpooling opportunity to discover the amazing array of marine life that has made a home Under the Pier – bring a net and a bucket if you have one and make sure to wear wellies or waterproof shoes. Expect to get a bit splashed!

 9. Pure Wight

Adventurous visitors should consider Compton or Freshwater Bay for surf lessons, or kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding to hidden caves and Victorian forts.  For a thrilling view of the coastline, take a high-speed RIB ride around The Needles or paraglide from a hillside near the unspoilt chalk cliffs of the West Wight. Rewarding views and a treetop hammock are on offer for those who conquer technical tree climbing, whilst those searching for something a bit different should consider climbing into a three metre inflatable ball and ‘zorbing’ their way down a hillside. Or if G-forces are not your thing, stick to two wheels and glide around a Segway course.  For these and more Pure Wight adventures, visit http://purewight.co.uk/

10. Bicycle Island

The family-friendly Red Squirrel Trail has been tailored for cyclists who prefer car-free cycling on mainly flat, gentle routes.  Stop-off at golden beaches and cafes passing woodland and the wild flower grassland of Alverstone Mead nature reserve.   Bring your own bike – Island Coasterbuses can take up to six bikes each – or why not hire one?   Routfifty7 bike hire are based just 300yds from Shanklin railway station and lead directly on the Red Squirrel Trail as well as the Chalk Ridge Extreme Trail and the Round the Island Taste Trail.   More routes and bike hire companies can be found at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/bicycle-island


For all other information about the Isle of Wight, visit 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


A fossil of a 120 million year old shark, which was discovered on Sandown beach, has gone on display at Dinosaur Isle Museum in the town.

The fossil of the Egertonodus has been described as one of the most complete sharks of its kind to ever have been found in England and is an extremely rare occurrence of exquisite preservation.

Parts of the fossil were found on separate occasions, the first by local enthusiast Kai Bailey in early 2013, and the second by holidaymaker Stephanie Watson who was visiting the Island with her family later that year.

It is the first time skeletal remains of this type of shark have been discovered on the Island. The fossil not only shows the skull, but also the fin spines in position in the body, as well as the cartilage that would have supported it, a pectoral fin and the ribs. It is thought the shark was around 1.5 metres in length.

Kai, who found the first piece of the shark, regularly returned to the area to see if he could find any further remains. He said: “When I first found the shark I brought it into Dinosaur Isle as I hadn’t seen anything quite like it before.

“Over the next year I visited the site of the find quite frequently to see if any more remains could be found and almost a year after finding the skull I found part of the belly as well”.

Councillor Shirley Smart, Executive member for tourism and economy, added: “The council is very grateful to both Kai and Stephanie for donating their finds to Dinosaur Isle so they can be enjoyed by visitors to the museum.

“Experts at the museum say that it is incredibly rare to find any more than the teeth or the fin spines of sharks as a fossil, yet more than half of the animal has been preserved. I am sure visitors will enjoy it for many years to come.”

Dinosaur Isle Museum is very grateful to Kai and Stephanie for finding the specimen, and to the Friends of Dinosaur Isle for assisting the acquisition.

Notes to Editors:

A photo of the fossil is attached for your use. Please credit IW Council and Dinosaur Isle Musuem if you use this photo.
Issued by:

Simon Butler, Media Relations Officer
Tel: 01983 821000 ext 6254
Mob: 07976 347636
Email: simon.butler@iow.gov.uk


Don’t miss the spooktacular all-weather fun taking place at Blackgang Chine this October half term!  From Tuesday 28th – Thursday 30th October inclusive, Blackgang will be open late until 8pm with lots of fun activity taking place throughout the day and into the evening too for the whole family.

Come and meet our Witch and Wizzard in the ‘Halloween hub’ packed full of creepy crafts and games for you to enjoy.  Mix up your own potion in our much loved ‘potion lab’ and be entertained with magic from our wandering magician.

Back by popular demand …. enjoy our indoor dinosaur show, Dino Encounters, which combines theatre and excitement in this fun and interactive ‘live’ show which brings dinosaurs to life!   Meet Shadow & Sheila’s baby dino friends;  Jack & Jill, our walking Procomsognathus dinosaurs, George, our baby Brachiosaurus and the mischievous ‘Caulkie’ the Caulkicephalus – all with personalities of their own!   Plus you can meet their handlers and learn some fascinating facts about these amazing baby dinosaurs.  A ‘must see’ show for the whole family!

Then, as daylight falls ……… will you be brave enough to visit Restricted Area 5  as the dinosaurs begin to stir?    Who knows what will happen after dark?!

For an experience like no other, visit Blackgang Chine this October half term ….  the land full of imagination

From 29th September – 2nd November, Blackgang Chine is open from 10am – 4.30pm but for three nights during October half term (28th – 30th), the park will be open from 10am – 8pm.   Rides and attractions will also be open until late during these evenings but please note some areas of the park will be closed off from 5pm.   All tickets include ‘unlimited FREE returns for 7 days!    www.blackgangchine.com

For further information contact Michelle Russell : michelle@vectisventures.co.uk / 07436 283630 / 01983 732123