Tag Archives: Festival of the Sea

The 2017 Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea (June 23 to July 9)

Some of the UK’s top bloggers from from britmums.com, london-unattached.com, bestbitsworldwide.com and vickyflipfloptravels.com, joined Director of Discover Ferries Bill Gibbons and CEO of Visit Isle of Wight David Thornton in the new Signature Lounge on board Red Osprey to celebrate National Ferry Fortnight (6-20 May) and launch the countdown to the Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea today (Friday 12 May).

The Bloggers were on the Island to learn about what’s great for families this year, and experience the Solent crossing during National Ferry Fortnight, a country-wide promotion taking place this month. The Bloggers were briefed about the Island’s main themes and  campaigns and introduced to new festivals taking place this summer, including Isle of Wight Pride (15th July), and the Isle of Wight Festival of Running (2nd to 4th June).

The Isle of Wight’s annual Festival of the Sea this year sets sail on June 23, for a voyage that will last until July 9, and with the range of nautical festivities – including a pirate festival on golden sands, delicious seafood fresh off the boat, and spectacular yachting extravaganzas featuring thousands of boats.

Now in its 5th year, the Festival of the Sea was created by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) to celebrate the Island’s maritime history, heritage and holiday appeal.

Highlights for 2017 include:

Pirate Plunder at Blackgang Chine

24th and 25th June & 1st & 2nd July

They will be hoisting the Jolly Roger to give young scallywags the chance to join a Scurvy Crew at Blackgang Chine, where there will be opportunities to learn how to sword fight like a true Blackgang Buccaneer and take part in the smugglers’ next treasure hunt.

Challenge the Wight

24th June

A strenuous 26.5-mile hike/run across the Isle of Wight at night.  It’s a chance to walk from the Needles Landmark Attraction to Yaverland to raise money for Challenge & Adventure a local charity that helps disadvantaged and challenging young people on the Isle of Wight.  A ‘lite’ route (12 miles) or kids route (4 miles) is also available.

Round the Island Race in association with Cloudy Bay New Zealand

1st July

This most famous of annual yacht races, and the largest of its kind in the world, regularly attracts entries exceeding 1,500 yachts and upwards of 12,000 sailors racing the 50 nautical miles westabout course around the Isle of Wight, starting and finishing in Cowes.

Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra present “Carnival at Sea”

1st July

A ‘Carnival at Sea’ by the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra at Medina Theatre, from 7:15pm.  This family friendly concert will celebrate the Islands strong links with the sea – with a programme that includes Rule Britannia and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Mardi Gras Parade in Ryde

1st July

A day-long carnival event by the sea.  Take advantage of a free day of fun and celebration with a parade and festival featuring over 1000 children and young people in fabulous carnival costumes.

Shipwreck Isle 2017, Appley Beach, Ryde

2nd July

Ahoy there!  Join in a thrilling pirate festival set on a spectacular beach, on an enchanted isle.  Expect live pirate music, cannon and firearms demonstrations, stunt action sword fights, young pirate’s entertainment and much, much more skullduggery.

Panerai British Classic Week 2017

6th – 13th July

The Classic Week, now in its 11th year takes place in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight.  Since 2010, it is the only UK regatta forming part of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge series, the leading international circuit for classic and vintage yachts.  Social events included as part of the week include an Open Yachts Pontoon Party on the July 9; a Themed Crew Party – “Pirates of Penzance”- on July 10; a prize giving Gala Dinner on the July 12 and the famous Parade of Sail past the Royal Yacht Squadron on the final day, July 13.

The Edinburgh Cup and South Coast Championship, Cowes

9th – 15th July

A Regatta for the International Dragon fleet.  Designed in 1929, the International Dragon combines classic elegance with grand prix performance, the world’s greatest sailing venues and some of the best sailors from around the globe.  One of the Dragon fleet’s most prestigious trophies is the Edinburgh Cup which was presented to the class in 1949 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and is awarded annually to the winner of the International Dragon British Open Championship.

For full details of these and other Festival of the Sea events, visit https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/events/festival-of-the-sea.

Festival of the Sea leaflets will be available from Island tourist information points and ferry terminals from Monday 22nd May.

For further tourist information, and accommodation details, visit https://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

The attached image shows David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight (far right) with bloggers from london-unattached.com, britmums.com, bestbitsworldwide.com and vickyflipfloptravels.com, joined by Bill Gibbons (third right) from National Ferry Fortnight at the launch of the Festival of the Sea brochure.  The image was taken in the new Signature Lounge on board Red Funnel’s vessel, Red Falcon.

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

SHIPWRECK ISLE – A SAIL AWAY SUCCESS FOR VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT

It was anchors away last weekend (18/19 June) as Shipwreck Isle sailed into port and the golden sands of Ryde became a pirates’ paradise for two glorious days.

Hundreds of salty seadogs and buccaneers headed to Ryde for the free event, which is part of Visit Isle of Wight’s (VIOW) Festival of the Sea celebrations.

VIOW worked with Roger Crouch, the man behind the Hastings Pirate Day event – to make Shipwreck Isle even bigger and better than before.  Held for just one day in 2015, the hugely popular event was extended to two-days with events and activities that included a Pirates of the Caribbean Village, Blackbeard’s market, live stunt action and an evening of entertainment on the Saturday night.

Visit Isle of Wight believes Shipwreck Isle has a genuine potential to grow into a major, world-class event for the Island – and encourage more out of season visitors to its shores.

Katie Jones, Events Manager for Visit Isle of Wight, said: “This year’s Shipwreck Isle went extremely well and created a real buzz as local people and visitors interacted with pirates and the various pirate-themed events and activities.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Roger and his team as well as Island businesses people like Airon Baker and Damien Walsh, who were involved in creating such a fabulous event”.

The Festival of the Sea runs from 18 June -3 July and during that period there are lots more sea-themed events and activities for visitors and local people to enjoy.

A new highlight this year, the world’s leading annual solo sailing race, the Solitaire Bompard – Le Figaro comes to Cowes from June 22 to 26.

The Solitaire Race Village in Cowes will be free to visit during five full days of fun, and will include food markets, a drinks bar, live music, plus an opportunity for those who want to try their hands at sailing on the Solent – courtesy of the sailing academy UKSA.  Alongside the live entertainment, there will be a host of interactive family-friendly stands and activities.

Other major events include the Shakespeare Mardi Gras on 25th June and the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on 2nd July.

For more information about these and other Festival of the Sea events, please go to www.visitisleofwight.org.

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

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

Image of Shipwreck Isle attached.

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 (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

Father’s Day delights on the Isle of Wight

It’s Father’s Day on June 19th so why not treat Dad to an overnight stay on the Isle of Wight where he can enjoy some great gift experiences?

He could learn about the restoration and maintenance of steam trains, relax and indulge in the Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea, pick up some tips on how to create the perfect coastal garden – and even dress-up as a scurvy sea-dog at the Island’s annual Shipwreck Isle celebrations!

Shipwreck Isle

Shiver me timbers and man the riggings m’hearties for Shipwreck Isle 2016! The pirate extravaga is returning to Appley Beach as part of the Festival of the Sea and will be even bigger and better than last year as Ryde seafront is transformed into ‘Shipwreck Isle’. Expect cannon demonstrations sword fighting and lots more swashbuckling adventures as the Island celebrates its nautical past with a fun-filled weekend for Dads of all ages.

Where: Appley Beach, Ryde, Isle of Wight.

When: Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June.

Cost: Free

More info: http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/

Stay: The Royal Esplanade Hotel, pleasantly situated facing the Solent in the attractive seaside town of Ryde. Tel. 01983 562549, info@royalesplanadehotel.co.uk, www.royalesplanadehotel.co.uk

Father’s Day Workshop at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Steam trains… how do they keep going and how do we know how to repair them? Bring Dad along as the Island’s steam railway throws open its workshop doors and invites you to come and wander around and meet both the old hands and new apprentices who are being trained to do the work of a bygone era. Plus the chance to be transported by steam train through some of the Island’s countryside – and visit the Train Story Discovery Centre to see the impressive historic collection of  locomotives, Victorian and Edwardian carriages and other rare rolling stock.

Where: Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Havenstreet, near Ryde, Isle of Wight.

When: Sunday 19th June

Cost: On the gate prices: adult £13.00, child (5-15) £6.50, infant (0-4) free, family ticket £32.50 (2 Adults and 2 Children). If booked online: adult £11.50, child (5-15) £6.00, infant (0-4) free, family ticket £29.00. The prices include train rides. Please note, there is an extra charge for admission to the railway’s new Birds of Prey Centre.   More info: http://www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/events/workshop-open-day.aspx

Stay: Hotel Ryde Castle, the Esplanade, Ryde. Tel. 0845 6086040, rydecastle@oldenglishinns.co.ukwww.oldenglishinns.co.uk/our-locations/hotels-in-isle-of-wight-ryde-castle

Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea

A great gift for gourmet Dads, this robust afternoon tea with a masculine slant includes Fish Finger Sandwich, Tartare Sauce, Quail Scotch Eggs, Roast Beef, Yorkie & Gravy, Pork & Apple Sausage Roll, Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Bagel, Pancetta & Potato Scone and Chicken Butter, followed by Boozy Trifle, plus a pint of George’s Brew or two halves of your choice.

Where: The George Hotel, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight.

When: Book the experience by calling the hotel for availability and they will reserve a date that suits you – note, 24 hours’ notice is required. The ‘Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea’ is served daily from 3pm to 5pm.

Cost: £26 per person, plus postage (or free e-mail voucher).

More Info: Email info@thegeorge.co.uk, tel. 01983 760331, http://thegeorgehotel.giftpro.co.uk/products/view/1614/

Stay: The George Hotel, a 17th Century townhouse enjoying a wonderful location nestling on the water’s edge between the castle and pier in the bustling harbour town of Yarmouth. https://www.thegeorge.co.uk/

Design and inspiration with the Isle of Wight Coastal Gardener

Find out about which plants thrive in coastal conditions and learn how to create the best possible environment for your plants to flourish as the Coastal Gardener shares his ideas on designing and planting and offers advice about your own garden (please do bring along plans and or photographs of your garden). You will also visit his own coastal garden in Bembridge and take a short walk along the coast to see what’s thriving on the cliff edge and beach.

Where: This course will be run at the Nursery at Fakenham Farm, Eddington Road, St Helens, near Ryde, Isle of Wight.

When: Saturday 18th June 2016.10.30am to 3.30pm

Cost: £45.00 which includes all materials, equipment and seeds – please bring your own gloves if you like to wear them.
More info: To reserve your place please call/text 07977 550050 or email thecoastalgardener@icloud.com

Stay: The Spinnaker, a beautifully restored Edwardian hotel, set in the heart of the chic village of Bembridge. Tel. 01983 873572, www.thespinnakeriow.co.uk

For full details about visiting the Isle of Wight, go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk

-ENDS-

For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:
Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight
07766 705672, sue@visitwight.co.uk

 

10 of the best events on the Isle of Wight this year

The UK’s holiday Island offers a year full of fun and variety and if you have never been before, you don’t know what you are missing!

Isle of Wight Walking Festival – April 30th-May 15th

With more than 200 organised walks, the Isle of Wight Walking Festival boasts 16 days of unbeatable, informative and healthy walks for all abilities.  A great way to explore its spectacular scenery, wildlife and heritage, all walks are led by knowledgeable guides, who share their stories and history of the Island www.isleofwightwalkigfestival.co.uk

Festival of the Sea June – 18th– July 3rd

From the swashbuckling swagger of Shipwreck Isle in Ryde to the arrival of the world’s leading annual solo sailing race, the Solitaire Bompard – Le Figaro in Cowes – plus lots of nautically-themed entertainment and activity for the whole family – the Festival of the Sea is one of the most eye-catching coastal events anywhere around the UK coastline this summer http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/events/festival-of-the-sea

The Isle of Wight Festival – June 9th-12th

The 2016 Isle of Wight Festival will once again be staged at Seaclose Park, in Newport on the Isle of Wight with headline performances by Queen + Adam Lambert, the Stereophonics and Faithless www.isleofwightfestival.com

Ventnor Fringe – August 9th-14th

A celebration of the arts, showcasing emerging and established talent across every creative discipline on the Isle of Wight as well as artists from around the world.  This year it will be expanding with the International Festival www.vfringe.co.uk

Cowes Week – August 6th-13th

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week will take place this year from Saturday August 6th to 13th, and will feature an exciting and diverse blend of competitive sailing – as well as a strong social scene including Ladies Day – and the famous fireworks that take place on the final Friday of the event http://www.aamcowesweek.co.uk

The Garlic Festival – August 15th&16th

A vast array of eats, sights and sounds, the Isle of Wight Garlic Festival has become one of the Island’s most iconic events and is a superb family day out. Alongside the celebration of garlic (including in ice cream and beer form) there is live entertainment and music as well as hundreds of local arts and craft stalls http://www.garlic-festival.co.uk/

Ryde Carnival – September 1st

The oldest carnival in Britain dating back to 1886, Ryde Carnival is the largest community celebratory event of its kind on the Island. A spectacular fusion of carnival costumes, dance and performance http://www.rydecarnival.com/ryde-carnival-dates-2016/

Bestival – September 8th-11th

Another of the UK’s leading music festivals, Bestival will this year be staged in Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight between September 8th to 11thth.  The Cure, Major Lazer, Hot Chiip and Fat Boy Slim are amongst those to have already confirmed they will be playing this year http://www.bestival.net

The Isle of Wight Literary Festival – October 12th-16th

See and hear a cornucopia of literary talent at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival held at Northwood House in Cowes.  In addition to talks there will be walks, workshops, competitions, debates, children’s story telling, lots of music and a chance to sharpen your wits at a pub quiz http://www.isleofwightliteraryfestival.org/

Isle of Fright (October half-term)

Take an enchanted steam train trip, wander through the magical Electric Woods, visit the former haunts of smugglers and have the fright of your life at Spooky Castle as you visit the Isle of Fright this October half-term http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/events/isle-of-fright

For all other events, please go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk

Image attached: ‘Film in the Woods’ held during Ventnor Fringe, please credit Jon Ritchie.

 

 

The 2016 Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea: bringing together sailors, pirates, bards and story tellers (June 18-July 3)

The world’s leading annual solo sailing race, the Solitaire Bompard – Le Figaro comes to Cowes on the Isle of Wight in 2016 from June 22 to 26.

A new highlight for the Isle of Wight’s Festival of the Sea, which this year runs from June 18 to July 3, the race will also bring with it one of the most eye-catching five-day coastal events to be seen anywhere around the UK coastline this summer.

The Solitaire Race Village in Cowes will be free to visit during five full days fun, and will include food markets, a drinks bar, live music, plus an opportunity for those who want to try their hands at sailing on the Solent – courtesy of the sailing academy UKSA. Alongside the live entertainment, there will be a host of interactive family-friendly stands and activities.

Portsmouth has had the America’s Cup, Southampton has had the Volvo Ocean Race and this is being seen as another chance to reaffirm Cowes as the UK and Europe’s sailing capital. A genuine spectacle of the sea, and a showcase of top level sailing, the Solitaire is sure to attract crowds from both the island and mainland to the Isle of Wight.

Solitaire Bompard – Le Figaro takes just over a month to complete and has a reputation of pushing competitors to the edge – one man, one boat, 1,500 miles of rough seas, harsh weather and little sleep!

The Isle of Wight is one of four venues playing host to this world-class sporting event in 2016. Starting from Deauville – a grand French town twinned with Cowes – on the June 19, the Solitaire competitors are expected to dock into in Cowes Yacht Haven around the June 22 after sailing 510 miles. The race will then restart in the Solent on Sunday June 26 – a spectacle not to be missed from the water, or the Parade – and from Cowes, the fleet will race to Paimpol (France), and finish in La Rochelle (France) on July 7.

Torbay was the previous UK host for the event, when 20,000 visitors passed through the Race Village in just five days. This year’s race, however, is a flagship event in the Isle of Wight’s 2016 Festival of the Sea, which has already become a leading event on the Island calendar, and brings together a host of diverse events for all the family.

Shipwreck Isle, for example, arrived on Appley Beach with a swashbuckling swagger in 2015, as the golden sands became a pirates’ paradise for one glorious day. And this year’s event on June 18 and 19 promises to be even bigger and better, with two days of fancy dress fun, and an evening of entertainment on the Saturday night. Shipwreck Isle of free of charge to visit – but all visitors are urged to dress up as a pirate for the day, to become a part of the event.

Another highlight of the 16-day Festival of the Sea is The JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Yacht Race on July 2, which will bring together 16,000 sailors and 1,600 boats for the one-day race. Only the London Marathon, and the Great North and South runs can compete for scale, as The Solent and the English Channel turn into a sea of colourful sails.

Story telling, lighthouse tours, coastal crafts, and maritime melodies will also feature on the full schedule of events in 2016. As will The Isle of Wight’s Mardi Gras, which is set to be held in Ryde on June 25, and will have a Shakespeare theme in the year which marks the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. A story told through a community performance in the Island’s biggest seaside town, the procession will be led by costumed actors and drummers representing Shakespeare and the Lord Chamberlain’s men.

Full details of The Isle of Wight’s 2016 Festival of the Sea will be found at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/events/festival-of-the-sea. For information on where to stay, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/accommodation.

-ENDS-

For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:
Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight
07766 705672
sue@visitwight.co.uk

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

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.

-ENDS-

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

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight

07766 705672

sue@visitwight.co.uk

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

WORLD’S LEADING ANNUAL SOLO YACHT RACE IS COMING – 22nd to 26th June

The world’s leading annual solo sailing race, the Solitaire du Figaro is coming to the Isle of Wight between the 22nd and 26th June, bringing an exciting five-day public event to Cowes as part of the Island’s colourful ‘Festival of the Sea’ celebrations.

A world-class sporting event with an international following, the 2016 Solitaire du Figaro spans 1425 miles between five European Host Venues – Deauville (France), Isle of Wight, Cowes (UK), Paimpol (France) and La Rochelle (France). Considered as the world championships of solo offshore racing, the Solitaire takes just over a month to complete and pushes competitors to the edge of human limitation – one man, one boat, 1500 miles, rough seas, harsh weather, no sleep…the list goes on.

An international event, the Solitaire du Figaro will bring not only a professional sailing race to the pontoons of Cowes Yacht Haven, but a bustling race village to Cowes Town. FREE and open from 22nd to 26th June, the Race Village will be fun for all the family – whether messing about on the water is your thing or not.

Mark McNeil, Deputy Mayor of Cowes and Chairman of ‘Destination Cowes’ –a key organisation behind the event – explained why hosting the Solitaire is important step forward for Cowes: “Portsmouth has had the America’s Cup, Southampton has had the Volvo Ocean Race – this is our chance to put Cowes back on the map as the UK and Europe’s sailing capital. A real spectacle of the sea and a showcase of top level sailing, the Solitaire will attract crowds from both the island and mainland to the Isle of Wight.”

The Solitaire du Figaro will offer five days of fun family entertainment in Cowes, including food markets, a drinks bar, live music in the Race Village and try sailing for all on the Solent – courtesy of the official event charity United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA). Alongside the live entertainment, there will be a host of interactive stands and activities to entertain the public. For the local community there will be the opportunity to showcase in the Race Village, add to the entertainment schedule and for local children, a successful education program focused on coastal conservation and the environment.

Recognising this major event as an opportunity for increased tourism, international awareness and community involvement, Visit Isle of Wight are fully supportive of the Solitaire as Chief Executive David Thornton explained: “The forthcoming Solitaire du Figaro is a brand new and exciting event for the whole of the Isle of Wight and Cowes. We are delighted that the UK leg of the race coincides with the Island’s annual celebrations of our maritime lifestyle and heritage, ‘The Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea’, and we look forward to working with our partners in Cowes and our new friends in France to make this an exceptional celebration that everyone can enjoy and be a part of.”

Alongside the Island’s main tourism body, the businesses and organization forming the aforementioned ‘Destination Cowes’ are also key stakeholders in the event – Cowes Town Council, Cowes Business Association, Cowes Harbour Commission, Cowes Yacht Haven and Red Funnel. Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Major General Martin White will act as the Patron for the event, and looks forward to welcoming the weary Solitaire skippers to Cowes next June: “This event is not only a marvellous opportunity for Cowes, but also a chance for the whole Island to welcome international competitors and supporters to our shores.  As a seafaring Island, we have much to offer both visitors and sailors alike and I very much hope the sailors will enjoy their stay with us.”

Following the success of the last UK stopover in Torbay, the Isle of Wight would hope to see 20,000 visitors pass through the Solitaire du Figaro race village over five days. The Solitaire du Figaro had a hugely positive economic impact on Torbay in 2015, injecting roughly 1.8 million pounds into the seaside town.

The Isle of Wight is one of four venues playing host to this major sporting event in 2016. Starting from Deauville, a grand French town twinned with Cowes on the 19th June, the Solitaire competitors are expected to dock into in Cowes Yacht Haven around the 22nd June after sailing 510 miles.

The race will restart in the Solent on Sunday 26th June, a spectacle not to be missed from the water or the Parade. From Cowes, the Solitaire du Figaro fleet will race to Paimpol (France), and finish in La Rochelle (France) on the 7th of July.

For more information please contact Emma Harris – emma.harris@ocsport.com or tel: 01983 282797

-ENDS-

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

 

SHIPWRECK ISLE IS A SAIL AWAY SUCCESS

Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) has hailed this weekend’s Shipwreck Isle a sail away success as thousands of people flocked to Ryde seafront to celebrate the pirate-themed event.

Shipwreck Isle – part of the DMO’s annual Festival of the Sea held to promote the Island’s seafaring history and attract early summer visitors – took place at Appley beach in Ryde on Sunday 28th June.

Famed for its golden sands, Gothic-style tower and long promenade, Appley was invaded by pirates who came ashore and entertained the crowds with cannon demonstrations, sword fighting and set up the Pirates of the Caribbean village.   One of Europe’s top Jack Sparrow lookalikes, Simon Newton, who doubled for Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, was at the festival for photographs and stunt-action sword fights.

Younger visitors were invited to dress up in their swashbuckling outfits for pirate storytelling, tug-of-war and treasure hunts.

Funded and co-ordinated by the DMO, Visit Isle of Wight believes the event has the potential to attract huge numbers of visitors from all over the world – especially those who like dressing up in flamboyant pirate costumes and enjoy great entertainment!

David Thornton, CEO, and Visit Isle of Wight, said: “I am delighted that VIOW was able to secure Shipwreck Isle for the Island and we are excited about the obvious potential that the crowds yesterday indicated, and hope to be in a position to confirm next year’s dates by the end of July.

“VIOW and our partners Wightlink, have done an excellent job in making sure this event has been marketed and promoted to off-island visitors in Portsmouth and Southsea.  Wightlink also contributed hugely in the pre-event planning by making sure that all the ‘Pirates’ were able to travel over with their various gear”.

Mark Persad, Head of Marketing at Wightlink, said: “It’s great that so many people came to support the event and enjoy a free day of fantastic swashbuckling fun. This was a brilliant start and we very much hope the pirates will return for a second year. Once again, it’s proven that the Isle of Wight is the place to be for great days out”.

The event was organised by Roger Crouch, who ran the Hastings Pirate Festival for five years, which became a huge draw for local people and visitors alike.  Roger said: “We created a true family day, which I am sure will grow to be an annual event for the Isle of Wight.

“My thanks to all that took part, the majority of which gave their time freely to participate, such as the Pirates of the Caribbeanand the Living History groups. Huge thanks also to Visit Isle of Wight, Wightlink and John Hawkins and his team of Beach Events & Solutions, who co-promoted and helped event manage the day.

John Hawkins said: “We are proud and delighted to work with so many amazing people to help launch what we believe will become a stand-out event in the Isle of Wight.

“Appley beach is one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever encountered and the whole town and local businesses have been hugely supportive, which has made this event a pleasure to work on.  With the wind in our sails, I have no doubt that Shipwreck Isle has many more treasures to uncover over the coming years”.

Katie Jones, Events Manager for Visit Isle of Wight, added: “Shipwreck Isle was a great success and we are looking forwards to working closely with John and Roger in the future and planning an even more fun-filled event next year.

“Thank you to everyone who attended and made the extra effort with their spectacular costumes; you all looked great”.

With around 100 activities from musical events, food shows, cookery displays and food-tasting, opportunities to charter boats, open days, tours and talks, all with a seaside theme, there are still plenty of opportunities for salty seadogs and landlubbers to drop anchor and enjoy the event.  http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/festival-of-the-sea

From July 2nd to 5th, Hovertravel will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a 1980s themed weekend. Travellers will be greeted with music, fancy dress and giveaways at the terminals http://www.hovertravel.co.uk/.

The finale on July 4th and 5th will be the ‘All at Sea’ beach festival at Hope Beach in Shanklin, with children’s entertainment, the Cardboard Box Boat Race and the Isle of Wight Birdman Rally – where competitors attempt to glide gracefully into the sea in homemade contraption http://www.beach-events.co.uk/.

You can pick up a copy of the Festival of the Sea guide, including times and locations of all the events at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/festival-of-the-sea

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, and Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

ENDS

Notes to editors

The Festival of The Sea, which was created by the Island’s Destination Marketing Organisation, Visit Isle of Wight, will involve 100 events on land and at sea. The Festival is now in its third year and will take place from June 22nd to July 5th.  Visit Isle of Wight is supporting the Festival of the Sea 2015 with a £20,000 advertising campaign in newspapers and on radio stations across the South Coast and in London.

The headline event is the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, on June 27th, which is organised by the Island Sailing Club and typically attracts 1700 yachts and 16,000 sailors. Competitors from around the world will attempt to circumnavigate the Island’s 50 nautical mile course, with crowds enjoying a coastline view.

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.

 

Have a fun-filled weekend on the Isle of Wight with Wightlink Ferries this 27-28 June

Return Wightlink car ferry travel and 2 nights camping from £16.95 per person per night*

This June, visitors to the Isle of Wight will have the most fun-packed weekend ever – with five family-friendly events taking place across the Island on the 27 and 28 of the month.  From pirate-themed adventures and carnival parades, to getting up close to small farm animals or watching boat races from treetops, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained.

For parents looking to entertain young scallywags and get away for a weekend break before the summer rush, Wightlink Ferries has teamed up with Nodes Point Holiday Park, offering return car ferry travel and two night’s camping on a non-electric camping pitch for just £16.95 per person*.  Families who do not own a tent will not be left shipwrecked either. Nodes Point offers ready to use tents with all equipment provided, except sleeping bags, and has partnered with Wightlink to offer return car ferry travel and three night’s stay in one of these tents for up to six people from just £30 per person**.

 

Located near Bembridge, just over 2 miles away from the Appley Beach where Shipwreck Isle will take place (see below), Nodes Point Holiday Park boasts unbeatable views of sandy beaches and direct access to St. Helens Beach, as well as an indoor fun pool for kids to splash about. And, with action-packed activities and an all-weather multi sports court, there is plenty to keep the family entertained.

To book these late deals please visit: www.park-resorts.com or call: 0843 5611188.

Shipwreck Isle

On the 28 June 2015, a new event arrives on Appley Beach near Ryde on the Isle of Wight. “Shipwreck Isle” will bring swashbuckling fun for all during this day-long pirate-themed extravaganza, and Wightlink Ferries can take you there. From 11am-6pm, this latest edition to the Isle of Wight’s event calendar will make a seadog out of all visitors. Stunt action sword-fighting, cannon and firearms demonstrations, live pirate music, and Blackbeard’s Market are all on the agenda, as well as a special “Pirates of the Caribbean” Village on the beach for landlubbers to enjoy.

Round the Island Yacht Race

The annual J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race returns to the Isle of Wight on the 27 June 2015. The race is one of the biggest yacht races in the world and attracts over 1,700 boats and 16,000 sailors each year, so families have plenty to watch throughout the day as the boast complete the 50 nautical mile coast. With all the great vantage points dotted around the Island, families can take in the race whilst enjoying a picnic and the fresh Island air.

Tree Boating

Goodleaf tree climbing has the perfect day out activity for those looking to add some adventure to their Round the Island Yacht Race experience. On Saturday 27 June, Goodleaf will rig up the giant oak for a two hour tree boating climbing experience, offering a bird’s eye view of the Race as it reaches Ryde. After learning the ropes, families will ascend into the canopy to relax in a tree boat and take in the views from this unique viewpoint. Priced from £39 for adults and £29 for children (aged 8-17).

Isle of Wight County Show

On the 27 June the Isle of Wight County Show provides an agricultural day out for all the family. Bringing all the attractions of a traditional country show, such as falconry, locally produced food, pole climbing, small animal farm and much more, the show offers visitors to the Island the opportunity to see some of the Island’s best farm animals. Priced from £8 for adults and children under 16 go free.

Mardi Gras

This year 25 schools are set to take part in the Mardi Gras parade on the 27 June. From 6pm the carnival will take to the streets of Ryde to depict the history of British democracy from 1215 to the present day. Spectators can watch this spectacular parade as it makes its way through Ryde showcasing a variety of bright costumes and floats all designed with the ‘Magna Carta Masquerade’ theme in mind.

 

Wightlink’s convenient foot and car passenger services means families don’t have to travel far to feel a million miles away. Families travelling by car can enjoy frequent services from Portsmouth or Lymington that transfer them to the Island in just 40 minutes. Alternatively, those travelling from London on foot can board one of the many regular trains heading to Portsmouth, directly opposite the Catamaran terminal, prior to hopping on board the Catamaran for a brief 20 minute journey to the Island with easy onward bus and train connections on the other side.

With so much fun to be had, you’d be a scurvy ridden sea dog to miss it!

*based on a family of four travelling and staying from 26-28 June 2015. Subject to availability. Ferry travel valid for one car of up to 6m in length.

** based on a family of six travelling and staying from 26-29 June 2015. Subject to availability. Ferry travel valid for one car of up to 6m in length.

 

ENDS

 

For more information about Wightlink Ferries, please contact:

Sophy Norris               01392 248 934            sophy.norris@flagshipconsulting.co.uk
Belinda Hallworth        0207 680 7114            belinda.hallworth@flagshipconsulting.co.uk
Nadia Fidler                0207 680 7122           nadia.fidler@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.

 

Prices:

 

Mainland

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.

 

Island
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

Flagship Consulting Ltd
Coppergate House
16 Brune Street
London E1 7NJ

@flagshipcons
www.flagshipconsulting.co.uk

 

Wightlink Ferries re-launches award-winning #wightlive campaign for second year

This year spotlight is on Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival

Chance to win VIP tickets for 2016

Join in the #wightlive conversation for a summer of cultural fun on the Island  

9th June 2015.   As the Isle of Wight Festival nears, Wightlink Ferries is once again putting itself at the heart of the Island’s festival heritage with its award winning #wightlive campaign.

To highlight a summer of celebration, great music and festival fun, music fans are being invited to put themselves “centre stage” in exchange for the chance to win a pair of VIP Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival tickets for 2016, including ferry travel with Wightlink.

Festival goers will be encouraged to take photos of themselves and friends enjoying the Isle of Wight Festival and/or Bestival and share the photos on Twitter, Instagram and on Wightlink’s Facebook page. By tagging their pictures #wightlive, posters will automatically enter the VIP competition and be added to the wightlive.co.uk gallery where viewers can vote for their favorite images. The overall winner will be chosen from the Top 10 highest voted photos.

Wightlink Ferries is also asking all festival goers and fans to join in the festival celebrations and conversations by using the hashtag #wightlive as well as the individual festival hashtags. In this way they can join in the festival vibe throughout the summer. Last year festival orgainsers, famous attendees and acts all joined in the hashtag and this is expected to grow in 2015.

The 2014 campaign, run in collaboration with Visit Isle of Wight, resulted in over 2000 competition entries and a 155% increase in Wightlink’s social followers for during the campaign. The winner, Hannah Wilcox who took a picture during the Biffy Clyro set at the Isle of Wight Festival, is returning in 2015 with her Access all Festivals Pass. She has recently blogged her top festival tips on the Wightlife blog.

The success of #wightlive 2014 led to Wightlink and its PR agency Flagship Consulting winning a bronze at the prestigious Travel Marketing Awards and resulted in Wightlink being named the top transport provider in the UK for the campaign at the Social Travel Britain Awards 2015.

David Thornton, Chief Executive of Visit Isle of Wight, commented: “The Isle of Wight boasts a superb range of over 50 festivals including the Festival of the Sea in June and Isle of Fright in October, as well as star-studded events such as the Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival. #wightlive is the perfect way to share photos of “Festival Island”and we hope many visitors as possible are inspired to return and experience it for themselves.”

Adding her support to the #wightlive campaign, Bestival Co-Promoter Ziggy Gilsenan said:“The Island has a huge festival heritage and the Bestival crew is proud to call it home. We’re chuffed to be part of #wightlive and helping festival lovers show the world what makes the Isle of Wight one of the best places to visit and live.” Isle of Wight Festival Promoter John Giddings added: “It’s an incredible honour to provide entertainment for so many people at the festival and #wightlive helps spread the Isle of Wight Festival experience around the world, so we’re delighted to support it.”

Mark Persad, Head of Marketing at Wightlink, said: “By sharing their best Isle of Wight experiences, competition entrants are not only in with a chance of winning an exclusive experience at two of the best festivals in the country, they are helping to raise awareness of the Island’s world class reputation for events via social media. As well as showcasing the Island to international audiences, the competition also supports Visit Isle of Wight in their work with the ultimate aim of boosting the Isle of Wight’s tourism industry.”

For more information and competition entry rules, visit www.wightlive.co.uk

ENDS

For more information about Wightlink Ferries, please contact:

Sophy Norris               01392 248 934            sophy.norris@flagshipconsulting.co.uk Belinda Hallworth        0207 680 7114            belinda.hallworth@flagshipconsulting.co.uk Nadia Fidler                0207 680 7122           nadia.fidler@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.

Prices:

Mainland

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.

Island 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