Tag Archives: Osborne

English Heritage brings Enchantment to Historic Gardens this Christmas

This December, English Heritage is opening the gates after dark to some of its most prestigious palaces, houses and castles across the country for the first time as it hosts Enchanted, a new season of twilight outdoor events.

Inspired by their unique history, the gardens of such special places as Queen Victoria’s Osborne and Eltham Palace where Henry VIII spent his childhood, will be spectacularly transformed into illuminated worlds for the first time this winter.

For nine evenings only from the 15th – 23rd December 2017, visitors across the country will have the opportunity to experience a whole new perspective on these beautiful locations with fantastically creative designs, bringing each site’s unique history to light.

Audley End House and Gardens, Essex          4.30pm – 9pm

A journey of discovery leads around the expansive grounds with the medieval style flare lights at the water’s edge giving way to a cornucopia of illuminated delights through the Elysian garden, the Kitchen garden and the Stable yard. There’s a surprise round every corner from the talking trees, sparkling gramophones and even the house’s famous taxidermy re-awakened.

EH member Adult £10 / Child £6 / Family £26

Non member Adult £12 / Child £7.50 / Family £31.60

Belsay Hall, Northumberland              4.30pm – 9pm

A visit to the evocative gardens of Belsay Hall will surprise and delight. Adventure through the quarry gardens, marvel at the ‘starry’ sky and discover the illuminated grotto.  The outdoors is not all it seems, you’ll stumble upon old bookcases, armchairs and even a dolls house as illuminated rooms are created outside.  The long lost furniture from the Hall has reappeared, reclaimed by nature.

EH member Adult £8 / Child £5 / Family £21

Non member Adult £10 / Child £6 / Family £26

Brodsworth Hall, South Yorkshire       4.30pm – 8.30pm

Take the trail through the flame torches into the mesmerising world of fairies.  You’ll be transported into an ethereal realm as you discover the garden’s beautiful features like never before, from the misty magic of the fern dell to the twinkling majesty of the rose arbour. Play a tune on the Illumaphonium along the way, watching the giant chime bars light up. Book ahead* to meet Father Christmas in the Hall.

EH member Adult £8 / Child £5 / Family £21

Non member Adult £10 / Child £6 / Family £26

*additional charge applies for Father Christmas, pre-booking is essential.

Eltham Palace, London    4.30pm – 9pm

Step across the bridge and peer through the time tunnel to experience Eltham Palace’s rich medieval story beautifully illustrated through light.  Wend your way through the splendid grounds of Henry VIII’s childhood home as our enchanting trail draws on medieval motifs of heraldry and royal pageantry along with scenes of hunting and feasting, projected onto the stonework.

EH member Adult £10 / Child £6 / Family £26

Non member Adult £12 / Child £7.50 / Family £31.60

Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire        4.30pm – 9pm

Queen Elizabeth 1’s feted visit in 1575 is the inspiration for the enchanting illuminations of this great castle, evoking Robert Dudley’s ambitious three week long marriage proposal. Projections suggest the whirlwind of festivities hosted for Her Majesty’s pleasure, while beautiful light trails will guide you through the quieter corners of the stunning grounds. The traditional fairground rides and heritage inspired Christmas shopping stalls complete the experience.

EH member Adult £12 / Child £8 / Family £32

Non member Adult £14 / Child £9.50 / Family £37.60

Osborne, Isle of Wight     4.30pm – 8.30pm

The secret lives of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s nine children have inspired a fantastical journey through the formal grounds and gardens of their private home.  Kids and adults will be delighted as they step into a classic children’s tale of exploration and imagination, using light and sound to elevate the plants, trees, walls and water to an ethereal plane.  The trail leads to the stunning façade of Osborne House, where the carousel and swingboat rides are the icing on the cake of fabulous festive evening.

EH member Adult £12 / Child £8 / Family £32

Non member Adult £14 / Child £9.50 / Family £37.60

With delicious toasted marshmallows, mulled wine and hot chocolate to enjoy along the way, grab the winter woollies and your family and friends and book your tickets for the most enchanting event of the year!

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For images and further press information, please contact Isobel Cooley on 020 7973 3354 or at isobel.cooley@english-heritage.org.uk

English Heritage is the custodian of over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites through which we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.

www.english-heritage.org.uk

 

 

English Heritage reveals details of Queen Victoria’s final Christmases at Osborne House

She has long been known as one of the nation’s sternest monarchs – and perhaps not the first choice of a Christmas host – but this year English Heritage staff at her seaside retreat on the Isle of Wight will be showcasing a more surprising side to the royal’s Christmas celebrations, with grand dinners, family festivities and party games, including an early forerunner to the mannequin challenge.

Though the festive season was subdued in the years following Albert’s death, her later years at Osborne saw the traditions of Christmas and its festivities begin to reappear, particularly with the appearance of more and more grandchildren. Gifts would be exchanged between staff and family (on Christmas Eve, a tradition still believe to be observed by today’s Royal family) before the day itself was marked by an elaborate Christmas dinner.

Recently translated for the first time, the menu from Victoria’s final Christmas, 25 December 1900, shows items that might be recognised by modern diners, including turkey with chipolata sausages and plum pudding, but also a few things that might not make it onto the 21st Century dining table. These include a fish course, and also a starter of Turtle Consommé, or soup – a famous (but expensive!) Victorian delicacy. [see Appendix for full menu].

All Christmas gatherings need games too, and Queen Victoria’s festive celebrations were no exception. That Mannequin challenge entertainment? It was known as the ‘Tableau Vivant’, and Queen Victoria and her guests would gather in the Durbar Room at Osborne and watch, often for several hours, as family members donned costumes and posed against a backdrop to portray a scene from history or a famous painting.

The curtain would fall, participants would change position, before it rose again, with the tableau repeated several times if the Queen desired it, before different costumes and scenes were selected. Live music could even be performed from the gallery above to accompany the poses.

Like most family celebrations, some guests enjoyed the festivities more than others. The journal of a Lt Gen Calthorpe, a regular dining guest at Osborne, was recently acquired by English Heritage. Attending a festive-season dinner in January 1890, he can be found bemoaning one such experience of the ‘tableaux,’ that lasted until 22:30, complaining “along time we had to wait! About 25 minutes!” between changes of scenery and costumes.

By contrast, the Queen’s own journals from this same occasion record her enjoyment of the spectacle, stating “The Tableaux were really lovely & so well arranged.” and that “The music was excellent, & every one was delighted.” There’s always one who inflicts games on everyone else!

Michael Hunter, Collections Curator for English Heritage at Osborne, said “The common misconception of Queen Victoria as a dour monarch has prevailed for many years, but recently people have begun to challenge that. Our research shows that here at Osborne, particularly in her later years, she enjoyed Christmas festivities with her family filled with feasting and games.”

“Although it is doubtful she participated, she particularly enjoyed the Tableau Vivant, and who’s to say she wouldn’t have looked fondly upon the modern day mannequin challenge?!”

English Heritage offer Festive Guided Tours of Osborne every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday until 22 December, telling stories of Queen Victoria’s Christmas and touring rooms decorated as they would have been during the royal reign.

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For further press information and images, please contact:

Phil Harper, National PR Manager, phil.harper@english-heritage.org.uk or 0207 973 3354

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites – from world famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to Cold War bunkers. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year. www.english-heritage.org.uk Registered charity no. 1140351

OSBORNE

Tuesday 25th December 1900

Her Majesty’s Dinner

Soups

Turtle Consommé

American Cream of Barley Soup

Fish

Turbot with Mousseline (or Hollandaise) Sauce

Breaded Fillets of Sole with Sauce Ravigote

Entrée

Herbed Christmas Crêpes

 

Relevés (Separate Main Course)

Turkey Poult à la Chipolata

Chine of Pork

Roast Beef

Plum Pudding

 

Entremets (Dishes Served after main course)

Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

Mince Pies

Chocolate Éclairs

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is coming to OSBORNE, ISLE OF WIGHT on Thursday 14 September

What story will you bring?

It’s time to dust off your treasures for a great, free day out as BBC One’s ever-popular Sunday evening programme Antiques Roadshow comes to Osborne, on the Isle of Wight, on Thursday 14 September.

Many of Britain’s leading antiques and fine arts specialists will be on hand to offer free advice and valuations to visitors, who are invited to raid their attics and bring along their family heirlooms, household treasures and car-boot sale bargains for inspection by the experts.

Antiques Roadshow celebrates a special anniversary this year. On May 17 1977, the cameras rolled at Hereford Town Hall, as presenter Bruce Parker and expert Arthur Negus welcomed the first visitors to the very first recording of Antiques Roadshow.

Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce, who marks her tenth year presenting the programme, said: “The best part of working on Antiques Roadshow is that we never know who or what is going to turn up on the day. The visitors, the objects they bring, their stories and the location all viewers. If you are a fan of Antiques Roadshow, curious to see behind the scenes, or just fancy a day out, I would urge you to dig out your treasures and come along – we’d love to see you!”

Antiques Roadshow Executive Editor, Simon Shaw said: “We are looking forward to coming to see us at the magnificent Osborne on Thursday 14 September. It’s the first time we have held a Roadshow at Osborne, and our experts are excited about what finds may come to light on the day.

“Our team of experts and Fiona love nothing better than hearing people’s stories and seeing what items they bring, so we hope as many people as possible come to Osborne and enjoy what our visitors consistently tell us is a fantastic day out. Even after 40 years, the magic formula of surprising some lucky guests with exciting news about their treasures is still a thrill for us, the visitors and the viewers.”

The doors open at 9.30am and close at 4.30pm. Entry to the show is free, everyone is welcome, and no tickets or pre-registration is required. For parking arrangements at the venue, please check our website.

Visitors are welcome to just turn up on the day, but if they have an item with a particularly unusual story attached, or perhaps an interesting collection, or large items of furniture, they can let us know in advance via the Share Your Story link on www.bbc.co.uk/antiquesroadshow Alternatively, email: antiques.roadshow@bbc.co.uk or write to Antiques Roadshow, BBC, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2LR.

Please note this is an exterior event, so we advise all visitors to dress accordingly. More information on planning your visit can be found at: www.bbc.co.uk/antiquesroadshow

ENDS

Note to editors: Highlights of our 2016 Roadshows included a ‘lost’ masterpiece by Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, worth £200,000-£300,000, an 18th century doll’s house of national importance worth £150,000-£200,000, and the moment we reunited the belongings of a World War Two air ace with members of his family.

Follow us on Twitter: @BBC_ARoadshow

Like us on Facebook: BBC Antiques Roadshow

Pamela Parkes

Publicist – Antiques Roadshow

E: pamela.parkes@bbc.co.uk

 

Dresses worn by Dame Judi Dench as Queen Victoria go on display at Osborne ahead of new film ‘Victoria & Abdul’

Costumes worn by Dame Judi Dench, Eddie Izzard and Ali Fazal in the forthcoming feature film ‘Victoria & Abdul’ will go on show for the first time at Osborne, Queen Victoria’s Isle of Wight home on Monday 24 July, 2017.

The English Heritage property where much of the film was shot will present a stunning array of costumes worn by the principal characters: Dame Judi Dench as Queen Victoria, Eddie Izzard as Bertie, Prince of Wales, and Ali Fazal who plays Abdul Karim.

Designed by the Oscar nominated costume designer Consolata Boyle, the costumes pay meticulous attention to historical detail even down to the Queen’s V&A monogrammed shoes.  Formal and informal attire worn by Dame Judi can be seen including the black silk gown with gold front piece the Queen wears while waiting for Abdul’s return to Osborne after a long trip away.  Amongst Ali Fazal’s costumes is the faithfully recreated scarlet and gold livery, complete with peacock blue striped silk turban, which was designed for the Queen’s Indian servants who waited at table in her new Indian inspired dining room.

English Heritage Curator at Osborne, Michael Hunter says: “Osborne was Queen Victoria’s private family home which means visitors can step straight into Queen Victoria’s world when they get here.  Victoria & Abdul is the first film to ever use the interiors of Osborne as a location and these costumes add an extra layer to the rich experience of a visit here. We can’t wait to see it in all its glory on the big screen; in particular the story of how an Indian man servant won the Queen’s respect and trust.”

Costume Designer, Consolata Boyle said: “The thought that my costumes for Victoria & Abdul, through this Exhibition, and our imaginations, will inhabit the same rooms and gardens where Queen Victoria walked and lingered, makes it a particular honour and joy for me.”

The exhibition opening tomorrow (24 July) and set to run until the 30th September 2017 – is located in the Queen’s Indian inspired Durbar Room which itself features in the film, along with the newly renovated Lower Terrace, the Grand Corridor and the Queen’s sitting room.

Osborne is open daily from 10am – 5pm, and the costume exhibition is included in the standard admission ticket.  Further details are at www.english-heritage.org.uk/osborne

Victoria & Abdul is released in cinemas in the UK on 15 September 2017.

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IMAGES can be downloaded here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8eq6o4uex3jvlqs/AABDx_TBtYbHpk4hYDRDvWXea?dl=0 © English Heritage

For further information or images please contact:  Isobel Cooley PR Manager, South East on 01304 209891 or email Isobel.cooley@english-heritage.org.uk

Notes to editors:

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites – from world famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to Cold War bunkers. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.

www.english-heritage.org.uk

Registered charity no. 1140351

Victoria & Abdul: From Working Title comes the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favour with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.  Victoria & Abdul is distributed by Universal Pictures International.

Queen Victoria’s Private Garden Terrace Revealed

A garden terrace where Queen Victoria sat and painted watercolours at Osborne, her Isle of Wight home, will open to the public for the very first time after a major conservation project, English Heritage announced today (Tuesday 27 June).

The terrace’s panoramic views across the Solent – compared by Prince Albert to the Bay of Naples – can now be enjoyed by the public for the first time as they would have been by the royal couple over 150 years ago. In a project worth over £600,000, the terrace’s centrepiece Andromeda fountain, bought by Queen Victoria during the Great Exhibition in 1851, has been returned to working order and the elaborate Shell Alcove, decorated with thousands of seashells from the beach below, has been painstakingly restored to its former aqua blue and vivid red glory. The public will also be able to experience the terrace’s Victorian planting scheme and the famous royal myrtle plant, given to Victoria by Prince Albert’s grandmother, up-close. The myrtle, traditionally included in royal wedding bouquets since the marriage of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, has been used by HRH Queen Elizabeth II and more recently by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

English Heritage has also reinstated the classic ‘Osborne yellow’, inspired by the warm Italian sun, to the terrace walls which once again match the golden hue of the rest of the house and restore Victoria and Albert’s original vision.

Samantha Stones, English Heritage’s Properties Curator at Osborne, said: “Queen Victoria loved to be outside in the fresh sea air and the terrace was a place of peace. Opening up this previously closed space to visitors gives them another glimpse into the private lives of the royal couple. Our conservation project now reinstates Albert’s original vision of Osborne.

“Matching the yellow of the walls, restoring the beautifully decorated shell alcove with its aqua blue canopy, and seeing the Andromeda fountain with her surrounding sea monsters in working order has truly brought the terrace back to life.”

The Lower Terrace was designed by Prince Albert as a key part of his overall vision for the royal couple’s family home away from the hustle and bustle of court life. Dubbed ‘Albert the Creator’ by Victoria, her husband was very much at the forefront of creating their new residence, enlisting the help of his ‘Adviser in Art’ Ludwig Gruner to create the magnificent Italianate terracing as the crowning glory of their new house.

The Garden Terrace at Osborne will open to the public on Wednesday 28 Jun 

With thanks to the Friends of Osborne and an individual donor for their most generous support of this conservation project.

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For further information or images please contact:

Emma Gough, National PR Assistant at emma.gough@english-heritage.org.uk or call 020 7973 3390

Notes to editors:

Queen Victoria’s Journals

Queen Victoria often wrote about the terrace in her journals:

  • (Of the Shell Alcove) – Tuesday 3rd August 1852: There is a most charming tame magpie at Barton, which is most amusing, & has been here the last few mornings, pecking at our shoes & boots, running after us, & taking away all the shells from the workmen, who are ornamenting the Alcove below. It is most mischievous having gone into several people’s rooms & carried things away, proving itself quite a “Gazza Ladra”.

RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 3 August 1852 (Princess Beatrice’s copies)

  • Wednesday 5th December 1849: It cleared sufficiently in the afternoon, for us to take a walk, & watch the proceedings on the lower terrace, which is what is truly called “a great job”

RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 5 December 1849 (Princess Beatrice’s copies)

  • Sunday 2nd June 1850: We walked about on our 2 Terraces, & sat in the alcove, beyond the clock tower. We both said how we daily rejoiced in the purchase of this dear place, & what we had laid out upon it, for it certainly is quite perfection for us & our Children & we enjoy it more & more. This evening, after our little “tête à tête” dinner, we went out for a little on the Terrace, & nothing could have been more enchanting. — the calm sea stretched out before us, & innumerable birds singing, the only sounds to interrupt the quiet of the place.

RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 2 June 1850 (Princess Beatrice’s copies)

 Wednesday 30th July 1851: The outer wall of the terrace round the foundations of which ruins a walk, is surrounded by a bed of flowers, the greater part of which are trained up the wall & I cannot describe the brilliancy of the effect.

RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 30 July 1851 (Princess Beatrice’s copies) 

  • Sunday 17th July 1853: Everything in great beauty. The roses out in profusion on the lower Terraces. The new fountain there is beautiful. —

RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 17 July 1853 (Princess Beatrice’s copies)

  • Sunday 23rd July 1854: We afterwards spent the evening on the Lower Terrace, walking & sitting in the Alcove, the air perfumed with the smell of honey suckle, jasmin, roses, magnolias, &c. —

RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 23 July 1854 (Princess Beatrice’s copies)

  • Sunday 2nd August 1857: Sitting in the lower Alcove from 5 to 7, reading & writing. Such a glorious day & evening; the deepest blue sky & sea, the Terrace brilliant with every colour of flower, the air quite perfumed, — so enjoyable.

RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 2 August 1857 (Princess Beatrice’s copies)

Osborne is the royal family home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on the Isle of Wight. Designed by Prince Albert, it reflects the couple’s passions, tastes and style. Ornate furnishings and artefacts from The Royal Collection fill rooms and corridors where Victoria entertained heads of state, inventors, princess and princesses and ruled the vast British Empire.  “It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot” said Queen Victoria of Osborne and the stunning views across the Solent reminded Prince Albert of the Bay of Naples. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/osborne/

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites – from world famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to Cold War bunkers. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.

www.english-heritage.org.uk

Registered charity no. 1140351

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further details can be found at http://www.havenhall.uk.

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

Walk don’t run. And then, run don’t walk. (Isle of Wight to host a Walking Festival and a Festival of Running in 2017)

The popular Isle of Wight Walking Festival returns from April 29 to May 14 as IsleWalk17, with local and visiting walkers of all ages and abilities invited to set-off across the Island on a wide choice of themed walks, which can be found on the Visit Isle of Wight website.

It remains one of the UK’s biggest walking festivals, and allows participants to follow in the footsteps of everyone from Alfred Lord Tennyson to Jimi Hendrix; on the trail of everything from dinosaurs to the prefect dawn chorus; and heading everywhere from Queen Victoria’s Osborne House to a non-stop walk around the entire 72-miles coastal path in 24 hours.

The full programme of walks, can be found at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/festivals/walking-festival.  They feature some old favourites, as well as some new walks.

Over half of the Island is recognised as an AONB.  And with its 60-miles of dramatic Heritage Coastline and more than 500-miles of well-maintained and signposted footpaths the Island has long been recognised as a walker’s paradise.

Walkers participating in IsleWalk17 will get up close and personal with the best of the Island’s stunning scenery.  The Isle of Wight is often referred to as ‘England in Miniature’, and in just one day of walking it’s possible to see the very best of the English countryside from sand dunes and pebbly coves to thatched villages and bustling sailing towns.

Walks featured in the packed programme for 2017 include both guided walks and self-guided trails.  Most of the walks are free, although some walk leaders request a donation for their chosen charity.

Another major innovation for the Island is the creation of an Isle of Wight Festival of Running in 2017, which is scheduled to take place from June 2 to 4.

Further details are already available at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/festivals/festival-of-running, and events range from a Junior Fun Run to the Needles XC Marathon, and from 5k and 10k runs through to the first ever Spyvelo Long Weekend half Iron Man distance triathlon style event.

Prices to participate will range from £5 to £60.

This new outdoor event is aimed at giving fitness fanatics and first time runners the chance to see the best of the Isle of Wight’s beautiful scenery and to get fit at the same time.  With runs tailored for those just starting out, to something a bit more challenging for the all-weather pros, the event has been set up in tandem with Visit Isle of Wight as something the whole family can get involved in.

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

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

Sue Emmerson, Tel: 07766 705672, Email: 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

Top 7 reasons for visiting The Isle of Wight in 2017

Underwater Kingdom at Blackgang Chine

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

http://www.blackgangchine.com/

Tiny Homes

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

http://www.tinyhomesholidays.com/

Shanklin Chine is 200!

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

http://www.shanklinchine.co.uk/

Autistic Holiday Centre to open on the Isle of Wight

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

www.spectrumbreaks.co.uk

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

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

www.isleofwightdistillery.com

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

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

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/osborne/

Love Island

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

For all tourist information about the Isle of Wight, visit 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

NEWLYWEDS WIN ISLE OF WIGHT HOLIDAY

A couple from Northamptonshire have just spent their honeymoon on the Island after winning a holiday, organised by Visit Isle of Wight in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Helen Spencer from Wollaston was awarded the prize package after being chosen at random from the thousands who had entered the competition timed to celebrate the Julia Margaret Cameron exhibition at the V&A, which ran from November 28 to February 21 2016.

Helen and David booked their stay at the West Bay Country Club in Yarmouth for the 12th to 15th June after getting married in Northampton on the 11th – and the newlyweds used the prize as their honeymoon.

Last year, Visit Isle of Wight worked with the V&A to promote the bicentenary year of Julia Margaret Cameron, and as a result Dimbola Museum & Galleries – and the wider Island – enjoyed some outstanding press coverage in the Telegraph, the Independent and the Mail on Sunday.

The competition which was hosted on the V&A website under the theme “Follow in the footsteps of Julia Margaret Cameron” was seen by Visit Isle of Wight as an opportunity to further promote the Island.  The V&A website gets around 14 million page views annually. http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/julia-margaret-cameron/

The Beddalls (Helen’s new married name) won a 3-night break for two at The West Bay Country Club in Yarmouth, dinner at The George Hotel in Yarmouth, tea and cake at The Piano Bar in Freshwater Bay, ferry crossings courtesy of Red Funnel IOW Ferries and entrance tickets to Osborne, Shanklin Chine and Dimbola, the home and workplace of the celebrated Victorian photographer.  A copy of the exhibition book Julia Margaret Cameron was also part of the prize package.

Helen Beddall said: “The holiday was fantastic.  We loved it!  The accommodation was lovely, the meal at The George Hotel was delicious – and a real treat.  Dimbola was really interesting and John Evans, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable.

“We are very thankful to Visit Isle of Wight for organising everything and the Victoria and Albert Museum for putting on the competition. It really made our honeymoon wonderful and we can’t wait to come back – maybe to celebrate our first anniversary”.

ENDS

For further information please contact Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd 01983 521555 (ext 29), sue@visitwight.org.

Notes to editors:

2 x “Selfies” of Helen and David at Dimbola Museum & Galleries and Osborne attached.

Follow in the footsteps of Julia Margaret Cameron 

Holiday prizes supplied by:

  • The West Bay Country Club (3 nights’ accommodation, plus use of their Island Wellness Spa, including a 60-minute spa treatment per person)
  • Red Funnel IOW Ferries (car ferry crossings
  • The Piano Bar, Freshwater Bay (lunch for 2)
  • Dimbola Museum & Galleries (entrance tickets)
  • English Heritage/Osborne (entrance tickets)
  • Shanklin Chine (entrance tickets)
  • The George Hotel in Yarmouth (dinner for 2)
  • The V&A (Julia Margaret Cameron book)

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

Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A exhibition ‘Julia Margaret Cameron’ has toured internationally, including Ghent Museum of Fine Arts and the Sydney Art Gallery of New South Wales.   After returning to the V&A Museum in London from November 2015, to February 2016, it then went on show at the Madrid Fundacion Mapfre from March 8th to May 8th. The exhibition will open at the Tokyo Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum from June 29th to July 2nd, running until September 25th 2016.

The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. It was established to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Today, the V&A’s collections, which span over 5000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium and from many parts of the world, continue to intrigue, inspire and inform.

 

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.

http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/sandman-snowman-p1197861

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