Tag Archives: Osborne

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

VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT HOSTS TRAVEL TRADE FAM TRIP FROM NORWAY AND SWEDEN

Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) has hosted a destination familiarisation trip to the Island for a group of six tour operators from Norway and Sweden.

With the aim of enhancing knowledge about the South East and ultimately increasing bookings from these markets, the group visit was organised by Tourism South East in partnership with London and Partners with funding support from the GREAT UK Challenge Fund.

The familiarisation trip ran from 22 to 26 January and hosted product decision makers from a range of key Swedish and Norwegian excursions businesses on the programme.  The 5-day itinerary included visits to attractions in London, Brighton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

The group were escorted by Nigel Smith, CEO, Tourism South East, and were met at Hovertravel in Ryde by Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight.

There followed a personal tour of Osborne by Michael Hunter, English Heritage Curator, in the course of which the group learned more about the links between the British and the Scandinavian Royal Families.  In particular Princess Alexandra of Denmark who in 1863 married the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Edward VII Prince of Wales.

The party then enjoyed a delicious lunch in Osborne’s Terrace Restaurant before returning to the mainland to continue their tour of other South East attractions.

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer for Visit Isle of Wight, said: “Despite the short time the tour operators were with us, we were able to give them a flavour of the Island. They were all very impressed with Osborne and were particularly intrigued by a display of old photographs and historic documents relating to members of their own Royal households.

“Fam trips are a great learning tool for tour operators and we would like to thank Hovertravel and English Heritage for their continued support in promoting the Island as a first-class tourism destination.”

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 attached – Scandinavian tour operators with Michael Hunter, English Heritage Curator at Osborne House.

The GREAT Britain campaign is the UK’s most ambitious international marketing campaign ever and showcases the very best of what the country has to offer in order to encourage more people to visit, study, invest in and do business with the UK.  GREAT has delivered a confirmed return for the UK economy of over £1.4 billion to date and is active in 144 countries.  It is the Government’s common brand for overseas promotion of the UK.  In addition, more than 400 businesses and high-profile individuals have supported the campaign.

The GREAT UK Challenge Fund supports new and innovative project ideas that use GREAT to promote the UK overseas and generate economic benefit at a local, regional or national level.  There is more information about the GREAT UK Challenge Fund here: www.greatukchallengefund.com.  More information about the GREAT Britain campaign is available from www.greatbritaincampaign.com.  Press enquiries about the campaign should go to 0207 008 3100.

About 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

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

 

 

Seven Things You Never Knew About The Garden Isle

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

1. The Woman in Red and Capability Brown

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

2. Blooming July

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

3. By Royal Appointment

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

4. A garden on the beach

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

5. A model garden tearoom

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

Step onto the Island to see bluebells in April

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

7. Botanic splendour in historic setting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dinosaur Isle

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

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

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

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

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

Osborne House

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

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

Amazon World Zoo

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

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

ENDS

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

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

 

For more information about Wightlink Ferries, please contact:

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

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

Wightlink – Part of Island Life

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

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

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

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

@flagshipcons
www.flagshipconsulting.co.uk

Enjoy Island life for the day with Wightlink Ferries – New day trip rates at £45 per family ticket make an Isle of Wight escape a summer must do

Wightlink Ferries has introduced a new foot passenger family rate on its fast Catamaran service from Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde, and families can now hop over to the Island for a day trip for just £45.  A family ticket is valid for a family group of up to five people; minimum 1 adult and maximum 2 adults in the group, making a return day trip from just £9 per person*.

The Catamaran journey to Ryde, one of the Island’s most bustling towns, takes just 20 minutes, making a day trip to England’s largest Island a must do for castaways this summer.   Alternatively, foot passengers can travel from Portsmouth to Fishbourne or Lymington to Yarmouth for a slightly longer journey of 40 minutes at only £37.50 for a day trip.

Alongside the new rates, Wightlink has introduced a new section to its website that highlights the range of brilliant things to do in a day– www.wightlink.co.uk/daytrips.  Some can be reached on foot or by bike (foot passengers can take bikes on board the ferries at no additional cost) and others can be reached by the Island’s excellent public transport network.

Five of Wightlink’s favourite family days out this summer are:

Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s famous Royal residence in East Cowes, is transforming its spectacular grounds into an open air Luna Cinema under the stars for three nights during August. Families can indulge in a selection of hot food and drinks served from a range of vintage vehicles prior to enjoying the evening entertainment. Tickets cost £13.50 per adult and £9.00 per child.

Foot passengers disembarking the Catamaran at Ryde Pier can catch Southern Vectis bus route 4 towards East Cowes and arrive at Osborne House in just 30 minutes.

Throughout the summer, Robin Hill Adventure Park will play host to a number of stunning summer evenings, with lots of carnival style entertainment, live music and performances. Standard tickets cost from £13.50 each.

Families bringing their bikes along for the day can peddle to Robin Hill from Ryde Pier in just 45 minutes.

The Garlic Festival, 15-16 August, 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.  Rachel Koo will be this year’s guest chef. Tickets cost £9.50 per adult.

For families looking to combine some exercise into their visit, the 5.7 mile walk from Ryde Pier to the Garlic Festival is the perfect option.

Blackgang Chine has been attracting visitors for more than 170 years and is the perfect spot to keep the kids entertained. From spending the day as a princess, to drawing guns at noon or enjoying a dinosaur ride, there is plenty of fun to be had. Standard tickets cost from £16 per person.

Southern Vectis bus Route 7 runs from Yarmouth Bus Station, close to the Terminal. Route 7 connects to the Island bus interchange at Newport. From here Route 6 runs regular services to Blackgang Chine.

Located on the Isle of Wight’s beautiful heritage coastline, The Needles Landmark Attraction offers an exciting family day out. For spectacular views of Alum Bay Beach and Needles Rocks, take a ride on the chair lift.

This is the ideal attraction for foot passengers arriving into Yarmouth, as families can get on board the frequent number 7 bus route and arrive at The Needles in just 25 minutes.

Providing the perfect opportunity to unwind, relax and enjoy family time together, there is no better place to visit than the Isle of Wight for a special summer escape, even if just for a day**.

For more information on the exciting events and activities taking place on the Isle of Wight during summer, download Wightlink’s Wightlife brochure, which is available as an app, via http://www.wightlink.co.uk/wightlife.  Also, check out the Wightlife blog at http://wightlife.com.

*Adults includes any person aged 16 and over

**Longer stays are also encouraged. Explore a range of accommodation options and offers at www.wightlink.co.uk/stay

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

ISLE OF WIGHT GOLF PACKAGES ANNOUNCED

Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) has teamed up with Golf Tee Time Service – an organisation that specialises in golf holidays in the UK and overseas – to create a brand new product for visitors to the Island.

 

A new website has been developed by VIOW to raise awareness of the Island’s stunning golf courses and encourage more visitors to tee off during their stay.

 

The great-value golf packages start at £185 and include three rounds of golf, two nights B&B and a ferry crossing to the Island.   There are three premium courses on offer at Freshwater Bay, Osborne and Shanklin & Sandown with overnight accommodation available at either The Grange or Keats Cottage in Shanklin, the Premier Inn in Newport and the Royal Hotel in Ventnor.

 

Katie Jones, Sales & Events Manager for VIOW, said: “Golf is becoming less corporate and more of a sport for all, including families, women and younger children. There are also a growing number of occasional golfers, which provide opportunities for tour operators and resorts to offer golf as an add-on feature. Taking these trends into account, it is clear that the Island has an opportunity to increase its share of the golf tourism market.”

 

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, added “The Isle of Wight has a fantastic natural product for golf tourism and this exciting new partnership represents our commitment to connect with golfers and develop golf as a tourism product.” 

 

Graham Ruth, MD, Golf Tee Time Service, commented: “We are delighted to be involved and look forward to providing a first class service to golfers visiting the Isle of Wight.

 

“Within a week of launching the new website, we have an off-Island booking and several enquiries from golfing groups which is great fantastic news for the Island.”

 

The golfing package is bookable via http://www.isleofwightgolfingbreaks.com

 

ENDS

 

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

 

Please find attached image taken at Freshwater Bay Golf Club on the Island of Wight.   From left to right:  Steve Orchard, Captain at Freshwater Golf Club, Dave Cooke, Vice-Captain at Freshwater Golf Club, Normah Poingdestre, Lady Captain at Osborne Golf Club, Katie Jones, Sales & Events Manager, VIOW, Mike Bowles, Captain at Osborne Golf Club, Mike Jones, Captain at Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club and Anne Corby, Lady Captain at Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club.

 

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

 

DUCK RACES, EGG HUNTS AND A CLOWN CALLED VERCOE – EASTER ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT

The Easter break arrives earlier this year, and whilst the forward-forecast heatwave may see you rushing for our award-winning beaches – just in case it doesn’t materialise we have a huge range of family-friendly events, activities and attractions to keep you entertained.

Yarmouth Duck Race (Saturday 4th April)

Easily one of the biggest competitor sports events on the Island outside of Cowes Week is the Yarmouth Duck Race. However in sharp contrast to the world’s best known sailing regatta in August, the 1200 competitors are all bright yellow, and approximately 10cm tall.

Nevertheless spectators will still enjoy a great day of racing at this traditional Easter Saturday event, which starts at 3pm on the river by the Yar Bridge. You can even put your name to a racing duck for a £1 – you will be hard pressed to sponsor a competing vessel in Cowes Week at those prices.  http://www.yarmouthcarnival.org.uk/

Snail Mail (30th March to 2nd April)

Kicking off a busy first season at the recently transformed Ventnor Exchange is “Snail Mail” – an immersive theatre production for families which will transform the arts venue into a unique world for the audience to explore

The Exchange is operated under the watchful eyes of the creative team behind Ventnor Fringe, and combines an intimate theatre with a record store, and a craft beer bar. In addition to “Snail Mail”, which takes place from 30th March to 2nd April, they have also confirmed many other great events well worth checking out in the forthcoming months.    For more info go to www.ventnorexchange.co.uk

World of the Clown at Piano Café (10th April)

Having once reigned supreme at the heart of circuses and the world of entertainment, the image of the clown has taken a few knocks over the years – largely thanks to Stephen King scaring the bejeebers out of everybody in his 80s horror novel “IT”.

Dispelling the negative image on the 10th April will be “Vercoe” the clown – a traditional performer who has appeared on stage with the likes of the great Buster Keaton. His one-man “World of the Clown” show at the charming Piano Café, in Freshwater Bay, will feature fascinating talks and demonstrations from his years in the business, from “man to clown” and back again. http://www.thepianocafe.co.uk/

Design your own egg cup at Chessell Pottery (3rd to 6th April)

Get creative at Chessell Pottery this Easter and produce your own egg cup memento to take away and cherish with boiled egg and soldiers for years to come. A great activity for the whole family to get involved in, plus a chance to produce a last-minute personalised gift.

It only costs £6.95, with your egg cup included, and decorating sponges (which include rabbits, chicks, lambs and of course eggs) are all provided. http://www.chessellpotterybarns.co.uk/

Easter Egg Trail

One of the biggest draws of Easter for many of us is the opportunity to feast on chocolate eggs, and a well-earned egg tastes better than any other. Many of our family-friendly attractions will be running their own takes on a traditional egg hunt over Easter weekend, with the “Mad Easter Egg Dash” at Robin Hill Country Park on the 5th & 6th April, and “Cadbury Easter Egg Trails” at Mottistone Gardens on 5th April and Newtown Nature Reserve on the 6th April.

Easter Fun Event

With so many things to do on the Isle of Wight you might be spoilt for choice. So why not keep in the seasonal mood by heading to one of our great attractions that will be running Easter Fun events over Easter and the school holidays?

There is Easter Family Fun at The Needles Landmark Attraction, from 28th March to 19th April, with their brand new film experience – The Lost World – showing in the 4D cinema. Queen Victoria’s seaside palace at Osborne will be running their own “Easter Fun” over Easter weekend, where you can follow in the footsteps of her Royal Children, from 3rd to 6th April. Then over the same weekend the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s Easter Fun will see “kids go free”, and will be also be inviting them to take part in their daily Easter bonnet parades.

Anyone wanting further information about where to stay and how to reach the Island should visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

ENDS

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

Image of Yarmouth Duck Race attached.

About 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

Award-winning beaches

Isle of Wight beaches are recognised as being some of the best in Europe. With 57 miles of varied coastline the Island yields a fantastic array of beaches, which were awarded a combined total of 17 Blue Flag and Seaside Awards in 2014 – more than any other destination in England http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/attractions/beaches

 

 

 

 

Cream of the crop Island Tourism Businesses crowned at The Beautiful South Awards

Isle of Wight tourism businesses have been awarded some of the region’s highest accolades at the Beautiful South’s Awards for Excellence held last night (4th December 2014) at the Grand Hotel in Brighton.

The annual awards, organised by Tourism South East and sponsored by Shepherd Neame are now in their 20th year. Held to recognise exceptional levels of customer service and dedication to raising standards in the tourism industry, the ceremony is the event of the year for the South East’s leading tourism businesses, with 60+ award-winners presented amidst a great evening of celebrations and networking for 250+ industry professionals.

It was a particularly good evening for The Isle of Wight’s Owl & Monkey Haven and Nettlecombe Farm Holiday’s Corner Cottage who scooped top Gold awards in the Small Visitor Attraction and Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year categories respectively. Also celebrating their victory was Tom’s Eco Lodge awarded Silver in the Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year category.

Other Island winners were Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park, awarded Bronze in the Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year category and Osborne, who also beat off stiff competition to win Bronze in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category.

Liz Walker, Visit Isle of Wight Destination Development Manager, who was at the awards ceremony in Brighton said, “This was a truly glittering event that showcased the very best of the South East’s regional tourism. In particular it was so inspiring to see how many tourism businesses from the Island featured in the nominations and subsequently won prizes.

“It demonstrates the calibre of the Isle of Wight as a top-quality tourism destination and the winners should be rightly proud of the accolades that they received at this wonderful event.”

Commenting on the awards, Peter Colling, Managing Director of Tourism South East, said, “Every year the Beautiful South Awards are a reminder of the amazing wealth of fantastic tourism businesses and experiences South East of England has to offer. And this year the overall standard of entries was higher than ever making it extremely tough for the judges. The winners truly are the best of the best and a match for any in the country. We are now looking forward to our winners taking the spoils at Visit England’s National Tourism Excellence Awards in 2015”

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “The nominations for the Island businesses were funded this year by Visit Isle of Wight as part of an ongoing strategy to drive up quality and shine a spotlight on the Isle of Wight.

“The Tourism Excellence Awards provide finalists with a moment of well-deserved glory which can be used to market, promote and improve their businesses still further. I offer my hearty congratulations to all the winners, who are all worthy ambassadors for the Island.”

The Visit England National Tourism Excellence Awards ceremony will take place in May (http://www.visitenglandawards.org/).

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

For more information about the awards and awards night please contact awards@beautifulsouthawards.co.uk

The attached image shows staff from the Isle of Wight Owl & Monkey Haven receiving their Gold award in the Small Visitor Attraction category at this year’s Beautiful South Awards: Left to right: Peter Colling, Managing Director, Tourism South East, Antony Walser, Owl & Monkey Haven, Don Walser, Owl & Monkey Haven, Mark Smith, Board Director, Tourism South East and Rich Clarke, Heart FM Presenter.

More high resolution images are available on this link: http://www.paulfletcherphotography.co.uk/galleries/index.php?do=photocart&viewGallery=1750#page=thumbs

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

Tourism South East

Tourism South East is a leading membership-based tourism organisation and provider of tourism services operating across South East England, including Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East and West Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, The New Forest and Kent. TSE partners with local tourism businesses and destinations, providing services and expertise to support their performance and growth. http://www.tourismsoutheast.com/ & http://www.visitsoutheastengland.com/

VENTNORVILLE – AN ALTERNATIVE ISLE OF WIGHT CHRISTMAS!

Families looking for something that little bit different to do in the build-up to Christmas should catch the next sleigh for “Ventnorville”, on the Isle of Wight.

With its warm microclimate, botanical garden and timeless promenade, Ventnor is a great place to visit at any time of the year – but it’s going to be especially magical this Christmas.

Because on Saturday, December 13th, the seaside town will turn into “Ventnorville” and will be celebrating all things Dr Seuss as ‘The Grinch That Stole Christmas’ comes to town.

Promising to be a day bursting with activities and entertainment, it will all begin when The Grinch arrives on his sleigh and travels around Ventnorville spreading his own, special brand of Christmas cheer!

Visitors will be able to meet The Grinch who, despite his grumpy anti-holiday spirit, will be getting into the seasonal spirit at a range of festive events taking place in the town throughout the day, including a spectacular Santa dash along the beach, a costume competition and parade, a sparkly lantern parade and a community Carol service at the town’s park.

There will be more opportunities to continue the festive fun on the Island at the spectacular Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival, from December 10th to 20th. With around 120 decorated trees in six different locations – including churches and pubs in and around Brighstone – further details can be found at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/the-spectacular-18th-brighstone-christmas-tree-festival-p1105511.

It’s also possible to experience a “Wight Royal Christmas at Osborne” – with an expert guide who will explain how Queen Victoria and her family celebrated Christmas on the Island during regular tours on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, until Wednesday, December 31st (December 6th, 7th and 24th excepted).

Queen Victoria herself will be making an appearance at ‘A Victorian Christmas at Osborne’ on December 6th and 7th, when there will also be traditional games and carousel rides, and tours the festively-dressed rooms as you are transported back to Christmas time in the Royal residence. For more details, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/a-victorian-christmas-at-osborne-house-p1099111.

The annual Red Funnel Cowes Christmas Food Show held at Cowes Yacht Haven on December 13th and 14th, meanwhile, highlights the very best in local Isle of Wight produce from organically-grown tomatoes and oak smoked garlic, to freshly baked artisan bread and delicious dairy ice cream. This is the chance to enjoy food demonstrations by talented local chefs at the interactive Cookery Theatre, plus Island arts and crafts, and traditional Christmas entertainment including a vintage Santa’s Grottos and Carol singing. See more details at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/red-funnel-cowes-christmas-festival-p1099591.

And finally, for a very special festive night out, step on board a steam train and experience a relaxing ride through the winter countryside, with Christmas supper in Havenstreet railway station, accompanied by seasonal music and carols. The Christmas Carvery Night at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway takes place on December 20th, and booking is essential. http://www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/.

For more information on where to stay and what’s on in the run up to the festive season, go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

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

Notes to editors:

The Grinch is the central character from the children’s story by Theodor “Dr Seuss”, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’. The grouchy green monster lives in the town of Whoville, a fun place to live with lots of colourful characters living in a Christmas storyland setting. The grumpy, anti-holiday Grinch hates happiness, hates merriment, and most of all, hates Christmas.

The Grinch conspires to deprive the Who’s of their favourite holiday by sneaking into town on Christmas Eve to steal everything associated with the holiday. But in a turn of events, the Grinch’s heart grows as he realizes that his nefarious no-good doings didn’t ruin Christmas; the citizens of Whoville are still celebrating and still coming together in a show of goodwill. In that moment, the Grinch changes his mind (and his heart) when it comes to Christmas.

Ventnorville

10.15am Costume competition at St. Catherine’s Church, Ventnor (open to children and their dogs. Entry forms available from Love Ventnor’s Facebook page, Oh So Vintage or email ventnorba@hotmail.co.uk
10.30am The Grinch arrives on his sleigh in Ventnorville and travels around the town.
10.30am-4pm Arts & Craft Market at the Winter Gardens
10.45am: Costume competition judged by The Grinch.
11am Costume Parade through Ventnorville.
11am-3pm Santa’s Grotto
11.30am Costume award ceremony – presented by the Mayor on the sea front or Winter Gardens – depending on the weather.
Midday ‘Santa Dash’ on Ventnor beach
2.30-3.30pm The Bunker Girls at Oh So Vintage
4.30p Lantern Parade from the Youth Centre around the town to Ventnor Park.
5.00pm Carol Service at Ventnor Park

Plus:

Festive food market at the Baptist Church; photo booth with The Grinch at Church Street Motorcycles; Bands playing around the town including the Vectis Corps of Drums’ Hunger hot spots; Face painting; Hot chestnuts at Five A Day.

Ventnorville is being organised by Ventnor Business Association and Visit Isle of Wight accepts no liability for any inaccuracy in any of the information in the programme listed above. http://www.loveventnor.co.uk/vba-information/

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 (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