Tag Archives: steam railway

Isle of Wight invites holidaymakers to “Return to Adventure Island”

The Isle of Wight is being promoted as one, big holiday island attraction in a summer-long campaign that’s being dubbed “Return to Adventure Island”.

Just launched, and based squarely on the fact that visitors and families have been coming on holiday to the Island for almost two centuries, the campaign is designed to help illustrate that fact that there are now more reasons than ever before to book a visit the Isle of Wight.

Visitors over the decades have discovered there are so many places to see and things to do on an Island the size of Inner London.  So many of them are natural, some are man-made, but all combine to offer a host of holiday memories that last a lifetime…and also keep generations of families coming back for more.

It’s a timeless, magical Island, that can only be reached from the mainland across a small strip of water – giving trippers, tourists and travellers that true holiday feeling.

And in 2017 The Island will welcome several new attractions and experiences, including the Tiny Homes Holidays concept; Modulogs at Tom’s Eco Lodge; a magical Underwater Kingdom at Blackgang Chine; Jurassic Golf on Shanklin Seafront; and even the appearance of the little Squirrel Monkey which has just been rescued by Monkey Haven.

The Island as a whole is perfect for families who want to enjoy themselves together at the likes of Needles Landmark Attraction, or follow in the footsteps of Dinosaurs along the beaches; and the Return to Adventure Island campaign captures the essence of it all – from the glorious beaches to thrilling adventures, and the great range of accommodation to fabulous festivals.

Stay in a treehouse.  Search for red squirrels.  And learn bushcraft on the beach.  Then, after lobster on chips, take an exhilarating ride to a Victorian fort.  Or, travel back in time with the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, and visit a National Museum of Poo!  As visitors over the centuries have discovered, every day can be a fresh adventure.

Betters still, it’s all just two hours hours away from London, followed by a 10 minute Hovercraft ride to the Island – with car and passenger ferries connecting the Island from Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.

The ferry companies and Hovertravel run regular promotions, including day returns from £5, and it’s also possible to also book great value tickets that combine transport with entrance into the leading attractions

Full details can be found at https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/inspiration/escape-to-adventure-island.

Visitors who book their holiday to Isle of Wight through Visit Isle of Wight, meanwhile, will be invited to download a free app for their iPhone or Android smartphone.  The Adventure Island App, which launches on April 1, is packed with insider’s tips and trails to help holidaymakers make the most of their stay.

It also gives all visitors the chance to take part in a virtual treasure hunt with lots of prizes on offer including, for one lucky family, the chance to win back the entire cost of their holiday.

The Return to Adventure Island website will also feature all of the latest special offers for deals on accommodation: when searching to find the perfect place to stay, just look out for the blue suitcase featured on selected accommodation for special deals with ferry inclusive prices.

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


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

Sue Emmerson, 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


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.


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






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.


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.


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


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

Train Story Welcomes Its 25,000th Visitor

A family holidaying on the Isle of Wight from Romford in Essex received a special surprise yesterday (8th August) as they crossed the threshold of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s new Train Story Visitor Centre and, between them, took the total number of visitors to Train Story (which only opened in April) past the 25,000 mark!

Sian and Barrie Underwood and their two children Rhys, aged 7, and Phoebe, aged 4, were enjoying a day-long visit to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway when, after a trip on the steam train and a spot of lunch, they decided to visit Train Story. Upon entering they suddenly found themselves the centre of attention and being greeted by Train Story volunteer Guide Roger Fruen and Steam Railway General Manager Peter Vail. “We were monitoring the visitor count throughout the morning and knew the 25,000th visitor would be likely just after lunch”, said IW Steam Railway General Manager Peter Vail. “Sure enough, as the Underwood family from Romford stepped through the doors we passed through the 25,000 mark and we were able to make a special presentation to them!”

The occasion was marked by a presentation to the Underwood family with a bouquet, a bottle of bubbly and a whole package of goodies including IW Steam Railway Gift Vouchers.

As first time visitors to the Steam Railway, Sian Underwood said they had thoroughly enjoyed their day at the Railway and commented that they were ‘pleasantly surprised’ by the whole experience of the new Visitor Centre. “It wasn’t what we were expecting to find at this type of Heritage Railway,” she said. “But it’s been a fantastic way to find out some really interesting history and the children have really enjoyed it.”  Youngsters Rhys and Phoebe were particularly impressed by the model of the Railway’s flagship locomotive ‘Calbourne’, where Rhys dressed-up as an engine driver and enjoyed putting the ‘coal’ in the boiler!

“This is a significant milestone in the development of this major new attraction for our Railway, said Peter Vail. “We quietly opened Train Story just sixteen weeks ago in mid-April without too much fanfare, as some external work needed to be completed during the summer months. So to have already welcomed 25,000 visitors is really gratifying”.

Asked to sum up their visit Mr. and Mrs. Underwood said that the whole day had been a real treat and fantastic value, with the lovely bonus of the surprise presentation!

Background to the Train Story Project

The £1.2 million Train Story  project was built with the aid of a £970,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) together with funds raised from supporters of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. The discovery centre has an interactive gallery and two exhibition halls of historic locomotives, carriages and wagons.

Train Story is a short stroll from the centre of Havenstreet Station and, on the way, visitors pass through the carriage and wagon workshop and loco yard, where the historic trains are restored and cared for. “Inside the discovery centre a timeline and interactive screens tell stories of the Island’s railways and how they have been restored”, said Chris Tagart, Interpretation Commissioner from the Steam Railway. “And along the walkway to Train Story is an unrestored carriage body which had a second life as a holiday chalet at Thorness after its working life on the railways came to an end in the 1930s”.

Work to locate the delicate carriage body needed to wait for the summer months. Pete Jardine, Design Coordinator, said “Now it is in position we are really pleased that the Le Maq family who owned the carriage whilst it was a chalet are restoring it to the 1950s style of their fondly remembered childhood holidays.”

Train Story is already a major addition to the attractions at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, and entry is fully included in the Railway’s admission and travel ticket. To add to the visitor’s enjoyment, a guide or ‘interpreter’ is always on hand to answer any questions or to point out items of key interest. Linda Montgomery, Lead Interpreter, said, “The 150-year history of the Island’s once extensive railway system and the people who worked on it is really quite fascinating and often quite surprising. Train Story features interactive displays and film and audio from the heyday of the Island’s railways; and there’s very much something for everyone including opportunities to become a ‘locomotive driver’ in a half-scale model. Children from 2 to 102 can open the regulator, stoke the fire and even blow the whistle.”

Planning for the Train Story project started in 2008 as a means of protecting the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s historic collection of locomotives, carriages and wagons from the ravages of the weather, and displaying them to the 110,000 annual visitors to the Steam Railway.

Already proving very popular with visitors, Train Story opened in April this year and welcomes visitors daily until the beginning of November. Also visiting for the first time, Hazel White from Southampton summed-up the views of many, “The new Train Story building is great with lots of interactive things to do. The kids can dress up as a train guard, they can view some full sized restored trains and even go inside some of them.”

– ends-

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway is located at Havenstreet Station (PO33 4DS) – 3 miles from Ryde and 3 miles from Newport – and operates a preserved 5-mile section of the former Ryde to Newport Railway. The Steam Railway runs trains on approximately 210 days each year, and stages around 25 Special Events each year.



Train Story is located within Havenstreet Station, and visits to Train Story are fully included in the railway’s general admission charge with no extra to pay.



Peter Vail, IW Steam Railway – 01983 882204 peter.vail@iwsteamrailway.co.uk

Steve Oates, IW Steam Railway – 01243 555959 or 07774 188930 steve@smo.me.uk


Mr. & Mrs. Sian and Barrie Underwood from Romford, Essex can be contacted via e-mail at bazzau73@gmail.com


The Railway Station, Havenstreet Station, Nr Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 4DS

For further information on the IW Steam Railway please go to www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk


News release issued by Stephen Oates 07774 188930

Isle of Wight is on track for a great end to the summer

150 years of rail travel on the Isle of Wight is to be marked on the Island at the end of August.

Tickets for the special celebrations across the Island on Saturday, August 30th are already on sale at £18.64, and include unlimited rail travel on all Island Line services, the Isle of Wight Steam Railway and a return vintage bus service between Shanklin and Ventnor Gardens.  Discounted admittance for Ventnor Botanic Gardens is also included in the price.

The day has been designed to give visitors the chance to step back in time and travel through 150 years of rail transport and life on the Isle of Wight.  Celebrations will include a vintage vehicle display at Ryde, as well as steam fairs, stalls and entertainment across a large selection of the island’s stations.

While Ryde Esplanade Travel Centre will stage the Isle of Wight Railway’s 150 Exhibition, Brading Station will host a 1950s day, which will include signal box tours as well as vintage and memorabilia stalls.

Visitors to Shanklin Station can party through 150 years, and enjoy a selection of local traders’ stalls and vintage vehicles while enjoying a glass of Pimms or Rail Ale.

Tickets can be bought in advance by telephoning 01983 882204, or can be bought for £20 on the day from the Booking Office.  Anyone wanting to visit the island from the mainland for this event will also be given the opportunity to purchase combination tickets with the ferry companies.

For full details, visit http://www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/events/150-years-of-rail.aspx.

The Isle of Wight recently launched its Time Travel app and passports (http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/inspire-me/time-travel) for its visitors, and Ryde Carnival – reputedly the oldest carnival in the UK – also fits right in with the end of the summer school holidays fun.

Dating back to 1887 and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, who became a lifelong patron of the event, Ryde Carnival will this year feature a Children’s Procession on Friday August 29th, followed by Ryde Illuminated on August 30th when hundreds of participants and many thousands of spectators will join the fun.  For full details, visit http://www.rydecarnival.com.

Visitors to the Island wanting to fast-forward to the 21st century this August Bank Holiday will also have an opportunity to watch the Formula One of the Sea powerboat Cowes-Torquay-Cowes endurance race (http://cowestorquaycowes.co.uk/timings/).

For further details of August Bank Holiday events and accommodation on the Isle of Wight, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.


 For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672

E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

Spend Easter visiting some major new attractions, or watching duck racing, on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is looking forward to a cracking good Easter, to mark the start of the 2014 holiday season.

Osborne House, for example, is not only getting ready to show off its latest attraction, but will also be hosting a special “Royal Children’s Easter” event during the school holidays.

The hidden world of royal childhood on the Isle of Wight focuses on the opening, this spring, of Swiss Cottage – a full size ‘Wendy’ house, built at Prince Albert’s instruction in the grounds of the estate between 1853 and 1854.  This was the domain of the nine royal children, who played at being adults during their summer holidays on the Isle of Wight and learnt the life-skills their father believed would make them better people, and better rulers.

And from April 7th to 21st visitors to the grounds will be given the chance to follow in the footsteps of the royal children by following a trail to claim their chocolate prize.  Add to that some traditional Victorian egg painting, Victorian games, performances by BZents of a show called ‘We are Amused’ and the Royal Children’s Easter will definitely help to get 2014 off to a flying start at Osborne.  For full details, visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/osborne/

In a similar way, the oldest theme park in the country – Blackgang Chine – is planning to offer its visitors some mammoth fun this Easter, with the launch on April 5th of an entirely new attraction, “Restricted Area 5”.

After 42 years of providing fun for generations of families, Blackgang Chine’s “Dinosaur Land” is undergoing a major reinvention in readiness for an entirely new attraction, featuring life-size moving dinosaurs.  The new enclosure will bring visitors up-close-and-personal with dinosaurs of all types including an Argentinosaurus bigger than a double decker bus and the biggest animatronic T-Rex in the country.

But Easter needs to be celebrated, too, so Blackgang Chine’s ‘Easter Extravaganza’ this year will involve a perfect day out for anyone with an especially sweet tooth…a day of all things chocolate, from blind-tastings, to a dip in the chocolate fountain.  For more details, visit www.blackgangchine.com.

A third new attraction on the Isle of Wight, which will be fully operational in time for the Easter holidays is the Train Story Discovery Centre on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.  Packed with interactive activities and displays for all ages, this new Discovery Centre presents its own journey through the Island’s very own “train story”.

And best of all, from April 6th to 24th The Isle of Wight Steam Railway will be operating a very special Kids Go FREE service on the line – when, as well as enjoying a train ride, it will now be possible to off at one of our stations for a walk in the countryside, or explore our new Train Story Discovery Centre.  The Kids Go FREE offer is for up to 2 children aged up to 15 years, so long as they are travelling with a full-fare paying adult.   Prices online are Adults £10.50, Child (5-15) FREE, Infant (0-4) FREE.  For full details, visit www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk.

One especially quirky-and-quacky event which has become a part of the Easter tradition on the Island is the Easter Saturday Duck Race on the River Yar, which will this year be held on April 19th, at 5pm.  Every Easter a thousand numbered, yellow, plastic ducks are released in to the river in Yarmouth, before setting-off on their journey to be carried along by the tide.  The first four to reach the Yar bridge are declared the winners.  Tickets and refreshments are sold beforehand at Yarmouth Sailing Club.  For more information and to see pictures from previous years, visit www.yarmouthcarnival.org.uk.

And for a true taste of Easter, don’t forget the many egg-hunts across the Island, including those at Mottistone Manor on Sunday, April 20th from 11am to 4pm (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottistone-gardens); Bembridge Windmill on Sunday, April 20th from 10.30am to 4pm (bembridgemill@nationaltrust.org.uk); Robin Hill on Sunday April 20th and Monday April 21st (www.robin-hill.com); and The Model Village in Godshill every day from April 18th to April 21st (www.modelvillagegodshill.co.uk).

Isle of Wight Adventure Activities, meanwhile, is offering activities for kids during the Easter holidays.  Priced at £30 per day and running Monday to Thursday both weeks, activities will include kayaking, archery, and mountain boarding.  Visit http://isleofwightadventureactivities.co.uk/2014/03/easter-holiday-activities/ for more details.

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


For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672

E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

The Train Now Arriving …

A very special model locomotive arrived at Havenstreet on Monday in readiness to take centre stage in the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s forthcoming new Train Story Discovery Centre which is due to open on 6th April.

Based on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s flagship locomotive W24 Calbourne, the model is part of a fascinating new interpretive display within the discovery centre, which will bring the locomotives and carriages to life, uncovering their impact on all our lives and showing what happened to them when no longer needed on the railways.

Train Story, which has been part-funded by a £1m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, will now house many of the Steam Railway’s historic locomotives, carriages and wagons.

The interpretive displays, including the model locomotive, have been designed by Richard Fowler Associates from Halifax and built by The Workhaus from York.  Chris Tagart, Interpretation Commissioner from the Steam Railway said, “The idea for Train Story goes back many years, and now, thanks to the very generous Lottery funding, it’s nearing completion. We’re particularly pleased to have been able to bring in some of the best interpretive skills from within the UK to develop Train Story, and also to work with a number of local Island  businesses, such as The Sign Company in Newport, to produce various elements of the displays”.

With a floor area extending to a massive 27,000 sq ft, Train Story is located adjacent to Havenstreet Station on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Due to open at the beginning of the Easter break on 6th April, it will then open every day and is expected to attract 100,000 visitors each year.

“The development of Train Story opens-up a whole new added experience for our visitors”, said IW Steam Railway General Manager Peter Vail. “In Train Story we will have a first class undercover attraction to thrill the many families that visit our Steam Railway.”

– ends –



The model Calbourne waits on a 100 year-old former London, Brighton and South Coast Railway wagon at Havenstreet before taking centre stage in the Train Story displays – Photo Di Hollander/IWSR

Notes for Editors:

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway is located at Havenstreet Station (PO33 4DS) – 3 miles from Ryde and 3 miles from Newport – and operates a preserved 5-mile section of the former Ryde to Newport Railway. Alongside the 350-plus volunteers is a core employed workforce of 23 staff, many of whom were formerly volunteers on the Railway

The Steam Railway runs trains on approximately 210 days each year, and stages around 25 Special Events each year.


Peter Vail, IW Steam Railway – 01983 882204 peter.vail@iwsteamrailway.co.uk

Steve Oates, IW Steam Railway – 01243 555959 or 07774 188930 steve@smo.me.uk

The Railway Station, Havenstreet Station, Nr Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 4DS

For further information on the IW Steam Railway please go to www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk

News release issued by Stephen Oates 01243 555959