Tag Archives: Ventnor


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





New acts added to Isle of Arts line-up, 1-4 May

Isle of Arts festival adds comedy and drama to line-up! Five great new acts have been added to the 2015 programme, making it even more difficult to choose how to best plan your days at the Festival (for which we apologise, really…!)

Comedy for all ages has been included with a Friday headline appearance for comedy legend Barry Cryer. In yet another farewell tour, Baz, having been charged with persistent joking, asks for 20 other shows to be taken into consideration! Please be merciful to the aged accused…..He will be enjoying himself – do join him!

On Monday evening it will be the turn of up-and-coming comedy stars Pat Cahill and Stephen Bailey, in a Live at the Boathouse comedy double bill. Both these young men are rising stars on the comedy circuit and their material has been described as surreal, sharp, absurd and off-beat. You have been warned! (age guide 16+)
Lovers of the theatre can look forward to three superb productions on the Sunday. In the afternoon, renowned actress Linda Marlowe presents her solo show “Berkoff’s Women”, which is a compilation of some of the most rewarding, exciting moments of Berkoff’s female roles, featuring excerpts from many of his plays.

In the evening, The Boathouse will be the intimate setting for “Quentin Crisp – Naked Hope”. Written and performed by actor Mark Farrelly, the show draws on Quentin’s own writings and gives a fascinating insight into the varied life of one of the twentieth-century’s most interesting characters whose views on life and society remain relevant today.

Sunday evening’s other offering “Revolution – the making of a musical” in St. Catherine’s Church takes audiences behind the scenes of a musical in the making, exploring the creative collaboration and telling the gripping and passionate tale of Love, Hope and Freedom set against the backdrop of a changing regime in a country not so far away.

For times, further details and tickets for all these shows please go to www.artsisle.org.

Isle of Arts is a broadly based Arts festival that takes place in Ventnor on the south coast of the Isle of Wight. The Festival, now in its fifth year, will take place across the bank holiday weekend of Friday 1st May to Monday 4th May 2015.

Our growing band of high-quality sponsors and associates who are working with us to bring this great Arts festival to the Isle of Wight includes Red Funnel, Visit Isle of Wight, Wightlink, Ventnor Business Association, On The Wight, The Isle of Wight County Press, Seasons Newsagents, Melbourne Ardenlea Hotel, Pittis Estate Agents, Shaun Cuff Design, Spar and Ventnor Winter Gardens.

For additional information, please contact Janneke Oxley on janneke@artsisle.org or telephone 01983 853 445 / 07779 113329



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

Ventnor Fringe unveils plans to open theatre and record store; the ‘Ventnor Exchange’

The team behind the award winning Ventnor Fringe Festival is delighted to announce an ambitious new project to create a year round multi use arts venue and independent record store on the Island.

The Ventnor Exchange, which it is hoped will be located in the former Ventnor Post Office on Church Street, will provide a unique cultural centre for the town and provide a year round base for the Fringe and it’s activities.

Subject to obtaining relevant permissions, the Fringe hope to open the Exchange in April 2014 with a weekly vinyl market on Fridays and Saturdays stocking both the latest releases and vintage classics. The store would also host special ‘in store’ performances, talks and debates as well as serve fresh coffee and even contain a small bar open into the evening.

From May 2014 the building will also be equipped to transform into a Studio Theatre with a full programme of performances during the week. Hosting work from both visiting companies and work produced by the Exchange and it’s team of associate artists, it is planned to be a unique venue showcasing emerging talent.  Inspired, as the festival was, by Edinburgh, where the Traverse Theatre (now housed in a purpose built £3.3 million building) was first formed in 1963 in an abandoned brothel, and has gradually developed into an internationally recognised venue specialising in staging new writing.

Initial plans for the venue were announced by the organisers at a Christmas party held at East Dene Mansion in Bonchurch where the Festival Director, Jack Whitewood, described the project as the ‘Next exciting steps in our journey to develop a unique creative hub in Ventnor’

Regular updates on the progress of the project will be available on the Ventnor Fringe’s website and social media.

Today also marks the opening of applications for the fifth Ventnor Fringe Festival which this year is expanding to six days running from Tuesday 12th – Sunday 17th August 2014 and will once again also coincide with both the Ventnor Carnival and Isle of Wight Film Festival. Artists of any creative medium invited to apply and artists are entitled to keep 100% of their own ticket sales. Last year more than 350 artists performed at the Festival travelling from across the world. For more information please visit www.vfringe.co.uk


For more details please contact:

Festival Director       jack@vfringe.co.uk

General Enquires      hello@vfringe.co.uk


@vfringe #vfringe  #ventnorexchange