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Isle of Light

Isle of Light, Isle of Wight Blog for October Events

The Magical Isle of Light

Isle of Wight Blog

Astro-photographer, Jamie Currie, has found the Isle of Wight to be the perfect spot to capture the constellations in stunning definition.

Talking to the Daily Mail, who named the Island the “Isle of Light”, Jamie said: “The light pollution on the Isle of Wight allows me to pull as much possible light into the camera to capture the billions of stars in the galaxy. It’s a truly astounding phenomenon”.

The Milky Way contains between 100 and 400billion stars that cannot be distinguished properly with naked eye. But on the Isle of Wight, you can take spectacular images of the iridescent colours of the Milky Way illuminating the night sky.

We have lots of special places on the Island where you can see one of nature’s great displays, from St Catherine’s Point with its stunning coastal views to Brighstone Beach and the Needles Headland. So grab a pair of binoculars and get ready for a spectacular light show in which the night sky is suddenly lit up with a wondrous glow.

But the night sky is just one of the reasons the Island is so special and this Autumn, the Isle of Light will be casting a special glow on everyone who visits.

The Island has more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in the UK and as Summer temperatures extend into Autumn, the Isle of Light will allow you to retain that summer feeling by continuing to do the things that make you feel happy and relaxed.

Imagine amazing beach sunsets with pillowy pink hues and bright burning glows, walking through incredible landscapes of orange and gold and yes, the Island’s awesome natural light show as our dark skies provide a stunning backdrop to thousands of galaxies.

Add to the mix, prettily-lit towns and villages like Ryde and Shanklin Old Village as well as magical nighttime attractions like The Chine Lumiere where hundreds of lights illuminate this spectacular gorge and its waterfalls after dark. Also this October, visitors can experience Blackgang Chine’s stunning Illuminations as the whole park re-awakens, creatively illuminated using exciting and dynamic lighting effects and sculptures.

If that isn’t enough, the Isle of Light brings together a stellar line-up of events and activities guaranteed to have you tripping the light fantastic well into Autumn and beyond...

Isle of Light Events across the Island in October

Robin Hill’s Electric Woods – Festival of Light inspired by Diwali, near Newport

Enjoy the ambience of Robin Hill’s ‘Electric Woods’ with the Festival of Light inspired by Diwali, a stunning spectacle of creatively themed light, sound, and entertainment inspired by India. As darkness falls, experience the lush colours, flavours and magic of the Asian sub-continent set in Robin Hill’s glorious autumnal ancient woodland.
Dates: 1 October to 5 November
Park open evenings: 6pm – 10pm (open till 9pm during half term, 22nd – 30th October 2016). More information: www.electricwoods.co.uk

Stargazing Weekends at the Island Planetarium, Yarmouth

Whether the you are an absolute beginner or a serious amateur astronomer, the Island Planetarium promises an enjoyable and worthwhile weekend amongst the stars. With talks and stargazing on Friday and Saturday evenings, and talks and sun gazing on Saturday and Sunday mornings, this is a brilliant way to learn about October planets and the constellations that cross our vistas. These dates are close to the New Moon so there is the best opportunity to get dark skies for observing.
Dates: 28th October & 25th November
More information: http://www.islandastronomy.co.uk/

Blackgang Chine Illuminations

Let your imagination run wild as you venture on a journey of discovery with the magic of Blackgang’s illuminations and explore the park, and for those who are brave enough, experience Restricted Area 5 after dark!
Dates: October - 1st, 7th & 8th, 14th & 15th and 21st- 29th
More information: http://www.blackgangchine.com/events/october

Isle of Wight Literary Festival, Northwood House, Cowes

Crammed with choice words and illuminating talks, the Isle of Wight Literary Festival attracts well known fiction and non-fiction writers, journalists, military men, actors and historians. Some of the speakers confirmed for this year are Michael Portillo, writer, broadcaster and former politician, will be talking about ”Life: A Game of Two Halves”, Michael Billington, the doyen of British theatre critics, will be discussing his book “The 101 Greatest Plays” from antiquity to the present and Rosamund Lupton best-selling author of “Sister” and “The Quality of Silence”.
Version 1 – September 6th 2016 – Page 2

Dates: 13-16 October
More information: http://www.isleofwightliteraryfestival.com/

Beer, Buses & Walks Weekend (Various locations)

Beer and bus lovers are invited to join the perfect “pub crawl” as the Isle of Wight branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) and the IW Bus Museum join forces again to host the annual Classic Buses, Beer and Walks Weekend. Vintage buses will transport visitors to and from pubs located right across the Island, allowing them to “hop-off” and enjoy a walk – as well as a glass of pale ale, amber nectar or one of the darker, maltier beers - through the Island’s autumn landscape.
Dates: 15/16 October
More information: http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/beer-buses-and-walks-at-the-iow- bus-and-coach-museum-p1269771

Autumn Adventures at Osborne

There’s a pallete of colours waiting to be discovered on this exploration of Osborne’s gardens. For Autumn and winter bring additional delights to the visitor to Osborne with light levels enhancing features of the natural and historic landscape, which would have so delighted Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Dates: 25-27 October
More information: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/osborne/events

National Trust Seasonal events

Get a close-up picture of the vivid colours of autumn by joining in a range of seasonal walks organised by the National Trust. There’s ’50 Years of Conservation’, a gentle walk to discover wonderful habitats around a National Nature Reserve (25 September 2-4pm), a Wildlife Walk looking at Autumn wildlife including birds (1st October 8-10am) and Discover Culver Down, an interesting circular walk exploring some of the local history and Island heritage with some stunning views along the way (21 October, 10.30am-12.30pm).
Dates: 25 September, 1 October and 21 October
More information: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/days-out/regionlondonsoutheast/isle-of- wight

Isle of Wight Autumn Walking Festival, Islandwide

The Autumn Walking Weekend gives you the opportunity to breathe in the beautiful scenery and autumnal colours that the Island has to offer. With over 60 walks to choose from there are walks for all ages and abilities, and led by our friendly and knowledgeable leaders, who will take you on a journey of mystery, intrigue and exploration as you traverse the Island’s countryside, woodland, pastures, meadows and footpaths.

Dates: 21-23 October
More information: http://www.isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk/

Halloween Headlines this October half term

For visitors who want to explore the Isle of Wight’s dark side, there’s a frightful feast of fun-fuelled events for the whole family to enjoy including:
1. Spooky Castle at Carisbrooke (http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/spooky- castle-Cari-22-10-2016/)
2. Wizard Week at the IW Steam Railway (http://www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/events/wizard- week.aspx),
3. Awesome Autumn Adventures at the Needles Old Battery where kids can enjoy a swashbuckling adventure. Hear stories of the shipwrecks surrounding the Isle of Wight
4. Trick or Tree-t with Goodleaf tree climbing http://www.goodleaf.co.uk/half-term-tree-
climbing/
5. More information and for other events during half term:
http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/events/isle-of-fright

 

Autumn Attraction Breaks, Garden Isle Hotels

Godshill Model Village Isle of Wight

 

Book a 2 night Autumn Attraction Mini Break from just £128pp at your choice of hotel.

Offer includes:

  • 2 nights standard/classic accommodation
  • full English breakfast and
  • 3 course dinner each evening plus
  • free tickets to Godshill Model Village.

Stay up to - 31st October 2016

Call 01983 869 000 to book now

Reasons to Visit the Isle of Wight this Autumn

Reasons to visit the Isle of Wight this Autumn

Isle of Wight Blog

Autumn Beach 03Head to the Isle of Wight this autumn and be enthralled by unspoilt landscapes, towns and villages. If you’ve not visited during this time of year before you’ll find the experience really quite different as the pace of life slows down from the hustle and bustle of the busy summer months. You’ll find an inspiring and relaxing island escape, stunning scenery and unequalled outdoor activities with lots of attractions open and a full programme of events and activities for you to enjoy:

 

Isle of Wight Day Saturday 24th September

New this year, Isle of Wight Day will celebrate the very best of Island life as businesses, community groups, towns and villages come together to create an exciting programme for local people and visitors to enjoy. Dozens of events are planned including a food festival in Bembridge harbour, which will allow people to feast on all that’s local from the Island’s land and sea, an evening of Shakespeare with live music and a rustic blend of wit, eccentricity and originality - and a Grand Parade through the Island’s capital town of Newport with a Military-style Tattoo in Newport’s St George’s Park. So come along, join in the fun and be part of the Island celebrations
More information: http://www.isleofwightday.com/

 

Robin Hill’s Electric Woods – Festival of Light inspired by Diwali, near Newport 1st October - 5th November

Electric Wood Spirit of the OrientEnjoy the ambience of Robin Hill’s ‘Electric Woods’ with the Festival of Light inspired by Diwali, a stunning spectacle of creatively themed light, colour, sound, and entertainment inspired by India. As darkness falls, experience the lush colours, flavours and magic of the Asian sub-continent set in Robin Hill’s glorious autumnal ancient woodland.
Park open evenings: 6pm – 10pm (open till 9pm during half term, 22nd – 30th October 2016). More information: www.electricwoods.co.uk

 

Isle of Fright, Islandwide October Half Term

A frightful feast of fun-fuelled events for the whole family, including Spooky Castle at Carisbrooke (http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/spooky-castle-Cari-22-10-2016/) Wizard Week at the IW Steam Railway (http://www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/events/wizard-week.aspx), Awesome Autumn Adventures at the Needles Old Battery where kids can enjoy a swashbuckling adventure and hear stories of the shipwrecks surrounding the Isle of Wight and Trick or Tree-t with Goodleaf tree climbing
More information: http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/events/isle-of-fright

 

Isle of Wight Literary Festival, Northwood House, Cowes 13th - 16th October

Now in its fifth year, the Isle of Wight Literary Festival attracts well known fiction and non-fiction writers, journalists, military men, actors and historians. Some of the speakers confirmed for this year are Michael Portillo, writer, broadcaster and former politician, will be talking about ”Life: A Game of Two Halves”, Michael Billington, the doyen of British theatre critics, will be discussing his book “The 101 Greatest Plays” from antiquity to the present and Rosamund Lupton best-selling author of “Sister” and “The Quality of Silence”.
More information: http://www.isleofwightliteraryfestival.com/

 

Beer, Buses & Walks at the IW Bus & Coach Museum, Ryde 15th & 16th October

Beer and bus lovers are invited to join the perfect “pub crawl” as the Isle of Wight branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) and the IW Bus Museum join forces again to host the annual Classic Buses, Beer and Walks Weekend. Vintage buses will transport visitors to and from pubs located right across the Island, allowing them to “hop-off” and enjoy a walk through the Island’s autumn landscape.
More information: http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/beer-buses-and-walks-at-the-iow-bus-and-coach-museum-p1269771

 

Isle of Wight Autumn Walking Festival, Islandwide 21st - 23rd October

Winter Walking Shoot 170215 76The Autumn Walking Weekend gives you the opportunity to breathe in the beautiful scenery and autumnal colours that the Island has to offer. With over 60 walks to choose from there are walks for all ages and abilities, and led by our friendly and knowledgeable leaders, who will take you on a journey of mystery, intrigue and exploration as you traverse the Island’s countryside, woodland, pastures, meadows and footpaths.
More information: http://www.isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk/

 

Autumn Adventures at Osborne 25th - 27th October

Explore the wonders of the season at Osborne this Autumn. Join our adventurous explorer as you discover the exciting secrets of the garden.
More information: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/osborne/events

 

National Trust Seasonal events 25th September, 1st & 21st October

Get closer to nature this autumn by joining in a range of seasonal walks organised by the National Trust. There’s ’50 Years of Conservation’, a gentle walk to discover wonderful habitats around a National Nature Reserve (25 September 2-4pm), Wildlife Walk looking at Autumn wildlife including birds (1st October 8-10am) and Discover Culver Down, an interesting circular walk exploring some of the local history and Island heritage with some stunning views along the way (21 October, 10.30am-12.30pm).
More information: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/days-out/regionlondonsoutheast/isle-of-wight

 

Dinosaurs Footprint Walk 12th November

The majority of dinosaur fossils are found along the south-west coast of the Island and this is your chance to discover the evidence left behind by the dinosaurs, including large natural casts of their footprints and marine fossils – but only if you know where to look and what to recognize. Children should bring a small plastic bucket for finds, and wrap up warm.
More information and to book: Please phone 01983 404344 or www.dinosaurisle.com

 

Autumn Harvest Walk Thursday 15th September 10:30am - 12:30pm

A circular walk to discover the wild food which grows in the area, some of which you’ve probably never noticed before, with hopefully something to tempt your taste buds. A walk of about 2 miles with lots of stops, wear stout shoes. Dogs on leads welcome. Booking essential on 01983 741020. Meet at Mottistone Gardens car park PO30 4ED (SZ 406 838).
More information: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/days-out/regionlondonsoutheast/isle-of-wight

 

Beer & Cider Festival 25th - 27th September

The Ventnor Winter Gardens is an iconic 1930s building, perched high on the cliffs with some of the finest views on the Island. New this year, the Winter Gardens is proud to present the Beer & Cider Festival with over 100 real ales and ciders from local and regional producers Island ales as well as craft and artisan beers from across the water. These include Ventnor’s own Botanic Ale, brewed from hops that are grown just a couple of miles along the coast. Plus Rums from St Vincent Distillers including Sunset Rum Cocktails and other interesting drinks will also be available so there will be something for everyone to enjoy and get into the festival spirit. Entry to the festival is completely free and tokens will be available to be purchased at the door, enabling festival goers to choose from the many beers and ciders on offer.
More information: www.theventnorwintergardens.com/whatson

 

Sweetcorn Fayre 24th - 25th September

The annual Sweetcorn Fayre is back for its 10th year and will be celebrating in style with all things sweetcorn. At this traditional village fete, there will be sweetcorn launch attempts, welly wanging and plenty of fun for kids who can try their hand at ‘popping their own popcorn’ and demonstrate their culinary skills by making sweetcorn fritters and discover how a traditional steam powered corn mill works.
More information: http://arretonbarns.co.uk/

 

Hops Festival at Ventnor Botanic Gardens 25th September

Now in its seventh year, the Hops Festival celebrates the harvest of the hops grown on site at Ventnor Botanic Gardens as well as the continuation of the tradition of picking them by hand.
After all the hops have been carefully picked, they are then dried and brewed into the garden’s own beers Tropic Ale and Botanic Ale, which visitors will be able to purchase as well as a range of other specialty beers. A small market will also be showing off the quality and diversity of homegrown foods and produce from the local area.
More information: http://www.botanic.co.uk/pages/hopsfestival2016.htm

 

Taste Round the Island Cycle Route

Round the Island Cycle Route, Isle of WightBicycle Island's gastronomic food and drink themed ride gives cyclists the chance to discover the Isle of Wight's culinary delights whilst burning off those extra calories at the same time! The 66-mile, fully waymarked route is a definite challenge, but is designed to be taken at a leisurely pace. Complete the entire course in a few days or sample a section of the Island on a day trip.

Often described as ‘England in miniature’ the Isle of Wight boasts varied and stunning scenery and the Taste Round the Island Trail is one of the best ways to see it all. From rolling downs to spectacular costal viewpoints the changing scenery really does give a sense of adventure!

Some of the culinary highlights include the Garlic Farm, nestled in the fertile Arreton Valley where food hero Colin Boswell’s family have grown garlic since the 1940s, Calbourne classics ice cream farm shop, the Dairy Deli farm shop were you can stock up on the freshest Island produce, The New Inn Shalfleet and The Crab and Lobster Inn, Bembridge amongst many others.

Bring you bike over on ferries to Yarmouth, Cowes and Ryde or hire from one of the many providers on the island. New for 2016 electric bikes from Red Squirrel Electric Bikes take the sting out of the tougher climbs and are great fun to ride.

Click the link below to find out more and see the trail map:
http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/inspiration/bicycle-island/taste-round-the-island-route

 

Autumn Attraction Breaks with FREE Tickets to Godshill Model Village at Garden Isle Hotels, Isle of Wight

Autumn Attraction Breaks, Garden Isle Hotels 

Book a 2 night Autumn Attraction Mini Break from just £128pp at your choice of hotel. Offer includes 2 nights standard/classic accommodation, full English breakfast and 3 course dinner each evening plus free tickets to Godshill Model Village.

Stay 29th August - 31st October 2016

Call 01983 869 000 to book now

Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea

Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea

Image;copyright Visit Isle of Wight Ltd 2016

Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea

Isle of Wight Blog

Set sail for Visit Isle of Wight’s Festival of the Sea this June! With the Round the Island Race circumnavigating our coastline, swashbuckling fun from Shipwreck Isle and new for 2016, the thrilling French Solitaire du Figaro yacht race arriving in port, be sure not to miss the boat for these and other exciting events and activities.

Step ashore or take to the sea for Visit Isle of Wight’s Festival of the Sea in June; we’ve a raft of maritime activities and events for sea dogs and landlubbers alike!

Be part of the party as the world class Solitaire du Figaro yacht race sails into port for the first time. Watch the Round the Island Race circumnavigate our coastline, and take part in swashbuckling fun for the whole family at Shipwreck Isle.

Enjoy a guided coastal walk, sample some divine seafood or relax in the sun listening to sea shanties; don’t miss the boat – just hoist the mainsail and set sail for the Festival of the Sea! Find out more at www.visitisleofwight.co.uk

Round the Island Race

Round the Island Race, Isle of WightRound the Island Race will take place on Saturday 27th June with teams from all over the world competing in the 50 nautical mile course. The sheer number and variety of the yachts participating makes this event a fantastic spectator sport with some great vantage points off Cowes, Sconce Point, The Needles, St Catherine's Point, Ventnor, Bonchurch, Culver Down and Ryde Pier.

Over 1,600 boats with around 16,000 sailors, making it the largest yacht race of its kind in the world and the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK.
For those not competing, the Island has many great vantage points to watch the Race unfold, such as Cowes, The Needles and St Catherine’s Point.

• Boasting any number of sassy seafront hotels and beautiful boutique retreats with fabulous ocean views, the Island is a perfect place to book a memorable seaside escape.
• Getting to the Island is plain sailing. Visitors can travel to the Island via Hover travel from Southsea, as well as Red Funnel ferries from Southampton, and Wightlink from both Portsmouth and Lymington.

Award-winning beaches

Shanklin Beach Isle of WightWith 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! The award-winning beaches of Shanklin, Sandown and Ventnor all have very popular esplanades with a great selection of cafes, shops and facilities to enhance your day at the beach.

Ryde and Appley offer the largest stretch of open sands, perfect for games and activities, with great views back across the Solent to the mainland.

This March, Compton Bay was named as one of the world’s top beaches by the Sunday Times Travel Magazine and it’s easy to see why. Located in West Wight, Compton offers a two mile stretch of contrasting golden and dark sands, with rolling seas, tumbling multi-coloured sandstone cliffs, and the white chalk cliffs of Freshwater in the distance. Popular with surfers and fossil hunters, Compton is ideal for games and sandcastle making.

http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/attractions/beaches

An Island of 147 square miles, surrounded by water, that depending on tide and wind, is sheltered on one side and ferocious on the other.

Kayaking & Standup Paddle Boarding

Needles Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Isle of WightExplore the inlets and coastal areas by Kayak, one of the only ways to reach some of the more difficult to access coves and hidden caves. Stand-up paddleboarding is becoming an increasingly popular way to explore some of the Isle of Wight’s surrounding waters, you can even paddle your way around the famous “Needles” rocks and Lighthouse.

 

Book Your Break Now

With so much to look forward to why not book a break and make the most of our Flash Sale 2 Night Summer Break from £279 for 2 people?

Price includes 2 nights Bed & Full English breakfast, 3 course dinner on your 1st evening and FREE return Isle of Wight car ferry tarvel.

 

More info

Find Adventure on the Isle of Wight

Find Adventure on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight’s contrasting landscapes and rugged coastline make it a natural playground for the adventurous traveller. For adrenaline thrills and unforgettable experiences, come and enjoy the great outdoors on land, sea, in the air, or amongst the tree tops.

Here are 5 great outdoor adventures to try on the Isle of Wight:

Tree Climbing

Goodleaf Tree Climbing Isle of Wight. Melville Hall Hotel Adventure BreaksThe vertical ascent into a 70 foot oak tree provides the perfect blend of adrenaline, stunning views, and childhood nostalgia. Using a special rope climbing technique you make your way high up into the canopy, where you can relax in a tree-top hammock and enjoy views out across the Solent. On the way back down you can learn to branch walk, and even get to work on your Spiderman impressions by hanging upside down!

The “Tree Climbing” technique is all based on ropes and a harness, and the simple technique training is included as part of your session. You don’t need to be super fit or strong to make your way up the ropes, but a steady head for heights is advised, as 70ft is a “long way down”!

Tree Climbing sessions are operated by Goodleaf Tree Climbing, at Appley Park near Ryde.


Coasteering Isle of Wight. Melville Hall Hotel Adventure BreaksCoasteering

Undoubtedly one of the best ways to explore the lesser seen sections of the Isle of Wight coast is to sign up to a Coasteering session. This unique outdoor activity consists of a mixture of rock climbing, swimming, cliff diving and more, dodging the tides to take you into some of the scarcely explored caves on the south west coast of the Island.

Led by an expert instructor, your group will be equipped with wetsuits and safety gear, before setting off round the cliffs at the edge of Freshwater Bay. After traversing the cliffs, leaping over rocky archways, and swimming through wave filled gaps you will work your way round to the near-invisible caves at Watcombe, usually only accessible to kayakers.
Coasteering on the Isle of Wight is run by Isle of Wight Adventure Activities.


Paragliding

Paragliding Isle of Wight. Melville Hall Hotel Adventure BreaksThe unique updrafts found along sections of the Isle of Wight’s downs and coast, provide the perfect conditions for Paragliding. The Island’s micro climate, and on average more sunshine days than almost anywhere else in the UK, also ensure more “flying days” than almost anywhere else.

Set out on a “flight” from the top of the downs on the west side of the Island and you will soon find yourself gliding with a unique perspective of the stunning coastline and beaches. There are a variety of course options for beginners (and experts) so you can either get straight in the air on a tandem flight with an instructor, or spend a day learning how to handle a paraglider for an adrenaline-fuelled solo flight.

Paragliding courses are operated by High Adventure Paragliding School


Land Yachting

Land Yachting Isle of Wight. Melville Hall Hotel Adventure BreaksLand yachting, also known as “sand yachting”, is the perfect combination of sailing with a land based speed and adrenaline activity. The large open sands on the east of the Isle of Wight provide ideal terrain at low tide for this activity – there are also good cross winds over there which enable “land yachters” to get up to some pretty impressive speeds!

No previous experience is necessary for land yachting sessions, as all training is included. Your “vessel” for the day is part beach buggy, part yacht, and part sail board – sessions are weather dependent as to pick up speed they rely on plenty of wind (which we’ve had plenty of recently, so you should be in luck!)

You can try your hand at Land Yachting with Tackt-Isle Adventures


Wind Surfing

Wind Surfing Isle of Wight. Melville Hall Hotel Adventure Breaks

Another great adventure sport you can get involved with on the Island is Wind Surfing. Skimming across the surface of the water is a real thrill, with the more adventurous and skilled windsurfers jumping over waves and freestyling with their sail boards.

One of the most popular locations is right off the south of the Isle of Wight, at Lake Beach (in between the sandy beaches of Shanklin and Sandown.) Here you will find a range of different windsurfing courses, with the beginners introduction aiming to get you off the beach and cruising across the water within just a few hours.

Wind Surfing sessions are available with Wight Waters, just down the road on Sandown Seafront.


Recharging from a hard day of adventure

The perfect tonic to a long day of outdoor adventures is a few hours of relaxation in the Utopia Spa, at Melville Hall Hotel. Here you’ll find a peaceful adults only haven where you can unwind in the warmth of the indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, sauna and detox cabin. To enhance your break opt for a pamper with your choice of spa treatment – this will make sure you’re ready for your second day of adventure …..


Check out Melville Hall Hotel’s Isle of Wight Adventure Breaks for more information

 

Relax in the Spa at Melville Hall Hotel after a Day of Adventure on the Isle of Wight

Popular Things To Do This February Half Term on the Isle of Wight

Popular Things To Do This February Half Term on the Isle of Wight

Electric Woods Spirit of the Orient Spirit of the Orient

Isle of Wight Blog

The Isle of Wight is simply bursting with Things To Do. Whether you are looking for activities, places to visit or attractions, you will be spoiled for choice.

Electric Woods. “Spirit of the Orient”

A visit to Robin Hill during this festival is simply a must. Celebrate the Chinese New Year in true fashion. Experience the parks magical illuminated woodland with coloured lanterns, flags and special features such as the Golden Oriole Bridge with cascading golden water. Enjoy the elemental “earth, wind, water and fire” sound and light displays with dragon procession as well as other Chinese entertainment such as the lion dance! Keep refreshed with the delicious Oriental menu available.

Open 13th – 21st February 2016 5pm – 9pm. £10.95 with unlimited free returns

Tales of the Empress of India – Osborne House

An expert tour around the royal ground floor rooms where you will hear tales of Queen Victoria and how she came to be so fascinated by Indian Culture and bought a taste home to India which you can see in the ornate Durbar Room.

Open daily 13th – 21st February 10am – 2.30pm daily Free to members. £10.60 to non member adults and £6.30 for children aged 5 and above.

Garlic Farm Family Fun

Lots of fun to be had at the garlic farm including:

• Garlic bread making workshops
• Plant your own garlic
• Cook with garlic workshops
• Decorate a Garlic Bulb
• Guess the cloves in the jar
• Garlic Fairy hunts

13th – 20th February 10am – 4pm Free entry with some individually priced activities: Bread making workshop £3.50; Farm tours £2.50; Guess the cloves in the jar £0.50; Plant your own garlic + growing booklet £2; Decorate a garlic bulb £1.50; Garlic Fairy Hunt + activity pack £1

Sandman Snowman 2016, Small Hope Beach, Shanklin

Head to the Small Hope Beach for 2pm and set to wow everyone with your creations – past years have seen the beach populated by mermaids, dolphins, dogs, sandmen, sand ladies and a whole array of other characters.

There will be hot chocolate on hand to warm chilly fingers and the coal and carrots for your creations will be provided– you just need to bring a spade, the creative ideas and bags of enthusiasm!

21st February 2pm. Suggested £2 per person donation to Gift To Nature.

Red Squirrel Bicycle Trail

Why not hire bikes for all the family and set off and explore the infamous Red Squirrel Trail which makes the most of the island’s disused railway lines making the perfect leisurely cycle ride that the youngest and oldest and everyone in between will enjoy. Obviously, watch out for those red squirrels – not seen that often on the mainland now but quite beautifully abundant on the island.

Walk with Alpaccas, West Wight Alpaccas

Yes, do something different! Head over to Wellow on the stunning West Wight delighting in the beautiful scenery on the way, then you can choose to simply visit the Alpacca Farm or take them for a walk (book in advance). There is nothing like it.

Open All Year 10am – 5pm £3.50 per adult & £2.50 per child aged 5 and above. Short walks (20mins) start from £12pp

 

Youngest Child Free - Isle of Wight February Half Term Holidays

Not booked accommodation yet? Don't miss our great offer where your youngest child stays for FREE at Luccombe Hall Country House Hotel

 

1000 Reviews & 30 Years of Family Ownership

Melville Hall Hotel Sandown 1986 Melville Hall Hotel
 Melville Hall Hotel 1986  ...and 30 year on...

 

One Thousand Reviews and Thirty Years Family Ownership of Island Hotel


This month (February) saw Melville Hall Hotel in Sandown receive its one thousandth review on TripAdvisor, making it the first hotel on the Isle of Wight to reach this milestone.


Mrs Purkis from Eastleigh, who had placed the five star review, was contacted by the hotel and thrilled to hear she was invited back for a completely free ferry inclusive spa break to mark the achievement. She had taken a short break last month including two treatments in the hotel’s Utopia Spa and this was the first review she had posted on TripAdvisor.

 

Lyn Ken Wells Melville Hall Hotel

Ken & Lyn Wells 1989 opening the newly
refurbished 
Palm Court Restaurant

This year also marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Wells family purchasing Melville Hall as their first business on the Island. Back in 1986 Melville Hall was a 39 bedroom hotel with just 21 en-suite rooms, the only leisure facilities being an ageing outdoor pool. Over the years Ken Wells has refurbished the hotel several times catering for the changing trends in business. The spacious public areas with sliding doors that once allowed for functions of up to 300 guests now form the treatment rooms and indoor leisure facilities of Utopia Spa. Ironically the installation of the indoor facilities for the spa resulted in the hotel’s first TripAdvisor review on 2nd September 2003, a scathing score of 1 out of 5 because workmen were carrying out maintenance work and building rubble and equipment were still evident in the grounds – no appreciation for the beautiful new facilities.


After many years of successful trading Ken went on to purchase Luccombe Hall Hotel in Shanklin in 2002, then Chine Court Hotel in 2007 – renamed Luccombe Manor and sharing the same clifftop grounds as Luccombe Hall. In 2009 he purchased the Burlington Hotel in Shanklin which, seeing a trend towards luxury self-catering breaks, he converted into eight contemporary holiday lets trading as Shanklin Villa Apartments.


Thirty years on, Ken is proud that the hotel continues to be under his family’s management with daughter Clare, now based at Luccombe Hall, having worked all her life for the family business – starting at a young age by collecting the daily newspapers for the hotel guests in exchange for her pocket money and now being a co-owner. Over the years both of Ken’s sons have spent time working and managing within the businesses. Even one of his nine grandchildren spent some years working on reception at Melville Hall.


In addition to Clare, Ken is delighted that some of his original team from 1986, or thereabouts, are still working for him, most notably Noel Rowlands, bar manager, who was working at the hotel before Ken and family moved to the Island.


Ken’s work is not yet done. Melville Hall is now starting another two year refurbishment programme to give the hotel a more contemporary environment in line with its clientele.


David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “It’s great to see the Melville Hall Hotel gaining such well-deserved praise on TripAdvisor.


“The excellent feedback is a true testament to the dedication and hard work carried out by Ken and his team whose focus is to deliver a great service to their customers.”

 

 

Reasons to Visit the Isle of Wight Outside the Summer Months

Reasons to Visit the Isle of Wight Outside of the Summer Months

Isle of Wight Blog by Ben Farrelly

 

The greatest joy of the Isle of Wight for me as a resident is a simple one, the Island is regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the UK, this is not exclusive to just the Spring and Summer seasons. The beaches that quickly fill up during the hot summer months transform into a place of reflection, and the thatched and historic pubs relax as the locals return to their favoured seats and ales after a busy few months.

 

 

Luccombe Cliffs

 

The menus in the restaurants and pubs ever so slightly change as the seasonal crops differ, but the high quality and competitive food standards that the Island has become well known for remain. This also brings many weekend holiday breakers back to the island simply for the food.

 

 

View

 

Although the winds pick up a little, the climate stays very mild, the vibrant greens of the tree’s, fields and parks take on the multi-colours of autumn. The surrounding ocean takes on a fierce complexion as it stares back at our shores, daring the surfers to throw the dice and try their hand at nature’s greatest bronco.

 

 

View 2

 

Having to book seats in your favourite restaurant seems like a distant memory, the cinemas still run fluidly and often you only find yourself and your party in a screening.

 

 

Winkle Street

 

With the summer months behind them the roads suddenly become free flowing and open gateways for relaxing and peaceful drives, Military road on the West Wight being the favoured port of call for those moments of escape.

 

 

View 3

 

The island outside of the spring and summer becomes a must stop for any budding landscape photographer, the coastal views as well as the historic buildings with an overcast background bring a new dimension to the lensman's catalogue.

 

View 4

 

 

The island has an abundance of talented musicians and songwriters, during the summer months they migrate to the countries festivals and any other places they are booked to play. During the autumn they flock back to the island and start performing back in the pubs and restaurants of home. Live music is always just a few steps away in the winter months, and what better way is there to enjoy it than in your local pub in front of a roaring fire?

 

View 5

Live Music on the Isle of Wight 2015

Live Music on the Isle of Wight 2015

Isle of Wight Blog by Ben Farrelly

The music scene on the Isle of Wight has always brought significant pride to the locals, as well as the famed festivals that have stacked up the big names of rock, folk and pop over the years, the local talent has also made its impact. From the various tiny fishermen’s pubs to the hotels, theatres, parks, venues and fields during the summer months, it is almost impossible to not stumble across some form of ear candy of some type.

Back in the day the fishermen would sing their shanties in the local pubs next to an open fire with a local ale perched temptingly in front of them, this is a tradition that we can happily say has not gone away. On the flipside of that coin, huge rock stars such as The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam and many, many more played to thousands upon thousands of people at the Isle of Wight Music Festival.

Here are some notable bands from the island.

Level 42 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt7mtdLha-c

The Bees (A.K.A A Band of Bees) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq7ASMbOpmo (Preview)

Get Shakes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLQbGpARwk4 (Preview)

The Operators https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grBS6KRYZgM (Preview)

Jackson Analougue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeLF21l-O-E

The coming of the 2015 summer isn’t just about the Isle of Wight Festival; there is a lot in store for the visitors to the island as well as the residents, here is a list of notable dates:

Friday 1st May Isle of Arts Festival 

Saturday 16th May Wolverton Blues and Folk Fair 

Thursday 11th June Isle of Wight Festival

Sunday 19th July V Dub Festival 

Saturday 8th August Jack up the 80’s

Tuesday 11 August Ventnor Fringe Festival

Thursday 10th September Bestival 

Need Accommodation?

If you are heading over to one of our great island events and need accommodation take a look at our Isle of Wight Holiday Offers.

Isle of Wight Produce

Isle of Wight Produce

Isle of Wight Blog by Ben Farrelly

When you think about Isle of Wight produce you will most likely think of seafood, but in fact the Isle of Wight has a lot more to offer then our salt water dwelling friends.

It has been impossible to ignore the home grown produce explosion that has happened on the island over the past few years, of course over on the mainland there has been a huge increase in fashionable high street restaurants such as Nando's and anything with Jamie Oliver's name attached to it, and this is fine. Younger people are showing more interest in food than they ever have before and with this comes education and culture, but on the island we have taken a different direction, and those that have chosen this route seem to be striving towards success, the island has now developed into a real foodies haven. But it isn't just about the great restaurants, cafes, pubs, delis and other establishments that cook and serve these treats to its customers, for food to be served as a quality product it must be nurtured and grown in a quality environment first, we are going to take a little look at these origins in this blog:

Garlic

The Isle of Wight is one of the world's biggest suppliers of garlic, in fact the island homes a wider range of garlic than anywhere else in Europe, and this is due to the dedication of the Boswell family who own the renowned Garlic Farm in Arreton. The Garlic farm has a fantastic farm shop that you should check out when you visit the island, they also have a restaurant that serves some wonderful lunch time dishes: http://www.thegarlicfarm.co.uk/ Also check out the Garlic Festival that celebrates all things garlic on the island: http://www.garlic-festival.co.uk/

Ale

The local breweries on the island have made a huge impression with their fantastic products; in fact the island has recently won an award proclaiming it to be one of the best places in the world for its quality beer. Goddard's Brewery, Yates Brewery and Island Brewery have amassed an impressive pile of awards amongst themselves over the recent years. The range of different ale's these companies brew is spectacular and the taste variety's well honed and variable. The local pubs are very proud of the Island's ales and most will stock them, so give them a try and let us know what you think. Check out the brewery's below:

Goddards: http://www.goddardsbrewery.com/

Yates: http://www.yates-brewery.co.uk/

Island:http://www.islandbrewery.co.uk/

Asparagus:

First brought to our shores and cultivated by the Romans, asparagus has become a huge part of farming on the island, the rich minerals found in the islands soil is perfect for the highly fashionable vegetable. The islands asparagus is available from Farmer Jacks in Arreton as well as a lot of other island high quality produce.

http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/things-to-do/farmer-jacks-farm-shop-p164861

Cheese

It can come as a shock to most but the Garden Isle produces some of the best cheeses you will ever have the pleasure of tasting. Isle of Wight Blue, Isle of Wight Soft and Gallybagger are three world award winners that have become extremely popular and not just on the island.

These are just a few things that the island produces to such a high standard, and it really is a minimal list for what is on offer. Come and visit the island and explore our farms and farm shops.

There is something for everybody.

6 Things To Do at Easter on the Isle of Wight

6 Things to do At Easter On The Isle of Wight 2015

Blog By Ben Farrelly

There is plenty of fun to be found for you and your family during the Easter break, here is a little round up of just a few of the activities available:

1. Easter at Alum Bay: Alum Bay has played a big part of tourism for many years on the island, hidden away on the cliffs above Yarmouth the stunning views have provided a beautiful back drop to the quaint little fun park year after year. 2015 see's the inclusion of three brand new attractions and these are The Lost World- a 4D film experience, a brand new carousel and a locally sourced produce retail outlet.

2. The Easter Weekend Egg Cup Offer: Find your creative side this Easter at the Chessell Pottery Barns near Calbourne, for just £6.95 you can have a go at painting your own unique egg cup, this offer is only available during the Easter weekend.

3. Isle of Wight Steam Railway: What could be a more wonderful way of enjoying Easter than sitting on a classic steam train and relaxing whilst enjoying the islands countryside and seeing Spring bring in the new flowers and plants? Kids go free on the Steam Railway so it won't break the bank and there is plenty for them to do as well.

4. Osborne Easter Fun: The grounds of the beautiful Osborne House will host a traditional Easter experience with giant games laid across the lawns. Experience a long gone era and enjoy Easter the way the royals used to.

5. Robin Hill's Mad Easter Egg Dash: The annual Robin Hill Egg Dash will be held at the park on Sunday 5th and Monday 6th. Notoriously fun there will be an abundance of eggs for your children to discover and much fun to be had.

6. Cadbury Easter Egg Trail At Mottistone: Explore the gardens at Mottistone and solve clues to a puzzle to win yourself an egg supplied by Cadburys.

7 Family Days on the Isle of Wight

Luccombe 040814 12 Luccombe 040814 03 Luccombe 040814 17  Family Breaks at Luccombe Manor Country House Hotel

7 Family Days on the Isle of Wight

By Ben Farrelly

Saturday

Blackgang Chine

Fancy recapturing your childhood in one long lovely day? A fantastic excuse to do this is to get yourself and your family over to Blackgang and the most southern tip of the island and enjoy a day in the UK's oldest theme park. Cowboy towns, smugglers, life-like dinosaurs, haunted mansions and fairy villages and castles are just the beginning of your trip down memory lane when you enter this theme park, its biggest selling point being its charm and character it is easy to spend the full day watching the children immerse themselves whilst you yourself are titillated by the bottomless eccentricity of the surroundings. Age is no barrier at Blackgang Chine and there are an abundance of things to do for everybody, all this with the breath-taking backdrop of Military Road and the beautiful Compton Bay leading all the way up to the Cliffs of Alum Bay.

Sunday

A Day In Ventnor

After such a full day in Blackgang Chine it's time to kick back a little. Ventnor is a beautiful fishing town carved into a cliff on the Eastern side of the island. Surrounded by beautiful views of the Channel, Ventnor boasts its own micro climate and is a food hamlet that easily competes with many along the Mediterranean. A long day can be spent in Ventnor enjoying the beach as well as exploring the Botanical gardens. The crab on chips served at the Ventnor Fish Haven on the seafront is a must and a cheeky local ale from the Spy Glass Inn is a little treat. If you are feeling fit and athletic a tough walk to the top of St Boniface Down will give you some of the most breath-taking views on the island from its highest point, and I can assure you the walk back down is a lot easier on the legs. Also keep your eyes open for those wall lizards, they have made Ventnor their home and are very popular with the residents.

Monday

Robin Hill

If you fancy giving the kids a fun filled and exhausting day then Robin Hill is the perfect destination. It's a beautiful environment crammed with adventures for the children and of course the young at heart. Robin Hill is a theme park with a twist, built on an ethos that compliments its countryside setting it provides an old school method of entertainment. Child friendly assault courses, mixing with wildlife as well as thrilling toboggan runs and 3D cinemas are all on the agenda. There is more than enough to keep the whole family occupied for the day and the setting and clean environment all add to the experience.

Tuesday

Godshill

Spend the afternoon pottering around one of the prettiest little villages you will ever see. Why not start your visit with a fantastic and affordable meal in either the Taverners pub or the The Essex restaurant, we cannot recommend these establishments enough and the food on offer is at an incredible standard. After enjoying your lunch, burn it off with a short stroll up to the picturesque All Saints Church that stands proudly overlooking the thatched village. Then it's time to have some fun with the children by visiting the Miniature Village and Model Railway, remember to take some time to spot the hidden away humour that can be found within both. Finish the day exploring the shops in the back alleys and of course purchasing a tipple or two from the popular Cider Barn.

Wednesday

Osborne House

Osborne House is a must for any visitor on the Island. The beloved home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert she was quoted as saying "It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot". Rich in history and sentiment the home was one of the true royal romances that graced our kingdom. Once you see and experience the house and its incredible gardens it's easy to understand why they loved their home on the island so much. Enjoy just a little bit of the life, one of history's greatest romances shared at Osborne House, you will not regret or ever forget it.

Thursday

Ryde

Back to wearing those kids out again. Hop on the train from Shanklin and visit Ryde, known as the gateway to the island there is plenty to see and do in the town on the beach. Maybe a game of ten pin bowling or ice skating grabs your fancy? If not there are miles upon miles of sandy beaches to fill the day. The town offers plenty of shops, pubs and restaurants to visit as well as the old cinema and golf course or driving range. There is also the boating lake, go-karting and a wonderful pitch and putt course, and if your children are very young a trip to Peter Pans Fun Park or the children's beach park will give them plenty to do.

Friday

Sandown

It's the last day of your break, so let's make it count. Sandown obviously has a very long beautiful beach that you can relax on, also there is plenty of water sports to enjoy if you fancy being a little more active. There is plenty to do on the pier as well, crazy golf; amusements and a children's play area to name a few. A walk along the esplanade brings you to more play areas, a pitch and putt and of course the famed Sandown Zoo, filled with tigers and lions it has become one of the most popular venues on the island. Also the Reef on Sandown seafront has numerous options for a lovely affordable lunch.

 

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Make the most of our great value 7 days for the price of 6 Isle of Wight weekly holiday offer. Book by 27th February.

7 for 6 Isle of Wight Holiday Offer

 

 

 

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