Isle of Wight Events Autumn/Winter 2017

Festival of Light 30th September – 4th November

This regular Diwali inspired event will celebrate 70 years of India’s independence this year. The event lights up Robin Hill Country Park, with creative light, colour, sound, and entertainment to reflect the many facets of Indian culture. There’s also activities such as art workshops, aerial silk displays, and a bird of prey showcase. With authentic Indian food, as well as a free bag of Holi powder for every first time visitor, this really is a great thing to do with the whole family.

Isle of Wight Literary Festival 12th – 15th October

Jam-packed with loads of speakers, the Literary Festival is a wonderful celebration of the written word, with talks about history, publishing, illustration, and social politics, amongst others. Some of the speakers include BBC’s Andrew Marr, leading Literary Agent Caroline Sheldon, and Grantchester screenwriter Daisy Coulam, and the main venue is the stunning Northwood House in Cowes. Take a look at their website to see the full programme and plan your visit.

Classic Buses, Beers and Walks 14th-15th October

With over 100 vintage buses taking visitors on tours of the island, this event is one not to miss if you’re into anything nostalgic. The tours will be stopping at some of the best pubs on the island, and there’s also walking routes for those who prefer to walk off their pints! Travel on the buses is free, although you can support the festival by buying one of their programmes for £6. The brochures detail the routes, beers, and buses available, so are definitely handy to have.

Wizard Week and Halloween Fright Night 23rd – 27th + 28th October

The Isle of Wight steam railway is a great place to enjoy the build up to Halloween. Wizard Week involves magic shows, steam train rides, a woodland walk, crafts, and fancy dress with prizes. It’s a perfect place to take the children during the half term week. Then, Halloween Fright Night gives a slightly scarier experience, with multiple ‘fright’ trains running, scary stories and tales of paranormal explorations, and entertainment in the station yard. The restaurant will be serving Halloween meals, and there will be dancing in the evening as the bar is staying open until 11pm. There’s also night time trains to take you around the gorgeous, if slightly spooky, nighttime countryside.

Santa Specials Various dates throughout December

This one will definitely get you into the Christmas spirit! There will be an extremely festive atmosphere at Havenstreet Station, with live Christmas music, crafts market, entertainment, and magic shows for the children. They’ll be able to meet Santa, receive a gift, and then enjoy a cosy ten mile round trip through the island’s countryside. There will be seasonal food and drink available in the refreshment rooms, and a Christmas gift shop as well.

 

New Bembridge Cottage Larkspur House Isle of Wight

We are pleased to introduce Larkspur House, a new self catering holiday cottage in Bembridge on the East of The Isle of Wight. This coastal town is surrounded by beach and the nearby resorts of St Helens, Seaview and Shanklin are within walking distance via the coastal path.

Lurkspur is a 4 bedroom holiday cottage and available for self catering holidays from now. The beautifully decorated cottage has only just been released so there is still availability for school holidays on the Isle of Wight.

For more information, including prices, availability and much more visit Larkspur Bembridge Isle of Wight

New Photos of Rosemary Cottage Godshill Isle of Wight

There are new photos of Rosemary Cottage at Godshill on the East of the Isle of Wight showing the bedrooms and living room.

Rosemary Cottage is located within a short walk of the centre of Godshill and is on the grounds of a beautiful farm surrounded by countryside. This lovely location gives excellent access to walking trails, footpaths and cycle routes with lead to some of the principle attractions on the Island. A footpath to Ventnor and Shanklin are located close to the cottage.

For more information visit Rosemary Cottage Godshill Isle of Wight

What to do on the Isle of Wight this bank holiday Monday

Are you looking for something to do on the island this bank holiday Monday? There’s lots for the whole family to enjoy, here are a few options;

International Scooter Rally (25th-28th August)

With 5,000 scooters expected on the island during the festival, if you’re a mod at heart you won’t want to miss this! One of the biggest scooter rallies in the world, there will be entertainment over the weekend, and a showstopping ‘ride-out’ from Ryde seafront on the Sunday. Centering in Ryde, definitely make your way there to marvel at the various scooters, as well as entertainment at Smallbrook Stadium, Ryde Pavillion Bar amongst others.

Island Steam Show (25th-28th August)

Set to be a brilliant day out for the whole family, the 43rd Island Steam Show involves steam train trips, entertainment in the main arena, comedy, fair rides and vintage cars on show. There will also be a chance to pick up some local crafts from stalls, as well as refresh yourselves at the beer tent. Moto-Stunts International will be putting on a must-see stunt show – which won’t be one for the faint hearted!

Cowes Classic Powerboat Race (27th August)

This 200 mile race is compared to Le Mans, for its sheer difficulty, and can be completed in 3 hours. The best places to watch from our Egypt Point and Victoria Fort, so why not set up with a picnic and lovely sea views to watch the thrilling race? Fort Victoria also houses lots to keep the children entertained, from an underwater archeology centre to a planetarium.

Arreton Barns

The biggest arts and crafts centre on the island, Arreton Barns truly has something for everyone. You can watch skilled crafters in their workshop, or explore the duck pond, village green or sweet shop. The barns also has a pub called The Dairymans Daughter, which is a great spot for some lunch and a drink. Over the bank holiday weekend, Isle Bounce will also be at the barns, with various bouncy castles to wear the children out!

Monkey Haven

Definitely one for the animal lovers, Monkey Haven is a rescue for primates such as monkeys, gibbons and marmosets. They give these lovely animals a new life, and also care for meerkats, owls and reptiles. There are lots of chances to educate as well, with keeper talks and feedings, as well as the chance to get up close and personal with many of the creatures.

 

The best walks in the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is such a small space, yet the geology and landscape changes dramatically in different areas. There’s wildlife that just can’t be seen in our bigger cities and towns, and frequent stunning views; of open sea or even back to the mainland. Here are our top suggestions for walking the island and taking in those wonderful views.

Tennyson Trail – Carisbrook to Alum Bay

14 miles – 6 hours

Starting in Carisbrook and ending in Alum Bay, this walk is very hilly but offers some fantastic views along the way. The route takes walkers through Brighstone Forest, and emerges onto Brighstone Down, where you can see the whole length of the island on a good day. The route then takes you over Mottistone Down, Brook Down and then Afton Down. You’ll then hit Freshwater Bay and walk along Tennyson Down, where you’ll meet the Tennyson Monument. You are essentially walking west from the middle of the island, so there’s quite a sense of achievement once the route is finished!

Coastal Path Pub Walk – St Lawrence to Sandown

7 miles – 3.5 hours

A much easier walk – and not just because there’s quite a few pubs to break up the journey. This trail passes through Ventnor and Bonchurch, before finally reaching the Victorian promenades of Shanklin and Sandown. The Spyglass Inn, The Bell or The Millbay are some pubs passed in Ventnor, and the Bonchurch Inn is reached once you’re in (you guessed it!) Bonchurch. Bonchurch also has some historic value, with an ancient church that’s still standing. Once you’ve followed the trail to Appley Beach, there’s another pub waiting – the Fishermans Cottage. Once you’ve headed towards Shanklin Chine, you’ll hit the Chine Inn. You’re not far from the finish once you’re here, simply head towards Sandown, where there’s plenty of places to eat or grab another drink.

Waterside Whippingham

4.4 miles – 1-2 hours

Starting in the village of Whippingham, which became part of Queen Victoria’s estate and subsequently pretty much rebuilt, this walk takes you through the village and onto the banks of the River Medina. In Whippingham you’ll pass the Priory School, where children were educated from the estate in Victorian times. You could stop at the Folly Inn to begin your journey with a bite to eat and a drink. Alongside the riverbanks you’ll pass the the Ryde Queen, which was the last paddle steamer to depart from Portsmouth to the island. It’s a lovely little walk along the riverside, and finishes in Newport, with options to grab a bus, stop for some food or just to explore the town.

Butterfly Walk

5 miles – 2 hours

This is a great walk to discover the wildlife that the island has to offer. The variety of butterflies that can be spotted along the way is hard to beat. The trail starts in Afton car park, which is a great place to find blues, you’ll then walk through the golf course to reach the Tennyson Trail. After heading eastwards along the crest of Compton Down, the dark green fritillary can regularly be spotted. After following the route to Compton Combe, you’ll be able to spot more blues, and finally graylings, green hairstreaks and small blues at the end point of your journey.

Isle of Wight Coastal Path

71 miles – 3-7 days

Definitely not one for the faint of heart, this is ideal for those who are wanting to make a whole holiday out of their passion for walking. It is possible to walk around the whole island in as little as 3 days, however that isn’t really feasible for most people, and might take some of the fun out of the walk! The route can be split into 9 sections, which make for a nicely paced 7 day trip. Especially if you know you’ve got a cosy cottage to come back and relax in! You can start from any point on the island, and go in any direction, but we would definitely recommend checking multiple sources of information to guarantee you’ll be able to pass through certain areas. We’ve found a brilliant resource to help you get started – which can be found here. And, if you do walk the island we’d love to hear from you!

Apse Manor Forge Pond and Garden 2017

There is a new photo of Apse Manor Forge showing the front courtyard, the hanging baskets and the fish pond. Apse Manor Forge also has a beautiful garden to the rear of the cottage with lawns and beds of lavender but this front courtyard is the view we see when we first arrive at the cottage as part of a holiday on the Isle of Wight.

The grounds and gardens of Apse Manor Forge Cottage are lovingly tended to and are a beautiful place to relax as part of a self catering holiday on the East of the Isle of Wight. Although the cottage is within a short walk or cycle ride of the beach at Shanklin, this rural location is peaceful and calming and seems miles away from the bustle of normal life.

For more photographs, including photographs of the gardens and surrounding areas visit Apse Manor Forge Self Catering Isle of Wight

Outside Photo of Westview 2017

Westview Cottage in Shorwell Isle of Wight has a new outside photo showing its location at the heart of the village. Shorwell is a lovely rural and peaceful location with a small post office and a village pub. Westview is also within a short distance of the coastal bays and beaches along the South West of the Isle of Wight.

The neighbouring village to Shorwell is the larger Brighstone where there are a choice of places to eat and an excellent village shop.

For more new photos as well as a full description, prices, availability and much more visit Westview Cottage Isle of Wight

Barn Whitwell Cottage Available for 2017

The Barn Whitwell is now available for holidays in 2017. This cottage has only recently released dates for the summer holidays and the rest of the year and therefore there is still some availability for busy holiday dates.

This period cottage is located in the village of Whitwell and within a short drive or pleasant walk of Ventnor. The cottage is also within walking distance of Godshill where there are shops and a choice of pubs.

The village of Whitwell is in an excellent walking and cycling area as well as having excellent access to the coast on both the South East and South West of the Island. In the village there is an excellent public house, numerous traditional thatched cottages and a historic church.

For more information visit The Barn Whitwell Isle of Wight

New Bonny Blink Photos 2017

There are new photos of Bonny Blink self catering in Seaview Isle of Wight to show updates and changes for the 2017 self catering holiday season. This large and luxurious holiday home has a new bedroom available on the ground floor and there are numerous changes and updates across the property.

Bonny Blink is best known for its fantastic position by the sea and has immediate access to Seaview Beach. This sandy stretch of coast is a beautiful seaside location and the gently sloping beach has excellent swimming waters.

For a complete description showing updates and changes, as well as all the new photos, live availability, prices and online booking visit Bonny Blink Seaview Isle of Wight

Where to spot wildlife on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight’s climate and physical makeup makes it the perfect place to do a spot of wildlife watching. The island is home to over 200 species of birds, and with plenty of areas of water (lakes, rivers, creeks and of course, the sea) it’s a great place to spot wading birds, ducks and waterfowl. You’ll also find 43 of the UK’s 61 butterfly species, as well as plenty of exciting plants, insects and of course; red squirrels. No matter what kind of wildlife and nature you enjoy, there is sure to be somewhere you’ll enjoy in our list below.

The Medina Estuary

The River Medina is a hotbed for local wildlife. Many birds can be seen here, from little egrets, grey herons and curlews. You’ll also be able to spot red squirrels along the way. The estuary itself lies within a valley, and is bordered by mudflats and some areas of saltmarsh as well, which are vital to the ecosystem of the area. The saltmarsh areas provide a vital place for young birds to shelter in the summer, as well as a place to thrive for rare and vulnerable plant species.

Borthwood Copse

The remnants of the ancient woodland which used to cover most of the eastern side of the island, Borthwood Copse is one of the best places on the island to observe a huge range of wildlife. Covered in bluebells and other beautiful wildflowers during the spring, the trees take over the light come summer. And, once summer is over, the stunning colours of the changing trees becomes the view. Make the trip here for the chance to see all kinds of animals; dormice, bats and butterflies, as well as (of course!) the red squirrel.

Newton Nature Reserve

The only national nature reserve on the island, you can easily spend many hours exploring the ins and outs of the reserve. The medieval woodland features rare butterflies, red squirrels and plenty of different flowers and trees. You can also spot beautiful meadows of wildflowers and explore the numerous walking and flat, peaceful cycling tracks around the reserve. There’s a pond for spotting dragonflies, and three bird hides as well, where you’ll find volunteers ready to answer your questions.

St Helens Duver shoreline

The shoreline of the Duver attracts lots of different types of wildlife, and offers a different experience to the more woodland and river habitats above. The fine sands are perfect for rock pools, in which you can find whelks, limpets and periwinkles. You might also be able to spot small fish such as Guppies or Blennies, and there has even been the occasional seahorse, small lobster and shrimp spotted! You’re also likely to find various kinds of crabs such as hermit crabs, porcelain crabs and shore crabs. There is also a plethora of insect life to be seen, from bees, wasps and spiders to grasshoppers and crickets.

Mottistone

The gardens of Mottistone Estate are absolutely stunning, with a large amount of varied plants including Mexican fleabane and rose bushes. The plants are much loved by bees and butterflies alike. The common is home to many species of birds including the nocturnal nightjars, which may be spotted in the highest areas and in the right conditions (they like hot weather.) You might also spot buzzards and ravens. The churchyard is home to beautiful wildflowers in the summer, and there are many types of birds such as bluetits, wrens, great tits and robins.

Image – By Christine Matthews, CC BY-SA 2.0