Underwater Kingdom at Blackgang Chine
A new magical theme world, Underwater Kingdom, will be opening at Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight next Spring. Visitors will be able to experience the most amazing array of colourful, larger than life, sea creatures whilst discovering magical underwater caves, a vibrant luminescent coral reef, an abandoned sunken shipwreck and a hidden kingdom.
Opening in 2017, Tiny Homes is a new, ethical way to holiday on the Isle of Wight. Scheduled to open in the Spring, Tiny Homes is all about downsizing your space and upsizing your free time – and living simply in a smallholding environment adjacent to Parkhurst Forest with its walking trails, cycle routes and wildlife galore (including the Isle of Wight’s famous red squirrels).
Shanklin Chine is 200!
The Island’s longest-established tourist attraction, Shanklin Chine, celebrates its bicentenary in 2017. A number of special events to mark the occasion are planned throughout the season including an official 200th anniversary party, which includes the launch of new book that documents the long history of the attraction, which was famed for its many regular high profile visitors in Victorian times – Jane Austen, John Keats and Charles Dickens and many others. A new photographic exhibition as well as a sculpture trail are also planned for 2017, with magical evening lighting events known as the Chine Lumière featuring in summer and late October.
Autistic Holiday Centre to open on the Isle of Wight
Hartlands (previously Hartland Hotel) now owned by the SpectrumBreaks project has undergone a major refit. Completing in October 2016, the centre provides families with autistic children holiday accommodation and facilities including Indoor Hydro Swimming Pool, Cinema, IT Room, Activity & Sensory Room, Coffee Lounge, Games Room, Art Room, Gymnasium and Sauna. The Hartlands is a Victorian holiday centre situated in Shanklin on the south coast of the Isle of Wight. The centre has been designed by its owners, with help from a leading specialist Dr Viv Hinchcliffe, to provide self-catering accommodation and facilities to support families with members of any age on the Autistic Spectrum.
The Isle of Wight Distillery launches new limited edition oak aged HMS Victory ‘navy strength’ gin
The Isle of Wight Distillery has recently launched the first of four batches of its limited edition oak aged HMS Victory ‘navy strength’ gin at a special event held on board the HMS Victory in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. They also produce Wight Mermaids Gin, Rock Sea Vodka, Apple Pie Moonshine and coming soon, Isle of Wight Whisky. Visitors can sample it at pubs and farm shops across the Island as well as from two or three mainland stockists and also online. They are based in Ryde, where it’s possible to visit their vineyard home. Admission is free and there is a café and shop on site too.
Dame Judi Dench to star in a new film about Queen Victoria
Osborne on the Isle of Wight, the seaside residence of Queen Victoria, is a location for a major feature film due to be released in 2017 directed by Stephen Frears and starring Dame Judi Dench entitled “Victoria and Abdul”.
Romantic Breaks and Dining Out on the Isle of Wight during February and March. Watch the Visit Isle of Wight website for further details and special offers.
For all tourist information about the Isle of Wight, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.