Isle of Wight: what’s new, what’s happening

Ryde a new bike on the Isle of Wight

A 17-seater bike experience with an eco-friendly heart, will roll into Ryde this summer. The world’s first BoRo Beach Bike has been modelled on a quintessentially English beach hut, complete with surfboards and striped décor. It will give its ‘passengers’ the chance to enjoy a wide range of activities on-board, including chess, afternoon tea, speed-dating and networking, while they pedal sideways along the Island’s stunning coastline. Each bike will have space for ten, of all fitness levels – plus five seats for non-pedallers, along with two seats next to the driver for children. A second bike will arrive in Cowes in the autumn. The bikes are the brainchild of award-winning marketing expert Dominic Wong, whose experience includes Warner Bros Studio Tour in London The Making of Harry Potter, and Merlin Entertainments. The Ryde bike will be based at Wightlink’s FastCat terminal at Ryde Pier Head, where trips will begin. Return tickets range from £5 for the Sunrise Ride to £12.50 for the Original Tour, with private hire also available. The carbon-neutral bike will also take eco-tourism on the Island to another level. Staff uniforms and merchandise will be supplied by the Island’s award-winning, eco-fashion brand, Rapanui, while pedallers will be able to buy natural spring water on board in recycled, recyclable and re-sealable aluminium cans, supplied by eco-conscious brand CanO Water. With a commitment to regular litter-picking rides, the BoRo Beach should leave the Island’s beaches cleaner than ever before.

For more information, visit: www.BoRoBeachBike.co.uk.

All Wight Now

All Wight Now celebrates the 50th anniversaries, music, memories and legacy of the original Isle of Wight Festivals of 1968, 1969 and 1970. Conceived as a project to commemorate these legendary Festivals, it will be staged as a series of three events over the next three years. The name, All Wight Now, recalls the title of one of the biggest hits of the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival: ‘All Right Now’ by Free. Festival veterans, fans of 1960s music and those drawn by the cultural and musical legacy of those heady times should put Saturday 1st September 2018 in their diaries. This year’s event will celebrate the original Festival, “The Great South Coast Bank Holiday Pop Festivity”, which took place near Godshill in 1968 on the same weekend 50 years ago. For this inaugural event, organisers have announced a performance by The Ashley Hutchings Trio. The founder of Fairport Convention, who played at the 1968 Isle of Wight Festival, Ashley will bring both his music and his unique reminiscences of that time. The venue for All Wight Now 2018 is The Cow at Tapnell Farm, a stunning rural location in the West Wight with unrivalled views overlooking the site of the legendary 1970 IW Festival. Tickets are priced at £18.00.

For more information, visit: www.allwightnow.com

Electric Bike Sight-Seeing packages now available at two accommodations on the Island

The Bay boutique B&B at Freshwater Bay has replicated the Isle of Wight’s Electric Bike Sightseeing Package, which is already on offer at The Seaview Hotel (http://www.seaviewhotel.co.uk/offers.aspx). The package The Bay offers includes two nights’ accommodation and a day’s e-bike hire for two people, priced at £125 per person.  All equipment and cycle routes are also provided. Guests booking accommodation at The Bay simply need to add e-bike hire as an optional extra.

http://www.stayfreshwaterbay.co.uk/explore

Dimbola exhibition puts Honza Sakař in the frame

Inventing a new way of working with the 19th century wet-collodion process, fine art photographer Honza Sakař, has created an emotionally charged collection of portraits that resonate as artworks. This is Honza’s first UK exhibition and is fittingly held at Dimbola, on the Isle of Wight – as there is a creative link to the work of pioneering Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. Honza’s fascination with the wet-collodion process began around five years ago. His photographs stand as a counterpoint to digital perfectionism, by virtue of being a study, a drive to capture another-worldly presence. The wet-collodion process, invented in the 1850’s, involves what can only be described as magical amalgamation of chemicals (some poisonous), liquids, light and plenty of patience. During this black-hand staining process, many, things can and do go wrong. Then, the plates emerge from a sliver nitrate bath before being quickly exposed (thirty seconds of stillness for the sitter) and dried. Bringing this process up to date, Honza scans the plate which is then manipulated in a computer programme. It is unusual to get a perfect plate and one free from processing errors. But visitors to the ‘Silent Portraits’ exhibition in the main gallery at Dimbola can now judge Honza’s expertise for themselves through to September 30.

http://www.dimbola.co.uk/honza-sakar-silent-portraits/

Eclectic Eklectica to hit the right notes

Tinchy Stryder and Reggie Yates will be in the Friday night line-up for Eklectica, the new music festival at Robin Hill Country Park taking place over the weekend of September 7-9. They join Scouting for Girls and The Hoosiers, who will be performing on the Saturday night, and The Fratellis, Pixie Lott and Toploader performing on the Sunday night. Eklectica will also welcome back The Disco Shed, who will be performing each night of the festival weekend. Weekend Camping tickets are just £75 per adult, and £55 for anyone aged from 10 to 17 years old. This offers the chance for festival goers to relax in either of two on-site campsites. There’s morning awakening sessions with a slow pace but the energy soon picks up with live music throughout the day and night. Day tickets for Saturday or Sunday are £30 per adult and £25 (10-17 years). Children under 9 are free.

For more information, visit: www.eklectica.live

Isle of Wight prepares for 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth, in 2019

English Heritage flagship property, Osborne, on the Isle of Wight, will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria (and Albert) in 2019. The Victorian era brought with it a gold age to the Island, as writers, poets, artists and some of the earliest holiday makers followed in the footsteps of Victoria & Albert, who created their famous summer home on the Isle of Wight. Pioneer Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron lived at Dimbola Lodge in Freshwater; while poet Alfred Lord Tennyson set up home at nearby Farringford – a property which has only recently reopened to the public following major restoration, and now welcomes visitors on pre-booked tours of the house, and into the estate’s gardens. The Isle of Wight is one of the locations used for the filming of ITV’s Victoria; and has also provided the backdrop for the movies Mrs Brown and Victoria & Abdul.

For more information, visit: https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/victorias-island-trail#trail

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

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