Island’s top attractions

Sandown Pier

Open daily all year round there’s a whole day’s fun in one for all the family. Sandown Pier is an all-weather entertainment venue featuring the Lost World Adventure Golf, an amazing adventure through the Aztec Ruins, with sound and light effects. There are 10-pin bowling lanes with buffers available for the children and Magic Island is a fun theme fantasy adventure play area for the under 12’s. Birthday parties are our speciality phone 404122 for more details.

There are all the latest in amusement machine videos and gaming machines and many novelty games machines and several over-18 gaming areas. A cafe at the  front of the pier opens daily and a burger bar at the back of the pier.

Scruffy Jacks sports bar is situated at the front of the pier where all the current sports are available to view. There is also a pool table, a weekly quiz and live music entertainment  at the weekends. Scruffy Jacks is also available for private hire and functions, call 404354 for more details.

Blackgang Chine

Visitors to Blackgang Chine are in for a real treat with dinosaur fun galore planned for the enjoyment of all the family this summer.

As well as enjoying the park’s eclectic mix of attractions and magical theme worlds, be entertained by ‘Shadow and Sheila’ the two ‘celebrity’ baby Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaurs, who will be making special appearances around the park, performing with their ‘handlers’, interacting with visitors and getting up to their usual mischief!

Meet Shadow and Sheila’s new baby dino friends – the Procomsognathus dinosaurs, Jack and Jill, baby Brachiosaurus called George, and the mischievous ‘Caulkie’ the Caulkicephalus.

By night, are you brave enough? A whole evening of dinosaur entertainment will take place every Monday until August 25 from 6pm – 9pm (park open from 10am). Are you brave enough to enter ‘Restricted Area 5’ after 7pm when the dinosaurs start to stir? With lots of dino fun, interaction, performances and music around the park, this really is a night out like no other, but only if you’re brave enough!

Also back by popular demand, the famous ‘Big Night Out’ Fireworks Extravaganza will take place every Wednesday until  August 27. Enjoy an evening of fun and entertainment; there will be a fire show, street performers, magicians, jugglers, live music, a BBQ and to bring your day to a spectacular end, there’s the awe-inspiring musical firework display set off from the cliff edge! For full programme of events please visit www.blackgangchine.com or www.Facebook.com/blackgangchine

Quarr Abbey

You can see Quarr Abbey from the car ferry to Fishbourne, nestling among the trees on the shore. Passengers visiting the Island enjoy taking various guesses at what it could be. Shore-side, you will discover a popular place of interest, Quarr Abbey, a working Benedictine Monastery and home to a community of monks who dedicate their life to prayer, contemplation and community life.

With free admission and car parking to the grounds and property; whether visiting the church, pilgrim chapel, visiting the ruins, or simply wandering the grounds to experience the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere of the monastery, Quarr Abbey offers interest and enjoyment for all to enjoy.

New for this year Quarr Abbey has introduced its own Visitor and Exhibition Centre as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund Project.

Visitors can also enjoy the newly landscaped grounds which will include improved visitor access, car parking, and an orchard area. A newly created woodland walk will provide outdoor learning and discovery for families and allow children to investigate the natural world with explorer kits.

Open Daily (except Good Friday), summer 10am – 5pm, Sundays 11.15am – 5pm winter 10am – 4pm, Sundays 11.15am – 4pm Tel: 01983 898543 Teashop, 01983 882420 General enquiries.

Brading Roman Villa

Warriors of the Ancient World: Epic Movie Arms and Armour is a visually stunning, touring exhibition of props and costumes used in epic historical blockbuster movies. The exhibition is on display at Brading Roman Villa until August 31 open daily from 10am to 5pm.

The exhibition includes a selection of full warrior costumes and armour containing ‘screen used’ props from some of the biggest sword and sandal epic films of recent years, including Gladiator, Troy, Alexander, Centurion, The Eagle, King Arthur, and the hit TV series Spartacus. All the movie armour and costumes are historically based many representing highly accurate reconstructions of warrior equipment and weapons from the ancient world.

Highlights of the exhibition include Oscar winning costumes from the multi-award winning Gladiator (2000) displayed with the interior hangings from General Maximus’ campaign tent. There is a full suit of Sarmatian armour used in the climactic battle scenes of King Arthur (2004), created by legendary screen armour Terry English who also worked on Excalibur (1981) and Aliens (1986).

For the first time in the UK visitors will be able to see the armour and costume of Spartacus worn by Liam McIntyre from the TV series Spartacus Vengeance (2012). Uniquely, this exhibition also offers a range of interactive replica handling armour and movie props for visitors to experience, ranging from a gladiator’s helmet to a hoplite’s shield from Alexander (2004). Visitors can get a taste of what it would have been like to put on armour and handle weapons from the ancient world.

The exhibition is a joint production between Pop-Up Exhibitions Ltd and Brading Roman Villa, and has not been on display in this form in the UK before. Tel: 01983 406223. Brading Roman Villa, Morton Old Rd, Brading, PO36 0PH.

Shanklin seafront

There’s a family fun day out by the beach for those visiting Shanklin seafront this summer. Test your skills on the testing Pirates Cove 18-hole adventure golf or the 18-hole crazy golf. And when you have declared yourself the golf champ of Shanklin seafront it will be time to celebrate in the brand new Clubhouse Cafe, where you can enjoy a selection of light bites and drinks with an outdoor seating area. Alternatively just turn up at Toppings Ice Cream Parlour where you will find 28 different flavours of ice cream.

Jungle Jim’s indoor play area remains as popular as ever with youngsters, and if that’s not enough there are plenty of other amusements as well as various places to grab Seaside Favourites from fish and chips to rock. You are simply spoilt for choice these days on Shanklin seafront.

The Owl & Monkey Haven

The Owl & Monkey Haven is celebrating its first summer as a fully registered UK charity and you are personally invited to join in on the party! The multi-award winning sanctuary, which is located just outside of Newport, provides homes for a diverse collection of rescued primates and birds of prey.

A group of six Barbary apes are the Haven’s newest arrivals; having been rescued individually from the prevalent illegal pet trade within Europe, they now occupy the sanctuary’s grandest enclosure to date where they spend their days relaxing and playing in a safe, happy environment.

Haven founder Don Walser can often be found at the new wood-turning lodge, crafting personalised gifts and ornaments for visitors of the park. A fun day weekend is being held at the Haven on August 23, 24 and 25 of, where the fun activities will include face painting, a quiz trail and a free bouncy castle. The daily keeper talk schedule will introduce you to the various residents of the Owl & Monkey Haven and give you a personal insight into their unique histories and personalities. With monkey feeds, snake talks and the opportunity to get face-to-face with one of the Haven’s owls, there really is plenty to see and do at the Isle Of Wight’s only exotic animal attraction with full charitable status. Tel: 01983 530885. Owl and Monkey Haven, Staplers Road, Newport, PO30 2NB.

Marc Tuckey’s Ghost Walks

The Isle of Wight is widely acknowledged as the world’s most haunted island and attracts thousands of ghost hunters from all over the world. So it is vital to experience one of Marc Tuckey’s ‘Ghost Walks’. The tours give you the opportunity to experience some of the most spooky history and paranormal tales that the Island has to offer, narrated by the brilliant Marc complete in authentic costume! Whether it’s the spooky Arreton Manor, Ventnor Botanic Garden or Newport, Marc  will make sure that you will experience a fright or two. He manages to deliver the information in such a way, that it really will chill you to the bone.

Delightfully frightful tales from the tomb are chillingly told by Marc so go along to visit the locations of actual hauntings, ghostly goings-on and dastardly deeds, here on the world’s most haunted Island. Tel: 01983 520695 or visit www.ghostisland.com

Robin Hill

Experience amazing days and stunning nights all summer at Robin Hill when the park stays open to visitors until late every day until 10pm up to Sunday August 31 with the ride attractions and play areas open late into the evening. And of course, there’s the beautiful woodland illuminations from dusk; it really is the perfect family treat any night of the week.

On Tuesday and Thursday evenings during August, from late afternoon the park’s native creatures come out to play! Meet the cheeky new ‘squawk’ birds, who roam our African Adventure playground in search of mischief, and the newly discovered mysterious woodland characters for some fun, interactive and captivating entertainment.

Every Friday during the school holidays until Friday August 29, enjoy the exciting ‘Days of Adventure’ where visitors can ‘test their aim’ at archery, and ‘get hands on’ with bushcraft; find out how to light a camp fire without matches and test their bush shelter building abilities! For those with a wilder side, there’s also mountain boarding taster sessions, a great adrenaline fuelled sport perfect for the older kids! The ‘Days of Adventure’ activity sessions are run throughout the day by qualified instructors and are included in the admission price.

Robin Hill will be open late during the school summer holidays this season with some fun and exciting activity to entertain visitors all day and into the night too! Plus, with ‘unlimited seven-day returns’ and all the additional summer activity included within every ticket, visitors are guaranteed a great value, full week of fun. For full programme of events, please visit www.robin-hill.com / www.facebook.com/robin-hill

The Isle of Wight Zoo

The Isle of Wight Zoo is hosting two spectacular outdoor cinema screenings perfectly suited to a family audience.

Enjoy watching King Julian and the cast of the highly popular animated film ‘Madagascar’ and visit the zoo’s own adorable ring tailed Lemur ‘King Tsingy’?

Or why not go along for ‘Ice age’  with the possible occasional roar of the lions adding a true sense of drama to the evening? ‘Madagascar’ is being screened on Saturday, August 23, and ‘Ice Age’ is on Sunday, August 24. Ticket prices per screening; adults £8.50, children £7.50 (3-16 yrs). For more details or to book call into the zoo entrance, or you can book online.

The zoo, built within the ruins of a Victorian Fort on Sandown seafront, has a variety of animals, including the popular meerkats, but specialises in two particular areas – tigers and lemurs.

However, African lions are some of the most iconic animals in the world, and there are three living at the Isle of Wight Zoo. Currently classed as vulnerable, lions are under threat all over Africa as they lose habitat and compete with humans.

The Isle of Wight Zoo is dedicated to the preservation of animal species and the education of visitors. Although best known for the collection of big cats they are also home to a large collection of primates and specialise in lemurs. These remarkable animals are only found wild in Madagascar, where an astonishing variety of species can be seen. The zoo currently has seven species of lemur, four of which can be found at Lemurland, the area of the zoo devoted specially to them. Tel: 01983 403883. IW Zoo, Yaverland Seafront, Sandown, PO36 8QB.

Shanklin Chine

Enjoy the unique tranquillity of Shanklin Chine, the Island’s oldest tourist attraction, which opened in 1817. The famous and tranquil leafy gorge is much loved by everyone who walks through it, from poets, artists and writers to visitors of all ages. The winding woodland, with its steep sides is a magical place for rare plants, wildlife and enchanting waterfalls.

Visit the nature hide with live action from the squirrels’ feeding station, and remember the Chine is illuminated after dusk during the summer season.

There is also a permanent display to PLUTO (Pipe Line Under The Ocean). The video and display show the fascinating story of how the pipeline carried petrol to the Allied troops in Normandy. New material has been added for this year.

At the Chine’s lower entrance is the memorial to 40 Royal Marine Commando who trained there during the war in preparation for the Dieppe raid of 1942.

Take time to relax in the conservatory and tea room and also visit the gift shop where you will find many interesting items for sale.

Wight Water

Wight Water is regarded as the Island’s premier water sports centre. Opened in 1985 by the current owner Scott Gardner’s father, it is perfectly located within Sandown bay for tourists and locals alike. It has a world class pedigree of windsurf professional instructors, including Scott’s brother Ross Williams, the two-time and current Pro World windsurf champion.

Alongside the windsurfing is the RYA accredited school offering courses in sailing, BSUP accredited school for stand up paddle boarding, Surf GB school, AALA school and a RLSS training centre. So if you are a competent water sports enthusiast or a complete novice wishing to take a course or hire equipment you will find everything you need to further your skills at Wight Water.

The most recent venture includes the kite surf school based at Yaverland beach, the only BKSA recognised school on the Isle of Wight offering beginner, intermediate and advanced courses using Ozone kites. The Yaverland site also operates as a satellite hire centre for surf, kayak and stand up paddle boarding lessons and equipment hire.

Next door to the training centre is Tradewinds Café operated by Scott’s Aunt, offering Segafredo coffee, a selection of tea, freshly prepared food and home made cakes.

For all your equipment needs sister shop Earth, Wind & Water, located at 8 Atherley Road, Shanklin, near the train station, and operated by Aaron, Scott’s brother, should be your first port of call. Tel: 866269. www.wightwaters.com