Friday, 21 August 2009

S-K-C - Sparky's Krew Club!

Sparky, for those who don't him, is a six-footish rabbit who, along with his Krew, entertains 5-11 year-old children at Park Resort venues around the Island and indeed throughout throughout the country. In fact the under-fives can get involved in some of the activities as well!

Sparky's Krew - Sparkle, Pipsqueak and Naarky - invite children to join them for a full programme of games and entertainment. The day begins with the Sparky Krew Club Breakfast, and then it can on the Magic Masterclass or the Spy School, listening to Sparky's Tales, the Mini Beast Safari, Sparky's Mysterious Puzzles, Sensory Trail, Treasure Hunt, Beach Walk, Family Orienteering, Space Resorts, Parachute Adventure, Sports Day or a whole lot more.

In the evening there is the Dr Krew Show, Krew TV and Who Framed Sparky Rabbit? In fact there is something on for your children for the entire week.

Staff are keen to stress that whilst Sparky and his Krew are there for your kids to enjoy, they are not a child minding service and parents remain responsible for their children throughout.

More information can be found here.

Appuldurcombe House - a must-see for visitors to the Island

The 300-acre Appuldurcombe Estate plays host to this partially restored 18th century House abutting Capability Brown's 11-acre ornamental gardens. Whilst the House is an attraction in itself for lovers of history and architecture, there is more on offer to the visitor. As well as a well-stocked gift shop there is also an Owl & Falconry Centre, which provides some fascinating displays accompanied by an interesting and informative commentary from the falconer. Special Events, such as an annual Easter Egg Hunt, are also laid on, and the House can be made available for weddings and private functions.

Appuldurombe also has several holiday cottages which can be rented. These include freezer, colour television, cooker and microwave, as well as duvets and blankets (linen is available at an extra cost). Children are welcome and highchairs and cots can be provided. Holidaymakers receive a free ticket to the Owl & Falconry Centre and, if applicable at the time of your visit, to many of the Special Events. A supply of bicycles is also available for hire free of charge.

The House itself is open between April and September inclusive, between 10am and 4pm. Appuldurcombe House is in Wroxall off the B3327 Ventnor Road (Sat Nav PO38 3EW).

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Waltzing Waters - a fabulous light show steeped in history

Waltzing Waters is a somewhat unsung star attraction within the Island's portfolio of entertainment venues.

The 40-minute musical light show takes place every hour on the hour throughout the day and has easy access and always plenty of parking. The ample cinema-like rows of seating mean that the auditorium is seldom packed or claustrophobic, and that the experience is always a relaxed and comfortable one.

The first musical fountains were pioneered in 1930 by the German Otto Przystawik and developed by his son Gunter in the USA during the 1960s. Today grandson Michael Przystawik is President of Waltzing Waters Inc. The Isle of Wight venue is one of two currently operating in the UK, the other being in Newtonmore, Scotland.

As well as the light show itself there is a spacious shop in which various souvenirs, ornaments etc. can be purchased and a small, comfortable coffee lounge.

To get to Waltzing Waters, come off the A3055 Sandown to Ryde road at the Tesco's roundabout and pass the supermarket car park on your left (Sat Nav PO33 1QS). Opening hours are 10am till 4pm, with additional late shows at 7.15pm and 8.15pm from late March through till October. Prices are £4.50 for adults, £2.50 for children and £4.00 for seniors and students, with a Free Return Visit thrown in. Special Group Rates are also available, and a £1 internet discount coupon can be printed off from here.

Amazon World Zoo Park - a fun-filled educational experience

Amazon World Zoo Park very intelligently combines the "meet the furry animals" concept of the traditional zoo with a superb educational experience. Visitors not only get to see the wildlife which is to be found in this particular area of the world, but also to experience the flora and fauna of the region and to learn about the delicate environmental and ecological issues which exist and in many cases threaten the sensitive balance which conservationists are striving to preserve. Amazon World has developed breeding programs and works with other organisations on research that is designed specifically to assist in the conservation process.

Lemurs, tapirs, meerkats, sloths, big cats and many more mammals are to be seen as well as birds (including a falconry display), reptiles, insects, reptiles, fish and amphibians. There is also a daily Meet The Animals Talk, as well as an Adoption program. Special rates are offered to encourage schools to visit (a teachers' pack can be downloaded from the website here).

Amazon World is situated on the A3056 opposite the Fighting Cocks Roundabout between Sandown and Newport (Sat Nav PO36 0LX). It opens daily at 10am, all the year round.

Well worth a visit.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Family Vacations on the Isle of Wight

By Travis OI

Family vacations are always an inspiring and challenging feature of our lives. They often create those long and lasting memories containing bright and vivid images of
the things accomplished. There are a few families that do not care when going on holiday about such a ghastly thing as how much money they spend! They are the rich set and spend money without thinking for one second can they afford it. For big families that live in the real world taking care of the money spent on a family holiday can often turn into a challenge.

Though, it is important to have a holiday, it is also important not to break the bank doing so. However, there are some alternatives to having an exciting vacation on a budget that is affordable...

First of all, look around and review the great variety of options in the UK for family vacations. With the Euro so strong you can now save your money and have a great holiday in your own country. Look for example on the Isle of Wight. It is an ideal place for an enjoyable family adventure. At the moment research has shown that the Isle of Wight is one of the leading regions for people like to have good family vacation. Why not discover for yourself the golden sandy beaches and miles of unspoilt natural beauty as well as splendid panoramic views. There are so many nice parks and places to visit for all the family on the IOW.

Once such place to stay with the family is Thorness Bay Park, which is situated very near Cowes. Hidden within a green wood, ideally suited for warm sea swims and walks as well as lots of suitable attractions for the family plunge you all plunge into a fairy-tale break. Adults can relax on terrace while children playing games or enjoying swimming pool. The evening cabaret shows and nightly excursions all add up to making this resort a fabulous time to remember in the coming winter months. Lower Hyde in Shanklin also waits for its guests for non-stop, uncontrolled, crazy and superb amusement and leisure distractions. There are so many indoor and outdoor activities for kids that your children will not have any spare time or energy left. Parents may relax with a nice drink at Hudsons Bar.

If you like a bit more of an active leisure time then you are welcomed at Squires Showbar. Here you have to get ready for shows, discos, dancing and competitions! Further to the North East of the Island is Nodes Point ii is also one of the most favorite locations and destinations in Ryde for family travelers on a budget. Spectacular views of Bembridge Bay always remain in memory. Make time to stunning walk along the stunning coastal paths, while the Sparky Krew provides the little ones with a magic fun and games afternoon.

This is just a drop of the ocean. You can have a great Isle of Wight Holiday, choosing any time and any one of the parks available. Opt for an Isle of Wight Hotel and start your exciting journey now!

About the Author

Isle of Wight is a super place to take a superb vacation. If you consider to voyage Isle of Wight, then you shall all necessary information re this island. Check what you can find our Island Eye portal.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Where We've Stayed (Part Seven) - Whitecliff Bay, Bembridge

The seventh and final (so far) holiday park that we've been consigned to on the Isle of Wight was Whitecliff Bay which, as the name suggests, is on the coast at Bembridge.

We arrived late in the evening as we'd had to collect our kids from school before setting off. However I'd done a recce on the site a week before whilst staying at Rookley and so I'd familiarised myself with the site. But in the dark it was different, poorly-lit around the chalets where we were staying and overrun by rabbits (very cute, if you like rabbits).

The site has a bit of a Park Resorts feel to it, but is actually independent. It has a wide range of facilities including a large shop, swimming pool, pub/restaurant (very relaxing in the evening if you prefer peace and quiet), games room, play areas, snack bar, hairdresser, laundrette and a lively entertainment bar. Unusually for such a place, one can enjoy a pint of real ale whilst listening to the cabaret. On our third night we were lucky enough to watch a comedy act which was one of the best we'd seen on the Island, a West Country man whose name sadly escapes me. Apparently the park hosts a number of theme weekends throughout the year, although unfortunately ours wasn't one of them.

By day those of an energetic bent can walk down onto the beach which, with the cliffs to the rear, forms one of the Island's most beautiful seafronts. Here one can collect many of the different coloured sands for which the Island is famous. There are two beach cafés where a surprising variety of food is on offer, as well as most of the conventional beach merchandise for swimming, paddling, sandcastling and planting silly flags.

Due to the proximity of Bembridge Airport planes frequently fly low overhead, but with them being mostly single props it hardly compares with life under the Heathrow flightpath.

I'd definitely go back to Whitecliff. The chalet was compact but adequate, the staff are polite and the whole operation really makes the effort. Yet another Isle of Wight holiday park to add to our approved list.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Late offers from Park Resorts

Even during the peak season, it's usually possible to find offers at Park Resorts. Just a quick search today told me they were offering £40 off selected chalets and caravans at Thorness Bay and £50 off a chalet at Lower Hyde, for a three night weekend stay starting on August 21st.

Visit the site and follow the instructions to the special offers. Even at this time of year, they are more affordable than you might think.

Isle of Wight - Home of British Watersports

The Isle of Wight is not only home to a myriad of UV craving sun worshippers, it is also home to hundreds of wind surfers, kite surfers and even land yachters. The end of August marks the return of these thrill seekers to Yaverland's crystal crescent of sand on the Isle of Wight for the ‘White Air Festival'. This festival is currently Europe's largest extreme sporting event. Surf kayakers, mountain boarders, gravity racers and paramotor enthusiasts join this intrepid bunch for a week of partying and competitions.

You might think that these sports are only for the young men and women with spiked, dyed and primped strands of hair, tattoos of every variation and clothes that seem a few sizes too large, but the fact of the matter is, these sports are enjoyed by people from every age group and ability and they are there not only to compete, but to have fun in an almost community atmosphere. When you are tired and need a respite from the competitions, a grassy hilltop overlooking the competitions one can find a myriad of tents that are filled with bars, live bands, tune spinning DJs, stalls and arenas.

If the view out to the ocean is clear of windsurfers and the water is calm and undulating, you can turn your attention to the mountain boarders who are proficient in daredevil style jumps on exceedingly steep ramps. If you wish to look to a smaller version of this sport, you may want to peek into the skate ramp tent, where you can take a respite from the sun. All of these sports are going on simultaneously in every area around, be it on water or land. The commentators are fun and clever and are extremely entertaining in themselves.

If you are tired of being a spectator and would like to get your feet wet either literally or figuratively speaking, most of these sports offer sessions geared for the newcomer. They are always a big draw and it is a wonderful way for the sports to pull in new enthusiasts. You may find yourself in some interesting or embarrassing positions in your attempt to recreate what you have seen throughout the event, but it's all in fun and every one of those participants were new to it at one time or another and will know just exactly what you're going through, they will cajole you through your perceived perils and teach you how to interact with the sport in a more skilled way.

This article was written on behalf of Gurnard Pines a
Isle of Wight Holiday Parks perfect for taking an Isle of Wight Holiday. It is reproduced with acknowledgements to Jainsachin Articles Directory.

Where We've Stayed (Part Six) - Landguard, Shanklin

When we learned we were going to Landguard, we were curious as to what this little site just along the road from Lower Hyde had to offer. We were on the Island anyway enjoying a break that we'd booked earlier, so we decided to pop along and take a look.

The first surprise, of course, was the abundance of Park Resorts flags flying in the wind at the entrance to the park. We had been told it was independent. We were informed at Reception, however, that Park Resorts had taken them over only two weeks previously!

This knowledge came in handy when we strolled into the coffee shop by the pool and were asked to produce our pass cards. Quick as a flash (if I say so myself) I produced the Park Resorts passes which we had been issued at Thorness Bay, where we were staying. That should do nicely...

Landguard is the smallest of Park Resorts' four parks on the Island. Neat rows of caravans in such locations as "F4" and "G3" (as opposed to the "Bluebell" and "Oaklands" clusters at Thorness Bay) overlook, from left to right, the Reception, shop, café, main bar and swimming pool/bar. It is a very clean and peaceful site, and the caravans are impressive.

Even more impressive are the wooden cabins at the rear of the site, if you are lucky enough to book one. These are luxury to the point that I could happy live in one. Really superb.

On a fleeting visit this year I noticed that club passes could also be used at Lower Hyde, about half a mile along the road, and vice versa. I'm not sure whether this means some "sharing" of entertainment.

When the offers arrive and we come to deliberate which park we wish to list as our first choice both our kids now invariably say Landguar
d. Serene, tidy and with good facilities and easy access to the old town of Shanklin, one could do much worse.

Where We've Stayed (Part Five) - The Orchards, Yarmouth

On one occasion the guys at The Sun decided to send us to The Orchards Holiday Park, which is a short drive from Yarmouth.

The Orchards is a small, independent caravan site towards the west of the Island which opens between March and October. What struck us when we arrived was how ordered it was. Campers in adjacent fields flew flags, the caravans were neatly aligned and we were advised by friendly staff that the site was pedestrain only, except for when luggage was being loaded and unloaded on departure and arrival.

The site has the usual range of facilities, which impress in every department. It has a large, well-stocked camp shop, take-away food, pleasant indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a coffee shop, a recreation area, pool and table tennis, children's play equipment and a dog walking area. One can also play Pétanque, a game related to boulles that I confess I'd never heard of, but do click the link for details if it appeals.

The only thing that was missing - and it's a big only for some - was social activity in the evenings. There is a small club run by volunteers (mostly prison officers) about five minutes' walk from the site and visitors to the site are offered special temporary membership at a few quid for the week, but it is basically a place where they sell beer rather than an entertainment venue.

I'd recommend The Orchards for a quiet weekend, but only if Park Resorts or the other larger sites aren't your thing.