Blackgang Chine is the oldest amusement park in the United Kingdom, having opened in the 1840s. Named after a now-destroyed chine (a coastal ravine) in the soft Cretaceous cliffs, it is about 6 miles from Ventnor at the southern tip of the Isle of Wight just below St Catherine's Down. Blackgang Chine and its sister park Robin Hill are owned by the Dabell family. Blackgang Chine is home to a series of imaginatively themed lands, including a Pirate Cove, a realm of Dinosaurs, an Underwater Kingdom, a Fairy Village and a Cowboy Town. Owing to the unstable land on which the park is situated, landslides occur frequently, meaning that attractions have been moved further inland to safer ground on several occasions.
Entrance to Blackgang Chine amusement park
|Location||Blackgang, Isle of Wight, England, United Kingdom|
|Owner||Alexander Dabell/Vectis Ventures Ltd./ The Dabell Family|
|Opened||1842 or 1843|
|Operating season||March to November|
During Blackgang Chine's early years, the area was a steep gaunt ravine, overlooking Chale Bay, stretching around three-quarters of a mile down to the shore. It was a quiet place, visited by few people other than local fishermen with rumours of a thriving smuggling trade, which has now become a key theme of the park. On 11 October 1836 the cargo ship Clarendon was wrecked at the foot of Blackgang Chine, with the loss of all aboard.
During Victorian England, people were seeking out new healthy holiday resorts, ideally near the coast. As the railway network was getting closer and closer to the south coast, the Isle of Wight was becoming an increasingly attractive holiday destination. Alexander Dabell, the founder of the park, soon realised the business potential of this, trying various ventures. In 1839 Alexander became friends with a publican who had recently built a hotel at Blackgang, which now forms the Chine Cafe (Formerly Pirates' Pantry restaurant) and administration offices. After studying the gault and chine gorge, he knew instantly that gardens could be set up that would appeal to the Victorians as a romantic holiday destination. This along with the increasing popularity of the adjacent Sandrock Spring (a Chalybeate spring) led to Alexander concluding a lease for the site in 1842 and the establishment of Blackgang Chine amusement park in 1843. The area was then opened up to the public with pathways built down to the ravine and gardens landscaped on the cliffs. Steps were built to give access to the beach from the lower road. Since the park was opened, it has remained a family business, with the descendants of Alexander Dabell owning it ever since. The park's claim to have been established in 1843 would make it the oldest theme park in the United Kingdom. Its initial theme of a general-purpose scenic and curiosity park led to one of its most famous attractions, a large whale skeleton, which had been washed up near the coast of The Needles in 1842, and is still a showpiece today.
Owing to continual landslides, the chine itself has been destroyed, and coastal erosion still has a significant impact on the area today. The park's focus now is themed entertainment for families with young children, lifesize animatronic dinosaurs being a noted feature. The same owners run a sister site, the Robin Hill countryside adventure park. Clifftop walks in and around the area give panoramic views of the English Channel and the south-western Isle of Wight coast.
According to a May 2000 talk to the Isle of Wight Postcard Club by the then director, Mr Simon Dabell, the etymology is simply "black pathway" (the original appearance of the chine), but the theme park understandably fosters the interpretation of a smuggling origin. Thus visitors to the park are greeted by a gigantic fibreglass smuggler between whose legs they could pass to enter.
The Blackgang Chine park is featured in the book Bollocks to Alton Towers, a humorous book concerned with "uncommonly British days out". It was chosen for its apparent eccentricity. Blackgang Chine is also featured in a documentary based on Bollocks to Alton Towers called Far From the Sodding Crowd. In a recent interview, star of the Harry Potter films, Rupert Grint praised the park, stating that his family's favourite holiday was visiting the Isle of Wight, their favourite attraction being Blackgang Chine.
The park is frequently associated with ghosts, particularly related to smugglers, with several tales of sightings around the park. In 2008 a video was recorded, showing what appeared to be the apparition of a girl in a blue dress.
Sited below the village of Blackgang at the western end of the Undercliff, Blackgang Chine was, historically, a spectacular ravine (in 1800 a "steep gaunt ravine" descending 500 feet over about three-quarters of a mile).
The location is based on unstable terrain owing to the underlying Gault Clay strata, resulting in a succession of huge landslips giving the area a very rugged appearance akin to the better known Jurassic Coast. Currently the cliffs are eroding at a rate of about 3.5 metres per year, although this process is not gradual. Continuing landslides and coastal erosion swept away the paths in the early 1900s, and have since obliterated the chine itself and repeatedly forced the park owners to move the clifftop facilities inland.
The park combines whimsical and unusual outdoor and walkthrough attractions with award-winning heritage exhibitions and a couple of significant rides. Below is a list of the attractions currently in operation at the park:
|Cliffhanger||2005||A small roller coaster perched 400 feet above the sea located next to the cliff's edge. The coaster reaches heights of 11 metres before dropping in curves and twists at about 35 kilometres per hour.|
|Water Force||1998||A 100 ft-long water slide with three chutes, which visitors descend in small boats. Two of the chutes are open and referred to as 'Overflow 1' and 'Overflow 2'. The third is enclosed and known as the 'Plughole'.|
|Pirate Barrels||2006||A themed version of the traditional fairground teacups.|
|Pirate Cove||2012||Themed area featuring a pirate play ship 'The Flying Raven' and a French frigate 'L' Mistral'. Onboard are water cannons that can be aimed at the opposing ship! The cove also features the Crossbones play area, with climbing nets, rope bridges and slides. Several themed buildings surround the pirate ships, including 'The Vortex' (see separate description), a small water area for remote-controlled pirate boats, and a pirate shooting gallery.|
|The Vortex||2011||A walkthrough 'trommel' tunnel which rotates at high speed. The spinning lights cause an optical illusion which can make visitors feel disorientated! This attraction was originally called 'The Sailor's Return', and later 'The Cask and Weevil', before being renamed again in 2018.|
|Underwater Kingdom||2017||Expansive themed outdoor walkthrough styled as an 'underwater' experience. Visitors pass through a cave before encountering Giuseppe the crab, who asks them to help find his missing crab children! Visitors then proceed through a coral reef, inhabited by various animated fish and turtles, before reaching an enclosed 'sunken shipwreck' which can be crawled through to find treasure and skeletal pirate remains. To exit, visitors pass under a giant blue whale, 'floating' above their heads.|
|Cowboy Town (formerly Buffalo Canyon)||1976 (remodelled 2015)||Full-scale Old West frontier town including a saloon, jail, covered wagons, undertakers and bank. Also features a Café (La Cantina), selling American-style food, and a Shop (General Stores), selling cap guns and cowboy-themed supplies.|
|Restricted Area 5||2014||Themed, landscaped trail with animatronic dinosaurs that move and roar when approached. Also features some original fiberglass dinosaurs from the previous 'Dinosaurland' for children to climb on.|
|Mouth of Hell||1972 (repositioned 2016)||A giant monster-like head, into whose 'mouth' visitors can walk into. Originally part of 'Dinosaurland', but as of 2016, a separate attraction in the former location of The Triassic Club.|
|Rumpus Mansion||1993||An animated haunted walkthrough attraction inside an old manor house, whose former inhabitants have fled following an infestation of goblins, boggarts and other fantasy creatures!|
|The Musical Pet Shop||1992||A humorous 'pet shop' presided over by Mr Mel O'Dee, and featuring a chorus of animatronic animals who sing a rewritten version of 'Up a Lazy River'. Animals join in with the song when their respective button is pressed by a visitor.|
|Valley of the Dodos||2013 (rethemed 2018)||Wooden outdoor trail featuring animated Dodo figures that squawk at passers by. The premise is explained, on attraction signs, as the Dodos having hatched from eggs left behind by a pirate fleet, and uncovered in the park many years later. The area was rethemed and the Dodo figures restyled for 2018.|
|Crooked House||1968||A small walkthrough attraction of disorientating crooked corridors and humorous scenes.|
|Jonah's Whale (also known as 'Moby Dick's Revenge')||1974||Giant whale, inside which jets of water are squirted at visitors. The challenge is to walk through without getting wet! This was originally part of Nurseryland, and featured aquaria containing live tropical fish. It is now styled as 'Moby Dick's Revenge' and is located opposite the Cliffhanger rollercoaster.|
|Nurseryland||1974||A wooded trail featuring scenes depicting characters of various nursery rhymes, many of which are animated. Also featuring 'The House That Jack Built', a two-level walkthrough where visitors are challenged to find all of the animals and characters mentioned in the rhyme.|
|Fairyland||2011||Themed as a Fairy Village, this area includes the Fairy Castle, with scenes depicting the story of Sleeping Beauty (first opened in 1972, re-sited in 1990, then again in 1994 following the landslip of that year).|
|Snakes and Ladders||1990||A hillside re-imagining of the board game, with steps leading up to large slides at different levels.|
|Hall of Mirrors||2016 (in present form)||Various wonky and bent mirrors that distort your reflection in various ways. Originally located next to the main entrance, it closed in 2013 to make way for the 'Dinostore' shop. It re-opened in 2016 in a new location next to the 'BBC Coast' exhibition. Historically, the original Hall of Mirrors was one of the first attractions at the park, with ten mirrors from Paris being installed in 1933.|
|Hedge Maze||1963||A large hedge maze with viewing platform for spectators to offer help to those inside.|
|Giant Bug Walk||2009||A hillside trail featuring giant arthropod models, along with an oversized garden shed inhabited by talking gnomes.|
|BBC Coast||2010||Exhibition based on the popular BBC Two television series, looking at the Isle of Wight coastline, and telling the story of Blackgang, the disappearing village. This area also features the park's 19 metre-long fin whale skeleton (on display since 1843) and a moving platform experience which simulates the effects of the landslips which have occurred at Blackgang.|
|Attraction||Date opened||Date closed||Description||Image|
|Jungleland||1978/9||2008||A walkthrough themed with life size fibreglass jungle animals and sounds. It was replaced by the Butterfly Walk and Giant Bug Walk in 2008.|
|Adventureland||1970||1994||This included a collection of old military vehicles, a replica of the spacecraft from the Disney movie The Spaceman and King Arthur and a representation of the NASA Mission Control. It was closed after the 1994 landslide. The derelict remains of this area, including a roundabout (pictured) and the old mission control building can still be seen just to the west of the main park.|
|Smugglerland||1978||2011||Originally featured the 'Jolly Smuggler' play ship, a tree-top walk, the 'Smugglers Rest' play inn, and the 'Smugglers' Cave', an animated walkthrough with scenes depicting the 1836 Clarendon shipwreck at Blackgang.|
|Fantasyland||1991||2016||A themed area of the park, completed in 1991 and comprising the attractions 'The Weather Wizard' (opened in 1989), 'The Angry Dragon' and 'The Licorice Factory'. These attractions were removed and the area completely redeveloped to become 'Underwater Kingdom' which opened in 2017. The Dragon returned to the park for 2019, restyled and situated in a large crate outside of the main entrance.|
|Dinosaurland||1972||2013||An outdoor trail featuring life size fibreglass dinosaurs. This area was upgraded with new animatronic dinosaur figures to become 'Restricted Area 5' in 2014. Some of the original static models were retained.|
|Buffalo Creek||1976||1994||Parts were removed following the 1994 landslip; the remainder was relocated uphill to form Buffalo Canyon, now the Cowboy Town.|
|The Triassic Club||1994||2016||An animated walkthrough attraction, featuring a tuxedo-wearing Darwin the Allosaurus, who along with his dinosaur companions Wallace and Oscar, invite guests 'to dinner'. Visitors could weigh themselves on a set of scales at the entrance to see which of his courses (Nibbles, Starter, Main Course, A la Carte) they were most suited to becoming! Darwin then sings for his supper, with a unique version of the 'Eton Boating Song'. For the park's 'Dino Breakout' held from 5th-7th May 2018, the three animated figures from the Triassic Club returned to the lawn in front of their original location as part of the event.|
|Smugglers Cave||1980||2016||A cavernous walkthrough containing animated figures and scenes depicting the story of the Clarendon, wrecked at Blackgang in 1836. An earlier version of this attraction opened in 1954, however this was of a simpler design with fewer animated elements. The cave was removed and a similar structure was built in its place to form the first section of 'Underwater Kingdom' in 2017.|
|Fort Tortuga||1997||2007||Themed pirate fort play area, with slides, climbing nets and raised walkways. Also in the fort was a strongroom containing a locked treasure chest and a giant compass. Hidden around the fort were four compass directions. Entering these into the compass opened the treasure chest, revealing pirate gold inside. This area was replaced by The Wight Experience in 2008.|
|Rumpus Clock Tower||1994||2005||Animated clock tower which formed the entrance to the bridge towards Rumpus Mansion. At fifteen and thirty minute intervals, various monsters and goblins emerged from behind doors. Upon the hour, a trow lifted the roof up, and two giant gargoyles next to the clock rocked back and forth.|
|Water Gardens||1962||2017||A series of ponds, waterfalls and fountains that were originally constructed by the Chine's own staff for 1962. Due to their eventual proximity to the cliff edge, they were partially redeveloped in 2016; the last remaining pond was filled in during the winter of 2017. From their construction up until 2006, these gardens were one of the main features of the park to be illuminated at night. These illuminations were reinstated from 2015, using new LED lighting.|
|Butterfly Walk||2008||2017||Larger-than-life butterflies, with signs denoting their respective names.|
|Myths and Legends||2001||2013||Film show narrated by Shaw Taylor, telling the stories of local legends, including the famous Giant of Chale, as well as tales of smuggling and shipwrecks at Blackgang.|
|The Wight Experience||2008||2017||Film show of aerial views of the island by helicopter. Produced by 'Flying Pictures', who worked on many of the James Bond and Harry Potter films.|
|World of Timber||1981||2016||Originally known as Blackgang Sawmill, an award-winning heritage exhibition 'telling the story of timber' in the setting of an old water mill. Some of the features included the workshops of the blacksmith and wheelwright, the mill owner's cottage, numerous working steam and oil engines, 'Timber at Sea', 'Timber in the Home' and the Mill Pond Gardens, water from which drove the water wheel. This attraction was closed and all its exhibits removed in 2017.|
|Model Village||1953||1980s||Rather than a traditional model village, this was a collection of models of buildings from around the Island, including Ryde Pier, Osborne House and Carisbrooke Castle. The scale varied from model to model. The "village" was closed and removed owing to landslips. Photo shows the model of Cowes Castle.|
|Tornado||Never opened||2004 (removed)||This was removed after many failed attempts to rectify the ride's structure which did not pass required safety tests.|
In 2010, a new section to the park opened; "Blackgang's Disappearing Village". This was produced in conjunction with the BBC programme Coast, and featured presenter Dick Strawbridge in its video exhibits. It told the story of the island's coast and illustrated the cliff falls and erosion that Blackgang suffered over the years. Approximately half of this exhibition was later removed and converted to the new Hall of Mirrors in 2016. The remaining portion includes the park's original 19 metre-long skeleton of a fin whale, and a simulator designed to mimic the experience of the landslips which occurred at Blackgang.
In 2011, a 'Fairy Land' section was developed adjacent to the Fairy Castle. The following year, the pirate ship play area was redesigned as 'Pirate Cove', with two new pirate ships, and surrounded by other smaller themed buildings, a pirate shooting gallery, and 'The Sailors Return' (now 'The Vortex'), in which visitors walk through a spinning tunnel of lights designed to disorientate.
'Restricted Area 5' opened in 2014; a modernisation of the park's previous 'Dinosaurland'. It features new animatronic dinosaurs which move and roar when visitors approach. Some of the original fibreglass dinosaurs have been retained in the new walkthrough.
In 2015, Cowboy Town was remodelled, with new buildings and scenery. A family of animatronic Triceratops was also added to Restricted Area 5. This replaced the 'Mouth of Hell', a giant devilish 'mouth' that visitors could climb into.
In 2016, The Triassic Club attraction was removed, and the area was redeveloped as a new, larger space for 'The Mouth of Hell', which is now encircled by a new walkway themed with fallen angel statues and demonic sounds.
For the opening of the 2017 'Underwater Kingdom' attraction, the Fantasyland area of the park was completely redeveloped, resulting in the removal of 'The Weather Wizard', 'The Angry Dragon' and 'The Licorice Factory' attractions. The animated 'Smugglers Cave' walkthrough was also removed and a new similar structure was built in its place to form the entrance to the 'Underwater Kingdom'.
As of 2018 and after 56 years, the Water Gardens are no longer part of the park. Demolition of the area began in 2016, with the last of the three remaining ponds nearest the cliff edge being filled in during the winter of 2017.
Events from the year 1843 in the United Kingdom.Back of the Wight
Back of the Wight is an area on the Isle of Wight in England. The area has a distinct historical and social background and geographically isolated by the chalk hills immediately to the North and until recently, poor transport infrastructure. Primarily agricultural, the Back of the Wight is made up of small villages spread out along the coast, including Brighstone, Shorwell and Mottistone.Blackgang
Blackgang is a village on the south-western coast of the Isle of Wight. It is best known as the location of the Blackgang Chine amusement park which sits to the south of St Catherine's Down.
Blackgang forms the west end of the Ventnor Undercliff region, which extends for 12 kilometres from Blackgang to Luccombe, also encompassing the town of Ventnor and the villages of Bonchurch, St Lawrence, and Niton. It also marks the edge of the Back of the Wight.Bollocks to Alton Towers
Bollocks to Alton Towers: Uncommonly British Days Out (ISBN 0-14-102120-9) is a humorous travel book written by Robin Halstead, Jason Hazeley, Alex Morris, and Joel Morris (the creators of The Framley Examiner), which showcases unusual attractions, left-field museums and one-off days out in the United Kingdom.
The introduction describes the book as "a collection of the underdogs of British tourism... [that] say more about Britain and the British than any number of corkscrew thrill rides or high-tech Interactive Visitor Experiences."
According to the book's information, the authors, on average, "were born on 2 November 1971 and live on Blackfriars Bridge in London with their three-quarters of a partner and half a child each."
The book was published in hardback by Michael Joseph Ltd (an imprint of the Penguin Group) in 2005. It was also published in paperback by Penguin Books in 2006.
A sequel, titled Far From the Sodding Crowd, was published in hardback in 2007. A paperback edition, More Bollocks to Alton Towers, (ISBN 0-14-102785-1) was published in April 2008.
A short documentary, Far From the Sodding Crowd, was made in 2009 and features some of the attractions included in both books, as well as writers Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris.Chale
Chale is a village and civil parish on the Isle of Wight of England, in the United Kingdom. It is located three kilometres from Niton in the south of the Island in the area known as the Back of the Wight. The village of Chale lies at the foot of St. Catherine's Down.Chale Bay
Chale Bay is a bay on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies to the west of the village of Chale from which it takes its name. It faces south west towards the English Channel, its shoreline is 5km in length and is gently curving. It stretches from Artherfield Point in the north west to Rocken End in the south east.
The seabed is a mixture of mud, sand and shells. The beach is predominantly shingle.
In 1996, a sailing boat was washed ashore by high waves generated from the arrival of Hurricane Lili.
The bay is best viewed from the car park on the A3055 above Blackgang Chine or anywhere along the Isle of Wight Coastal Path which follows the whole coastline along the cliff top. Since the closure of the steps at Whale Chine, the beach at Chale Bay has become somewhat inaccessible, with no way down from the clifftop anywhere along its three miles. Parts of the beach are sometimes used by naturists.Chine
A chine ( ) is a steep-sided coastal gorge where a river flows to the sea through, typically, soft eroding cliffs of sandstone or clays. The word is still in use in central Southern England—notably in East Devon, Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight—to describe such topographical features. The term 'bunny' is sometimes used to describe a chine in Hampshire. The term chine is also used in some Vancouver suburbs in Canada to describe similar features.Hedge maze
A hedge maze is an outdoor garden maze or labyrinth in which the "walls" or dividers between passages are made of vertical hedges.Levett Landon Boscawen Ibbetson
Captain Levett Landon Boscawen Ibbetson (1799 – 8 September 1869) was an English 19th century geologist, inventor, organiser and soldier. He is particularly associated with early developments in photography. He was a member of the London Electrical Society and later a Fellow of the Royal Society (elected 6 June 1850).From his London home (46 Margaret Street, near Cavendish Square), Ibbetson corresponded with William Henry Fox Talbot in 1842, having spent some years trying to produce a lithograph from an original daguerrotype, writing "I have been going on with experiments in the Callotype & have had some very good results as to depth of Colour." Ten years later, in 1852, Ibbetson exhibited work produced using the Talbot calotype process, called Le Premier Livre Imprimè par le Soleil, at a London Society of Arts exhibition. This book, originally published in 1840, was an album of contact prints of ferns, grasses and flowers and used "the independently invented process of Friedrich Gerber of Berne, published in January 1839, when Ibbetson was residing in Berne."An enthusiastic geologist, one of Ibbetson's finds on the Isle of Wight, the fossilised remains of a Hybodus, was sent to Sir Philip Malpas de Grey Egerton, and was discussed in the Proceedings of the Geological Society in 1845.During the 1840s, Ibbetson was also engaged in various geological surveys associated with the expansion of the British railway system, during which work he corresponded with eminent geologist Henry Thomas De la Beche.He wrote a book, with contributions from Edwin Lankester, published around 1852, entitled Notes on the geology and chemical composition of the various strata in the Isle of Wight ... With a map in relief. With Professor Edward Forbes, he produced a description of the geology between Blackgang Chine and Atherfield Point, in the Isle of Wight, for the Geological Society.In 1851, Levett Ibbetson helped manage the Great Exhibition. At this event, public toilets were relatively novel, and Ibbetson was given the task of writing an 'Official Report On The Waiting Rooms and Washing Places in the Exhibition Building' - during which he recorded "The largest receipt from the Waiting Rooms was on Wednesday, 8 October 1851 when 11,171 persons made use of them".Ibbetson died at Biebrich in Prussia, where he had lived for several years. Some years earlier he presented a valuable collection of fossils to the Museum of Practical Geology in London. His illustration of a fossil, "Transverse section of madrepore" in The Westminster Review of September 1840 is credited with being the first example of the use of limelight to shorten exposure times when making daguerreotypes.
Capt. Levett Landon Boscawen Ibbetson was the father of Major Henry Levett Boscawen Ibbetson of the 77th (East Middlesex) Regiment of Foot of the British Army. Capt. Levett Landon Boscawen Ibbetson was the son of Sophy and Major Levett Ibbetson, a native of Bushey, Hertfordshire, where his father the Right Rev. Dr. James Ibbetson, D.D. (1717–1781), was the rector of Bushey, the Archdeacon of St Albans and Prebend of Lincoln as well as an author. Major Levett, his son, was a soldier in the 28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot of the British Army. Major Levett Ibbetson lived at West Teignmouth, Devon, England.List of amusement parks in the United Kingdom
A list of past and present United Kingdom amusement parks.List of tourist attractions in the Isle of Wight
The following is a list of tourist attractions on the Isle of Wight.Liverpool-class lifeboat
The Liverpool-class lifeboat was a non self-righting boat operated by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) from its stations around the coast of the United Kingdom and Ireland. The boats were designed for carriage launching and there were two types built, single and twin engined.New Chine
New Chine is a geological feature on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, England ( the Back of the Wight). It is west of the village of Chale. It is a sandy coastal ravine, one of a number of such chines on the island created by stream erosion of soft Cretaceous rocks. It leads from the 190 foot high clifftop to a knickpoint approximately one third of way down the cliff face above Chale Bay beach.
The Chine is one of three chines that have been eroded by a small unnamed brook that descends from Chale that drains rainwater from the west side of St. Catherine's Hill. The other two chines are Ladder Chine and Walpen Chine. The brook initially wound its way to the cliff face and its descent over the edge created Ladder chine. As the cliff eroded, the brook found a shorter path to the sea and started creating Walpen Chine to the east of Ladder chine. As the cliff eroded further, the brook moved east again and is currently eroding an unnamed chine labelled New Chine.
New Chine consists of two small narrow ravines that feed the same knickpoint. The main ravine has the brook running through it for all but the driest parts of the summer. The smaller more westerly ravine is eroded when the brook overflows during flash flooding and the excess water finds a second route to the cliff edge.
The Isle of Wight Coastal Path runs alongside the top of the chine and part of the brook.Robin Hill Country Park
Robin Hill Country Park is an 88-acre (36 ha) theme park located in Downend; outside of Newport, Isle of Wight. Robin Hill is owned by the Dabell family, who also own Blackgang Chine; another Isle of Wight amusement Park located in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. The park has four main rides: A quarter-mile downhill toboggan, 4D Motion Cinema, 'Cows Express' Junior train ride and the 'Colossus' a swinging galleon boat ride. On the site of Robin Hill is the buried farmstead of Combley Roman Villa. This is explained in the 'Romans at Robin Hill' exhibition when at the park. Robin Hill is also noted for wildlife, particularly the red squirrels.The park was the location for the annual Bestival music festival held every September, but has now moved to Lulworth Castle in Dorset. In 2009 it received a "Tourism & Leisure Business Award for Excellence" from the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce In 2016, it was announced that Bestival was changing location to Dorset.
The park organises a number of regular events. "Electric Woods" events happen several times a year with different themes. February Half term Electric Woods 'Spirit of the Orient' (Chinese New Year), Summer Holidays Various themes, Summer 2015 'Carnival ' October Half Term 'Electric Woods' 'Festival of Light' inspired by Diwali.The park has cafés, ice creams and snack kiosks, a gift shop and a car park.Shanklin railway station
Shanklin railway station is a Grade II listed railway station serving Shanklin on the Isle of Wight. It is the present terminus of the Island Line from Ryde, although the line used to continue to Wroxall and Ventnor. The station now has one platform with a ticket office and a small shop with the second platform now in use as a flower bed. The former subway has been filled in.
Passengers can change onto Southern Vectis buses to Ventnor and St Lawrence.Southern Vectis
Southern Vectis is a bus operator on the Isle of Wight. The company was founded in 1921 as "Dodson and Campbell" and became the "Vectis Bus Company" in 1923. The company was purchased by the Southern Railway before being nationalised in 1969. In 1987, the company was re-privatised. Southern Vectis was accused of unfair trade practices and was investigated by the British Office of Fair Trading. In July 2005, it became a subsidiary of Go-Ahead Group.Undercliff (Isle of Wight)
For other locations of the same name, see The Undercliff.
The Undercliff, Isle of Wight, England is a tract of semi-rural land, around 5 miles long by 0.25–0.5 miles wide, skirting the southern coast of the island from Niton to Bonchurch. Named after its position below the escarpment that backs this coastal section, its undulating terrain comprises a mix of rough pasture, secondary woodland, parkland, grounds of large isolated houses, and suburban development. Its sheltered south-facing location gives rise to a microclimate considerably warmer than elsewhere on the island. Although inhabited, the Undercliff is an area prone to landslips and subsidence, with accompanying loss of property over time. Settlements along the Undercliff, from west to east, are: lower Niton (also called Niton Undercliff), Puckaster, St Lawrence, Steephill, the town of Ventnor, and Bonchurch.Unidentified Flying Oddball
Unidentified Flying Oddball (UK title: The Spaceman and King Arthur) is a 1979 film adaptation of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, directed by Russ Mayberry and produced by Walt Disney Productions. Subsequently re-released in the United States under the title A Spaceman in King Arthur’s Court, the film stars Dennis Dugan as NASA employee Tom Trimble who unintentionally travels back in time with his look-alike android Hermes.
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