Global travel site Big 7 Travel has released it’s list of the 25 most charming small towns in the UK – and Shanklin has made the top 5! From North to South, East to West, all the pretty islands and Northern Ireland, there’s endless picturesque and charming small towns in the UK. Quaint cobblestone streets, thatch cottages, seaside fishing villages and famous filming locations make up the list, with each town boasting its own unique charm. Shanklin on the Isle of Wight has been ranked the 5th most charming small town, beating the likes of Cushendun and Portrush in Northern Ireland, Crail in Fife and Hawshead in Cumbria. Rounding off the top of the list is Beddgelert in Snowdonia (4th), Polperro in Cornwall (3rd), Castle Combe in the Cotswolds (2nd) and Rye in Sussex (1st). The towns – classified by under population of 10,000 – were ranked based on their ‘charm factor’, which includes natural scenery, general friendliness of the community, food and drink scene, history or culture.
The Isle of Wight is a testimony to the rich, diverse and exciting history of Great Britain, as it has waned and waxed through the tides of time. Full of historical buildings and architecture, breathtaking natural views and pristine beaches, the Isle of Wight has always enjoyed a rather prominent role in the geographical and social culture of Great Britain. Nowadays, the isle has become a popular tourist attraction among domestic and international travellers. Whether you want to experience the historical sites and heritage or are looking for an educational fun filled vacation resort for your family, the isle has a lot to offer. In this review, we’ll list some of the most popular family and kid-friendly attractions you can experience at the Isle of Wight. Isle of Wight Zoo The Isle of Wight Zoo is the perfect location for an educational visit with your family. Not only will the animal exhibits greatly fascinate children of all ages, it is also a good way to teach children about natural conservation and environmental protection, as the Isle of Wight boasts one of the most well-preserved and protected ecosystem biospheres across the globe. Take this opportunity to introduce your family to the concept of animal
As it looks like the weather is misbehaving this half-term week, you may be on the lookout for indoor activities. One ideal venue is Holliers Park, home to The House of Chilli (open Tues to Sun) where you can learn fascinating facts about chillies, buy everything from a chilli pen, chilli chocolate, jams, chutneys and even chilli beer and vodka. Then you can pop next door and browse through a large collection of antique and upcycled furniture, pictures and quite a few interesting oddities. Next door again is Island Originals, the island’s largest collective of artisans making everything from Steam Punk outfits to jewellery, paintings, signs (some quite risqué J), and on Tuesday the18th there is a pom-pom workshop for ages 6+ (£12) from 2-3.30 pm run by The Wool Shack. If that wasn’t enough there is even the Bus Stop Café serving exactly what you would expect in a double-decker bus (J) including light lunches and ‘wickedly good cakes’ and there is even a possibility of spotting the islands famous red squirrels so keep your eyes peeled! Everyone is very friendly, dogs are welcome, parking is free. For more information Facebook page Island Originals Holliers park or tel 01983 864449 and https://www.houseofchilli.com
There really is no such thing as an adult, I know this because my photographer and I spent a very happy time at Suricata Lodge (the Latin name for meerkat) giggling whilst being smothered by these small furry creatures who were far more interested in the tasty worms the keepers were scattering than us. We had to keep our fingers hidden in case they mistook them for large worms. They move so quickly, en masse, and are full of boundless energy. The ‘meerkat experience’ is one of several that can be purchased for a closer / behind the scenes animal encounter at the home of the Wildheart Trust (Isle of Wight Zoo) and is certainly a place for all the family. There is a daily schedule which includes big cat feeding and the staff are extremely knowledgeable very happy to answer questions and share their expertise. Enjoy giant 50cm long rabbits, several species of monkey, lions, tigers, wallabies and even a few less exotic, but equally fascinating animals like guinea pigs, goats (who doesn't love a goat!) and tortoises. The big cats have all been rescued from circuses, would not survive in the wild and are now safe, in their forever home,
Out of the many reasons to visit the beautiful Isle of Wight, a year-long list of events is a major one. With a mix of country fairs, never-ending entertainment options, delicious cuisines, colours, festivities and activity-packed beaches, the island is a perfect spot for holidays and an exciting treat for the happy feet. If you are planning your trip and wondering what to catchup to, worry no more. We have gathered a list of the best Isle of Wight events you must attend in 2020. #1. Isle of Wight Festival The most awaited, Isle of Wight Festival is set to commence yet again on the 11th of June, Thursday. The art and music fest will last for five days until 15th June, 2020, Monday. It features legendary artists from around the world, lots of food and activities. Last year, around 59,000 attendees enjoyed the big festival on the island and this year it might get even bigger. #2. Frosty Fun with Elsa and Anna All the frozen fans prepare for the meet and greet event with your favourite snow sisters, Elsa and Anna who will come with an activity-packed day of games and songs. The event will be held on January 26, Sunday at
Ventnor is a typical seaside town on the south side of the isle of Wight and is fortunate to have some lovely places to eat. One of these is the retro Carnaby Tea Rooms, although it is far more than this. Carnaby is 1960s and 70s themed with gentle (so you can talk) era music playing in the background; Beatles and Elvis memorabilia scattered around along with a myriad of artefacts from the period, lovingly displayed throughout the café. There is free wi-fi, free games for both adults and children, newspapers and magazines to browse whilst you eat and drink something hot or cold from the wide-ranging menu, including vegan and gluten free options and Sunday roasts. ‘Carnaby Treets’ hosts not only a sherbert fountain but a large selection of retro sweets, in jars including old favourites like Sherbet bonbons and liquorice twists, beside this is ‘Carnaby Street’ with games, jigsaws and cards for sale. Dotted around the café are other eclectic knick-knacks on offer. You can lounge in comfy seats or sit at tables and order a feast such as the daily specials, for example, Chilli, rice and naan bread or Spaghetti Bolognese (£7) followed by a choice of desserts (from