Chocolate lovers are invited to the park this Easter holidays as we launch Chocofrolica, a brand-new event which promises to indulge and delight visitors with the UK’s favourite confectionery.
Anyone with a sweet tooth can enter chocolate heaven from 6th – 27th April, 10am – 5pm, as the park is taken over by Chocofrolica, an event ‘choc-full’ of fun and treats for all the family.
From arrival, visitors will revel in the wonders of the cocoa bean as they are given the chance to enrol as a chocolatier for the day. They’ll be presented with a special Chocofrolica schedule of activities, with chances to win lots of sweet prizes along the way.
Upon here on in guests can:
- Chocolate Bubble Bath: dive into a pit of ‘chocolate bubbles’ to search for the winning golden bubble
- Bouncy Milk Cow Hoppers: race your friends
- Honey Bee Quest: explore the park to solve the daily quest
- The Easter Bunny will be hopping around, popping up and making a few cheeky appearances!
Dominic Wray, Park Manager at Blackgang Chine, said: “We’d like our visitors to let their imaginations run wild this Easter as they enter a land of chocolate bliss! Chocofrolica is a unique experience for all the family to enjoy. We encourage everyone who visits to step back to their childhood and get involved in the specially created chocolate themed activities, attractions and nature that our park offers.”
Families can also expect frolics and fables from Blackgang Chine’s resident dragon Cedric and his Mad Chocolatier who will be delivering stories about the history of chocolate. The Easter Bunny will be popping up throughout the day too offering selfies as he hops away.
Easter Weekend 19th – 22nd April, 10am – 7pm
Families visiting the park across the Easter weekend can enjoy extra Chocofrolica activities including an amazing 5-tier chocolate fountain and performances by Coco the Bubble Wizard who will wow audiences with his incredible giant bubbles.
Purchase your FVP by 21st December to be in with a chance of winning!
It’s been an amazing year of birthday celebrations here at Blackgang Chine and our commemorative, limited edition gold coins have been a huge hit with visitors! There’s just a few left so we’re giving you early bird FVP holders one final chance to get your hands on one in time for Christmas!
To be in with a chance of winning one of the coins, simply purchase your Joint Park or Blackgang Chine Frequent Visitor Pass before Wednesday 19th December! You will then be entered into a draw to win – it’s that easy!
The winners will be notified by email on Wednesday 19th December and the coins will be available to collect from our pop-up shop in Newport Guildhall until 22nd December, just in time to make a very special Christmas gift!
We’re opening a pop-up Frequent Visitor Hub at Newport Guildhall this year in time for your Christmas shopping!
Open Monday – Saturday from 21st November – 22nd December, our front of house admissions team will be on hand to answer all your FVP questions so you can purchase and collect your cards all in one place – making it oh so simple to get your hands on a 2019 pass. Find out more about what’s included in the 2019 passes here.
Situated between High Street and Quay Street in Newport, not only will our team be on hand to issue your FVP cards, you’ll also get the chance to meet some of our characters! Every Saturday from 1st December, our characters will be roaming between 11am – 3pm. Keep your eyes peeled for which characters will be visiting very soon!
Our FVP Hub will be open Monday – Friday from 9:30am – 4pm and Saturdays from 10am – 4pm.
The 2018 season at Blackgang Chine has officially come to a close!
As for 3rd November, the park is closed and won’t be re-opening until 2019.
There’s no denying that 2018 has been an epic year for us – celebrating a whopping 175 years since the park first opened, 2018 has been a year of special nostalgia alongside the creation of many more memories for years to come! Here’s a little look back at our year.
An Easter full of eggs
The Easter Eggsplorers event saw visitors hunting alongside our intrepid Victorian explorers, and of course the delightful Lady Penelope and Raphus too, for long lost and sneakily hidden treasures. Plenty were found and many happy, chocolate covered faces followed! Keep your eyes peeled for news of a very sweet and egg-citing (we couldn’t resist) new event arriving for Easter 2019!
Bank Holiday Breakouts
May Bank Holiday saw our resident dinos make a break for it as they roamed the park. From ride-on-dinos to our beloved Shadow & Sheila baby T-Rexes, visitors were even able to catch a glimpse of a few friendly old faces as Darwin & the Triasic Club joined in for a weekend of dino-tastic fun!
Yeeeeeehaws and Howdys
Dastardly Rattlesnake Jake, the meanest outlaw in the history of the west, came rumbling into town on the lookout for the Lost Gold of Rockola but with some help from our visitors, Buffalo Bob & Sheriff TWIT were able to keep the gold out of Rattlesnake’s hands! Plenty of rootin’ tootin’ good times were had over the Whitsun holiday!
EPIC Birthday Bash!
Over six weeks of summer, we held the most epic birthday bashes to commemorate our 175th year! So many of you visited and helped us celebrate with Dodos cheekily popping out of cakes, people hunting for limited edition coins, fairies spreading fairy dust and so much more! We’ve got plans to keep the party vibes going in 2019…this time with a bit of a twist!
Spooky goings on at the Sawmill
We battled paranormal goings-on throughout autumn and came face-to-face with some pretty spooky characters during Wicked Nights. Turns out the Monk’s Curse is a force not to be reckoned with and we’re pretty certain there’s worse things to come for Wicked Nights 2019….
The team here at Blackgang would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who visited in 2018 and helped make our 175th year an extra special one!
Due to customer demand, we’ve made the decision to extend our opening hours for the final week of the year.
From the 20th October – 3rd November 2018, the park will now open from 10am – 10pm, with Wicked Nights still taking place from 6pm – 10pm. Visitors can now enjoy the park throughout the day for an extra week, as well as the NEW FOR 2018 event, Wicked Nights.
Tickets to Blackgang Chine throughout this time are inclusive of the Wicked Nights event, starting from 6pm.
Blackgang Chine, Britain’s oldest and most imaginative theme park has been selected for the Telegraph’s ‘Great British Business Campaign’ and recognised as one of the country’s most exciting growing businesses.
This immersive family amusement park, which turns 175 this year, is a British cultural treasure. Since opening in 1843 when the concept of tourism was in its infancy, Blackgang Chine has captured hearts and minds with exciting attractions that stimulate the senses and transport visitors to an unforgettable land of imagination. The ‘Great British Business Campaign’, organised by the Telegraph Media Group, celebrates small and medium enterprises from around the UK, who make up 99% of the 5.5m businesses in the UK. The campaign aims to showcase UK economic success stories and the diversity of ‘brand Britain’.
Alexander Dabell – current owner and a fifth-generation descendant of the park’s founder, with whom he shares his name – says the park is: “The Land of Imagination” and imagination is as relevant today as it was in 1843.
“Blackgang Chine is a facilitator of people’s creativity, and a place that allows you to let your imagination run wild. We recognise that much of our appeal is that we have preserved our history whilst changing with the times. Our challenge is to maintain the tradition of the park, to conserve what people love about it but to keep making improvements and looking to the future.”
“For 175 years Blackgang has created an environment in which visitors of all ages can create family memories and explore within our Lands of Imagination, from pirate ships and cowboy town to walking with dinosaurs.”
Find out how Blackgang Chine has been inspiring the imagination of children of all ages here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/great-british-business/blackgang-chine/
Our pick of the 20 top photo spots!
There’s no denying that Blackgang Chine is one of the most instagramable attractions on the Isle of Wight and we absolutely love seeing all our visitors’ selfies and imaginative photos. So we’ve pulled together a list of the top 20 photo opportunities within the park and created a check list for you to make sure you don’t miss out on that must-have shot! We’ve pulled out our 10 favourites and you can see the full checklist at the end of this post – why not print a copy and check them off during your next visit?
1. The Sizeable Smuggler
He’s arguably the most recognisable part of the park so is certainly deserving of his place at the top of this list! Whether you’re sitting on his giant boot or trying to balance him on your hand, a shot with our smuggler is an absolute must!
2. Terrified by the T-Rex
Our animatronic T-Rex is the largest in the country and his roar really does makes the ground shake beneath your feet! So those terrified faces everyone’s pulling in their selfies are perfectly justified!
3. The Timeless Toadstool
Our beloved toadstool was first installed back in 1974 and every year since, visitors have been posing for a photo with the friendly gnome who calls the toadstool home. It’s the perfect photo to commemorate the year of your visit!
4. Shell Style
A relatively new addition to the park, the Shell Seat in Underwater Kingdom has fast become one of the most popular photo ops in the whole park! Perch on the stylised marble seat and become the underwater goddess of your dreams!
5. Western Wagon Stories
The horse-drawn wagon at the centre of Cowboy Town is a classic favourite photo with kids young and old! Whether you’re perched on horseback or standing atop the wagon about to set off on a journey, you can create your own Cowboy story!
6. The Supreme Steggy
For generations, children (and adults) have been clambering up onto the back of our Stegosaurus to pose for a classic Blackgang Chine photo! We’ve even got a picture of our CEO up there somewhere…
7. Mystical Mirrors
We know that a mirror selfie is nothing new…but here at Blackgang Chine, it’s a selfie with a difference. Super long legs, a giant head and an obscured image are what you’ll get in our ever-popular Hall of Mirrors!
8. Fantastical Fairy Dreams
Who wouldn’t want to feel like a princess atop their very own castle? The balcony on the top floor of Fairy Castle in Fairyland is the perfect opportunity for a Romeo & Juliet moment! Stand down by the Fairy Houses for a great perspective shot!
9. This is the Priest all Shaven and Shorn
Part of the nursery rhyme ‘The House That Jack Built’, our beloved Priest is the perfect selfie companion – he won’t be worried about his hair not quite looking right!
10. The Unbelievable Underwater Whale
The majestic 60ft animatronic whale is the largest inhabitant of Underwater Kingdom and snapping a photo as he swims majestically above your head is a definite must! You’ll be amazed at the sense of scale when you see yourself photographed underneath his belly!
20 Top Photo Opportunities Checklist
Restricted Area Five
3. Dino Eggs
4. Wagon / Horseback
6. In Jail
7. Wanted Poster
9. Shell Seat
10. Giuseppe the crab
11. Commemorative Toadstool
12. The Priest
13. The Balcony on Fairy Castle
14. Sad Toadstool
15. Fairy House
17. Rumpus Donkey Mirror
18. Gnome Bench
19. Hall of Mirrors
20.Mouth of Hell
Here’s a little inspiration from Instagram!
There’s just 175 available!
As part of our 175th birthday celebrations, here at Blackgang Chine we’ve produced exclusive, limited edition gold coins!
These coins are a money-can’t-buy opportunity for you to keep a memento of your time at Blackgang Chine during our big birthday year! We’ll be giving them away throughout the year so keep your eyes peeled for in-park games, treasure hunts, competitions and lots of other ways to win!
There are only 175 of these gold coins available and they cannot be bought – so you’ll have to get involved to be in with a chance of bagging your own! However, there are silver versions available to purchase in the shop should you want to make sure you get hold of a souvenir coin. Both gold and silver coins will be provided in a Blackgang 175th presentation boxes.
19.7.18 – UPDATE
2018 Photo Competition
Capture the imagination of Blackgang Chine during your visit the year and enter our biggest photo competition ever to be in with a chance of winning. You can enter here.
18.7.18 – UPDATE
Throughout our Birthday Bash event days, Monday & Wednesday, there’ll be numerous opportunities to win coins…whether that’s by participating in a cowboy or fairy dance workshop, panning for gold or meeting our characters. Keep your eyes and ears open for a chance to win!
16.7.18 – UPDATE
Every Monday & Wednesday throughout the summer, there’ll be one character in the park who has a coin token. We’ll post a clue out each morning across our Facebook & Twitter pages and the first visitor in the park to find the character and state the word ‘Treasure’ will win!
26.6.18 – UPDATE
A Facebook photo memory competition has now launched! This is your first chance to get hold of a coin so head over to our Facebook page and get involved! All you need to do is share a photo memory of your time at the park! THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED.
Expect lost gold, outlaws & explosive action at Wild West Week
With Wild West Week fast approaching, here at Blackgang Chine, we’re gearing up for a more action-packed and explosive live-action Cowboy show than ever before! Here’s a short synopsis of the storyline:
It’s 1850 and the good folk of Cowboy Town have fled to the hills after the arrival of the infamous outlaw Rattlesnake Jake. He’s on the quest to find the Lost Gold of Rockola, a legendary stash of gold hidden by an outlaw called the Rockola Kid. With his trusty sidekick, Sam Shuttlebucket, Jake is racing against time to find the gold before other outlaws arrive in town. Unlucky for him though, Bounty Hunter Buffalo Bob is on her way to collect the bounties on as many outlaws as possible. Can Jake find the gold before he gets caught? And will Theodore Wilberforce Indiana Tucker, the new Sheriff in town be able to bring law and order back to Cowboy Town?
We caught up with the script writer for the show to learn a little more about the writing process and the characters involved:
“The main objective when writing a script like this is to ensure that the focus is correct throughout. It’s so easy for visitors to be distracted in outdoor shows so it’s my job to make sure that audiences are captivated throughout – whether that’s by clever use of script, pyrotechnics, music or lighting.” And there’s plenty of gun shots, explosions and action to keep our audiences entertained this May Half Term!
“I’m a firm believer that the plot should be explained within the first minute of the show and each character introduced quickly and clearly.” For one of our characters, his reputation precedes him! Rattlesnake Jake is the meanest outlaw this side of the Medina and it’s no surprise that the townsfolk have fled after hearing of his arrival! He takes on the classic ‘baddie’ role with sidekick Sam Shuttlebucket close in toe. Sam has a tendency to get things wrong and although he’s not dumb, his innocence and naivety is obvious! Followed up by Bounty Hunter Buffalo Bob who’s fast approaching Cowboy Town on her search for outlaws, there’s bound to be a gun fight! Let’s just hope that the new Sheriff Theodore Wilberforce Indiana Tucker will be able to make the town safe again!
Fight scenes, jeopardy, guest interaction, explosives and a great vein of honest, adult humour make this Cowboy Show our favourite yet!
Two of the UK’s most successful music acts, Pixie Lott and the Noisettes are heading to the Isle of Wight this September as the confirmed headline acts for the high-spirited music festival, Eklectica.
Popstar, Pixie Lott, and indie rock band, the Noisettes, are the latest artists to be confirmed for the festival which returns to the Isle of Wight’s enchanting Robin Hill Country Park on Friday 7th – Sunday 9th September.
The multi-award-winning artists will help close the festival over the weekend and perform to the thousands of festivalgoers expected to turn out for the music festival.
Rob Holgate, the Event Director for Eklectica said of Pixie and the Noisettes’ addition to the line-up: “Having these two acts headline this year’s festival is fantastic! They’re young, they’re cool, they’re current and most importantly they have amazing voices and stellar stage presence so both acts will add to the exciting atmosphere that will no doubt be buzzing around the woodlands.”
Pixie Lott and the Noisettes join a line-up of other industry-leading acts set to take to the stage at this year’s Eklectica festival. Friday will see a vibrant set from radio DJ and presenter, Reggie Yates and a bouncing performance from one of the music industry’s most talented rappers, Tinchy Stryder. Pop rock bands, Scouting for Girls and The Hoosiers will be stealing the show on Saturday and then helping to bring the festival to a close on Sunday is Scottish rock band, The Fratellis, and legendary alternative rock band, Toploader.
The go-to festival for an escapist weekend full of chart-topping acts and wellbeing activities, Eklectica is also committed to championing newcomers in the music industry and will welcome artists including dance/electric band, The Wolf Club, 5-piece indie/electro band, who hail from the Isle of Wight, Nakamarra, and blues-rock guitarist, Kris Barrass, who has just released a new album.
Eklectica is also providing an opportunity to showcase the region’s local independent food and retail outlets, from quirky stalls such as hand-made, small-batch gin, Mermaid Gin, to the Isle of Wight Ice Cream Company, who source all their milk from just 2 miles away!
A not-to-be-missed festival, tickets are available from £25 and include day, weekend and weekend camping tickets. With easy access from Southampton and Portsmouth, those that book their tickets through the Eklectica website can now claim 25% discounted ferry travel with Red Funnel ferries and 20% discounted ferry travel with Wightlink ferries!
For more information about Eklectica and to book tickets, visit: www.eklectica.live