The Isle of Wight is known as the ‘festival island’ but as the sun sets on the festival season, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Isle of Wight winds down and goes into hibernation until next Spring. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong, in fact there are probably more things going on between August and October than you can physically attend! Here are our picks of the more ‘out of season’ events that are well worth a visit:
Classic Isle is back for a second year on the 20th and 21st August. Set in the grounds of Northwood House, this boutique classic music festival brings a mixture of local and world class talent to be enjoyed with a picnic on the lawn. VIP tickets offer a waiting service as well as heated and covered designated marquee area. For more information and tickets, visit classicisle.com
Wolverton Manor Garden Fair is well loved and well attended by locals and is bit of a hidden gem. Taking place on the weekend of the 3rd-4th September, Wolverton Manor is a beautiful Jacobean House in a secluded area 5 miles South of Newport and features over 120 Island and mainland exhibitors representing a wide range of gardening and country arts and crafts. Have a go at kayaking around the moat, climb a tree with Goodleaf and enjoy high tea in the vintage tearoom. Visit gardenfair.org.uk for more information.
The last official festival of the season takes place on the Isle of Wight. Bestival has been held at the end of the summer at Robin Hill since 2004, this years dates are 8-11th September. Expect dressing up (this years theme is future) secret stages and new for 2016, the world’s biggest bouncy castle! Full details can be found at bestival.net
The International Classic Car Show takes place at Newport Quay on the 17th September and Ryde Esplanade on the 18th September. Now in its 15th year, you will be amazed at the variety and quality of the cars on show. A wide variety of vintage, classic, custom and retro cars, as well as bikes and other unusual vehicles. For this years event the number of vehicles on show is expected to be in excess of 700! All monies raised from the free event go to the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.
Songs of the Sea returns to the iconic Spyglass Inn over the weekend of the 17th and 18th. Folk and shanty music with a splash of saltwater. Fancy dress is positively encouraged with prizes for the best one. Monies raised will go to the local RNLI. Further information can be found at thespyglass.com
The weekend of the 24th and 25th September hosts the 10th annual Sweetcorn Fayre at Arreton Barns. Held to celebrate the harvest of the Isle of Wight’s sweetcorn, expect the worlds largest sweetcorn fritter, real ale festival, sweetcorn cob launch into space attempts, plus new for 2016 – watch Bob the Cob get hitched to Connie Corn in the first ever sweetcorn wedding. For full details visit arretonbarns.co.uk
Bembridge Harbour Food Festival celebrates local food and drink. Visit over the weekend of the 24th and 25th September and enjoy the best of Isle of Wight produce in the food hub, watch cookery demonstrations in the food theatre and enjoy special dishes on offer from local eateries. Further details available at bembridgefestivals.co.uk
2016 is the third year of Harp on Wight, a 4 day festival dedicated to harp music. Expect concerts, work shops, recitals and even the chance to make your own harp! harponwight.com
The Isle of Wight Literary Festival is now in its fifth year and has recently achieved charitable status. Held at Northwood House from the 12th to 16th October with speakers including Michael Portillo, Alan Johnson MP, Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington author of ‘The 101 Greatest Plays’. Full line up can be found at isleofwightliteraryfestival.com
Hop on a vintage bus in search of a real ale as part of the Beer and Buses weekend, taking place across the Island on the 15th and 16th October. 70 classic buses operate 11 routes taking you from pub to pub where you can enjoy specially selected real ales, live music and beer festivals. Purchase your programme and find out further details at iwbeerandbuses.co.uk