One of the unique qualities of the Isle of Wight is the sense of stepping back in time to a bygone era. Don’t worry, we have kept up with 4G and flat whites, so its not a complete step back into the past! But the island is full of quirky pieces of the past, and will reignite memories for any visitor with childhood memories.
Many visitors reminice of family holidays from the past, and will find many of their favourite places to visit and see are still here on the Island, albiet some in a slightly different guise than some may remember.
On Youtube you can find a whole time-capsule of vintage film and footage uploaded by the Isle of Wight Archive. Inspired by the BBC’s ‘Back in time…’ series, we’ve combed through the archives to find some of the Isle of Wights favourite visitor attractions and beloved places to visit. Sit back and step back in time from the comfort of you home.
The beaches are obviously a prominent feature of the Isle of Wight, back in the 70’s a number of beachside attractions could be found alongside the islands esplanades. Today Browns Cafe in Sandown, continues to provide ‘pitch and putt’ style golf, alongside continuing to be staple part of any trip to the beach in Sandown.
Peter Pan’s Amusment Arcade in Ryde today continues to feature a number of attractions from bumper cars and crazy golf, to penny arcades and merry-go-rounds.
Calbourne Water Mill
The last fully working water mill on the Island. There’s so much to do, including the war museum, rural museum and fire station. There’s also adventure golf, pedalo punting and fun family clay-play. The Cafe serves fresh home cooked food along with flour, oats and muesli.
An Island institution and fun for the whole family, Blackgang Chine started life as a whale skeleton display and illuminated gardens. Over the years Blackgang has evolved into on the of the Isle of Wight’s most beloved attractions, adding walk-throguh attractions, rollercoasters, waterslides and scare mazes over the years. Back in the 70’s you can start to see the evolution of this small fantasy theme park.
Shanklin Old Village
Part of the town of Shanklin is stil known as the Old Village and consists mainly on stone-built cottages and houses, many with thatched roofs which gives it a picture-book charm. It sits alongside the beautiful Rhylstone Gardens and the famous Shanklin Chine which have both been favourite attractions since Victorian times.
Once Queen Victoria’s seaside holiday home, the house was designed by her beloved husband, Prince Albert. There is so much to see, from the royal rooms, to the magnificent walled kitchen garden and Swiss Cottage where the royal children once played.
When you think about the Isle of Wight, the iconic image of the world famous Needles chairlift immediately springs to mind. Transporting people from the cliff-top above Alum Bay, down to the beach below. You can still jump onboard the famous chairlift today, and get an upclose tour from the Needles Pleasure Cruises.
Over the years the a number of rides, experiences and attractions have found their home at the top of the cliffs of Alum Bay. From 4D cinemas, The Isle of Wight Sweet Manafactory, teacups and crazy golf, theres so much to see and do.
Opening in 1971 Flamingo park , later known as Seaview Wildlife Encounter, home to a range of exotic animals including penguins. Closing in 2015 after 44 years many of its wild residents moved to other zoos, including Amazon World on the Isle of Wight.
Wherever you are at the moment, we hope you are well and staying safe. We can’t wait to welcome you back to our little island again very soon.
Let us know what you are missing the most about the Island, and we’ll try our best to feature them in upcoming blogs.
See you soon.
(Feature image coutosey of Isle of Wight family History Society)