Hats off to anyone who has started a new business in the last year. Or indeed to anyone who has managed to keep their business going throughout months of lockdowns, tiers, bubbles, furloughs and other words which have taken over our vocabulary.
Here's our shout out to new things you can do and see on the Isle of Wight during summer 2021.
It's been nice to see the attractions at Tapnell Farm growing over the last five years. There's the Farm Park, of course, but there's also now the Isle of Wight Aqua Park which opened in 2020 and the football golf which opens in 2021. It's a first for the Isle of Wight and it's in a lovely setting in the West Wight. I reckon the full 18 hole course will be popular with stag dos and enthusiastic dads (myself included). There's also a shorter nine hole course for younger children.
Robin Hill has hosted a few events since Bestival retired about five years ago. This year, that includes a night of comedy (Tom Allen, Rich Hall, Seann Walsh and Maisie Adam) plus an evening with Katie Melua. If restrictions allow, it'll be held in the woodland amphitheatre or they can spread people out on the lower fields if necessary.
3. Totland Pier Cafe
I'm not going to feature every new cafe and ice cream hut but the new cafe at Totland seems like it is worth a mention. The pier at Totland has been slowly corroding for a few years so it's been nice to see ongoing work to revive it. A big part of the plan is the new cafe which is now open.
Feel free to give a mention to other new cafes and pubs in the comments section below.
Willow fans will already know that there's only one other willow maze in the UK. This one has been created by a charity which tries to revive green spaces on the Isle of Wight. It sits in the grounds of a hexagonal fort which is mostly holiday apartments.
5. Outdoor escape Room at Appuldurcombe House
You might question how hard it is to escape from an outdoor escape room, but it's actually an 'escape room style game, played within the manor grounds'. It takes about an hour and is for 2-8 people.
6. The Isle of WIght Festival in September
Yes, I know that the Isle of Wight Festival isn't new. However, 2021 will be the first year it's been held in September (all being well). They've had to jiggle the lineup around but it's still looking good. Best of all, it means that those of us who suffer with hayfever will be able to enjoy the festival without constant nose blowing and sneezing. It's also much closer to the dates of the 1970 festival, which was at the end of August. You can buy tickets here.
7. Wight Knuckle Brewery
My father would be very disappointed at my lack of knowledge of real ales, microbreweries, craft beers and so on. If he knew I had a crate of non-alcoholic Becks in the fridge he'd be inconsolable.
Some people who know a bit more about these things have opened a microbrewery in Bembridge at the Pilot Boat Inn
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog