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A Guide to Blackgang Chine

Thought to be one of if not the oldest theme park in the world, Blackgang Chine opened its doors in the 1840s. Of course, it looks very different today, especially since much of the original park has since fallen into the sea. Still, there are plenty of old relics to see and to enjoy as well as modern rides and attractions. Set right on the cliff edge near to Ventnor, its perfect for a summers day out. This family park shouldnt be missed if youre bringing the kids on your island holiday. Named the Land of Imagination, the grounds feature different areas themed around eras in time. Visit Cowboy Town, Pirate Cove, or Restricted Area 5, where you might spot some dinosaurs! Find out more about the historic park here!

What to Know

In the summer, Blackgang Chine isnt just an amusement park; its a theatrical spectacle, too. Actors dressed as pirates, smugglers, and cowboys roam around enlisting children to help with their quests and adventures! It truly is a one-of-a-kind experience for island visitors and residents alike, who return year after year. Advance tickets are available for purchase on the Blackgang Chine official website. Visitors can buy entry for one visit or frequent visitor passes. You can also buy joint tickets for access to both Blackgang Chine and its sister park, Robin Hill County Park, just outside of Newport. Standard tickets include free re-entry to the park for seven days! Special events run throughout the summer. These include Big Night Out events where the park is open until 9.30pm for firework displays, workshops, and theatrical shows. The park is open from 10 am until 5 pm throughout the summer season. It remains open daily from April until October before it closes for the year in November.

Where to Stay

Blackgang Chine is approximately 6 miles from Ventnor on the southern coast of the island. Ventnor is a popular tourist destination with lots of nearby hotels. Some of our top picks include
  • No24: an affordable small hotel in central Ventnor. The site also features a tea shop in the day and cocktail bar by night. Theres a guest courtyard to enjoy, too.
  • Harbour View Hotel: This beautiful luxury hotel offers guest rooms with sea views nestled in the hills of Ventnor. The town is close by, and the beach is just a stones throw away.
  • The Eversley Hotel: This hotel offers family rooms at very reasonable prices. Guests benefit from a gym, jacuzzi, outdoor heated pool, library, and lovely grounds. Just next to Ventnor Park, its a great location for all island visitors.

What Else to Do on the Isle of Wight

Theres much to do on the south side of the island take a trip to some of these while youre over visiting Blackgang Chine:
  • Ventnor Botanic Garden: a serene park full of tropical plants. Its thought to be Britains warmest garden, situated on pretty much the southern-most point of the UK! Theres also a kids play area and special events held year-round, like food festivals, wellbeing sessions, and even ghost walks! (The site was once home to a Victorian Tuberculosis hospital, and some former patients are said to still roam the grounds)
  • Country pubs: Make a pitstop at some quaint country pubs, like The Buddle Inn in Niton and The Crab in Shanklins Old Town.
  • Dinosaur Isle: Got a dinosaur fanatic in your party, or just interested in the islands history? Dinosaur Isle is located up the south-east coast of the island and offers loads for kids to do. Its also home to some real prehistoric dinosaur footprints excavated from the islands cliffs.
Check out our list of things to do on the Isle of Wight for more suggestions!

How to Get to Blackgang Chine

Once youve arrived on the island, getting to Blackgang Chine is best by car. Bring your car over on one of the car ferries (Lymington to Yarmouth; Southampton to East Cowes; or Portsmouth to Fishbourne), or hire one at Southampton or Portsmouth. Getting around by car is recommended as rural bus routes are few and far between. The park has a large dedicated car park FREE for visitors. Some bus routes serve the park from Newport and Ventnor check out the Southern Vectis bus company website. Want to visit the island from abroad? Most holidaymakers fly into one of the London airports. Once landed you can get a train, coach, or rental car from both Gatwick or Heathrow. Some flights also land directly at Southampton Airport!
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