If you’ve a budding paleontologist in the family, or just love a great day out, Wightlink has a summer day trip for you.
A SUMMER OFFER is knocking the price off a family trip to see the original Jurassic Park.
The Isle of Wight has been named the richest source of dinosaur remains in Europe and Wightlink, one of the main ferry operators to the island, is running a special ‘kids go free’ offer for the holidays.
Young fossil hunters will enjoy searching for finds at the island’s Compton Bay, “discovering” huge fossilised footprints preserved in rocks at Hanover Point and visiting interactive museum Dinosaur Isle.
Dinosaurs are not all that the Isle of Wight has to offer however – children can meet the animals at Tapnell Farm Park and Isle of Wight Zoo, become a sheriff in their own wild western town at Blackgang Chine or visit the iconic Needles Landmark Attraction.
For active families, the island has much to offer with beaches galore, all sorts of water sports and the 70 mile coastal path to explore. The Isle of Wight is also now listed as having one of the world’s top ten cycle routes by Lonely Planet.
One of the best family days out on the island is to Osborne House, the former home of Queen Victoria who, with her nine children, practically invented the family holiday.
The house and its grounds featured in movies such as Victoria and Abdul and Mrs Brown and it holds plenty of interest such as the Swiss Cottage, the ultimate playhouse which was built to small scale by Prince Albert so his children could learn how to garden, cook and run a home.
Then there’s Queen Victoria’s beach where visitors can watch a traditional Punch and Judy show and see inside her personal bathing machine.
Those who prefer their history ancient can visit the Roman settlements. Brading Roman Villa near Sandown is acknowledged as one of the UK’s finest Roman sites. Their award-winning visitor centre and museum offer insights into Roman life in Britain, from intricate mosaic floors to a breath-taking collection of archaeology and there’s an award-winning café, too.
The Needles Old Battery is also worth a visit. Operated by the National Trust, this former Victorian fortress was part of Britain’s space race where rockets were fired over the sea. It is possible to explore the old tunnels, find out about the rocket tests and enjoy one of the island’s best views of the Needles.
For rainy days there are plenty of museums including the Shipwreck Centre which holds The Lethbridge Barrel where one of the world’s first divers, John Lethbridge, spent half an hour under the surface of the Thames, eating his dinner in 1720.
Under 5s always travel free with Wightlink but during the summer break up to two children aged 5-15 go free with every adult foot passenger day return ticket. The offer is valid for travel from now until Sunday, 2 September 2018. To find out more visit www.wightlink.co.uk