Blackgang Chine – the oldest amusement park in the UK

When we were on the Isle of Wight last weekend, we went to Blackgang Chine, which is an amusement park at the south of the island. It has been in existence since 1843 apparently, which makes it the oldest amusement park in the UK.

It has a hedge maze.

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The main rides are three water slides and a roller coaster. We went on all of them several times. And we also did the tea cup carousel ride, which left me very dizzy.

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This is the view from one of the areas in the park. Very nice!


Other than the rides, there were different areas to explore, for example an area with paraphernalia related to nursery rhymes (which I didn’t know).

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And there was a Wild West town, which was probably my favourite. I also had lunch there.

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We made friends with a lot of the locals there.

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I don’t really remember in which context these two guys were displayed but they are so funny! Especially that first one with the beer…

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Overall, probably more aimed at kids but I went with the claim to fame of it being the oldest amusement park in the UK. A fun day out!

Trip to the Isle of Wight

I had never been to the Isle of Wight but last weekend that finally changed. We went a couple of days before the wedding to see some of the island.

The journey from London was surprisingly quick! It only took 2.5 hours in total. Why don’t I go to the seaside more often?

We took a train to Portsmouth and then the ferry to Ryde. It was only a 20 minute ride.

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Once in Ryde we took the little train to Shanklin. It was actually an old London Underground trains. It felt like stepping back in time!

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Shanklin station had the cutest newsagents.


And once we had checked in, we made the short walk to the beach. It was a hot day and loads of people were swimming in the sea. We decided to swim the next morning. The water was only 17 – 18 degrees Celsius but it was so nice to be in the water and enjoy the views onto the cliffs from there.

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A classic car was parked by the sea front. Check out the driver!

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We also visited Shanklin Chine which is a garden with a waterfall (a little trickle on that particular day) in a gap in the cliffs.

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We had drinks and dinner in the Old Village in Shanklin. (Stay away from that Pavarotti restaurant. It’s terrible).

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All in all, Shanklin is a cute little town and the Isle of Wight is well worth a visit! Nothing beats swimming in the sea on a hot day.

All photos are taken by me on the Fuji X10.

A wedding on the Isle of Wight

I attended another wedding at the weekend. This time an English wedding in Appuldurcombe House on the Isle of Wight.

It was a beautiful setting and the wedding was a lot of fun. It was a bit different from your standard English wedding. Planned with a lot of attention to detail and with great little events throughout the day that made it really special.

This is Appuldurcombe House from the front.

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The back of the house is mainly ruins, so it’s really not much more than a facade. The wedding dinner and speeches were held in a gazebo on the lawn.bDSCF0290 bDSCF0301

The wedding was 1920s themed and the groom arrived in this car. A lot of people had made the effort and dressed up in 1920s style clothes.


When the bride and groom were gone for their photo session, the guests could enjoy a falconry display. It was fascinating. We were all sitting in the grass, drinking champagne and watching this guy play with some big birds.


The bride and groom are both slightly obsessed with squirrels, so the little animals appeared here and there throughout the event.

In the dessert as a biscuit:


As money that we could use in the casino after dinner. It was so much fun!


I lost all my squirrel money at the Blackjack table.


Kids playing cricket after dinner. So English!


There was also a ‘secret’ Speakeasy bar in the basement of the building. It was only open for an hour and quite dark and dingy. Here’s what was left after the cocktails were finished.


And this is the building illuminated after dark.