Opening up for spring on the Isle of Wight
Now that spring is here, our places are waking up after their winter hibernation. Whether you fancy exploring inside a windmill or finding out about the history of rockets, there's plenty for you to discover here on the Isle of Wight.
Gardens and guns
Tucked away in a sheltered valley, Mottistone Gardens provide the ideal location to spot the first flowers of the year. Open from Sunday 10 March, come along and see daffodils, or in late spring take a walk amongst the bluebells. Look out for our flower pot people whilst you wander and then relax in the tea-gardens with a drink and a slice of freshly made cake. Before you leave, take a look around our shop. Located in our ancient barn, it is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir of your visit or a special treat.
If you enjoy being by the sea, then head along to The Needles Old Battery and New Battery. Although our 1940s inspired tea-room has been open all winter, from Saturday 9 March you can enjoy the spectacular views of the Needles rocks from both here and across the site. Find out about the fascinating history of these fortifications, from Victorian folly to space age rocket testing site, and explore the parade ground with its many guns.
After wandering the meadows and lanes of Newtown, from Saturday 9 March, pop along to the Old Town Hall. A building has stood on this site since the 13thcentury but the town around it has long since disappeared. During your visit can learn more about the colourful history and corrupt political past of this Rotten Borough, and discover how the current building was saved by Ferguson's Gang in 1933.
A trip to the east
Over on the eastern side of the Isle of Wight stands Bembridge Windmill. Located amongst wildflower fields and hedgerows, it is the Islands only surviving windmill. Set yourself a challenge for spring and try climbing to the top, or discover our secret millers hidden around the mill. We open from Saturday 9 March.
A short distance away on the downs above the mill is Bembridge Fort. Take in the panoramic views of the coast and countryside (and spot the windmill) before exploring inside. Like the Needles Old Battery, Bembridge Fort was built by Lord Palmerston to protect against French invasion. Since then it has had a varied past, eventually falling into disrepair. Thankfully, our team of volunteers is now working to restore the fort, and offer guided tours on Tuesdays from April to October. Booking for a tour is essential, so, please phone 01983 741020 to ensure that there is space available.
With the arrival of warmer weather and sunnier days, get out and about and come and see our places in the spring. Don’t forget to look out for our special spring events too so you can make even more of your visit.