AD – When we travelled to the Isle of Wight recently, we were also invited to be visiting Blackgang Chine. It’s been quite a few years since we last went to Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight, but we were keen to see it again and also looking forward to taking Lola with us.
History Of Blackgang Chine
Blackgang Chine got its name from a now destroyed chine, also known as a coastal ravine. It’s the oldest amusement park in the UK, dating back to the 1840’s.
Getting To Blackgang Chine
Blackgang Chine is located in Ventnor on the Southern part of the Isle of Wight. Blackgang Chine, Nr Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 2HN. To get to the island, you will need to take a ferry from one of the various ports on the South Coast.
We took the Wightlink ferry between Lymington and Yarmouth. Once docked our car journey was around 30 minutes to reach the park. Parking is free when visiting Blackgang Chine in a large car park next to the entrance of the park.
Attractions At Blackgang Chine
There are six lands of adventures at Blackgang Chine, Underwater Kingdom, Restricted Area 5, Fairyland, Nurseryland, Pirate Cove, and Cowboy Town. Within each themed land are interactive areas, shows and entertainment such as the crooked house, hall of mirrors, Rumpus Mansion and Dodo Valley, some of Blackgang Chine favourites.
There are some additional rides for the thrill seekers including the Cliffhanger rollercoaster, and the Waterforce water rides. For the younger visitors, the Pirate barrels and the snakes and ladders game with slides built into the hills are great fun.
Anyone wishing to ride Waterforce must be over 1 meter tall, and 1.1 meters tall to ride the Cliffhanger rollercoaster.
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Is Blackgang Chine Dog Friendly?
Part of our desire to visit the isle of Wight and Blackgang Chine was to see how dog friendly the island is. We had read up that dogs are welcome in all areas of Blackgang Chine apart from the restaurant, and it was as good as we had read.
We were able to take Lola everywhere we wanted to go. There was plenty of seating outside the two main places to eat in the park, so we were all able to eat with her next to us. We spotted plenty of dog bowls filled with water dotted around the park, but I did find it odd that we didn’t spot one dog waste bin.
What Age Range Is Blackgang Chine Suitable For?
Having visited a few times now, I would suggest that although the park is marketed to be suitable for all the family, I think the target age is under 7’s. Abby did really enjoy her day at Blackgang, however at 11 years old, there wasn’t a lot to amuse her in terms of rides.
For the adults, it’s a great place to visit for nostalgia, and remembering how things may have changed since they last visited as a child.
Food and Drink At Blackgang Chine
Visitors are welcome to take their own food and drink into the park and eat at the picnic areas dotted around the park. However, there are also two main places to eat, the Chine Cafe serving jacket potatoes, sandwiches etc, or La Cantina in Cowboy Town serving hot dogs, burgers and nachos. There are plenty of places to get a drink, ice cream or snack around the park.
Our Visit To Blackgang Chine
The day we chose to travel to the island, was the day Storm Hannah was making her way through the UK. The weather was unpredictable and very windy which was a shame. As we arrived at Blackgang Chine, we were advised that the Cliffhanger and Waterforce were closed due to the high winds.
This was completely understandable as the park is situated right on the edge of the cliff. It was very windy as we made our way around the attractions, so unfortunately for Abby she wasn’t able to experience the two rides she wanted to that day.
We arrived just before lunch time, but decided to explore some of the park first. After almost getting lost in the maze, we headed into Nurseryland and towards the house of mirrors. This is always a fun thing to do, and because of the weather the park was very quiet so we had a lot of the attractions to ourselves.
As we decided to wander over to Cowboy Town in time for lunch, as we all decided we wanted burgers and nachos for lunch. It may have been windy, but when the sun was out it was nice and warm, and we were able to eat outside quite comfortable.
We ordered a portion of nachos which were huge, a burger which was a very good size and a hot dog, that despite cost the same as the nachos, wasn’t very big at all. I think it would have been better value to buy a children’s meal and get a smaller hot dog which included fries and a drink.
We spent a few hours exploring the park, and whilst there were some parts that could do with updating, such as the mannequins in the crooked house which are a little scary, on the whole we had a lovely dog friendly day out on the Isle of Wight.
As we decided to leave, a storm arrived and hail stones dropped the size of 5p’s. They were quite hard, especially in the wind, so we took that as our cue to get back to the car.
Overall we all enjoyed visiting Blackgang Chine despite the weather doing it’s best to deter us. I can see new additions since our last visit a few years ago, so work is obviously being done all the time to make improvements which is great.
If you’re holidaying on the Isle of Wight, I recommend visiting Blackgang Chine early in your holiday as return visits are free of charge for 7 days included in your ticket price. This is a great way to spend a few hours each day on a holiday to the Isle of Wight.