Fun in the spring sunshine at Blackgang Chine

With sunshine being forecast for day five of our Isle of Wight holiday, we’d planned a day at Blackgang Chine. Hubby and I had both been before but not for many years and were looking forward to taking Jessica and Sophie there for the first time. Blackgang Chine is the oldest amusement park in the UK. It first opened in 1843 and so this year celebrates its 175th birthday.


Sophie and hubby standing in front of the giant smuggler at the entrance to Blackgang Chine - "Fun in the spring sunshine at Blackgang Chine"


There were a few events taking place due to the Easter holidays; one of which was the Easter Eggsplorers trail. This involved looking out for eggs around the park and using the symbols on the eggs to crack a code. The eggs were quite difficult to spot in places though and so the girls soon gave up looking for them.


Sophie standing by the Tyrannosaurus Rex in Restricted Area 5 at Blackgang Chine


We started off by visiting the dinosaurs in Restricted Area 5. The paths around this area were very steep in places. There are signs throughout warning that the steep gradient may be unsuitable for wheelchairs and these areas are also marked on the park map. We did manage to get around them with Jessica’s buggy although it was certainly hard work in places. Thankfully hubby was pushing the buggy most of the time! The girls loved seeing the life-sized moving dinosaurs in this area. Towards the end, there were a couple of dinosaurs which they could climb on which Sophie enjoyed.


Sophie sitting on one of the dinosaurs in Restricted Area 5 with Jessica next to her in the buggy


The path from Restricted Area 5 led us past the Giant Bug Walk, where Jessica and Sophie stopped to sit and chat with a couple of giant garden gnomes.


Jessica and Sophie sitting with the giant gnomes at Blackgang Chine


We stopped for a picnic lunch at Pirate Cove. Sophie had a wonderful time exploring the pirate ships at Pirate Cove and firing the water cannon. She also had fun being the target of the water cannon too! Jessica rather sensibly decided to stay in her buggy with the rain cover over her when passing the water cannons.


Sophie exploring one of the ships in Pirate Cove


The Vortex was Jessica’s favourite part of Pirate Cove. This takes you through the middle of a rotating cylinder and makes you feel like the ground is rotating from underneath you. I have to admit I tend to go through with my eyes shut as I don’t like the sensation but Jessica loved it. The path through the cylinder was easily accessible with Jessica’s buggy too. She enjoyed it so much, she kept wanting to go through it again and again.


Sophie with one of the Dodo Explorers


Near the Underwater Kingdom, we got to meet one of Blackgang Chine’s resident Dodo Explorers. Sophie also enjoyed meeting some of the other explorers and getting to dig for creatures in the sandpit. She found a tiny snake which she was able to take away with her. She also found another one for Jessica, but her sister wasn’t quite so keen on keeping it.


Sophie digging for fossils with one of the explorers


We managed to persuade Jessica to walk for a while at the Underwater Kingdom as the paths weren’t too steep here. I loved the different animatronic sea creatures in this area – particularly the crab – and the giant blue whale.


Hubby, Sophie and Jessica with the animatronic crab at the Underwater Kingdom


Jessica and Daddy holding hands walking through the Underwater Kingdom


By the time we reached the Mouth of Hell though, Jessica had had enough of walking. She was quite happy to sit in her buggy and watch Sophie as she climbed inside it though. Sophie had lots of fun exploring inside and looking out from the eyes and nostrils.


Sophie climbing out of the Mouth of Hell


Cowboy Town was next. This was our least favourite part of the park. It was very busy and full of children running around firing noisy cap guns at each other which really wasn’t our idea of fun. We were quite relieved that neither of the girls were keen to stay in this area very long although Sophie enjoyed climbing up into the stagecoach and sitting watching for a while.


Sophie sitting on the stagecoach at Cowboy Town


We bypassed the giant Snakes and Ladders area as Sophie was too small for this and headed for Fairyland instead. Sophie had a wonderful time exploring all the fairy houses here and visiting the fairy castle.


Sophie sitting on a toadstool at Fairyland


Sophie exploring the fairy houses in Fairyland


Back at Pirate Cove, we stopped for the obligatory ice cream before heading across to the other side of the park to see the attractions there.


Jessica enjoying an ice-cream in the sunshine


The girls enjoyed going on the Pirate Barrels ride and visiting Nurseryland. This was one of the areas that I remembered most from my last visit. Hubby and Sophie explored the House that Jack Built while Jessica and I sat in the sunshine and looked around at all the other nursery rhymes that were brought to life in this area.


Jessica and Daddy on the Pirate Barrels ride


Jessica sitting on a bench by the Pirate Barrels ride


We finished off the day with a trip to the Hall of Mirrors which Jessica loved. She thought it was so funny to see how the mirrors stretched and shrunk us. By the time we finished there, the park was starting to close and it was time to go. It was such a lovely family day out especially with the spring sunshine. Jessica had been so tired of the long winter and had longed for the arrival of spring. I am so glad that she got to enjoy one day of it at least.


Jessica seeing herself stretched in one of the mirrors in the Hall of Mirrors


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

7 thoughts on “Fun in the spring sunshine at Blackgang Chine

  1. A wonderful day out filled with special moments. It sounds like there were enough things here for Jessica to enjoy without having to walk too far. Sophie looks in her element climbing and exploring in every zone. Ice creams well deserved I’d say. A great recommendation for a place to visit on a trip to the Isle of Wight.

  2. I have never envisaged an amusement arcade being than old, I always think of them being a fairly modern thing. Lovely to see a lot of it is not fast noisy rides.
    Smart move on staying in the buggy with the hod up.
    Funny mirrors always amaze me as well. #CountryKids

  3. Wow, I visited here about 20 years ago – more than that actually ! – and it’s evolved so much. Love those giant gnomes and the dodo. Beautiful memories. #CountryKids

  4. I have so many happy memories of Blackgang Chine from my own childhood, it’s lovely to see it still going strong. I really must take my son over to make more memories and show him where my great Auntie used to live #CountryKids

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