Blackgang Chine is the UK’s oldest amusement park located on the Isle of Wight close to Ventnor. It was first opened in 1843 and has been entertaining families ever since, this year celebrating its 175th birthday!
Situated at the top of a cliff, parts of the park have been lost over the years to landslides. As such it is common for the park to have to move attractions regularly so as to avoiding losing them to the sea.
We took the number 6 Southern Vectis to the park which is also served by the Island Coaster throughout the summer months. We had purchased our tickets in advance which cost £22 per person, an online saving of a massive 50p each! This price is for all persons over the age of 4 and up to 59 years old. There is also the option of purchasing joint park tickets to use with their sister park Robin Hill Country Park.
The park is made up of various ‘lands’ including Cowboy Town, Nurseryland, Fairyland, the Underwater Kingdom, Pirate Cove, Dodo Valley and Restricted Area 5 – the land of dinosaurs! Each of these areas has various attractions, some with interactive areas, some with animatronic characters and some with play areas.
Other popular attractions include the Hedge Maze, the Hall of Mirrors, ‘Cliffhanger’ rollercoaster, ‘Waterforce’, a 100 ft-long water slide with three chutes and ‘Snakes & Ladders’ play area.
We had arrived before opening so were some of the first through the door. It was mid August but fairly quiet, it was a bit drizzly so think it initially kept the crowds away. As the crowd all turned right on entering the park we took a left and had the Dodo Valley, Pirate Cove, Underwater Kingdom and Cowboy Town to ourselves! We had the chance to become kids again – we pressed all the interactive buttons, ran along the rope bridges and, best of all, had great fun on Snakes & Ladders! Those slides are surprisingly fast though this may have been down to the fact they were wet, hence we ended up with wet bums!
We headed over to Restricted Area 5 and by now the park was busier although not to the point that you couldn’t see anything or felt that you were ‘crammed in’. After ‘escaping’ the dinosaurs we wandered around the maze before enjoying the Cliffhanger Rollercoaster and Waterforce water slide. We probably queued for around 10 minutes for both, and once again they were both surprisingly fast for a kiddies park!
Finally we checked out the original whale skeleton which has been on display at the park since 1843. This skeleton belongs to a 9 metre long fin whale which was washed up near The Needles in 1842. The park’s creator ‘Alexander Dabell’ bought the whale at auction, removed the blubber, washed and bleached the bones and decided to display the remains as an attraction at his new park. And, just as it was then, the skeleton is a popular feature with all ages.
This family friendly park is still owned by the same family which is probably why it still retains an unique charm. Kept exceptionally clean and very well built, the park is a great day out for families. Happy 175th Birthday Blankgang Chine – here’s to the next 175 years!
VIDEO: Blackgang Chine
We re-live childhood fun by becoming kids again and exploring the land of imagination! Check out our video of Blackgang Chine below. Plus subscribe to our channel where you can see videos of the individual rides ‘Cliffhanger‘, ‘Snakes & Ladders‘ and ‘Waterforce‘!