“ Downend, Nr Arreton, Isle of Wight, PO30 2NU. Tel: 01983 730052. „
Robin hill, Isle of Wight, PO3O 2NU
I was born on the Isle of Wight and lived there for many years. The Isle of Wight is a beautiful place that offers a lot to tourists in the Summer season. there isn't much going on during the Winter I'm afraid, so as soon as Robin hill and Blackgang chine (see other review) open they are always very busy.
Robin hill is spread over 80 acres of land and is situated close to the centre of the Island it is near a beautiful small village called Arreton and is quite easy to get to via public transport or by car. Robin is closed for a set amount of time during the summer due to it being the location of the Bestival so please check before visiting.
The standard ticket for people aged 4-89 years is priced at £12.50 off peak and £14.95 on peak or for a family ticket it is priced at £45.00 of peak and £55.00 on peak. these ticket price include unlimited return visits for 7 days.
There are quite a few rides situated throughout Robin hill. The only ride you have an additional payment for is the Toboggan run, which is usually priced at £1.50 ( not open during wet days). The cows express is a new ride which is a small train that goes around a circular track, ideal for younger children. The Colossus is a swinging ship will make your stomach turn and flip so be careful. The time machine has always been a favourite of mine it's a simulator which is really good fun and is now showing 4d adventures as well.
Things to do
There is a troll bridge, watch your feet don't get wet whilst your walking across. A squirrel tower which is over 8 metres high, bumpy slides, a miniature village (mind your head) rabbit runs, tunnels built in a hill loads of fun running around just like a rabbit. There are also a few little play parks and plenty of perfect areas for picnics.
There are 2 main gardens to explore at Robin Hill which are the woodland gardens and the tree sculpture. Explore the gardens and watch the birds, red squirrels and wildlife in their natural inhabitants
If you like birds such as owls, buzzards and eagles you will love this part of the Adventure park, there are displays daily and for £12.50 (prices may change today is 8/6/13) you can have lessons but they are only taught once a week on a Saturday morning.
Cinema under the stars
This is an Amazing opportunity if the weather is nice I have been on two separate days. I saw Grease and Mamma Mia and on one of the occasions it was raining and not as enjoyable. I don't know what the movie line up for this year is but there is usually something for everyone whether it is the jungle book, die hard or grease. Usually 4 dates and movies to chose from. A huge cinema screen is outside so grab your picnic blanket and enjoy a show with some treats. With some entertainment before the show it is amazing. I really hope i get the chance to go again.
The Electirc Woods
The Electiric woods is a great night out, the park stays open quite late and the woods become alive with different colours, sounds and special effects, I've been to one of these as they are not every day and it was spectacular I would recommend it to all.
I would recommend robin Hill it is a great day out but I don't think there is as much to do as other attractions on the Island. It takes a long time to go round the whole park because it is quite spread out so if you like walking and nature this is a place for you to bring the kids.
As part of our family holiday in the Isle of Wight, one of the places that we decided to visit was Robin Hill Adventure Park and Gardens. I had previously visited as a four year old and, although I couldn't remember anything about it, my parents assured me it was a place where we, and especially our three year old, would all enjoy a fun day out in the countryside. The leaflets we picked up from the tourist information office described it as an 'award winning countryside attraction' with a few rides, exciting play areas and a lot of beautiful countryside to explore.
*Location, Prices and Opening Times*
Robin Hill Adventure Park and Gardens is located near Arreton, four miles east of Newport on the Isle of Wight. There is plenty of free parking on the site, and it is only a relatively short drive from the ferry ports if you felt like visiting from the mainland for the day. You can also get there by bus from either Sandown or Newport.
The park is open from the end of March until the end of October each year, although from late September to the October half-term it is only open on some days so if visiting at that time it is best to check their website (http://www.robin-hill.com) to ensure they are open before you visit. It is also closed for two weeks in September when it hosts the Bestival music festival.
A standard entry ticket costs £8.95 for those aged between 4 and 59, £6.95 for over 60s and it is free for children under 4. Tickets are valid for unlimited entry over a seven day period allowing you to return later in your holiday should you desire. You can also buy a combined entry ticket with their sister park, Blackgang Chine at £17.50, saving you £1.40 per ticket if visiting both attractions.
*The Park and Attractions*
There is a lot to enjoy at Robin Hill, whether you are visiting with or without children. For adults, much of the experience is about the natural environment, with highlights being walks through the beautiful woodland gardens featuring a mixture of trees, planted clearings, Chinese-style bridges over the tumbling streams and waterfalls, sculptures and the opportunity to spot a rare red squirrel hiding amongst the trees. Inside the woodland gardens, you can also see the world's tallest tree sculpture which was carved while standing and is 19 metres tall, the 'Driftwood Dome' featuring beautiful driftwood sculptures carved by nature and a Butterfly Garden. You can also watch the falconry show which takes place twice a day. There are also various viewing points - getting up the cargo nets to the top of Squirrel Tower was a bit of a challenge - but the view was well worth the effort! Another 'entertaining' experience for me personally was walking across the wobbly bridges to Troll Island with my three year old jumping up and down to make it shake and the carp in the water opening their mouths at us - slightly freaky, but good fun!
For children, it is all about having fun. There are a few rides at the park - a little train ride for younger children called the 'Cows Express' which runs on a track between painted cows with names like Wayne Moo-ney' and 'Batcow and Robin', the Colossus which is a swinging galleon ride, the 'Time Machine' which is a motion-simulator (with three different 'rides' running at various times throughout the day - when we rode it was a runaway mine train inside a futuristic volcano) and the Toboggan Run which costs an additional £1.50 but is really good fun. There are also a vast array of different play areas scattered around the park - the biggest and best of these is the African Adventure which features a vast climbing frame with rope bridges and tunnel slides, a zip wire and swings set amongst models of African animals. There is also a really sweet little play village with houses, a barn, a sweet shop, a pub and a school which my three year old loved, several other wooden play areas, a Rabbit Run with tunnels that you can crawl through, some very big (but not very slippery) slides near the Toboggan Run and various things to play on scattered through the Woodland Walk such as giant musical chimes and wooden construction vehicles.
*Food and Drink*
There are two cafes at the park as well as plenty of picnic areas for people taking their own food. We ate at the Oasis Café which features a Deli menu, with fresh baked French-style baguettes and delicious fillings...all made to order. It is located right next to the Toboggan Run and a younger children's play area, meaning you can eat in peace while the kids play. The other café is the Squirrels Feast Café serving a range of sandwiches, paninis, jacket potatoes, homemade quiches and burgers, as well as delicious cream teas. There is also an ice-cream stand near the African Adventure.
Robin Hill Adventure Park and Gardens is, in my opinion, a great day out for all the family. We visited with our two children (aged 3 and 4 months) and my parents (in their mid-60s) and we all thoroughly enjoyed our day. It was very quiet in mid-June and that meant that even the adults got to have a go on the play areas - I will remember the sight of my Mum riding the zip wire for years to come - and at times on the Woodland Walk it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. Overall, I would definitely recommend it to all visitors to the Isle of Wight.
* Also posted on Ciao as Brownie_Queen
I first visited Robin Hill was I was about seven years old. My family and a collection of our friends and relatives used to embark on a risky adventure every Sunday, which involved sneaking through the hedge to avoid paying the ticket price! A crowd of us used to gather along Briddlesford Road near Robin Hill and scamper through the bushes. One adult used to drive in and pay the admission fee complete with the car laden with picnic items, chairs, blankets and an assortment of cricket accessories. I thought this was highly exciting and terribly naughty!
Our adventures mainly involved the adults playing cricket, then drinking in the pub attached to the attraction, while the children ran off playing on the adventure park and visiting the reptile house. We never got bored of this routine, and spent long, hot summers lazing around. Thats all there was at Robin Hill in those days, and it was all we needed.
Times have changed and sneaking through the fence is no longer an option. I think the staff must have got wise to our antics, and improved the security of the site. In those days you paid at the little ticket booth while still seated in your car. Now queues are longer, there are more people visiting and the stakes are higher. You find a parking space first, then pay your money! Boo hiss!
I remember summers spent playing cricket and going off in search of snakes in the long grass. Our efforts paid off on one occasion, and we spotted an adder slithering along. We screamed, but stayed deathly still, shaking and whispering to each other, wanting the experience to end so we could run off and tell those children who didnt witness it. Now this field is a car park, and the snakes remain in the security of the long grass, without the prying inquisitiveness of a collection of kids.
My worse memory of Robin Hill was visiting the reptile house and witnessing a huge python consuming a live rabbit. The rabbit was only a baby, pure white, kicking furiously, and the spitting image of my precious bunny Thumper, who was safe in his hutch at home. I didnt know this though, and it took three adults to calm me down.
Alas, the reptile house is no more, which is a relief to poor innocent bunny loving children. In its place is a cinema showing wildlife programmes narrated by Terry Nutkins. Doesnt really have the same appeal does it?
Despite my protestations of wonderful summers past, I still love Robin Hill. It is set in 88 acres of beautiful countryside with endless walks and scenery to digest slowly (a little like the rabbit maybe?). The park is described as a countryside adventure park, so if you go there expecting the exhilarating rides of Alton Towers or Chessington you will be severely disappointed.
There are about three rides which could be described as mildly exhilarating, but not vomit inducing in the slightest. I will mention these rides first, so if you are a serial skimmer you can get the best over and done with.
Colossus Swing Boat
These attractions are springing up everywhere, and do not set the world alight with innovation or death defying stunts. Its basically a huge ship, which you sit in, and it swings backwards and forwards. It does go quite high, and may make you throw up that Magnum you just ate, but it does little for me. The ride seats about 40 people and queues are small in comparison to larger parks. Expect to want for a maximum of 20 minutes to experience this ride.
I once went on this swing boat with my stepson who was about 8 at the time. He went very quiet, and wouldnt say anything to me, I kept asking how he was, but found it difficult to look at him without twisting my neck painfully. After the ride had finished he looked very pale, luckily he wasnt sick, but if we had been on it any longer, the bloke in the white shirt would have been buying some Persil Non Bio pretty sharpish!
The Time Machine
This is a virtual reality style ride where you sit on a large platform with about 30 other people and watch a large cinema screen while being rocked backwards and forwards at speed. The screen shows various scary situations such as a mine shaft and dinosaur land, when the picture looks up, you feel yourself soaring upwards, even though you only move a few centimetres.
I went on this ride when my son was about 5 or 6. He is not a great lover of scary rides; in fact the scariest ride he will go on is the roundabout! We were assured by park staff that this ride was pretty basic. So off we went, took our seats and started the ride. He was frantic at the first curve. He slapped his hands over his eyes and sat cross-legged on the seat. He didnt enjoy it one iota. He was too young to understand the basic concept of the ride and really thought that we were flying. My mum, who had also joined us on that fateful ride, is petrified of flying - not that shes ever been on an aeroplane in her entire 70 years on this earth and was equally scared witless. I have never lived it down; they still blame me for dragging them on this ride!
I enjoy this ride, it involves sitting in a metal baking tray well it feels like it and being propelled down a 400m twisting slide. You can go on this ride with a child under 8 or children can go solo if they are aged 8 or over. I remember queuing to go on this ride with said son for over half an hour. We got to the baking tray, and he decided he didnt want to go on it after all. Dont you just love em.
There is an additional charge of £1 per person for this ride.
What else is there on offer?
This is the extent of the scary rides; the remainder of the park needs a little imagination and lots of energy. There are an assortment of play areas which include a huge assault course, called the Treetop Adventure Trail. This is built within a small forest of trees and includes swings, ropes, pulleys and obstacles to climb. My son and stepchildren love playing it amongst the trees and ropes and will spend hours just moving from one area to the next. There is a picnic area very close by, so that adults can supervise their children while relaxing at the same time. It is a lovely experience in the height of summer with the sun streaming down on your face, scoffing a huge Cornetto and knowing that the kids are happy. Pure heaven!
Along a little further, as you follow the general direction of the walkway, you will come across a wooden maze made of fences. The kids love running into the maze and trying to get lost. They always find their way out much to my partners dismay!
A miniature childrens town is next on the list and this seems to be borrowed straight from Blackgang Chine, which incidentally, is owned by the same family. In this area the children can run about weaving in and out of the stable, sweet shop and school room. Duckdown Play Village is a wonderfully imaginative area which allows children to run around freely, use their imaginations and above all, have fun.
On the way to the main play area, you walk a good mile or so, passing different attractions on the way. Children will love the rabbit run, where they can crawl in and out of the many passages, just like a rabbit. Unfortunately the state of my knees stop me from joining in!
Also along the way is a gypsy camp, children can play on the child sized caravans, trailers and large adventure play areas made to look like forest creatures.
Inside the small wooded area you will find wind chimes, wooden sculptures and beautiful rhododendron bushes. Red squirrels frequent this area, and can always be spotted cavorting about the trees and running along the squirrel ropes.
Finally you reach the main area of the park you come face to face with a medium sized lake filled with carp. This lake called Troll Island also has various footbridges which you can walk over. The children love running over the wooden bridges making splashes as the water bubbles over the surface. You can also buy brown paper bags filled with fish food for about 50p.
This area also has a large pitch and putt green where you can hire golf clubs/balls for a short round of miniature golf. Other sporting facilities include volleyball, clay pigeon shooting, football and rugby.
There are large snake (obviously a left over from the old days) slides in the sports area, which are all free to use plus an assault course with swings and climbing frames. This area is very large and also includes the toboggan run, but you can laze around on the extensive grass area while the children play. Picnic tables are scattered all around the green along with plenty of litter bins.
Once you have tired of this area, you will relish the idea of a gentle stroll up the hill to the main entrance area. This is quite a steep climb, and my mum found it quite difficult when we made our last visit in August last year. You may need plenty of pit stops, and benches are provided enroute. An alternative route to the top of the hill for those more adventurous is the squirrel tower and this is an ideal energy zapper if the kids have any left at this point in time. The tower is made up of interlocking ropes which you climb up to reach the top of the hill. I think this is the lesser of two evils however, and I would only recommend this attraction for more able adults.
What about food?
You are welcome to take a picnic to Robin Hill or sample the various delights in the parks two main eating establishments. One is located at the top of the hill very close to the main entrance. It serves the usual fast food menu including chips, burgers, pasties and ice-creams. All at exhorbitant prices of course.
The second café is in the green area at the bottom of the hill and also provides various meals, snacks and drinks. Prices are the usual steep rates at all likewise theme parks so do not expect Michelin style quality food, or even McDonalds quality at that!
Unfortunately the on site pub is long gone.
Prices and opening times
For 2005 the price per person is £7.50 (ages 4-60), senior citizens have £2 knocked off their admission price and there is a disabled concession of £4.50. If you return within seven days, its free.
I think these prices are quite competitive and allow me to walk in the front entrance instead of through the hedge!
Robin Hill usually opens in March of every year, so check availability before you set out. It is currently closed at the moment, it being a very cold and crisp November, but re-opens again in March 2006, so you have plenty of time to plan your trip before the park re-opens.
Robin Hill offers many other activities at specific times of the year. These include:
* Antiques fairs
* Falconry displays every Saturday
* Open air concerts
This year and last there was the Bestival which although I have never been, is a dance festival held every year which includes acts such as Basement Jaxx, The Magic Numbers, Fatboy Slim, Zero 7 and Island based band The Bees. This year they had an inflatable church which you could get married in (and some people did!)and a huge fancy dress parade which made it into the Guiness Book of records.
Visit www.sundaybest.net for more information.
I love Robin Hill and I visit it every year, it is a brilliant day out for the whole family, and we tend to take advantage of their free entry within seven days. Every year I try to save enough money to buy a season ticket, so that we can visit more often. The hill is not far from where we live, so this would make an ideal change from just going to the local park.
I would recommend Robin Hill to anyone visiting the Isle of Wight on holiday. It is ideal for couples with the long walks and sporting facilities and is great for kids with all the attractions and amusements on offer. Teenagers may be a bit bored, so RH may be best avoided if you have a Kevin the teenager or a 'Vicky Pollard' in tow.
Robin Hill is highly recommended. I will give it 5 out of 5 stars.
Isle of Wight
If you have read my opinions on Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park and Blackgang Chine then you will already know that my family and I are great lovers of the beautiful Isle of Wight. There is so much to see and do on the Island including Robin Hill which is the subject of this opinion. Robin Hill is a country park which is located near Arreton towards the centre of the Island. Don't worry if you don't have a car as public transport on the Island is very good and there are frequent busses to Robin Hill particularly during the high season, the bus stop is conveniently situated just outside the entrance. If you are coming by car you will be pleased to know that parking at Robin Hill is free. The park is open from the end of March through until early November this year. Opening times are from 10am - 6pm during the peak summer holiday period and from 10am - 5pm off peak. Admission to the park is as follows:- Adults and children over 1.1M £5.50 Children under 1.1M £4.00 Senior Citizens £5.00 Disabled £3.00 Children under 3 are admitted Free Like Blackgang Chine, their sister park, Robin Hill run a very good offer that allows you to return to the park within 4 days for only £1 per person. **MAIN ATTRACTIONS** There are three many attractions at Robin Hill and these are as follows **TOBOGGAN RUN** This is my favourite ride. The toboggan run costs £1 per person per ride. Each toboggan seats 1 adult and 1 child or if preferred the toboggans can be ridden alone providing the height restriction is met. The toboggan ride is mechanically operated and each toboggan has a steering wheel and brake which are operated by the rider. There are instructions along the way to advise you when to brake and when not to brake. The toboggan track is 400M long and the total ride takes about 2/3 minutes. It is great fun but gets very busy, especially during the peak season - if you arri
ve at 10am when the park opens it is advisable to go straight to this ride as it tends to be quieter earlier on. Another snag is that the kids will probably want to keep going back on and it can get expensive if there are a lot of you. **THE TIME MACHINE** The time machine is a cinema with a motion platform, it is similar to the simulator rides that you often find in fun fairs. I have not been into the time machine but my husband did, he was taken on a virtual ride on a roller coaster, it must be effective as he came out looking rather green around the gills. **COLLUSUS** Again I haven't been on this ride as I am a bit of a chicken when it comes to these sorts of rides. The Collusus is a large boat ride, you sit down on the boat and it swings backwards and forwards. **OTHER ATTRACTIONS** The park expands over 88 acres of beautiful countryside. As you enter the country park there are signposts to advise you where the main attractions are and there are arrows that you can follow to walk around the park, if you prefer you can find your own way around. As you follow the signs around the park you will come across the following areas. The first area you arrive at is a play area which houses lots of pretend buildings for the children to play in, there is a little sweet shop where they can stand behind the counter and pretend to serve sweets, a school and some houses which you can walk into, the children can climb the stairs in the houses and wave to you from the bedroom windows. A bit further along there is the countryside centre, this is an educational centre and there is a lot of useful information about various countryside matters and wild animals in here. As you step the countryside centre there are some ducks and other small birds to look at. The next attraction is the rabbit warren this is a large dome like hill, a bit like the hill on Teletubbies, with l
ots of tunnels running underneath it - the kids, and adults, can have lots of fun down on their hands and knees crawling through the tunnels and going into and coming out of different entrances. Beware though - the children generally come out of here looking pretty grubby. If you follow the footpath and walk down the hill you will arrive at the forest sculptures, these are slides etc which have all been sculpted out of wood and shaped into animals, eg there is a snail slide. They are beautiful to look at and the children love them. Just along from the forest sculptures there is the lake area, here you will always find some hungry ducks and geese looking for scraps of food. The footpath then continues into the woodland walk, the woodland walk is very interesting and if you are lucky you may spot a red squirrel or two. There are plenty of things to see and do throughout the woodland walk, such as cars and tractors carved out of wood which the children can sit in, there are also some chimes hanging down from the trees which the children can play tunes on. Dotted about along the way there are information signs about the various birds and wildlife that you may be lucky enough to spot along the way. As you reach the end of the woodland walk you again meet up with the lake, there is a bridge that runs over the lake and if you look into the water from the bridge you can normally spot hundreds of fish popping their heads out of the water, especially if you entice them with fish food, which you can buy at the entrance, or bread. Once you have passed the lake you come to a large grassy area, here you can play football, have a picnic or just sit and relax. Also found in this area there is a death slide, a water game where you have to hit the water bumps quickly as they pop up or they squirt water at you, snake slides set in the hill and the toboggan run. There is a cafe in this area which sells hot and cold drinks and snacks and
ice creams. There are also toilets in this area. As you head back up the hill from here you will come across squirrel tower, this is a large tower which is like an assault course, you have to climb up ropes to get to the top. I have had a go at it and it is certainly not as easy as the children make it look. The last area you come to is towards the top of the hill, here you will find another play area with rope bridges and plenty of other things to climb up and over. **EATING AND DRINKING** There are two cafes where you can buy hot and cold food, hot and cold drinks, sweets and ice creams. However, if you prefer you can take a picnic, there are plenty of grassy areas and picnic benches along the way. **SUMMARY** Robin Hill is a great value day out for all the family. Like Blackgang Chine you do not need to visit with children to have a good time. You can spend as long as you like here - if you wish to take the whole park at a leisurely pace then you could easily spend a full day there. If however you prefer to skip some of it or whizz round then you could fit it into half a day. Don't forget if you don't feel you have had long enough you can always return within 4 days for only £1 per person. The park is not on one flat level and there are parts of the park which are uphill, bearing this is mind young children or the elderly may find it hard work at times - I know I did and I'm only 34!