Events & Festivals | The Royal Esplanade

Events & Festivals

The Joust - Battle for Good - Carisbrooke Castle

14 - 16 August 2018

Carisbrooke Castle

This is the joust to end all jousts. Four of the most skilful knights in the Kingdom, mounted on their magnificent steeds, battle for love or eternal sorrow. Good or evil; who will triumph?

Marvel as a display of chivalry determines the victor of this medieval spectacular.

See falcons in flight and discover medieval life in the living history encampments.

Step back in time and experience an epic tournament full of rich pageantry and excitement.

Budding knights can test their bravery in the hobby-horse jousting, while the court jester and merry musicians set the scene for a spectacular day.

Purchase your tickets today using English Heritage' online system available via their website, or by calling their dedicated Ticket Sales Team on 0370 333 1183 (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30 Sat 9am – 5pm). Because of the popularity of this event, pre-booking is strongly recommended.

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Isle of Wight Garlic Festival

18 - 19 August 2018

Newchurch, Isle of Wight

Set against a beautiful backdrop of rolling green hills and farmland, the Garlic Festival is located just outside of Newchurch at the heart of the stunning Isle of Wight.

The show is food and entertainment at its very best. A vast array of eats, treats, sights and sounds to suit all tastes and ages. There are huge garlic and food marquees, cooking demonstrations from top Island chefs in the all new theatre kitchen, children’s entertainers, archery and a giant fun-fair. Enjoy hundreds of Arts and Craft stalls and scrummy produce to tempt your taste buds.

There are businesses and market stalls, talented animals and arena entertainment. Plus, live music on the big stage, a big beer tent and straw bales so you can relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

At the heart of the festival is Britain’s best most pungent garlic, produced right here on the Isle of Wight, in Newchurch by the multi-award winning Garlic Farm.

As ever, it’s not just garlic bulbs and amazing garlic products. Island food compares with the world’s best; meats, vegetables, cheese, honey, wine, cider and juices. You'll find garlic fudge, ice cream, popcorn, biscuits, scones, sweetcorn, mushrooms, the list goes one. You name it, you’ll find it with garlic here!

The variety of food, music, fun fair and an arena packed full of traditional entertainments, animals and child friendly surprises help make this the Isle of Wight’s most popular family event.

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Cowes Classic (Cowes - Torquay - Cowes Powerboat Race) 2018

25 - 26 August 2018

58 years of Powerboat Racing at Cowes

This Bank Holiday weekend (25th - 26th August 2018) will see the 58th year of Offshore Powerboat Racing at Cowes.

This is the world’s most prestigious offshore powerboat race, The Cowes to Torquay, Torquay to Cowes.

The Cowes - Torquay - Cowes race covers a distance of 190 nautical miles. The course record speed was set in 2015 by Peter Dredge, Simon Powell, Mal Crease and David Gandy driving Vector Martini Rosso at a staggering average speed of 94.55 mph.

Cowes is recognized as the birthplace of international powerboat racing. It is therefore fitting that every year some of the biggest, brightest, loudest and most powerful boats in the world assemble to re-enact the famous race from Cowes to Torquay then turn around and race back from Torquay to Cowes where the first race was hosted in 1961.

The format is a bonus for powerboat racing fans on the mainland as it provides a chance for viewing of the boats from Torquay’s Haldon Pier between the races. Access to the pontoons will be limited to officials and race teams but drivers will meet with spectators on the pier.

There are also several vantage points on the headlands of the South Coast of England andTorquay Bay where fans

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The 44th Island Steam Show

24 - 27 August

Havenstreet, Isle of Wight

Bursting with surprises, the 44th Island Steam Show is an action-packed event and great family day out!

There are bundles of fun in the main arena with The Sheep Show and Joseph Peace and his Red Hot Fire Show. Watch the silly traction engines games, be awe-inspired by Haven Falconry's birds of prey and enjoy a variety of displays and attractions to keep the whole family entertained throughout the day! These stunning shows in the main arena will make you gasp, cheer and laugh, while in our 'Comedy & Entertainment' arena Mr Alexander's Travelling Show returns to enthrall and amuse and is accompanied by Martin Ordibans on the piano, plus there are humorous tales, comedy and oddball skills with Greg Chapman's Condensed Histories.

What's more, there's a terrific line-up of live bands and music to enjoy each day on the woodland stage.

Relish the sight of beautifully maintained traction engines, vintage cars, motorcycles and old wagons, or simply settle back for a steam train ride through the Island's unspoilt countryside.

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Music and Magic in the Skies

2 - 30 August 2018

The Needles Landmark, Alum Bay, Isle of Wight

Needles' Music & Magic in the Skies fireworks extravaganza, takes place every Thursday in August with each of the weekly pyrotechnic events supporting a different island charity.

New & Exciting Entertainment plus Big Bands are set to play such as Groove Union, The Blues Brothers and many more headliners whilst lighting up those magical Needles skies, 'free' fun for all the family, only pay to park your car!

New for 2018 there will be lots of surprises throughout the days and evening and the fireworks will be taking you on a magical journey.

The full entertainment schedule for the 6 weeks summer holidays and these events will be coming soon! Do not miss out on this free family entertainment!

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Classic Beer, Buses and Walks - 2018

Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th October 2018

Classic Buses operating free heritage services between Pubs serving Real Ales. Or walk between pubs if you prefer.  There are also a number of walks to take part in. See link for more details.

Visit the Isle of Wight, travel in style in the heritage fleet and taste the best ales the Island has to offer in the best locations.

When you get back to the Royal Esplanade you can carry on sampling some of the best Real Ales we have on offer, straight from our own Heritage Brewery in Burton 


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FESTIVAL OF LIGHT INSPIRED BY DIWALI at Robin Hill

29 September - 4 November 2018

Robin Hill Country Park

Every evening from 29th September – 4th November, 6pm – 10pm, visitors can experience the lush colours, flavours and magic of the Asian sub-continent set in Robin Hill’s glorious autumnal ancient woodland as they venture on a journey of discovery of India.

Amidst all the exciting activity, take time to enjoy the enhanced authentic Indian menu of curries and kebabs, Asian sweets, and traditional teas; providing a true ‘taste of India’ in the exciting setting of an Indian bazaar.

During October half term, Robin Hill Country Park will be open during the day from 10am and continue into the evening with Festival of Light inspired by Diwali.

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