Blackgang Chine Underwater Kingdom: Review & Competition
One of my earliest childhood memories is visiting the dinosaurs at Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight.
It is also somewhere I have fond memories of taking my now teenage children when they were younger, but we have not been back for a few years and couldn't wait to introduce Isaac, Eliza and Sebastian to the park.
Unlike many theme parks, Blackgang Chine doesn't have many rides but what it does have is far more important – the tools to spark children's imagination and the room to let them run, play and explore.
The excitement of our visit started early in the morning as we prepared for the 40 minute ferry journey aboard Wightlink Ferries from Lymington to Yarmouth which saw the kids exploring the ship and standing outside to watch as we crossed the Solent.
Blackgang Chine is a short 20 minute drive from the Port and upon spotting a giant stood outside surrounded by canons, the kids excitement grew. We parked up in the free carpark and headed inside.
The first thing you see after the admission gates is Restricted Area 5 and my dinosaur mad children could not wait to ignore the "warning signs" and see what they could see.........they were not disappointed!
Huge, animatronic dinosaurs filled the enclosure with life-like sounds which allow you to imagine what life might have been like when they roamed the earth. Our favourites included the Argentinosaurus, which is bigger than a double decker bus and the biggest animatronic T-Rex in the country, which we nicknamed Terence. The ground actually shook when he roared!
As we came out of the enclosure we found some giant insects to wonder at, walked past and explored the Crooked House before finding the jewel in Blackgang Chine's crown – the all new Underwater Kingdom.
We proceeded through a magical underwater cave which took us to a incredible coral reef. Sebastian could not contain his excitement at being under the sea and the kids took instructions from an animatronic crab to help him find his family who had wandered off.
On our journey we discovered an abandoned sunken shipwreck to explore and the most amazing array of colourful, larger than life animatronic sea creatures as we ventured further into the deep. On the final part of the journey we found the biggest mammal of them all impressively floating above our heads, moving its tail as if it were swimming.
The fun doesn't end here as there are so many other areas to explore. We battled the pirates in Pirate Cove, complete with pirate ships to climb and water pistols to fire. We found our inner Sheriff in Cowboy Town where we stopped a bank robbery, put the kids in jail and rode a stage coach.
Eliza adored finding fairies in Fairy Land and seeing the Prince try to wake Sleeping Beauty in the Princess Castle. We also played a real life game of Snakes and Ladders up and down a huge wooden play frame complete with stairs and long winding slides to whizz down.
For children that do like to experience thrills, there is also the Cliffhanger Rollercoaster, Waterforce slide and the teacups to ride.
Blackgang Chine is the UK's oldest theme park and is 174 years old this year. Their very first exhibit was a huge fin whale which is still on display to this day and I urge you to go and see this magnificent beasts skeleton which you can actually walk through.
If you are visiting with young children please be aware that the park is very hilly, although completely accessible for buggies or wheelchairs. There are plenty of toilet and baby changing facilities available as well as food stands throughout the park and the large Chine café by the entrance which serve the most amazing fish finger sandwiches!!
Want to visit Underwater Kingdom?
Join our friends at Blackgang Chine this Easter for the official opening of their brand new magical theme world, Underwater Kingdom, where all is make believe!
Hold your breath...and dive into the land of imagination where you'll discover a magical underwater cave, vibrant luminescent coral reef, an abandoned sunken shipwreck and the most amazing array of colourful larger than life animatronic sea creatures as you venture into the deep....
...where the biggest mammal of them all will be found floating above you!
You and your budding adventurers can join in with their special celebrations on either Wednesday 12th April, Easter Sunday (16th) or Bank Holiday Monday (17th) to mark the official opening of Underwater Kingdom. With ferry tickets to help you get across to the Isle of Wight, you’re in for a real treat as soon as you step on board.
The whole family will be amazed by the world's tallest bubbleologist. You can even fend off Pirates as they try to hijack the pirate ships, and meet the diving dodos. There’s lots of additional entertainment throughout the Easter holidays (8th - 23rd April) with their resident dinosaurs and dodos roaming the park causing mischief and mayhem!
So, pack your goggles, bring a tin of fish bait and don’t forget your flippers! Just kidding, dive deeper to find out how you could bag a perfect catch!