Eric Ladle, General Manager of the island's Tourist Information Centres, told us yesterday that Island Tourism are delighted with the summer season so far.
However, they do have one slight concern. 'While we are delighted with the summer season so far, we do have one slight concern', Eric Ladle told us.
'We only have one slight concern, as we are delighted with the summer season so far. But, though we are delighted with the summer season so far, we do have one slight concern, despite the fact that we are delighted with the summer season so far, notwithstanding the presence of one slight concern.'
After half an hour of this, we felt that some more specific information would be useful for our readers, and so we pushed Mr Ladle for this information. We told him that, though we were delighted with the interview so far, we did have one slight concern - namely, the lack of specific information about Mr Ladle's concerns.
'More specific information?' he asked. 'Why didn't you say so?' And, at long last, we were getting somewhere. He continued to elucidate.
'Our concern is merely that - though we are delighted with the summer season so far in general, we do have one slight concern about the fact that visitors are visiting the same places. They are tending to congregate in the more popular resorts - like Cowes, Shanklin and Sandown - and missing out on some of the more unique and unusual things the island has to offer.'
Eric Ladle said that he was working on a pamphlet and a series of web pages that would publicise some of the Isle of Wight's less-frequented attractions. Until these are produced, Mr Ladle offered us a list, with some examples of these more outré features of island life and culture:
- The Sunken Church of St Nostrum - Primple Bay - described as 'the nearest thing to an Ethiopian Rock Temple to be found on the Isle of Wight', this ancient church has sunk beneath the beach at Primple Bay
- The Bembridge Neolithic Beehive - the island's only surviving neolithic beehive, set dramatically on Bembridge Down, offers fossilised honey, neolithic bee skeletons and much more
- King Alfred the Great's Bugle, Bugle Museum, High Street, Brading - see the bugle that helped repel a Danish invasion, along with many more, including Pargeter Muffdandy's 17th century Plague-Warning Bugle
- The Calbourne Ocelot Sanctuary, Tutterbridge House, Calbourne - a lodge and drive lead from picturesque Winkle Street to the island's only ocelot sanctuary run by Denys and Glenys Nennys (they are particularly proud of their Bolivian Leopardus pardalis steinbachi collection)
- The Old Smithy Nettle, Thistle & Dock Garden, Adgestone - enjoy the transquility and wild abandon of the island's only garden devoted to these naturally-thriving species ('the easiest gardening job in the world' boasts Head Gardener Ron 'look, no wheelbarrow!' Luggo)
- The Bamboo Grove, Niton Underlegge - known to islanders as 'the Pub in a bamboo grove', this is actually a pub set within a dense bamboo grove: a rare opportunity to experience gourmet pub food deep within an authentic bamboo forest with no parking ('coming out, after a delicious sea bass in old milk, I almost expected a Panda to jump out of the bushes, but was relieved to find that one didn't' - Erica Brittlenose, Duluth, Minnesota)
These are just a few of the fascinating and original attractions available to the more adventurous visitor to our island.
They prove that the Isle of Wight has much more to offer the tourist than just a name that sounds like the colour 'White' but isn't.
We are sure that you will agree. Why not get out there yourselves, and experience the true originality of the Isle of Wight?