Top 10 May Bank Holiday Weekend events on the Isle of Wight

Top 10 May Bank Holiday Weekend events on the Isle of Wight
Another bank holiday is looming and everyone is hoping that the sun will be shining when we get that extra day off work. The thought of not having to go to work on Monday is one that we all love to cherish, but what is there to do this May Bank Holiday Monday? Well if you are living on the Isle of Wight then I am here to help. Rather than spend this May Bank Holiday weekend sat around doing nothing, why not head out and see what is happening? Here are a few of our favourite events from the upcoming May Bank Holiday.

Chasing Light: Isle of Wight Scenes by Deborah Richards
Quay Arts’ 2010 Open 2nd place prize winner, Deborah Richards, presents monoprints and other works based on coastal sketches of the Island capturing the developing light and changing scenery revealed from dawn to dusk. The process of monoprinting - combining texture, colour, composition, shape, and most importantly line - enables the artist to simplify sketches, developing her own visual language of mark-making and semi-abstraction. This is a fantastic display of local art and is a must see collection.
Date: Sat 3 Mar 2012 - Tue, 24 Apr 2012
Venue: Quay Arts, Newport Harbour

Real Ale Festival 2012
Do you like railways? Do you like beer? If the answer to both of these questions is ‘yes, of course’ like most people, then you are in luck my friend. This is a unique opportunity to sample the Island's top brewery blends, fine ales & a selection of bottled conditioned beers, English country wines & traditional cider. Festival admission is free & many other mainland breweries also contribute.
Date: Sat 5 May 2012 - Mon 7 May 2012
Venue: IW Steam Railway

If you fancy heading over to Yarmouth then the Mayfest would be a fantastic way to spend your Bank Holiday Monday. It is a three day event and is spread over the entire Bank Holiday Weekend. This traditional Old English celebratory event will be held for a second time on the beautiful Yarmouth Green. Nestled between the Yar Estuary and Yarmouth Harbour, Mayfest is a traditional weekend of Maypole dancing, Morris Dancing, live music, great food, real ale and cider and a whole host of other activities.
Date: 5-7 May 2012
Time: Gates open 10am each day
Venue: Yarmouth Green

Isle of Wight Walking Festival 2012
The Isle of Wight Walking Festival is a wonderful way to see the Island. Sign yourself up for a number of walks and enjoy rambling around the wonderful countryside on the Isle of Wight. A number of walks from the Isle of Wight Walking Festival take place in Newport including the Firewalk, where people will be able to walk unharmed across 20ft of wood embers burning at 1236 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Date: Sat 5 - Sun 20 May 2012
Venue: Across the Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Randonnee
The Isle of Wight Randonnee takes place on Sunday 6 May 2012. You can start at any of the checkpoints on the day and follow the route map as you ride either the 100km or the 55km route around the Island. This year's rides will be in a clockwise direction and it begins at 9am finishing at 6pm. There is no entry fee and no need to pre-register, although if you want to avoid the queues on the day then registering online might be a wise choice. 
Date: 6 May 2012
Time: 9am

Blenheim House - Open Garden for NGS
This open day will allow you to pop along to Blenheim House on Sunday 6 May, the day before Bank Holiday Monday, and take a look at the artists’ garden fantasy. These wonderful gardens have been developed over eight years and explore the decorative qualities and long term effects of pattern making, colour and form in both hard and soft landscaping. The gardens are open from 1pm-5.30pm and it costs just £3.50 to enter. This is part of the NGS Open Gardens Scheme, which sees money made from the events going to charities. 
Date: Sun 6 May 2012
Time: 1pm-5.30pm 
Venue: Blenheim House
Cost:  £3.50 (children go for free)

70th Anniversary of the Defence of Cowes by the Polish Destroyer ORP Blyskawica
Why not head over to Cowes for Bank Holiday Monday? This fantastic event takes place at Northwood House and is organised by Cowes Events in association with the Friends of the ORP Blyskawica Society and Island Concerts Limited. A Polish Naval Ship is arriving in town on Friday 4th May in the afternoon and will be mooring in Cowes Roads, and it will be departing Tuesday 8th May. The Farewell Retreat will take place on Bank Holiday Monday and will begin at 6.30pm on the east lawn (subject to weather).
Date: 7 May 2012
Time: 6.30pm
Venue: Northwood House (east lawn)

Cowes Health Walk
The Isle of Wight Walking Festival is on the horizon so why not look for a walk near you? If you are in or around Cowes then make sure you participate in the Cowes Health Walk. This is a steady circular walk via the picturesque village of Gurnard, along Cowes seafront and back to Northwood house. There are some steps on the route. 
Date: 7 May 2012
Time: 10:30am
Venue: Northwood House (small car park rear of house)
Cost: Free

A Concert by Cowes Concert Band
The fantastic Cowes Concert Band will be returning to Brading for one free show at St Mary’s Church on the High Street. Starting at 8pm this is the perfect way to end your Bank Holiday Weekend. It is free to enter and you can bring along the whole family from the youngest of tots to the oldest of seniors. So if you love big band music in the grandest of settings then make sure you make your way down to St Mary’s Church.
Date: 7 May 2012
Time: 8pm
Venue: St Mary’s Church on the High Street, Brading
Cost: Free

Jack and Boo's Wild Wood Walk & Scavenger Hunt
Get involved in the Isle of Wight Walking Festival and find a walk that is located near to you. For those of you in Shanklin and Sandown, the nearest walk on Bank Holiday Monday would most probably be Jack and Boo's Wild Wood Walk & Scavenger Hunt. Follow in the footsteps of Island book characters, Jack and Boo, on a family wild bluebell walk, spotting spring nature for young children in Borthwood Copse, organised by local author Philip Bell of Beachy Books.
Date: 7 May 2012
Time: 1pm
Venue: Main Borthwood entrance - Alverstone Rd

Why not see what’s on by heading over to Wightbay’s ‘Notices and Events’ section, or you could even place an ad for an event of your own.
Photo by Garry Knight