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We've got brand new openings, rip-roaring refurbs, top accolades and sad news about some spots. Clickety-click to get all the delicious details!

A big ‘Hello!’

PylwellNew Year means lots of brand new things popping up around Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Starting off with one of Muddy’s favourite venues, Pylewell Park is in the process of refurbishing ten swanky new bedrooms in the main house for any guests visiting the glorious manor. AND, they are also creating a 3 bedroom Pylewell Penthouse, which sounds like it will be THE place to stay in the area. When can I check-in?

Moxy Hotel SouthamptonSpeaking of new rooms, uber-cool new hotel Moxy has also recently opened its doors in Southampton. It’s got major hipster vibes and boasts plenty of “Plug and Meet” gathering areas for business types and bright young things. Exciting stuff.

Over on the Island, there are two imminent new openings of the boozy kind. The Marine on Ryde’s Esplanade is currently getting a major overhaul with a brand spanking new bar area and its very own snug. The 140-year-old pub is known for its live music and we’re excited to see how the new look turns out.

Shanklin to Sandown Culver Cliff Ronald Saunders

Shanklin – Photo: Ronald Saunders

Down in Shanklin, there are big things happening as Boojum&Snark (how great a name is that?) is poised to fling open its doors towards the end of February and will comprise of a nano-brewery, micro-museum, hyper-local food offering, gallery and retail space. It’s all dedicated to keeping the landscape of Shanklin as independent and local as possible – while providing opportunities for smaller local business as well. We can’t wait to check it out!


woolridgeAll you home bods can celebrate as there’s also a new home and interiors shop that’s just opened in Cowes. The mother-daughter shop, Wooldridge Interiors carries a range of pretty interiors, beds and furniture, bespoke items plus its own range of candles and smellies.

The Wight Makes the List

image visit isle of wight

Photo: Visit Isle of Wight

Big praise indeed as the Island, in particular, Sandown Bay, has been tipped as one of the top alternative spots to go on holiday in 2020 by The Guardian. Joining other spots such as the Cairngorms and Rotterdam, the Island was picked due to its new status as a Unesco biosphere reserve, its amazing wildlife and the local government and businesses’ dedication to slow tourism.

Sad Closures

The New Year also means we need to say goodbye (or at least Au Revoir) to a couple of spots. First, off Fareham’s Fernham Hall theatre has shut its doors for two years for a major remodelling project which is costing a whopping £12.35 million. So while local residents will have to trek slightly further afield for their culture fixes, it’ll be back by 2022 to delight audiences again. Phew!

ISle of wight insiders guideAlso shutting its doors – potentially for good – is the Island landmark of St Catherine’s Lighthouse. The famed beacon has closed to tourists as it was deemed the visitors’ centre was no longer economically viable. Though the lighthouse is still in operation it looks unlikely that we’ll be able to step foot in there again – at least for a while.

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