THREE Isle of Wight Attractions have been crowned winners at the prestigious South East Family Favourites Awards

The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary has been named as the best free family day out, the best event at an attraction went to electric woods at Robin Hill Country Park while the best animal day out was scooped by Monkey Haven on the outskirts of Newport.

The poll of 20,000 people was conducted by the biggest website for family days out in the UK, Day Out With the Kids.

Another Isle of Wight favourite, Blackgang Chine, was also in the running, after being named a finalist for best event at an attraction as part of its 175th birthday celebrations.

Lisa O’Keeffe, Brand Manager at, said: “We’ve been blown away by the fantastic response to our first family favourites awards programme, designed to recognise the attractions going the extra mile to provide a truly memorable family day out.

“With three winners in the Isle of Wight this year, it’s proved to be an incredibly popular destination for families with a fantastic range of attractions. The Isle of Wight attractions have really stood up to some fierce competition from the wider South East, and deservedly so.”

Business manager at the donkey sanctuary, Carol Foote said: "We were thrilled to be shortlisted for the south east free family attraction category and we are now completely overwhelmed to have won.

"Our little donkey sanctuary is a lovely place for families to visit and we emphasise the simplicity of donkey spotting, petting animals, caring for animals and working with our animals in a beautiful environment that we share with other wildlife in the Wroxall valley.

"We would like to thank our staff, our volunteers, all those people who voted for us and of course our donkeys.

"Carrots and ginger biscuits will be the celebration meal in the barns tonight. Rescuing donkeys and looking after their health and welfare is our prime focus and we couldn’t do it without the help and support of families who visit us."


Don Walser, Founder of Monkey Haven, commented: “Thank you so much to everyone who voted for us. We’re really chuffed! Nine years ago Monkey Haven was just a muddy field, and now we’re one of the top attractions in the country.

"We’re so grateful to everyone who’s supported us along the way, including the people who voted for us, and every single visitor to Monkey Haven. It’s been quite an amazing rollercoaster journey, that’s stretched all our resources and even our sanity! But it’s all been worth it and it’s such a privilege for us to able to care for our gorgeous animals, with the help of so many wonderful people.”