“ Staplers Road / Wootton / Isle of Wight / PO33 4RW / Tel & Fax: 01983 883430 „
***** Background *****
Butterfly World was originally opened in 1983 by Roy Lancaster. At the time, it was only the fifth Butterfly House in the world.
In 1989, a further attraction was added known as Fountain World, followed by the Jumping Jets in 2000.
***** Location *****
Butterfly and Fountain World is located in Wootton, one and a half miles from Newport in the northern part of the Isle of Wight. As with all attractions on the island, it is signposted well and easy to find.
***** Opening Times / Prices *****
Butterfly and Fountain World is open daily from either Good Friday or April 1st (whichever date comes first) until October 31st.
It is open from 10.00 a.m. until 5.30 p.m., with the last admissions at 5.00 p.m.
Adults - £5.50
Senior Citizens - £4.50
Children under 15 years - £3.50
Under 4's - Free
Guidebooks are available at a cost of £1.75
***** Contact Details *****
Butterfly and Fountain World
Isle of Wight
Tel: (01983) 883430
***** Details of the Attraction *****
Butterfly and Fountain World is a completely indoor attraction, comprising of different areas, each of which are self contained, leading from one into another. From the outside, it looks like a gigantic greenhouse, which in effect, it is!!
** Butterfly World **
The first area of the attraction is 'Butterfly World' and the first experience that you get is the incredibly humid atmoshere. It is extremely hot and damp in this part and I would definitely recommend that you have a short sleeve top on when visiting, as this is no place for jumpers and coats.
The slight discomfort of the air, however, is well worth it and you soon adjust to the heat.
This area has hundreds of pretty coloured, free flying butterflies, which are truely spectacular to see and watch. Those fluttering around your head, chasing each other and narrowly missing you are amazing to watch and they almost don't seem real. The only way I can describe it is that these butterflies give the impression that they are being moved around like a puppet on a flexible pole attached to a thread. They chase each other and lark around like children.
It is equally as nice to observe the butterflies that have settled on the pretty trees, plants and flowers that contribute to the displays in this area. These butterflies allow you to get very close and gives visitors a chance to see the beautiful colours and shapes on their wings. They have no fear of humans.
Some of the butterflies are actually mating, not surprising as they only live for a matter of days, but this was fascinating to watch (unless of course you are 9 years old, like my stepson, and you find the whole experience hilarious!!)
I was amazed just how close the butterflies came, especially those flying around and at one point, a butterfly even settled on the edge of Ellie's buggy. The colours and patterns on their wings were so vibrant and to see these flashes of moving colours all around was a special experience.
The butterflies are housed in a display that consists of pretty pathways, small ponds with bridges and lots of green and colourful plants and flowers. The area has been carefully designed and it is easy to walk around.
There are also some caged displays showing the chrysalises and on average, about 20 adult butterflies hatch every day.
Keep a sharp eye open, not just for the butterflies, as there are some exotic finches flying freely in this area of Butterfly World and also, some Chinese quail wandering on ground level.
** Fountain World **
Doors and plastic sheeting lead you straight into 'Fountain World', which if nothing else, brings instant relief to the humid conditions of 'Butterfly World', as the area is much cooler.
In comparison to the bright colours of 'Butterfly World', 'Fountain World' has more of an elegant, calm, neutral feel.
There are two separate areas, one with an Italian theme, one with a Japanese theme. Both areas are authentic reproductions of gardens, complete with water features, statues, plants, fountains and waterfalls.
Personally, I preferred the Japanese gardens, as these were more colourful than the Italian ones and also included two Koi ponds and bridges. In comparison, the Italian gardens were more simplistic and plain.
At certain times of the day (11.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 3.30 p.m), there is hand feeding and a talk about the Japanese Koi carp in the ponds, some of which are over 75cm and a mixture of lots of different colours and patterns. Ellie enjoyed watching the fish and my stepson had a go at actually hand feeding them, which was a nice experience for him.
Another doorway led us from 'Fountain World' into 'Small World'. This consisted of a dark area, with decorative lighting, which housed a collection of animated animals and characters, including a clown band that played music. This was the smallest area of the attraction (another reason no doubt for the name!!)
Personally, I think Ellie was too small for this part of Butterfly World,
as it was very dark and for her age (only 4 months at the time), a little scary. It is a great attraction, however, for older children (probably toddlers upwards), but probably not for any teenagers in your family!!
The final attraction, jumping jets, is by far the most fun. This consists of jets of water that shoot three and a half metres into the air and five metres across the room, along with other water attractions that are guaranteed to get you just a little bit wet.
This is a great attraction for children (and adults) of all ages and it is fun to try and catch the jets of water as they fly across the room. I enjoyed watching them and I have to admit that walking through the tunnel of dripping water was very refreshing after still feeling hot from 'Butterfly World'.
I was fascinated also by the technicalities of the jets of water and I just couldn't get my head around 'HOW' it actually worked!! (probably just having a thick moment, I'm sure there was a perfectly simple explanation!!)
The Jumping Jets display led back into 'Butterfly World', which I'm sure you could have walked around again if you had have chosen to. If not, this led out of the attraction and straight into the gift shop.
The gift shop had a good selection of gifts and (surprisingly), very little 'tacky'. Most of the gifts were tasteful, reasonably priced and mostly with an animal theme.
**Hungry Caterpillar Cafe**
The Hungry Caterpillar cafe is open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. (4.45 p.m. on Sundays)
There is indoor and outdoor seating.
We chose to sit outdoors. We ordered drinks (coffee, hot chocolate etc) from the cafe and we ate our own packed lunch. The drinks were ok, but nothing special and prices were comparable to other places that we had been to on the island.
**Medina Garden Centre**
Although we did not visit here, the 'Medina Garden Centre' is located adjacent to 'Butterfly and Fountain World'. From the outside, the garden centre looked a good size and is apparently one of the largest garden centres on the Isle of Wight.
***** Facilities *****
There are toilet facilities, including wheelchair and baby change facilities on the site of Butterfly World, although these can only be reached from outside the attraction.
i did not use the baby change or disabled facilities, but I have to say that the toilets were not the freshest or cleanest that I have used!!
***** General Impressions *****
Butterfly and Fountain World is a great attraction to visit on the Isle of Wight, especially on a cold, wet day. It is good value for money and you are able to come out of the attraction and then return using your receipt. We found this particularly useful, as we were able to grab a coffee and a bite to eat and then return in order to catch the Koi feeding.
The attraction is carefully designed and has been set out in a thoughtful way. The staff are friendly and helpful. The animals appear to be looked after well.
Although there are several areas to the attraction, it is still fairly small and one to two hours is sufficient time in order to see everything.
Dress sensibly - even if it is cold and wet outside, the temperatures inside reflect a tropical summer!!
A visit provides the opportunity to see hundreds of butterflies flying freely in a natural environment. They are mostly tropical species but are representative of the five continents of the world. There are usually around 25 species to be seen at any one time, though 100 species are on display at one time or another, during the season. The exotic gardens are all attractively laid out. The tropical gardens are authentic reproductions of Italian and Japanese gardens with a delightful range of water features.The formal Italian Garden has brilliantly coloured bedding plants, classical figures, balustrading, and a Roman temple facade. The Japanese Garden has an informal setting of oriental plants - maples, azaleas, pines and conifers, amidst statues, pagodas, replica buildings and pebbled and gravelled areas. Within both gardens are beautiful fountains, a waterfall and some special water displays.