Nestled away in the glorious surroundings of a working dairy farm on the edge of downs in West Wight, are five luxurious eco-lodges just ready to be discovered.
Glamping, otherwise known as ‘luxury camping’, has very much arrived on the Isle of Wight in its truest form with these unique eco lodges, which come with a wood burning stove, wooden floors throughout, extremely comfortable beds – and yes, your very own flushing toilet and private hot shower. Bed linen, cutlery and crockery, a BBQ and a campfire are also included. Even a hamper of locally sourced and seasonal produce can be arranged for your arrival. What’s more is that you get all of this without breaking the bank in the process.
Tom’s Eco Lodges is the brainchild of Tom Turney, 25, who ever since childhood, has regularly returned to the Island. He recently settled here to pursue his eco lodge dream on the 400-acre family farm in the West Wight, which is nestled in the most spectacular setting. “My passion for the Island and farm made it the perfect place to create something fresh and exciting for visitors to enjoy”, explains Tom.
So Tom downed his office job in London to set about obtaining the green light from the planners. He is no self-proclaimed eco-warrior but rather someone with an ‘eco’ conscience. “I’ve chosen one of my favourite places to be – with a panoramic view that I love, to create a place where people can enjoy the natural environment“, he says. Tom’s ethos is loud and clear: maximum enjoyment with minimum impact.
Tom’s eco lodges not only have impressive green credentials but they are a fine example of ingenious design and homegrown British talent with the lodges being manufactured in Somerset. Made by hand, the lodges are fuelled predominately by solar power and wood, with a small supply of gas for that luxurious hot shower. They look like a cross between a safari tent and woodland alpine chalet, but with real wooden floors throughout and a wonderful picket fence wrapping around the verandah. The interiors are carefully thrown together with individual choice pieces mixed with splashes of colour to make a rustic chic and retro vintage feel – and somewhere where you can feel totally at home. With amazing sea views both north and south, the scenic vista is spectacular all around, from watching the sunset over the horizon to star gazing on a crystal clear night.
The lodges themselves are set in an incredibly picturesque woodland where Tom has planted a further 25 acres of trees to date. Each lodge can accommodate up to six people, so easily catering for both families and groups of friends. With five lodges planned, the entire site can accommodate up to 30 people. What’s more, tucked away beyond the woodland trees behind the eco lodges is the fantastic Tapnell Manor House which is owned by Tom’s parents and can also be rented out to groups of around 20. The combined total of both sites can cater for a party of 50, so ideal for any special occasions from weddings and parties, to any sort of shin dig.
The legendary Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, was held on the historic site nearby, so it’s easy to assume a relaxed vibe here, sitting around a campfire, glugging a sun-downer and marveling at the amazing coastal views. There’s also plenty of activites to enjoy here from gliding to surfing to snoozing on beaches, wonderful walks, bike rides galore, paddle boarding, horse-riding, kayaking, kite-surfing, sailing – you name it; it’s all up for grabs.
Farm tours are available to those staying at Tom’s eco lodges including close-up dairy cow encounters and chicken feeding. As a family run business, Tapnell Farm is home to 300 dairy cows producing over 5,000 litres of wholesome fresh milk every day. Families can have a field day here alone, just exploring the 400 acres of farmland and roaming free in the paddocks and woodland, cooing over nature in all its glory.
Prices start from £265 for a 4 night midweek break. For more information and availability visit www.tomsecolodge.com