The green and verdant Garden Isle, as the Isle of Wight is affectionately known, is getting greener in more ways then one. It now boasts an innovative selection of Eco retreats across the Island, from treehouses to yurts and lodges. Here are some of our faves…
The Really Green Holiday Company
It is a truly green type of camping experience, with 16 & 18ft yurts which sleep up to 5 people, and compost loos and solar showers. The yurts are furnished to a high standard with solid floors, rugs, wood burning stoves, an array of candles and lanterns and even a four poster bed in one.
Outside guests enjoying cooking on open fires (there is a basket brassier outside each yurt), and the ‘Dome’ communal area provides comprehensive cooking facilities.
There is also a café and farm shop on site.
Into the Woods
Opening this summer on 1st June, The Treehouse is located just a 5 min drive from East Cowes, among peaceful woodland in Whippingham, right on the Isle of Wight coastal cycle and walking routes, The Treehouse offers a bit of natural luxury.
With lots of natural timber and slate decor, smart bedlinen, fluffy towels and a contemporary bathroom, it sleeps 4-6, having a master bedroom, a bunk room, and a hayloft area with double futon for adventurous extras. The sleep-house is joined by decking to a separate cosy living-house, with logburner and full kitchen facilities, with a big outdoor deck and BBQ facilities below.
This unique place to stay, fits perfectly within its environment, offering total peace and seclusion.
Calbourne Watermill Eco Lodges
Located within the grounds of one of our fave Island attractions, Calbourne Water Mill, these super Eco timber framed lodges are almost ski chalet–esque in design, being constructed from cedar and larch with wooden floors and small verandas.
Inside they offer all the mod cons with WIFI, TV, and even washing machines and dishwashers – but they are run on super Eco efficiency – offering modern living with less of a footprint. Infact their green credentials are second to none with all the lodges utilizing geo-thermal underground heating and bio-bubble treatment for waste (this is then converted into organic matter and fed back to the earth).
So you get all the luxury with an easy conscience.
Tom’s Eco Lodge
Another new addition for 2012 is Tom’s Eco Lodges, nestled in woodland in the West Wight near Freshwater. The Eco Lodges are just right for families or groups of up to 6 people and with 5 available the whole site caters for up to 30.
They are a wonderful fusion of scout tent, meets bimini, meets army shelter – or maybe think of a field hospital in the films – yet inside it’s all home-style living with wood burning stoves, a proper kitchen, dining room and lovely sofas and rustic furniture. Each lodge has 2 bedrooms (with beautiful wrought iron beds) a sheltered patio and all the mod cons with mains water, flushing loo, hot showers and even electric through solar power energy.
This is seriously glamorous camping.
Vintage Vacations: The Shack
A truly secret location – worthy of place in a Famous Five story – The Shack is hidden down a bumpy track, past railway carriages and holiday cabins, somewhere on the Islands northern shore.
In true VV tradition the décor is retro heaven with furnishings from second hand stores, vintage board games to while away the evenings and old books on the shelves to read – even the odd Enid Blyton or two in fact.
The accommodation is wonderfully basic – and appropriately ‘shack’ sized – with a main living area with wood burning stove for heating, two bedrooms (one double one twin), a galley kitchen (with small gas cooker and fridge) and a shower room (with wash basin and the chemical loo!).
A solar power system gives 2-3 hrs or so lighting a day (fear not there are lamps for when this runs out) and there are no electrical sockets, but a solar charger for mobile phones and wind up radio are provided.
When the sun goes down, this is a truly magical spot to escape from the everyday and just sit on the veranda and listen to the sea.