With so much going on in the West of the Isle of Wight over the coming months – from the brand new closed road cycling event, Cycle Wight and Yarmouth Old Gaffers in May, to the Olympic torch Relay in July, we thought we’d pull together a whistle stop guide to some diverse places to stay in the West Wight this summer.
Posh It – The George
Luxurious in the style of a bygone age, yet with every modern convenience, the George is in the centre of Yarmouth and has just 17 rooms. Walk into the lobby with its worn flagstones and you could be in a Jane Austin novel. Much of the hotel has warm wooden panelling, there are open fires in the colder months and there’s a great restaurant overlooking the garden, the town’s wooden pier and sea.
Take the Family – West Bay
Recently refurbished in a New England style, all the cottages at West Bay have open plan living areas with television and CD/DVD players, family bathrooms, fully fitted kitchens and a private outside decking area or garden. As a guest you will have free access to all facilities that include a 20m heated indoor pool, three Astro-turf tennis courts, three squash and badminton courts, an aerobics studio specialising in Yoga and Pilates and an ESPA Spa that includes both a sauna and steam room.
Glamp It – Tom’s Eco Lodges
New this year is Tom’s Eco Lodge: five luxurious safari tents, nestled in the woodlands of Tapnell Farm - the setting for the legendary 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. With panoramic views of the sea to the north and west, each safari style lodge sleeps up to six and has a range style wood burning stove, flushing toilet and even a hot shower. Fuelled predominately by solar power and wood, with a small supply of gas for the hot shower, the lodges have lovely wooden floors and canvas ‘walls’ between the rooms. Inside there is an eclectic mix of furniture and fittings to give a retro vintage atmosphere and outside are cool canvas covered verandas with rustic fencing.
B&B – Weston Manor
Weston Manor is a B&B with a great pedigree. The Grade 2 listed manor was built in 1871 by William George Ward and his wife Francis Mary Ward and Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson, the famous poet, was a close friend and neighbour and would have visited the house. From its lofty point on Moon’s Hill the manor commands extensive views of inland West Wight and beyond to the Solent. One of the more unique aspects of the manor is the private chapel that was built for the family, which is now listed as a heritage site by the National Trust. Decorated in the medieval style of A.W.Pugin, it is the only example of its kind in England.
Rough It – YHA Totland
You’ll be in typical youth hostel accommodation with shared rooms and bunk beds at Totland Youth Hostel on Hurst Hill with up to 50 beds. Prices in May are from £17 per person but you can book a whole room for slightly more – they range from two (bunk) beds to eight if you’re thinking of bringing the family. Breakfast, packed lunches and evening meals are available, with prices like£5 for breakfast, the same for a picnic/packed lunch and £6 for a two course evening meal, or you can opt for self-catering. The hostel is based around a rather imposing Victorian building that has some great views across the Solent from the first floor, a TV lounge and a quiet lounge and two dining rooms and self catering kitchen. In the garden there’s a BBQ area and very useful big cycle shed in the car park.