Bring out your inner boyscout...Tom's Eco Lodges

Perched on the edge of downs in West Wight, set in the glorious surroundings of the Isle of Wight's newest attraction, Tapnell Park Farm, is the perfect holiday accommodation - nine 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 this unique accommodation, comprising five beautiful Safari Tents, two Wood Cabins and two Eco Wigwam Pods. All offer super comfortable living with features as diverse as wood burning stoves, wooden floors, optional hot tubs and 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, who ever since childhood, has regularly returned to the Island. He settled back 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 Safari Tents being manufactured in Somerset.  Made by hand, they 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 Safari Tents themselves are set in an incredibly picturesque woodland where Tom has planted a further 25 acres of trees. Each one can accommodate up to eight people, so easily catering for both families and groups of friends.

Alongside the five lodges are two Wood Cabins both sleeping up to 8 people and with full insulation offering all year round glamping. A short distance away are the two Wigwam Pods for 2-4 people – perfect for a snug place to stay with amazing views. What’s more, tucked away beyond the woodland trees behind the eco lodges is the fantastic Tapnell Manor House which can also be rented out to groups of around 20, and two holiday cottages, each sleeping 8 people, making the entire site able to accommodate up to 100  people, so ideal for any special occasions from weddings and parties, to any sort of shin dig.

Located within the Island’s newest tourist destination, Tapnell Park Farm, the site offers a fantastic restaurant and bar, indoor children’s play area with café, a brand new farm park featuring interactive animal experiences, farm tours, an immersive ‘Moo-seum’ of beef and dairy history, and an outdoor activity area with pedal go carts and bouncing pillow.

Adventure Activities Isle of Wight are also based on site offering high ropes course, mountain board track, zorbing run, rock climbing wall, archery range and bushcraft area. SUP yoga is also taught on the farm’s lake and Top Targets will be offering lay pigeon and an air rifle shooting range this year.

All meaning you never have to leave the site if you don’t want to!

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 activities to enjoy nearby 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.

Prices in June start from £440 for a 4 night midweek break in an Eco Wigwam Pod. Check Availability

Sarah Sims

9 May 2016

By Sarah Sims in Articles