Top 3 Magical Family Stays This Christmas
The Isle of Wight is never more magical than during the Christmas festivities, so taking a family break is more enchanting than ever. We give you the heads up on some great self-catering stays for families this Christmas.
Wouldn’t you like to stay in a recently refurbished 18th century farmhouse with open fires that boasts a hot tub on the roof and a private cinema? East Afton main house sleeps up to 13 people throughout five spacious bedrooms and has six bathrooms. Its large family kitchen/ breakfast area is perfect for social dining and has a real Aga for toasty warm breakfasts. Plus there’s a formal dining room that seats 12 people.
The original 1970 pop festival was in the fields straight across the road from here, and you can walk right up onto the downs to ‘desolation row’, where the hippies camped on that iconic weekend, for views across the island. If it’s sunny there’s outdoor seating and a BBQ patio, and even a seasonal vegetable patch to pick your own. Up on the roof terrace is a hot tub for soaking under the stars, and the cinema room sits up to 15 with projector and surround sound. Also, it’s part of the hugely popular Tapnell Farm attraction where you get discounts.
We Love... that just down the road is Yarmouth, where there are Christmas carols in the Square, a midnight church service on Christmas Eve, fine dining at The George Hotel, and quirky shops for great gifts. For family pub grub there’s plenty of choice with three pubs just off the town square.
If you’re looking for a one-off house for your extended family this Christmas then The White House in Bembridge is an Edwardian masterpiece right in the heart of this pretty village, but only a five minute walk to the sea. Constructed for present owner Patrick’s grandfather as a summer villa, it was built at the height of Edwardian exuberance and Lutyens had a hand in its design. Full of antiques, family portraits and memories from past summers, the eight bedrooms are all named after famous yacht races. The Admiral’s Cup room has a romantic roll top bath on raised dias in the corner of the room, along with en suite bathroom.
You’re totally private here as there’s a wall around the whole property, including the pretty garden, and parking for four cars on the drive.
We Love… the fact that Bembridge has such a wonderful village community with traditional butchers, quirky shops, good coffee and yummy home-made cakes at No 8 café above The Farm Shop where you can get all your fruit and veg, and traditional boozer The Village Inn. Join in with Christmas carols and celebrations at the Holy Trinity Church, which is just a stone’s throw from The White House.
For something really unusual and cute, you could stay in a Treehouse at the Woodside Bay Lodge Retreat in Wootton, or opt for one of their larger Lodges with hot tub looking out over the sea.
There are just two Treehouses on this new upmarket lodge park, both with hot tubs half way up the wooden stairs to your cute hideaway in the tree tops. Inside you have all mod cons, with a tiny kitchen area, huge comfy bed with curved widescreen TV, wood burner and a bathroom with monsoon shower and copper sinks. All within the circular Treehouse that nestles in the canopy of the surrounding trees, with views down to the sea. Each has its own pathway to the shore, where you can wander on crisp winter mornings.
For larger parties you could book one or two of their larger lodges (make sure you get ones with hot tubs) and a Treehouse, and each have a turn sleeping in its magical interior. Funnily enough, this park is just a stone’s throw from the site of the 1969 pop festival where Bob Dylan played.
We love… the fact that they have a gymnasium and spa on site and a choice of restaurants, with pubs and shops to discover in nearby Wootton. And at Christmas the magnificent All Saints Church in Ryde hold a midnight mass and Christmas service.
13 November 2018