It’s no secret that attitudes are changing when it comes to caring for the planet and reducing our carbon footprints, with most of us wanting to take action and help with the great green cause! In 2019 people are aiming for greener, more ethically responsible lives and this applies to holiday-ing too.
We all know how carbon inducing flying can be so why not take our NEW eco-hybrid Wightlink ferry to the Isle of Wight this year for an eco stay-cation.
We’ve rounded the top places to stay if you are looking for a holiday with as little carbon impact as possible.
As you head out west along the middle road toward Yarmouth, you’ll find Tapnell Farm – home to Tom’s Eco Lodge. Which, as the name suggests, offers eco-friendly accommodation in a unique Isle of Wight Glamping experience that has all the luxuries we now take for granted, with the smallest impact on the environment possible.
With a variety of glamping options, from the beautiful luxury of one of the safari tents with its very own hot tub and wood burning stoves to the sophisticated eco-decadence of the wood cabins – which sleep up to eight making for a comfortable space for the whole family to come along. But it’s perhaps the Modulogs and the eco-pods that offer the most unique experiences. The creatively designed open-plan pod layout is perfect for a romantic getaway for two or snug for a holiday with a family of four. Whereas the Modulogs offer a little more space, built bespoke for the site, can sleep up to six and also boast their own wood-fired hot tub and decking area outside.
The newest addition to the site this year and taking camping to another level, ish the launch of five luxury Geodesic Domes. Nestled in the beautiful countryside surroundings of Tapnell Farm, yet set apart from Tom’s Eco Lodge accommodation, the domes command amazing panoramic views of rolling countryside. Great for large groups, you can hire the whole dome meadow which comfortably sleeps over 20 people.
Located a short drive from Yarmouth and the West of the Island, Tom’s Eco Lodge is close to some of the Island’s most beautiful beaches, nature reserves, cycle tracks and footpaths. Tapnell Farm itself is home to Tapnell Farm Park an all-weather attraction where the family can get up close to farm animals, bounce on the giant jumping pillows, explore the soft play barn, as well as enjoying refreshments in the park cafe.
Tapnell is also home to The Cow Restaurant & Bar – one of the most unique places to eat on the Isle of Wight; set in a converted Swiss barn at the heart of the farm. Championing the finest in local produce on their menu, with fresh takes on home-cooked gastropub classics, plus delicious steaks and burgers straight from the grill.
There’s also the onsite gallery and gift shop showing and selling loveliness from local artisans and makers.
If you have seen the Channel Four show ‘George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces’ you’ll have already learnt a little about the ‘Tiny Home movement’. Which is all about living a less conventional way of life, at a slower pace outside of the norms of the rat race. You might’ve guessed, with the word ‘tiny’ involved, it’s also about downsizing and living in a less materialistic way that is conscious of the carbon consequences on the planet.
Helen and Frazer Cunningham are no strangers to the glamping industry after successfully running one of the UK’s first glamping businesses on the Isle of Wight for the past fifteen years. 2017 saw them open their latest venture, Tiny Homes Holidays, which draws on the eco-friendly and ethical ethos of the tiny home movement. Taking the glamping vibe even further to create an all year round sustainable ‘Tiny Homes’ Boutique Retreat village. Expect the quirkiness and ethics of a glamping break in bespoke architect-designed hand-crafted eco-cabins.
These gorgeous bespoke eco-cabins are set in a bee-friendly wildflower meadow, located next to Parkhurst Forest and packed with wildlife galore – including the Isle of Wight’s famous red squirrels. Explore this part of the Island via walking trails and cycle routes – which take you through the forest and countryside to the tranquil coastline, or to bustling Cowes and Newport. As you would expect, the development utilises many eco-friendly measures – including solar power, composting toilets, wood burning stoves and water recycling. There currently three Tiny Homes, with a view to eventually have six in total – purposefully keeping it… tiny!
Not only does the Tiny Home site offer all the above, but they are offering a different type of holiday – one where you can leave having gained a new skill – let us introduce you to the study-cation! Following from the slow-living and sustainable ethos of the full Tiny Homes Holiday experience, the site has its own creative studio space equipped for a whole host of workshops curated with various visiting artisans and makers. Try your hand at everything from writers talks and craft workshops, to cooking demos and yoga with an emphasis on well-being in all its different forms. While on your break, you can get involved in some gardening in the Tiny Homes Mandala garden which they are cultivating and growing edible treats and be rewarded for your efforts with produce grown there.
Classic Cottages are really getting behind tackling eco-responsibility within the tourism industry, with The Classic Green Scheme. Identifying holiday cottages where additional steps have been taken towards being green, being kinder to the environment and creating less of a carbon footprint. Across the Isle of Wight, there is a good selection of Classic Green Scheme cottages, recognised for their efforts in promoting sustainability.
Flackstead, near Brighstone on the breathtakingly beautiful west coast of the Island, is a unique eco-friendly house with uninterrupted coastal views across Compton Bay towards The Needles. Combining the very best of contemporary design with a New England-style beach house character, Flackstead will definitely not disappoint. The extremely efficient biomass boiler and solar panels make it the obvious choice for eco-conscious guests. Located in the middle of the Island’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s ideal for walkers, cyclists and watersports enthusiasts. There is plenty to see and do locally with both the beaches and Tennyson Down just a few minutes’ walk away. The towns of Freshwater and Yarmouth are the nearest by car or bus, where you’ll find plenty to eat and drink as well as see and do. Flackstead is also dog-friendly so bring the pooch along too!
Part of the original Osborne estate Barton Manor Estate is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. The estate is home to the simply stunning Lake Cottage which has access to over 200 acres of woodland and a private beach. The heating system is electric and is powered by rooftop solar panels, paired with its idyllic location, make it a great choice for the eco-friendly traveller. The property is set over one floor and sleeps four in the two double rooms. The farmhouse style kitchen is equally as spacious, with a large central dining-table providing plenty of space to enjoy mealtimes all together. There are views from all directions over the surrounding estate and there’s so much space for the kids to enjoy – they can play with the two resident labradors who greet everyone with a wagging tail! There is the use of a shared tennis court and an indoor table tennis table. East Cowes is well located on a regular bus route as well as a cycle track to the Island capital town. Just over the river, on the floating bridge, you’ll find the well-known town of Cowes jam-packed with boutiques, restaurants, pubs and bars for you to enjoy – it also plays host to a handful of world-famous sailing events throughout the summer.