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Farm holiday on the Isle of Wight

I’m recently back from a farm holiday on the Isle of Wight. We could really have been anywhere in the country because although we stayed in a cottage on the farm, the life of the farm continued without our inviolvement. We saw the tractor arrive every day to take a fresh bale of hay to the cows, men arrive in vans to do some work but there was no actual contact in our case.

However, the location was pleasant and peaceful. There were pheasants to spot in the driveway and fields, plenty of rabbits cavorting in the sheep fields and the birdsong in the mornings was wonderful.

Staying on a farm in west Wight entailed driving to various destinations on the island for days out. One advantage the Isle of Wight has is that it’s fairly compact and nowhere is really that far. The countryside is very pretty with gentle hills and a large number of footpaths and bridleways. There are walks also  along the coastal paths. It really is  a pleasant green place to visit and I will return one day when the weather improves.

Highland cattle in the field opposite the Garlic Farm

The week we chose proved to be wet with sunny spells. On wet days we tried to visit indoor attractions. The craft village at Arreton was only partially functioning because they also had a power cut because a tree had blown down taking electric cables with it. There is a very good farm shop there, I think it is called Farmer Jack’s, that stocks (in my opinion) the island’s best meat and vegetables. We were fortunate to discover that their computerised scales could not function without power and guesstimates were most generous. The asparagus,  sprouting broccoli and dried tomato bread we bought were delicious. It’s worth returning to the Isle of Wight just for high quality veggies and breads. In fatc, next time we may just try to rent a cottage near Arreton to be able to shop there daily. The glass blowing studio in the craft village was a good place to be on a chilly day and watching the glassmakers at work quite interesting.

We also visited a garlic farm for Sunday lunch. Their Sunday roasts come recommended and it was good but not exceptional. Garlic lovers would appreciate the shop that is full of condiments and sauces based around garlic. There is a pretty garden and a garlic tour at weekends.

Pencil Cottage Tea Room and Gift Shop

One of the best tea shops that we came across was Pencil Cottage on the corner of Church Road and the High Street near Shanklin Chine. The quaity of  food, presentation and service were exceptional. The garden outside is littered with interesting garden decorations that are for sale. It kept my granddaughter very busy for  several minutes. The walk along Shanklin Chine Gorge involves going up and down flights of stairs and can be described as welcoming through a garden set into a ravine. It doesn’t take long to walk its length, perhaps 15 minutes and worth it you anyone has an interest in wild flowers.

We visited the Isle of Wight in April when the weather was wet and on the chilly side and still had a good time.   I would recommend it as an English  holiday destination to everyone excluding teenagers who may not find thrills and excitement unless they enjoy watersports or walking.


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