Whilst growing up have you found that some of the best memories you have are based around holidays, especially family holidays? Maybe it is because of photos and the fact that we tend to take more photos on holiday?
Family holidays are for me are incredibly important, being the one time you get to be all together and everyone gets to experience something a little bit different to life at home.
Over the years we have tried and tested many different types of holiday, mixing it up between self-catering and hotels, and as much as I love the idea of taking a break from the supermarket shopping, cooking, clearing up, I think if I had to choose one, it probably would be self catering as it tends to be a bit more relaxed.
Being a large family, we quite often choose the UK for our summer holidays, mainly Cornwall in fact, but last summer we decided to also try something different and opted for the Isle of Wight, just a stone's throw from where we live.
The iconic Needles, Isle of Wight (image by Cloudvisual)
If you are not already familiar with the Isle of Wight, it is a great destination for a family holiday with its beautiful countryside, lovely beaches, cafes, walks, bike trails, kayaking, paddle boarding and sailing - and all just a short ferry ride from the UK mainland (including Portsmouth, Southampton and Lymington).
We rented a property called Shalfleet Farmhouse, which is part of the Shalfleet Estate, in the village of Shalfleet. The farmhouse itself is situated in the most idyllic, peaceful setting and less than a 10-minute walk from the picturesque Newtown Creek, a designated Nature Reserve, ideal for paddle boarding and kayaking. It is also just a 2-minute walk from The New Inn, one of the best pubs on the Isle of Wight, where they serve delicious pints of prawns.
Here you have an aerial view of the Shalfleet Estate and you can see how close it is to the Newtown Estuary
And all of this, just a 7 minute drive from the historic harbour town of Yarmouth, which can be reached in 40 minutes by ferry (Wightlink) from Lymington.
A view of Newtown Creek from the quay.
On Shalfeet Estate, there is a manor house (7 bed), a farmhouse (4 bed), a barn (3 bed) and a sweet little cottage (1 bed). They can be rented out separately or can be group booked if you are looking for a place that can hold a number of families.
Each of the properties have recently been refurbished to a very high standard and have been decorated with the most impeccable taste.
Shalfleet Manor, the largest of the properties to rent, is a 17th century Grade II listed manor house which has a lovely homely feel, right from the individually decorated bedrooms, bathrooms, reception rooms, snug, dining room, conservatory and kitchen, including my favourite kitchen aid - an aga!
Shalfleet Manor House, Isle of Wight
The main entrance hallway.
The cosy wooden panelled drawing room.
Each of the 7 bedrooms have their own individual charm and character.
The perfect childrens' dorm.
Shalfleet Manor is surrounded by beautifully mature and well tended gardens.
Guests also have access to the swimming pool and tennis court on the Estate. The swimming pool area itself is a wonderful sun trap.
In the case of our range of luxury handmade velvet cushions, which are bespoke to Pineapple Barn, we have also been given the opportunity to photograph our cushions on the many gorgeous sofas and armchairs at Shalfleet Manor.
Luxury velvet cushions from Pineapple Barn
So, if you are looking for UK based self-catering holiday rental ideas for a small or large family gathering, I can whole heartedly recommend Shalfleet! When the sun is out, you really won't want to be anywhere else in the world, I promise!
To contact the owner, Victoria, (pictured below), also a good friend, regarding rental enquiries, email email@example.com and see www.bluechipholidays.co.uk for more details.
Hope you enjoyed reading!