We had so much fun the other week visiting the Isle of Wight and were very lucky to stay at the lovely Nettlecombe Farm located in the heart of the Isle of Wight countryside.
I went with my friend Dani and her little boy Rupert, who is 10 months old and has already taken to animals, and you can see he finds them very fascinating. Dani is a little unsure of animals, so when I asked if she would join me on an adventure to the Isle of Wight, I waited until she said yes before telling her it was on a farm-stay, Ooops. That being said, she wasn’t disappointed in the slightest and also had a great time!
We started of our journey making our way to Portsmouth where we boarded a Wightlink ferry, it was so EASY! We arrived a little earlier to avoid traffic and being September (missing the summer holiday rush), it wasn’t too busy, which meant we were able to board an earlier ferry. We had all our documents and emails ready, but we didn’t even need to show any of this, they must already have the information from the registration plates, we were through to the queue in a flash! Great with a little one on board :). The ferry ride only takes up to 45 minutes, so you arrive in no time at all. There are refreshments, toilets, and various areas to take a seat, inside and outside, plus doggy friendly areas too!
There was something quite exciting about getting a ferry to a little island, so must be quite magical for the little ones.
We made our way to Nettlecombe Farm, it was quite a straightforward journey and the roads were quiet, so we had no trouble getting there.
Nettlecombe Farm is surrounded by rolling hills and countryside, with animals grazing everywhere. When we arrived, we unloaded our belongings from the car and had a cup of tea. There was complimentary tea, coffee, and milk, so after a bit of journey you can enjoy a warm refreshment, and who doesn’t like a cuppa?! There is also a welcome pack with information on the animal feeding tours, and feeding bucket, colouring pens etc. There is also a brochure with walking and running routes from the farm, worth exploring.
The sun was shining so we took the time to have a little explore on the farm and came across two gorgeous lambs, Fudge and Lucky, I wanted to take home with me, Rupert LOVED them too! One is a rescue and the other was abandoned by his mum at birth. Fortunately, the two lambs became best friends and now live happily together. There were many other animals that I will get onto further down.
The cottage we stayed in, Swallow was great, the beds were super comfy, and the enclosed patio area overlooked the toddler play area, which had all the fun a toddler would dream of, including ride on toys, a Wendy house, and other fun things to do. It was also gated and secured. My favourite thing I loved about this cottage was waking up in the morning, looking out of the kitchen window and seeing a reindeer that lives on the farm grazing. I can just imagine, when it is closer to Christmas, that being quite magical for the little ones, waking up and seeing a reindeer outside their window before heading out to feed them all.
The feeding tours were AMAZING! They start at 8:30am In the morning and last for about an hour and half. We met at the Wendy house with our bucket and made our way around the farm, with the farm keeper. The girls who showed us around were so friendly, Rupert took a liking to them too! We had so much fun feeding the chickens, collecting the eggs, feeding the lambs, that was fun! Very cheeky Goats that like to stick their heads in the bucket and like to jump up at Tulua the animal keeper, Sheep, Alpacas, Donkeys, Cows and even more lambs! It was so nice to see all the kids get brave and feed all the animals, laugh, giggle and have some cuddles. Rupert only being 10 months, laughed and smiled the whole way round, it was so lovely to see and experience.
The feeding tour ended with lots of cuddles with the rabbits and guinea pigs, they were super friendly and looked like they really enjoyed a cosy cuddle from the tots. The bunnies lived next to the reindeers, we could not miss the chance on getting a little closer and saying hello to Dancer and Comet.
The whole farm is so peaceful and quiet, especially the fishing lakes. There are three and they are enclosed. If you are coming as a family, and one of you enjoys fishing it is well worth heading off for an hour or so for some quiet time.
There is also a yoga barn where instructors host group sessions throughout the week, guests can join in too! The yoga sessions are all different levels.
The walks around the farm are stunning and you honestly can go on for miles, lots of hills and not suitable for a pushchair, we got by just fine with Rupert in a carrier. It was quite nice to see the farm from a distance. We did have the idea of walking to the beach (which is quite a trek) and getting the bus back to the village but unfortunately the heavens opened, and we didn’t want to get wet!
Out and about on Isle Of Wight.
We were only there for two days so we tried to see as much as we could, when we could. We visited Shanklin and Ventnor.
The weather wasn’t great when we visited Ventnor, we kept having to dodge the rain. We had a lovely walk along the sea front, enjoyed some fish and chips. There was also a lovely wine bar, called The Terrace, overlooking the sea which offered a grant selection of wines, tea coffee and nibbles, we had to stop in there for one!
Shanklin had to be my favourite village, the old village of Shanklin was so cute and the tea rooms were just lovely, I would highly recommend visiting if you are planning a visit on the Isle of Wight. The beautiful seaside town also has an arcade and bowling alley!
While we were in Shanklin, we visited Shanklin Chine, it is the oldest attraction on the island with natural beauty. Walkways through beautiful greens, trees and waterfalls, tumbling down the cliff edge. You pay for entry, which is valid for a week. We turned up with the buggy and tried to attempt, it was a complete failure, lots of steps and uneven surface so we left and went back the next day and popped Rupert in the carrier.
All in all, it was a successful trip, we had a fabulous stay at Nettlecombe Farm meeting the animals and the team. Enjoying a play at the toddler park and Dani now being an animal lover. The toddler park and animal feeding are a big hit, even as an adult and getting enjoyment out of your little people taking it all in.
We enjoyed lovely country walks, seaside village walks and visiting a tearoom to enjoy a cream tea or two!
Nettlecombe Farm offer guests heavily discounted ferry fares for their holidays. They also have limited availability for next year 2023, school holidays, so to avoid disappointment I would recommend planning your next adventure soon!