New Photos of Ventnor Holiday Cottages Isle of Wight

Ventnor cottages Isle of Wight

Ventnor  has a wonderful range of self catering holiday rental accommodation available and we were eager to show you the updates and improvements that have been made for the 2018 holiday season.

Here is a selection of Ventnor cottages with some of the new photos updated in the last few days.

For more visit our Ventnor Self Catering Cottages Isle of Wight

Huish House Ventnor 2018 Photographs

This beautiful 3 bedroom cottage overlooks the resort town of Ventnor and has beautiful sea views. The building has dramatic lines and a beautiful flint stone finish.

The new photos of Huish House reflect the updates and changes made for 2018. To view all the new photos visit Huish House Ventnor Isle of Wight

Clock Tower Ventnor 2018 Photographs

A historic and beautiful 1 bedroom self catering cottage with fantastic wooden interiors and stylish decorations. The new photos of Clock Tower reflect the work done on the kitchen and front room for this holiday season.

The Clock Tower is located within a short walk of the beach at Ventnor and right on the edge of the peaceful gardens. The other gardens at the botanical gardens are within a short walk (

There are more new photos of this cottage at The Clock Tower Ventnor Isle of Wight

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Bonny Blink Isle of Wight 2018 New Photos

Bonny Blink Seaview Self Catering Isle of Wight

The new photos of Bonny Blink showing the cottage updates for the 2018 holiday season are now online. These include a photo of the new dining room configuration, the sitting area overlooking the sea and the new downstairs bedroom with ensuite bathroom.

New Bonny Blink Photos

These are just some of the new photographs of Bonny Blink. For full list visit Bonny Blink Seaview Isle of Wight

Seaview Isle of Wight

Bonny Blink is located in the Isle of Wight seaside town of Seaview. The aptly named town is on the East coast to the North of Shankin, Sandown and Bembridge and South of Ryde.

There are a number of excellent beaches accessible from Bonny Blink including the beach on its door step as well as Priory Bay to the South (4min walk) and the long beach to the North.

Self Catering Holidays in and around Seaview Isle of Wight

Seaview enjoys an excellent location for self catering holidays. Here a little guide of what you will find in and around Seaview Isle of Wight.

In Seaview Isle of Wight

Aside from the beach the small town of Seaview has a wealth of attractions for holiday makers.

Most notable is the impressive range of very good pubs and restaurants. For fine dining there is the Seaview Hotel Restaurant where they serve excellent food of which much is locally sourced from the Island.

Pubs in Seaview include the Old Fort Pub and The Boathouse. Both offer food and views of the sea.

Around Seaview Isle of Wight

The East coast of the Isle of Wight is famous for the sandy beaches and holiday attractions. Sandy beaches around Seaview include Ryde, which can be reached on foot from the Coastal Path heading North and Priory Bay which adjoins Seaview to the South. Further South comes the beaches of Bembridge, Sandown, Shanklin and, a little further still, Ventnor.

Seaview is also surrounded by excellent family activities including the nearby all weather GoKarting track, Robin Hill Park and The Isle of Wight Steam Railway.

Purbeck Picnic Top Tips

Purbeck Picnic Spots

To help you get the most out of a picnic on the Isle of Purbeck we have a selection of Purbeck picnic top tips. Advice on where to go and what to bring.

Picnic Season

There is no such thing as picnic season. There is always a Purbeck picnic location regardless of weather or the time of year.

Traditional picnics on the sunny heath land or on the beach are fantastic but we have some excellent sun traps and sheltered locations to suggest too. Snuggled up against a dry stone wall or in the nook of a historic building you get a memorable picnic experience to savour as much as the food.

Picnic Supplies – Purbeck Food and Drink

There are excellent local producers and great local food shops for picnic food in Purbeck. Here are some to try:

Purbeck Deli in Swanage

This local food deli has a great range of hams, cheeses, breads and much more. They will even wrap it up in a convenient package for your rucsac. –

Corfe Castle Village Stores

A good local shop for all sorts of supplies including great picnic food and drink. A great one stop shop if you need picnic supplies in a hurry. –

Picnic Locations – Some Suggestions

There are few places in Purbeck which are not suitable for a picnic so it is hard to choose just a selection. Here are some you might like to try:

The Grange Arch Picnic Spot

This historic arch is a great location to put down a blanket or lean against the stone walls for a picnic. The arch is an 18th Century folly and enjoys a wonderful hilltop location. You can reach it from a nearby car park or as part of a longer walk from Corfe Castle.

Grange Arch Purbeck Picnic Spot
Grange Arch Purbeck Picnic Spot

This picnic location is excellent for blustery days as there is lots of protection from the wind. There are two recessed seats in the arch too.

Houns Tout Picnic Spot

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Isle of Wight Walking Festival 2018

Isle of Wight Walking Festival 2018

The Isle of Wight is a popular walking destination with hundreds of miles of footpaths and bridal ways. Walks around the coast and across the downs are a wonderful way to enjoy the natural beauty of the Island and see much of the nature and wildlife for which the Isle of Wight is known.

With so many walking and hiking opportunities it is unsurprising that the Isle of Wight Walking Festival for 2018 is predicted to be bigger than ever and there are a wealth of new walks and activities to enjoy.

2018 Isle of Wight Walking Festival

This years walking festival takes place between the 28th April and 13th May 2018 and has walks every day to suit all types of walkers.

The walks are designed to be a way of exploring the Isle of Wight, learn something about the local history or nature and meet other walkers.

Isle of Wight Walking Festival walks can be enjoyed across the Island and there is lots of information at

Holiday Accommodation For Isle of Wight Walking Festival

Island Cottage Holidays has a dedicated page for accommodation during the Isle of Wight Walking Festival with live availability of holiday cottages during both weeks of the festival.

For a complete list of self catering accommodation for the 2018 Isle of Wight Walking Festival visit – Isle of Wight Walking Festival Accommodation

Nature and Wildlife Watching Top Tips Purbeck Dorset

Purbeck Walking Tips

Purbeck is famous for its nature and wildlife and there are lots of places to see birds, mammals and flowers in this part of Dorset. Here are our top tips for watching wildlife in Purbeck.

Wildlife Watching Locations in Purbeck

These wildlife watching locations are just some of the places you stand an excellent chance of seeing animals in Purbeck.


Arne Nature Reserve

Arne is an RSPB nature reserve which attracts a great variety of birds to the wetlands and estuary. Deer are also abundant at the reserve and often graze in the woodland and open grassland.

Several bird hides are located around the reserve and there is information about what to look out for.

Arne is located on the North side of Purbeck between Corfe Castle and Wareham. For more information visit – 

Durlston Country Park

Durlston is located on the edge of Swanage and is a very special section of the Jurassic Coast. The cliffs at Durlston are home to sea birds and is a nesting spot for Puffins. The waters at Durston are also a good place to spot dolphins and seals.

For more information visit –


Kimmeridge Bay

The bay is better known for geology and fossils but it is also a great spot to see life in the rock pools. As the water retreats there is a rich population of crabs, shrimp and much more to be found under each rock and patch of seaweed.

For an unforgettable nature experience visit the bay at night (being careful of the slippery surfaces) and seeing the bioluminescent life in the water. To see this special light show requires a little luck and a simple disturbance of the water by paddling or splashing.

Blue Pool
Blue Pool

Blue Pool

This man made lake is surrounded by beautiful woodland filled with squirrels, rabbits, foxes, badgers and deer.

The birdlife includes wood pigeon and woodpeckers.

Blue Pool has a museum, tea rooms, gift shop and a playground for after your walk and nature watching.

For more information visit –

Studland Nature Reserve
Studland Nature Reserve

Studland Nature Reserve

Many people visit Studland for the beautiful beach but just behind the sand is a wonderful nature reserve with bird hides, nature walks and a large lake. Here you will see a variety of wetland birds as the ripple of fish breaking the surface.

Studland also has some guided walks which give information about what you should look out for as you explore.

For more information visit –

Tips for Enjoying the Beach Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Beaches

Planning the perfect day on the beach is all part of the excitement of a seaside holiday on the Isle of Wight. A little preparation and knowing a little about the Isle of Wight’s beaches makes a great day out even more fun.

Here are our top tips for enjoying a beach holiday on the Isle of Wight:

Choosing Your Beach

The beaches on the Isle of Wight follow a simple pattern:

  • Sandy and Popular Beaches – North East and East of the Isle of Wight between Ryde in the North and Shanklin further South. These beaches have lots of facilities and are popular with holiday makers in the summer months.
  • Soft Shingle Beaches – South of the Isle of Wight from Ventnor to Whale Chine (including Steephill Cove). These beaches are popular with holiday makers (especially Ventnor) but become quieter the further you go around the Southern tip towards the West. Whale Chine can be reached from Niton Undercliff and is a beautiful beach with very few people even at the height of the season.
  • Sand & Shingle Beaches with Few People Even in The High Season – The whole of the West Coast is a series of beaches and bays made up of sand and shingle. There are very few facilities here so even in the height of the summer you will be able to find a stretch all to yourself. Good swimming water and easy parking. This area goes from the Southern Tip and on up to Brook (just before Freshwater Bay).
  • Shingle Bays – From Freshwater near the Western tip and around onto the North of the Isle of Wight are the beautiful shingle bays. Here you will find dramatic sea scapes and relatively quiet bays. Freshwater Bay, Totland Bay and Colwell Bay often have patches of sand but it depends on the tide. All these bays have some facilities close by and are popular with people who live on the Island.

Getting To The Beach

Many of our holiday cottages are within a short walk of the beach but if you are planning to visit a beach on another part of the Island you might want to consider how you get there.

Bus to the Beach

The East of the Isle of Wight has many popular beaches, all with limited car parking. You might consider the possibility of taking a double decker bus, which is also a great way to see the Isle of Wight. For bus information visit –

Tourist Parking Permits

If taking the car is the best option and you require parking for a whole week then you might consider the parking permit for holiday visitors – Tourist Parking Permits

Short Walk To Peaceful Beaches

It is a reliable rule that a short walk can get you to a peaceful part of the beach. For instance, walking just a few minutes South along the sandy beach at Shanklin will bring you to a part of the beach that many don’t get to and which is even more beautiful thanks to the dramatic headland.

A similar thing can be said for Steephill Cove Beach (South West of Ventnor), Priory Bay (around the headland South of Seaview) and Whale Chine near Niton Undercliff. All these beaches are much quieter because they require a short walk.

More Beach Information

To find out more about beaches on the Isle of Wight visit our Isle of Wight Beach Guide

Top Tips for Enjoying Purbeck Walk

Purbeck Walking Tips

The Isle of Purbeck is famous for its beautiful natural environment and it is best enjoyed by walking the many footpaths and rights of way. To help you get the most out of a walking trip in Purbeck or along the Jurassic Coast we have the following useful tips.

Bring A few Essentials

There is a temptation to set out like Sir Edmund Hillary but the best way to enjoy your walk is if you don’t have to drag a large bag around.

That said, you will need some essentials, specifically; water and some snacks. There are many areas of Purbeck where you will need your own supply and this is especially true if walking the Purbeck Hills or along the coastal path where there are long stretches of undisturbed nature.

A good walking bag should also contain some form of wet weather gear incase conditions change. For most of the year an emergency poncho will suffice.

Make Walking Fun For The Family

Children love to explore and Purbeck offers lots of places that spark the imagination. To keep the family motivated and having fun there are some great walking games to play. Here are our favourites:

  • Eltsac Efroc!! – If you see Corfe Castle you have to shout Eltsac Efroc ( Corfe Castle backwards).
  • The Unweary Collector – The person carrying the bag isn’t really a winner in this game but everyone else has a good time. The family have to slip small items  (usually pebbles and small sticks) into the ruc sac without the carrier noticing. The best time to make a deposit is in the confusion of crossing a style or when he or she opens a gate.

Get Your Bearings

A map is a lovely thing to bring on a walk in Purbeck as it allows you to extend or shorten your walk as required. However, there are some key landmarks to help you orientate yourself in Purbeck.

Firstly, when walking along the Jurassic Coast you can use the sea to ensure your are heading the right way. Keeping the sea on your right to head towards Swanage or Studland and keep the sea on your left to head towards Kimmeridge. Simple!

Secondly, Corfe Castle is visible from much of Purbeck. The hills each side run East to West. The gentle sloping side of the castle facing the village is roughly South facing and the steep side is North.

Thirdly, talk to people you pass along the way and see where they have come form. Purbeck is exceptionally friendly and you will get lots of recommendations for things to see on the walk.

Check Your Path is Open and Safe

Choosing where you wish to explore depends on your physical fitness, the weather and access. We have a Purbeck Walking Guide with a selection of walks with varying degrees of difficulty. – Purbeck Walking Guide

If the weather is exceptionally wet or windy it is advised to keep away from the Jurassic Coast where heavy rain can make the path unstable. For wet days there are lots of woodland walks which offer natural shelter. We would suggest Arne on the North side of Purbeck which is sheltered and peaceful.

The land West of Kimmeridge is owned by the MOD and is occasionally closed for manoeuvres. You can find times for closures here –


Purbeck Walking Routes

Choosing where to go for a walk in Purbeck is always a dilemma. There are so many places to see and so many footpaths to choose from where do you start?

Here is our pick to get you started and help you choose a walk in Purbeck which is right for you. We have divided the walks into sections. There are some gentle walks, for those who want a short flat walk; moderate walks, for those who want to stretch their legs; and big walks for the hikers amongst us.

Gentle Walks

These gentle Purbeck walks are an ideal way of enjoying the Purbeck nature without the need to climb any of the large hills.

Studland BeachStudland Nature Reserve

Purbeck is a relatively hilly terrain but if you feel like a gentle walk you may wish to visit Studland Nature Reserve. This beautiful natural environment is located behind the long sandy beach at Studland and is a mostly flat area criss crossed with paths. A nature trail is signposted from the upper part of the beach carpark and can be completed at a gentle pace in about 40 minutes. You can extend this walk by heading back along the sandy beach.

Arne Nature ReserveArne Nature Reserve Walks

The Arne Bird Reserve is located on the North side of Purbeck between Corfe Castle and Wareham. This woodland area is home to deer, squirrels and many species of birds. You can wander around without fear of getting lost as all paths circle back around. If you wish to stop for refreshments there is an excellent cafe.

Moderate Walks

These moderate walks take you a little deeper into the Purbeck countryside but ideal for those who want to stretch their legs

Tyneham Village Worbarrow Bay

This pleasant walk starts at the historic village of Tyneham which was used as target practice in the Second World War. You can explore the village and read up on the life and times before the guns were trained on it. From the car park there are signs to Worbarrow Bay. Follow the gently sloping track down to the sea and enjoy the panoramic view over the bay.

Corfe CastleClimb Corfe Castle

One of the landmarks of Purbeck and a lovely climb to enjoy the views over Purbeck. Corfe Castle offers a moderate climb but it is a short walk with places to stop along the way to admire the view.

Houns ToutHouns Tout

The perfect walk if you want to see the Jurassic Coast and only have an hour and a half to spare. The start point is the village of Kingston. Drive up past the right hand side of the church and park in the gravel car park just outside the village. Signposts lead the way. This spectacular hill top walk takes you to a view point over Chapmans Pool and Kimmeridge.

old harrys RockOld Harrys Rock

This Purbeck icon is located between Swanage and Studland and is easily reached from either location via the coastal path. Follow the Coastal Path signposts and it will appear along the route. The easiest direction to reach it from is Studland. Park at the Bankes Arms pub and follow the signs.

The Big Purbeck Walks

These are not difficult walks but take a bit longer. Ensure you pack water and a snack as there are few places to stop along the way.

Purbeck Hills WalkPurbeck Hill Top Walk

You walk between Corfe Castle and Swanage along the Purbeck Hills. The path is easiest to locate from the Corfe Castle end. Walk out of the centre of the village along the road to Wareham for 50 metres. Take the road to the right, under the railway bridge, and the path is signposted on the right. Climb up to the ridge and keep on the top of the hill till you see Swanage. Signposts will guide you down. From the Swanage side it is signposted from Ulwell.

Jurassic CoastPurbeck Jurassic Coast

This walk along the Jurassic Coast can be enjoyed as a whole or in sections. Pathways lead down to the coastal path from Langton Matravers, Worth Matravers and Kingston but you can start in Swanage and walk to Kimmeridge in a day.

From Swanage follow the coastal path signs from the Pier end of the town towards Durston Country Park. The route is well marked but a simple rule is to keep the sea on the left if coming from Swanage and on the right if coming from Kimmeridge. Along the way you will see the iconic Dancing Ledge, Winspit Bay, Chapmans Pool and Kimmeridge.


Holiday Photos Top Tips – Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Holiday Photos

We love taking photos on the Isle of Wight and over the decades we have learnt a few tips and tricks for photographing the famous scenery and holiday locations. Here are our top tips for taking holiday photos on the Isle of Wight from our Isle of Wight photographer.

Don’t Forget Your Camera!

No, we are not being flippant. Having your camera ready is vital if you want to catch those special moments. Make sure it has lots of battery, there is memory space for lots of photos and it is in a convenient pocket where you can get to it quickly for those special moments.

Isle of Wight Photo of Chicken
You never know when you might spot something a bit odd

Before we leave to take photos we ensure we have a newly formatted memory card and the battery is fully charged. We always take a test photo before leaving, maybe a quick selfie with a silly grin, to check everything is working.

Don’t Leave Out The People

It is proven (don’t ask us by whom) that photos with people give us greater joy when we review them down the road. People are also essential for placing a photo at a specific time in history and triggering the memories of the day you are capturing.

Those flower print shirts, flared trousers or that period hair cut will possibly make someone cringe but, more importantly, transport your mind back into that scene.

people running on the beach
The people really make this shot

We don’t often photograph people when we show you the Isle of Wight in our cottage descriptions. Maybe we should?


We are amazingly perceptive as a species and a fake smile will register, even if only subconsciously. Rather than asking someone to smile try asking them to do some other activity or pose.

See what result you get when you ask someone to:

  • Swing on that branch
  • Jump over the sand castle
  • Poke your head out from behind that tree
  • Point at your favourite thing here on 3. 1…2…3! (This is a good one for a large group)

Frame Your Shot

Photographers will argue about the best way of framing a given shot but all we would say is – mix it up a bit. A standard holiday shot has the family crowding the middle of the scene and mostly obscuring the castle/view/beach/steam train etc.

Try positioning the people to the left or right of the frame and see what you think.

At Island Cottage Holidays we frame our inside shots to include the relevant features. You always have to leave something out but, then again, it leaves something as a pleasant surprise.

Don’t Be Afraid of Blur

You see blur when the camera is moving quickly or the subject is moving quickly. Imagine spinning around while taking a photo. The image will be indistinct and any objects which you can make out will appear stretched and fuzzy. This is blur and many photographers do a lot to prevent it.

However, blur is great for showing movement, speed and energy. On holiday you might want to get a sense of how fast the children are running, how quickly the countryside is moving outside the train carriage or how speedily the ball is moving in a game on the beach.

To get started with using blur with a camera phone or point and click camera, begin with inside photos in the evening when the light is lower. In these conditions the camera will automatically slow down the shutter speed which makes blur more likely. Choose your subject, such as someone running from left to right in front of you, and pan or track them with the camera. While the camera is still moving take the photo. If your camera is moving at the same speed as the subject they should seem sharp but the background will be blurred. This gives a sense of speed.

A great place on the Isle of Wight to try this technique might be Blackgang Chine Adventure Park where there are lots of inside adventures with low light.

Go Out and Have Fun

We hope you have enjoyed our tips for holiday photos on the Isle of Wight. We hope you have fun trying them out and enjoy a fantastic holiday on the Island.

You can also see top tips for holiday photos in Purbeck Dorset written by our Purbeck photographer (coming soon).



View of Freshwater with Holiday Accommodation Locations

Freshwater Bay Self Catering Video

We have a beautiful short video with a view over Freshwater Bay on the West of the Isle of Wight that shows the beach and the self catering holiday accommodation within a short walk of the sea.

The cottages available in Freshwater Bay are shown on the video with their location picked out so you can see where they are in relation to the beach and the surrounding area.

Freshwater Bay Self Catering Cottages

Here are some of the cottages located around Freshwater Bay and featured in this video.

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