Cottage of the Week: Little Duxmore, Isle of Wight

Prudent farmers are rebuilding their derelict barns and renting them out to weekenders in search of peace. The well-equipped and stylish Little Duxmore on the Isle of Wight is the perfect place for tired townies

The diversification of agriculture has long been a trend in farming, undertaken to preserve the industry as times and consumer demands have changed. But diversification into tourism is a relatively new concept. As self-catering has become the popular way to holiday and with more weekend-away tourism, recent years have seen a huge growth in the number of converted farm buildings for rent. Canny farmers have turned to rebuilding - saving properties that might otherwise have been destroyed - and designing their disused barns and stores to attract worn-out townies looking for a little tranquillity. At the same time we, the renters, are helping to preserve part of our heritage when we stay in these charming links to our past.

Little Duxmore Barn, near Havenstreet on the Isle of Wight, is a perfect example. A 300-year-old barn, it was converted in 1993 and has been refurbished to a high standard to make the most of the surrounding countryside and light. There is a stunning double-height entrance hall, with its floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors on both sides. This space houses the dining area, which sits at least eight. This is a social property (it sleeps eight), a house for sharing; well-suited to families who want to spend time together in peaceful surroundings.

The location

Situated in the heart of the Isle of Wight countryside in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Little Duxmore is encircled by fields of organic wheat with only one other house in view. Surrounded by a private, enclosed garden, it has a further acre of grounds with a footpath through a wood connecting to the island's network of paths and bridleways.

The comfort factor

A truly tranquil setting with relaxing rural views on all sides - the only sound you'll hear is the tweeting of the birds. The décor is simple and tasteful with quality country-style furniture. In the living-room there are DVDs, videos and books for cosy winter evenings or rainy days. There is a well-equipped kitchen with a Rayburn cooker, washer-dryer, dishwasher and microwave.

The bathroom

There is a main bathroom on the ground floor; good for guests with accessibility problems. There's a smaller bathroom with shower upstairs. Both are stocked with complimentary Gil-christ & Soames smellies.

The food and drink

A hamper bursting with goodies awaits guests on arrival. In the nearest village, Havenstreet, the White Hart Inn (01983 883 485) serves up good fare, but it's best to book ahead. If you want something to take home, products from Isle of Wight Lavender (01983 825 272; lavender.co.uk) or The Garlic Farm (01983 865 378; thegarlicfarm.co.uk) make good souvenirs.

The people

You're unlikely to meet anyone wandering around the barn except for the local wildlife. If you venture out you'll cross paths with all manner of people - from elderly, female ramblers, to groups of cyclists and families enjoying some of the many seaside attractions. If you want to mingle with the sailing set, head for Cowes.

The area

The nearest town, and one of the ferry ports, is Ryde (three miles), one of the island's classic seaside towns, with sandy beaches for winter walks on fine days. The barn's central location means that there is easy access to anywhere on the island, including two other ferry ports, Fishbourne and Cowes. There are so many family attractions on the island you'd be pushed to squeeze them into a week, but watch out for seasonality.

The access

There is good access downstairs with the open dining area and a ground-floor bedroom and bathroom, although it would be a squeeze trying to get a wheelchair into the living-room. There is parking outside the front door.

The damage

Three nights from 11-13 November costs £621 for the whole property.

The address

Little Duxmore Barn, Rowlands Lane, Havenstreet, Ryde, Isle of Wight PO33 4DS. Book through Rural Retreats (01386 701 177; ruralretreats.co.uk).

Liked That? Try These

* Annes Grove, Co. Cork is a gothic tower rescued by the Irish Landmark Trust (00 353 1 670 4733; irishlandmarktrust.com) .

* The Bee House & The Hive (01531 640 021; premiercottages.co.uk) are two converted cottages near Ledbury.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Volunteer Digital Marketing Trustee needed

    Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...

    Java Swing Developer - Hounslow - £33K to £45K

    £33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...

    Corporate Events Sales Manager, Marlow,Buckinghamshire

    £30K- £40K pa + Commision £10K + Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly expandin...

    Day In a Page

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

    Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
    Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

    The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

    Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
    Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

    Meet Japan's AKB48

    Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor