Luxury self-catering accommodation on the Isle of Wight

This diamond-shaped island floating just off the UK's south coast is a network of rural paths, bygone Victorian beach towns and dramatic cliff walks.

Taking a trip on any ferry gives one the sense of adventure, and the breeze across to The Isle of Wight is no different. In under an hour, visitors can pop over from the mainland via Lymington or Portsmouth, and unpacking suitcases in a tiny town in a similar timescale. Sandy shores are a major pull for guests all year round; Ryde and Yarmouth are where the big ferries pull in and decamping here is a quick way to access the sands. Ryde is the largest town on the island, while the port town of Yarmouth has a farm park, castle and a Grade-II listed pier.

Those who cross the island to reach the far side are treated to the Victorian health resort of Ventnor, nestled just beneath St Boniface Down, the highest point of the island. Austere houses set back from the sea keep a year-round lookout, while the harbour and bandstand entertain guests otherwise forming an orderly queue at the popular fishery, for freshly caught crab and lobster. The Isle of Wight Festival pulls crowds hoping to see top music acts and entertainment. Stay off-site in a luxury beach cottage or townhouse and you'll get the best of both worlds…