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Pinkmead Estate & Vineyard, Isle of Wight

Jessica Baldwin stays at the tranquil Pinkmead Estate & Vineyard, Isle of Wight

The Credentials

“It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot,” said Queen Victoria, of her beloved Isle of Wight estate. Much has changed since Victoria’s reign, but with more than half of the diamond-shaped island declared an Area of Outstanding National Beauty, visitors to its shores are still guaranteed unspoilt countryside, thriving wetlands and some of the UK’s best sandy beaches.

One thing that has changed? You no longer need blue blood running through your veins to bag your own private estate… just book the island’s most exclusive holiday rental; Pinkmead Estate & Vineyard. Just a couple of miles from Victoria’s regal pad, nestled along the banks of the River Medina, the dog-friendly 24-acre waterfront estate provides guests with their own (rather large) slice of Victoria’s favourite island. In fact, it’s so vast, it comes with its own absolutely fabulous electric golf buggy, ‘Eddie’, to get around (the estate tractor goes by ‘Patsy’, naturally, sweetie darling). Think peaceful salt marshes, glorious gardens, ancient woods and its very own vineyard – plus access to everything from yoga and cycling to paddleboarding and kayaking! And yes, fear not, it does have its own helipad – phew!


Accessed via a lengthy farm track and cocooned by nature, the main house acts as a window to the estate with incredible views at every turn; gaze left to see the samphire-fringed lagoon give way to the glittering creeks, look right and you can watch the oystercatchers peck their way along the gardens, bound for the lake. Straight ahead and you’ll often spot one of the island’s famous red squirrels quarrelling on the helipad, as the odd yacht cuts through the peaceful River Medina in the distance.

Labelling this chic pad a ‘bungalow’ is to do it a serious injustice; with everything from a dedicated yoga studio and pop-up cinema to a virtual butler, Pinkmead proves the ultimate ‘fungalow’. Whilst the main house, which sleeps up to 7 guests in three immaculately designed bedrooms, makes the perfect base, it also has a smattering of picture-perfect outbuildings. Limber up in the Yoga Studio or kick back in the Kitchen Garden- complete with another double sofa bed, this dreamy annexe opens up towards the sauna and BBQ area, to create an epic indoor-outdoor summer house. Stroll towards the river and you’ll find the estate’s boathouse, crammed to the rafters with all manner of nautical toys. After a day gallivanting around the grounds, fire up the wood-burning pizza oven and enjoy an al fresco riverside dinner with a glass of Pinkmead’s own gin.


You only have to drive through the beautiful Arreton Valley to understand why the island’s bourgeoning culinary scene is luring in foodie mainlanders, with its fertile soils peppered with excellent independent producers, like The Garlic Farm. Whilst kids love the farm trails and playground, foodies can dive into the garlic-laden shop or try all manner of garlicky delights in the restaurant – Dorset snails dripping with garlic butter? Yes, please.

When it comes to waterfront fine dining, the island’s hottest table is The Hut. Nestled within Colwell Bay, alongside a parade of colourful beach huts, this trendy yachtie hangout sees a slick team serve up first-class seafood with panoramic sea views and Ibiza vibes, courtesy of the live DJ. Lunch here sees foodies descend from land, sea and air (yes, the team can meet you at your chopper), to a steady parade of bountiful surf & turf boards; lengthy wooden planks piled high with charred T-bone, giant shell-on prawns, marrow-laden bones and a juicy lobster to boot, with bottles of rose popping up like whack-a-mole. On our visit, the weather may not have played ball, but the food certainly did – the elaborately presented lobster rice was deliciously succulent and the crispy zucchini fries were spot on.

Feeling lazy? Drop a quick WhatsApp message to the Pinkmead team and they’ll arrange a water taxi across to The Folly Inn (tides allowing).

Out & About

Whilst Pinkmead makes a fantastic base for those looking to explore the island’s popular sights, the sheer space, peace and privacy that the estate affords guests – coupled with its lengthy activity menu and unrivalled creature comforts – makes it hard to leave the estate at all. However, if you must, you’ll find every single one of the island’s pretty coves and sandy bays just a short drive away.

Start local, by exploring nearby Cowes, home to the world’s largest and oldest sailing regatta, which sees sailors of all abilities battle it out on the Solent. Pinkmead is also the only house located on the scenic Newport-Cowes cycleway- jump on one of the estate’s immaculate Pendleton bicycles (painted Pinkmead peppermint, naturally) to explore.

For a windswept hike, hit the coastal path or head to iconic Tennyson Down – it’s an excellent choice for checking out The Needles (the soaring chalk pinnacles which once formed a brilliantly white chalky ridge which adjoined the island to the mainland) without the crowds. Insta-worthy kaleidoscopic sands await at popular Alum Bay and old-world charm can be found by the bucket load in picturesque Shanklin – this chocolate box village, bursting with award-winning tea rooms, boasts a Blue Flag beach and a spectacular historic gorge with two raging waterfalls at its heart.

Family fun has always been the beating heart of this tiny island and in its southerly reaches, you’ll still find families swarming to Blackgang Chine, the UK’s oldest amusement park, which turns 180 this year. However, for fun without the hair-raising rides, Tapnell Farm is just the ticket, with plenty of indoor/ sheltered activities for all ages – if the sun does turn up, check out its adrenaline-fuelled water park.

The Crowd

What crowd? You have the entire estate to yourself, every creek and vine!

The Best Thing

Unsurprisingly, summer sees the island filled with tourists seeking sun, sand and sailing, so to have 24 acres of this tiny isle to call your own is priceless.

The Worst Thing

This bucolic bolthole is accessed via a lengthy dirt track shared with the local farm, so skip the valet and you can finally get some proper use out of your Chelsea tractor.

The Details

Pinkmead Estate & Vineyard resides on the banks of the River Medina, between Newport and Cowes. From September 2023, it will also be available as a wedding venue.

Prices start from £3250 per week in low season. Wedding stays start at £6000 for 36 hours midweek.


Wightlink offers regular fast, affordable and efficient ferry crossings from Portsmouth and Lymington to the Isle of Wight.