This website uses cookies. By closing this notification you agree to our use of cookies. You can update this at any time via your browser settings.
To learn more about how we use cookies please see our cookies policy.
 
Select from our Offices

Waterside House
72a High Street
Cowes
Isle of Wight
PO31 7RE

01983 200880
cowes@spencewillard.co.uk

Charles Spence
Charles Spence
Spence Willard team
Emma Bradley
Tanya Hill
Tanya Hill
Zadie Margham
Philip Weeks
Gaynor Owen

Sherbourne Street
Bembridge
Isle of Wight
PO35 5SB

01983 873000
bembridge@spencewillard.co.uk

Spence Willard team
Sam Branston
Hannah Cook
Hannah Cook
Lauren Taylor
Charlotte Branston
Charlotte Branston

The Square
Yarmouth
Isle of Wight
PO41 0NP

01983 761005
yarmouth@spencewillard.co.uk

Spence Willard Yarmouth
Spence Willard team
Duncan Willard
Lesley Samson
Lesley Samson

The Old Bank
Tennyson Road
Freshwater
Isle of Wight
PO40 9AB

01983 756575
freshwater@spencewillard.co.uk

Jason Siviter
Jason Siviter
David Langford
David Langford
Cynthia Robertson

The Square
Yarmouth
Isle of Wight
PO41 0NP

01983 761005 opt 2
lettings@spencewillard.co.uk

Spence Willard office
Laura Homes
Alice MacNab
Alice MacNab
Henrietta MacLean
Henrietta MacLean

40 St James' Place
London
SW1A 1NS

020 7839 0888
london@spencewillard.co.uk

Spence Willard London office
Bob Bickersteth
Bob Bickersteth
Contact
Island Living
Discover the Isle of Wight through those that live here

The Isle of Wight is enjoying a wonderful renaissance appealing to young families, those looking for a change of scenery or simply a weekend retreat to redress the balance of a busy life. The Spence Willard team have all chosen the Isle of Wight as their home, so you can rest assured that we know the community, all of the hidden gems and why the Island is so inherently charming as the destination to invest in a home.

Just over 60 miles from London, the Isle of Wight can be easily accessed via the A3 and M3, and you can proceed to travel across the Solent in as little as 10 minutes. There are a choice of six ferry routes arriving in either Yarmouth, Cowes, East Cowes, Fishbourne or Ryde so whatever your final destination once on the Island, you can access with ease.

With over half of the Island designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the recent UNESCO Biosphere status there is much to inspire and be enjoyed. 57 miles of glorious coastline range from sandy beaches to rugged cliffs meaning there is something for everyone. There are many outdoor pursuits such as paddle boarding, sailing, golfing, horse riding, surfing, mountain biking and paragliding so you’ll never be short of new experiences. For balance (and the less adventurous!), there’s a wealth of other activities including foraging courses, pottery classes, floristry courses and jewellery making.

Delightful restaurants can be found across the Island selling fresh, local produce and delectable local wines and spirits, so you can enjoy the stunning vistas and take in the fresh coastal air whilst dining in quaint, yet stylish eateries. For the nights at home, there are a number of local delicatessen’s, bakers, butchers and fishmongers so you can have the ‘farm-to-fork’ experience from the comfort of your home.

There are charming villages and picturesque harbour towns steeped in history with many gorgeous properties from rural cottages to Victorian Villas, country houses to waterfront wonders and those with architectural accolade just waiting for you to uncover…

A Dream come true by the Coast
Marc Thompson & Jack Rebours spent years travelling the world working in the cruise industry, however after a chance visit to some friends on the Isle of Wight they decided that they could not ignore the call of the Island, feeling it was one of the most special places they had visited. With huge changes in their careers due to the pandemic, Marc & Jack had a further lifestyle change moving from a large property on the outskirts of Cowes, to create the most gorgeous, bijou home in the heart of the town.
Making Wellness Your Business
Working and living in London, Jenny Stewart craved fresh coastal air and the opportunity to follow her dream of creating her own wellness business running wellness classes outside, yoga on paddleboards and weekend retreats to relax and unwind. Having no previous connection to the Island, it was somewhat a leap of faith - hear what the Island has offered her and her family, and how their move to the Island is one they haven't regretted for a single moment.
Destination: Home
After years of holidaying on the Isle of Wight, Lisa Henry came to realise the many benefits of Island living and two years ago, she and her family moved from London and now proudly call the Isle of Wight home. Having moved here, Lisa pursued her dream of setting up her own location agency for the film and photographic industry, which has proven hugely successful given the diversity the Island offers.
Escape to the Country
Having spent time visiting friends on the Isle of Wight, Mark Smith came to appreciate the diversity on offer - amazing coastlines, expanse of countryside and real foodie scene. With a subsequent desire to move out of the City for some real space, his Isle of Wight property search began. Since moving to the Island Mark, one of House & Garden 100 Leading Interior Designers, has completed a stunning renovation project in the country and is very much enjoying his life here.
Portraits of Island Life
Karen Boyd
Fashion Designer / Design Consultant

Step into fashion designer Karen Boyd’s home and you’ll find yourself in design heaven filled with beautiful furnishings, artworks, and personal touches. And with far-reaching views of the boating lake and Appley Beach, it’s clear that moving to the Island
from London over 20 years ago was a smart move.

Everything was so easy and beautiful

After studying Fashion Design at University in Newcastle, I moved to London and started up a business designing my own ‘Karen Boyd’ label collection selling to shops in the UK such as Harrods and Harvey Nichols, and worldwide from the US to Japan
and across Europe. The collections had amazing press coverage in all of the big fashion magazines and I dressed many celebrities including Madonna. After 8 years I moved on to focus on freelance design work, teaching at St Martins, The Royal College of Art, and designing for brands like Katharine Hamnett, Nicole Farhi, Jaeger, and Hobbs.
My sons were born in 1998 and when they were three, we began thinking about where we wanted them to settle. We were at the point in London where we felt that we’d done as much as we wanted to do there, going out and travelling the world, and wanted to
find a better place for the boys to grow up. We’d come to the Island on holiday with my sister and some friends in a caravan at Whitecliff Bay and just loved it here. It was just so great for the kids; everything was so easy and beautiful, and it felt like the best sort of family place to be and was commutable.

Having started looking at property we were so impressed by what we could get here for our money as opposed to London, we fell in love with this house with its views out to sea and easy walkable access to the ferry to allow us to continue to work in London part of the week, as well as plenty of space for our studio to work from home. Chris is a graphic designer in the music business and I’m in fashion, we both wanted to continue our careers and haven’t looked back since. We’ve been hybrid working for over 20 years, it’s the best of both worlds.

We both wanted to continue our careers and haven’t looked back since

I now work as a Design Consultant for Me+Em, The Fold London, and a smaller brand called Hope Fashion, mainly from my studio here on the Island. Looking forward I’ll be contributing to a brand-new BA (Hons) in Sustainable Fashion course being
set up in Newport and housed in the old Topshop building. I’m excited to be involved in such a progressive Island based venture, and in a subject that has to be the future of the fashion industry. It’s a great initiative that will add to the opportunities for young people on the Island and will attract students from the mainland, and I’m delighted to be giving back to a place that has given me so much.

Finn Manser Grundy
AKA The BMX Boy

For many four year olds, CBeebies, a trip to the beach, and ice cream might be the highlights of their weekends but not for Finn Manser Grundy. For him, the thrill of the BMX track and a need for speed is what propels him through life. Although, he is quite fond of the beach as well.

Having started his bike career at the tender age of two on a wooden balance bike, things have moved on dramatically in the last couple of years and now Finn takes part regularly in meetings and races both on and off the Island. “I like doing gap jumps and
laps best and my dad is building me a pump track in our back garden so that I can practice. You can go up hills and come down again, there are things you can jump off and it’s really bumpy and I have to turn my bike to go round the corners fast”.
Finn’s dad Jack moved to the Island when he was eight with his parents, and his mum Claudia spent summers and weekends as a child with her parents and friends here for many years. They both moved permanently to the Isle of Wight in the mid-2010s
having lived for a time in Bath with Jack now working at British Sailing and Claudia at Ryde School.
“Both Jack and I ride bikes and we started Finn off on a balance bike which very soon he could ride super-fast. We then started taking him to Brighstone last winter on his pedal bike, towing him up the hill and slowly working our way down, and began to explore the trails in the forest once he could use his pedals. And when the mountain bike centre opened, he started having lessons”. There are also trips to (as Finn calls it) The Big Island for races and meetings and his highest placing in a race has been second in the under-six class which is no mean feat at the 417 bike park in Cirencester.
However, when you live on the Isle of Wight and you’re four, there are of course many reasons why you love to live here and Finn has a few favourites – riding on the tracks of course, going to the bike centre and on the Twisted Wizard which is one of the trails. “It has two jumps at the start, and I can clear them, and now I can do the big gap jump and land on the kicker”. And apart from biking? “I love the beach and we got sea glass and picked up rubbish today which is good because fish can get trapped in
plastic bottles. I like to spend the day in my pyjamas eating sweeties in the holidays and going on the trampoline in our garden”.
For future reference, backflips are on the cards, and we think there could be an Olympian in the making…

Emily Waterhouse
Island Stems

Emily Waterhouse and her Kiwi husband Jason are no strangers to a challenge having competed in many multisport races; however, moving their lives from the South Island of New Zealand to the Isle of Wight mid-pandemic could have been one of their biggest, and best achievements to date.

Now with seedlings on every windowsill, growing and selling beautiful flowers as well as providing movement rehabilitation in the form of Pilates, and keeping sheep, the good life has come home to Havenstreet.Having spent twenty one years living in
New Zealand, working as a physiotherapist and teaching Pilates, when the pandemic hit and her parents needed extra support, it seemed like an ideal time for Emily to return to the Island. Whilst she went to school off the Island, she had enjoyed holidays as a child in Seaview and had the luxury of her grandparents living around the corner.
A move across the world was to be the start of an exciting new chapter in their story, and with Emily having studied food and agriculture alongside her work as a physio, an ideal business, Island Stems was born.
‘We were living in the mountains, in an area where generally people thrived but weren’t healing as quickly as they should. I decided to research the food industry and agriculture, to see how that was impacting people’s health as an aside to my day
job. I studied organic primary production looking at farming from an organic perspective and after looking at buying a biodynamic vineyard I went on to study horticulture with a specialisation in fruit production. When we were looking for somewhere
here on the Island, we did think about a vineyard and there are some great spots where you could grow grapes. Fortunately, I was given a soil map by a family friend from Seaview. This was a fascinating map of the Island’s geological structure which is so
varied. Initially, we struggled to find somewhere to buy as in 2020 we were in the midst of some very strange times. We were advised to speak to Charles at Spence Willard who thought that he might have the perfect property for us, and we got the keys on
Christmas Eve of 2020.’
Outside the house, the whole of the surrounding area had been flattened and there was nothing in the way of a garden which although beginning from scratch, allowed Emily a blank canvas to decide exactly what she wanted. ‘It meant that we could put in a more functional driveway, build a barn and create optimal garden beds. I’ve been trialling all sorts of plants to see what does well. Jason took down a huge hedge so now we have fabulous views, and I am working on breaking up the wind with new planting as it can get a bit breezy up here!’
The original part of the house dates from the 1800’s and was the old woodman’s cottage originally surrounded by forestry. It’s been added to over time and Emily and Jason have built a porch that gives a pleasing symmetry to the front of the house, as well as a large barn to house garden paraphernalia and plants. The garage had previously been converted into what is now the kitchen and a sweeping staircase leads to a large landing with bedrooms in both the original and newer 1980’s part of the house, giving an abundance of character.

I think we have got the best of both worlds here

‘Moving here meant that we needed to see what we could do, what there was a market for on the Island. Vines need freer draining soil which we don’t have, ours is a silty clay but with the potential to greatly improve, and I realised that there was
a flower-growing need here. I know it will take a while to get established, but the saying goes that ‘A rising tide lifts all boats’. I think thanks to the great community of forward-thinking farmers and people around us this can be achieved. To create
a more sustainable environment here on the island, locally grown flowers are a huge plus. They may be more expensive than greenhouse ones grown abroad, but the tiny carbon footprint and the fact that they are grown just down the road are important. I grow a mixture of stems; from native flowers to other fabulous floriferous beauties such as tulips and peonies which thrive here. At the moment I am growing on about half an acre but have another field we are regenerating. I grow using biodynamic gardening principles. It is a sensory and holistic approach to growing. The moon has a significant influence on the Earth. In the same way it governs the tides, it influences all living organisms, including the way plants grow.
We may occasionally miss the mountains, but I think we have got the best of both worlds here. A quiet place to live and somewhere that we can be outside regenerating the land, cycling, and enjoying the Island with its supportive community.
I’ve been very fortunate that Jason said “We should go and be there” when my parents needed us, and we are looking forward to being here for many years to come.’

 
 
 
Getting Here