Hazlegrove Farm, Ashey Road, Ashey, Isle Of Wight PO33 4BD
We can only be grateful that the US does everything so much McBigger and McBetter, because without that super-sized can-do attitude, we might never have experienced one of America’s best inventions – the slick, stylish Airstream trailer. It’s an incredible feat of engineering and a joy to behold, with effortless, curved lines, a sparkle of silver and a spacious, luxurious interior. This is no ordinary caravan – it’s style on wheels.
While the shiny, classic homes-on-wheels have had a bit of a renaissance in recent years – popping up on US film sets, hotel roof-tops and hip, London restaurants – a rural meadow on the Isle of Wight is one of the more unexpected locations to find them. This is the home of Vintage Vacations, brainchild of photographer Frazer Cunningham and stylist Helen Carey. Their love for all things retro compelled them to import initially just two of these beautiful caravans, a 1965 Tradewind and a 1971 Safari. Today there are almost 20, ranging in age (and size) all the way back to 1946.
It’s no surprise, given the couple’s background, the lengths that they have gone to ensure there’s real comfort and style in these caravans. The exteriors were in mint condition when the Airstreams were bought but Frazer and Helen have restored the tired interiors, staying as faithful as possible to the mid-century origins. You can almost imagine Marlon Brando stepping out from the curve-top door of the 1960s models, smoking a cigarette and throwing a moody look in your direction. Inside, the 60s theme continues with yellow-lacquered kitchen cupboards, colourful curtains and rock ‘n’ roll CDs, as well as retro games including Tiddlywinks and Fuzzy Felt. The 1940s vans, meanwhile, lack the full-on bubble curves and have an older, wooden finish inside, with classic late 40s tablewares and an old whistling kettle on the oven. The result in every van is an effortless blend of holiday comfort and retro chic.
When you’re ready to return to the present day, you’ll find the usual holiday diversions at Newport, the island’s biggest town, just 15 minutes in the car. You could take in a show at the historic Apollo Theatre, visit the farmer’s market on a Friday morning or hang out at the Quay Arts Centre, a thriving gallery, café and live arts venue housed in a former warehouse on the river bank. Or pop to nearby Ryde and the Isle of Wight’s western coast. Nettlestone, St Helens and Bembridge, all have good beaches – just remember to bring your stripy bathing suit and retro swimming cap.
The Owner SaysThe Airstream an incredible feat of engineering and a joy to behold, with effortless, curved lines, a sparkle of silver and a spacious, luxurious interior. This is no ordinary caravan – it’s style on wheels. The early riveted aluminium trailer was replaced by more modern motorhomes from the 1980s, but the sturdy construction and timeless design of the original has led to a renaissance for these classic caravans. They’ve gradually been appearing in trailer parks and movie sets in the States in recent years. Perhaps more unexpected is to see ten particularly fine examples in a small field near Newport on the Isle of Wight. This is the home of Vintage Vacations, brainchild of photographer Frazer Cunningham and stylist Helen Carey. Their love for all things retro compelled them to import initially just two of these beautiful caravans, a 1965 Tradewind and a 1971 Safari. Now, however, there are fifteen trailers and caravans of varying sizes, forming a unique vintage 'caravan park' and a memorable way to spend a week or so on the Isle of Wight.
We had an amazing time in the 1959 Overlander Airstream. The owners Helen and Frazer are on site to meet you, lovely easygoing couple, really seem to enjoy running the site and helpful by email when booking too. (Big shout to the cheerful cleaning lady too, who loved the site as much as we did)
I like vintage and this campsite is "proper" - no Cathkidson! not just the amazing Airstreams with all original features, ....Original fabrics, kids games, annuals from the 60/70 and babycham glasses (free babycham on arrival!) Owners previously worked as stylist/photographer and you can tell!
They've thought of everything to make this a really relaxing and fun experience (radio in the toilets, vintage vinyl on the walls, free tea/fresh coffee/milk on arrival) plus bbq and fab deckchairs and loads of sport rackets and nets in the middle of the site which our kids loved.
We've been to some great campsites and husband Jim says "the most tasteful (yet unpretentious) campsite he's ever stayed on"!
We thought it was really good value for money too, not massively more than normal caravan sites. Please great location near Ryde.
We stayed here in May 2012 and had a fantastic time, despite the weather being wet. We thoroughly enjoyed the vintage airstream caravan, the retro feel, the shower in a cupboard. The bed was comfy and cosy, the rain was bouncing off the aluminium roof. We ventured out into the sodden field and toured the island beyond. Loads of fun, we look forward to coming back again someday.
Absolutely fantastic. Spent last week of October with our 2 children and loved every minute. Caravans are beautiful, facilities in and out of caravan great, feel very looked after by Helen and Frazer (the owners). So much to do on the IOW. Will definitely be going back.