Ferns and palms flourish on the south side of the island and wild goats and red squirrels scamper. Pitt’s Keep, a single-storey Victorian villa 50 yards from Bonchurch village – ancient church, duck pond and inn – comes with a magical cliffside garden and a dazzling view from every front room. For city escapees and stylistas, Pitts Keep is the bee’s knees; and a great find for hikers and families. A 10-minute walk gets you to Monk’s Bay (beach, crabs, rock pools) while big beaches beckon at Sandown and Shanklin. As for the house, it’s been renovated – beautifully – with a designer’s eye. The layout is quirky and the light floods in, to a sheltered gravelled courtyard, a bright lofty sitting room, a dining room, a conservatory and a kitchen in gothic-country style (fab for cooks). Imagine white walls, modern art, sisal carpeting, mid-century furniture. The mini hamper is a generous extra and you can stock up and fine-dine in Ventnor. Return to bedrooms full of beauty and character. Fancy a sea view? Pick the double with the Victorian crenellated terrace, or the large twin.