AN ISLE of Wight farm has been named the region's best rural tourist business.

Nettlecombe Farm, Whitwell, won the best rural tourism business award at the south east finals of the Rural Business Awards, held at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge.

It will now represent the south east at the national final, in February.

Nettlecombe Farm is a working farm that also offers luxury holiday accommodation and activities such as fishing and yoga retreats.

The farm, which has been in the Morris family for more than a century, has nine self-catering properties, three coarse fishing lakes and offers guests the opportunity to meet and feed resident animals including alpacas, donkeys, goats and reindeer.

The farm has secured its place in the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame and won ‘cosiest hideaway’ and ‘best place for a shindig’ awards.

Owner Jose Morris said: “We are delighted to have won this prestigious award.

"I take it as recognition of how hard all the members of our team work to give our guests a unique experience during their stay with us.

"Nettlecombe Farm has been in my family for generations.

"So many rural businesses face difficult choices between working the land, conserving our precious environment and making a living.

"By opening the farm to guests, visitors and educational trips, we have, so far, navigated that balance."

Other categories in the Rural Business Awards include best rural start-up, best rural diversification project and best rural social enterprise.

The winners are chosen by a panel of judges drawn from the rural business sector, public sector agencies, and rural charitable organisations.

Don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.