The Active Island connects visitors to the Isle of Wight with a little black book of local contacts to deliver an extraordinary experience, from guided adventures to deluxe lifestyle offerings. Could Britain’s largest island become its hottest new destination? Founders of The Active Island Tom Court and Sophie Mathews think so.
Isle Wight now
“We have travelled the world and seen first-hand how the power of sport and lifestyle can transform a destination,” explains Tom, “so we decided to bring the same concept back home.”
Born from this experience is The Active Island, an integrated concierge service geared towards the great outdoors that aims to make the very best of the Isle of Wight accessible for the first time.
An islander born and bred, Tom is an all-round action man, who also owns a video production company, while Sophie’s background encompasses fitness and brand development.
Tom says: “Growing up on the Isle of Wight allowed me to become a professional action sportsman, a sector that is only just starting to gain attention from the wider world. The island is the perfect location to offer the whole extreme sports package and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t become a world-class destination.”
Health and wellbeing is one 21st-century trend that sees no signs of slowing down, something that The Active Island wants to capitalise on.
“The quality of life down here is really rich in terms of getting active,” says Tom, “for everyone from pros to beginners. We’re here to develop a reputation for the island as the UK’s go-to place for action sports and share the healthy lifestyle we love.”
Closer than one might imagine, the island is “only two hours from central London with easy access to airports and transport connections,” says Sophie. “Plus, it’s also the sunniest place in the UK.”
Thanks to their unrivalled local knowledge and experience, Tom and Sophie are able to put together packages tailored to suit clients’ needs from the moment they hit the ferry to the day they leave, remaining reactive to everything from the mood of the group to the weather forecast.
“We draw from what we consider the best of the Isle of Wight, working in a similar vein to Marble LDN by cherry-picking our favourite suppliers and locations,” says Sophie. “We work closely with providers such as Tapnell Farm, which has a large and growing selection of accommodation, from glamping options to manor houses. With advanced booking and seasonal availability we can get 120 people accommodated all on one site and can scale events for anything from 5-10 to 100.
It’s not just visitors that will benefit from The Active Island’s offering – it aims to provide further economic stability to local businesses.
“Ultimately we’d like to help develop the island in a sustainable way, by targeting the off-season and bringing revenue here using the natural environment as the draw,” says Sophie. “In terms of local business development this has a knock on effect of bringing more sports-based employment opportunities.”
Healthy, sustainable and bloody gorgeous? Sold.