Create your own artistic impressions as we walk through some of the Isle of Wight's most inspirational landscapes. We’ll walk up to 4 miles (6.5km) each day, sketching scenes along our journey. Your sketches may be the finished result or used as a source for further painting or drawing.
- Gentle rambles of up to 4 miles with plenty of stops for sketching
- A variety of inspirational landscapes from mountains to beaches
- Our professional artist leader will guide and encourage
- Enjoy the sociable atmosphere of sketching in a group
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- Tuition from our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
- All transport to and from the rambles on your holiday
- Loan of wooden A3 art boards
Freshwater Bay House boasts a beautiful cliff-top location overlooking the bay. Enjoy dramatic chalk cliffs, sandy beaches, picture-postcard villages and more from this wonderful island gem.
Freshwater Bay House has 48 bedrooms located in the main building and a cottage in the grounds. Many of the rooms have sea views, whilst others overlook the gardens and downs.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our option evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
- The fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance with an evacuation are identified at this point and alternative door hangers are issued to help the team members identify them
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- All team members have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for and specialist food can be arranged with prior notice
- Hired equipment can be arranged for your stay with prior notice
- Fridges can be supplied for medication with prior notice.
You can check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. All guests are invited to join us for afternoon tea – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
Coast, cliffs and Freshwater Bay
We start our day with a discussion on approaches to sketching and ways of achieving good compositions. After initial sketching in the garden (fabulous views!) we‘ll walk to Compton Down, where there will be views of Freshwater Bay and the coast and cliffs. Whenever we go out on location, as we do today, we may walk up to 4 miles (6.5km) each day, carrying our equipment.
Today we head out to Yarmouth where there is a variety of sketching subjects,including the old mill on the estuary, the historic town and pier and sea views. We’ll walk back to Freshwater Bay along the disused railway track, with some sketching stops as we go.
Ventnor Botanic Gardens and Steephill Cove
Our walk starts at the botanic gardens, with some time to sketch there before walking to Steephill Cove. Here there is a secluded beach with brightly-coloured beach huts and old fishermen’s cottages, deck chairs, lobster pots, rocks and cliffs – a wealth of inspiration! Then we’ll walk on the coast path to Ventnor where we will rejoin our coach and head back homewards. F
A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House. Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your free day. There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, as well as weather forecasts and public transport options – plus details about other places to visit.
Godshill and Appuldurcombe
Today we walk from Godshill village on the Stenbury and Worsley trails to Appuldurcombe Down where there are some great views. After a stop at Appuldurcombe House, we ramble back to Godshill where we can sketch the village.
On our last day we go to Alum Bay where we can sketch the colourful cliffs and the Needles. Our walk back over Tennyson Down gives us some great views of the cliffs and sea – maybe some wild orchids too! There’s the chance to exhibit our sketches in an informal display for everyone to enjoy if we’d like to.
Depart after a leisurely breakast.
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
What to bring
- sketchbooks – good cartridge paper (e.g.150gm), A4 or 8” square and/or A5 or 6” square (spiral bound or hard back)
- 2B & 4B pencils and a watersoluble graphite pencil
- craft blade for sharpening pencils
- putty rubber
- bulldog clips or large elastic bands
- a sketching pen
- blank slide mount or small cardboard mount for view finder (e.g. postcard or smaller)
- Optional – a set of Caran D’Ache Neocolour water-soluble pastels, or a set of water-soluble crayons (e.g.Derwent Inktense)
- Optional – a water brush
- Any other lightweight materials you like to use
- A rucksack to carry the materials
- A foam seat pad or lightweight stool that you can easily carry
- Protection against weather & insects – waterproofs, sunblock & sunhat, insect repellent, long trousers & long sleeved shirt
- Good hiking shoes or boots, hiking sticks if you need them
- You will have to carry your equipment and lunch/drink so keep it simple
If you would like to try watercolours & need suggestions for colours to bring, the following is a good selection:
French Ultramarine blue Prussian blue
Cadmium Yellow Lemon yellow
Cadmium red Alizarin crimson
Viridian green Burnt umber
Burnt sienna Raw sienna
Lightweight wooden A3 art boards are available at the Country House for guest loan.
Discover the Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a delightful haven away from the bustle of the mainland, easily reached by ferry. Broadly diamond shaped, the island is 25 miles long and 15 miles wide. This makes it ideally sized for a week’s walking and exploration.
Freshwater Bay is a small semi-circular cove at the foot of the garden of Freshwater Bay House. There is a pebble beach here, or better sandy beaches approximately 3 miles away at Totland Bay or Colwell Bay. Shops and banks are located in Freshwater village, about 30 minutes’ walk away.
The small harbour town of Yarmouth is located 3 miles north of Freshwater Bay; either a 10 minutes drive, a pleasant 1 hour walk, or reached using the 'Needles Breezer' open-top bus. Yarmouth has a selection of small shops and pubs, and there's always a bustle of activity around the harbour. Yarmouth's Tudor castle is also worth a visit. www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/yarmouth-castle/
Queen Victoria’s island residence, managed by English Heritage, is located near East Cowes at the north of the island. Enjoy the lavish interiors and take time to explore the extensive grounds which slope down to the Solent. Osborne House is about 40 minutes drive from Freshwater Bay. During the main season (May to Sept) we offer an excursion to Osborne on most Wednesdays. www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/osborne/
A fine medieval castle situated near Newport in the heart of the island. The castle's most famous 'resident' was King Charles I, who was imprisoned here after the English Civil War. Walk around the impressive walls and visit the castle's famous well where donkeys are used to raise the water using a large treadmill. The castle is around 20 minutes' drive from freshwater Bay, and can also be reached direct using the number 12 bus. www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/carisbrooke-castle/
Isle of Wight Steam Railway
Step back in time and ride this vintage steam railway from Wootton to Smallbrook Junction. The railway has a particularly historic collection of locomotives and rolling stock, including many wooden 4-wheeled carriages dating from the the 19th Century. The main station is at Havenstreet where you'll also find a museum and the line's workshops. The steam railway is about 45 minutes' drive away, but can also be reached by local bus, via Newport. www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk
This fantasy theme park is a big hit with children of all ages. Attractions include Cowboy village, 'Fantasyland', maze and the giant snakes and ladders. Adults may also enjoy the maritime exhibition and working sawmill. Blackgang is 20 minutes' drive from Freshwater Bay and in Summer can be reached using the 'Island Coaster' bus. www.blackgangchine.com
Ventnor Botanical Gardens
The island's rich climate enables Mediterranean plants to prosper. Enjoy magnificent floral displays and relaxing gardens. Ventnor is 30 minutes' drive from Freshwater Bay and in Summer can be reached using the 'Island Coaster' bus. www.botanic.co.uk
Travel to Freshwater Bay
Our address is: Freshwater Bay House, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight PO40 9RB
By ferry & transfer - great value!
We offer a reduced price ferry and transfer ticket - just £22 return for adults and £12 for children. This includes a foot passenger ticket for the Lymington to Yarmouth ferry, plus a connecting transfer to Freshwater Bay.
Our transfers operate every Saturday and Wednesday (Friday and Monday in the low season). These connect with the 1500 or 1600 ferries from Lymington. On departure day the transfer will get you back to Yarmouth in time to catch the 0845 or 1005 ferries to the mainland.
Book your tickets at least 7 days in advance by calling our Reservations team on 0345 470 7558.
The nearest train station is Lymington Pier on the mainland. This is immediately adjacent to the ferry terminal. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
The Lymington to Yarmouth ferry is the most convenient for Freshwater Bay - see www.wightlink.co.uk
Alternatively the Southampton to East Cowes ferry is often the cheapest option if you want to take your car to the Isle of Wight - see www.redfunnel.co.uk
From Yarmouth turn right out of the ferry terminal onto the A3054 and over the bridge across the River Yar. After 1 mile turn left down Pixley Hill, signposted to Freshwater Bay. At the double roundabout by the Co-op turn left onto the A3055 and follow this road to the seafront at Freshwater Bay. Turn right passing the Albion Hotel on the left. The entrance to Freshwater Bay House is beyond on your left.
Alternatively leave your car on the mainland and travel to the Isle of Wight as a foot passenger. There is a pay and display car park at Lymington Pier - price £8.20 per day.
Travelling from overseas
If you're travelling from Europe the most convenient airport is at Southampton. From Southampton Airport Parkway station (adjacent to the airport terminal) there are regular trains to Lymington Pier - journey time 40 minutes). See www.nationalrail.co.uk for details.
For most guests, travelling to either London Heathrow or London Gatwick airport is the best option. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for onward connections by train to Lymington Pier.
Helen is an experienced artist and tutor whose enthusiasm for her subject is infectious; her patient and encouraging way of teaching gives every student the chance to progress without feeling inhibited, whatever their standard. She studied painting with professional artists in the UK and USA, gained a BA Hons in Fine Art at Hertfordshire University and a post-graduate diploma in printmaking. She appeared on Channel 4’s Watercolour Challenge and has worked with the sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. She has taken part in many solo and group exhibitions in London and the South-East and also a touring exhibition in Scandinavia. She has achieved awards in several national art competitions and has work in both public and private collections.
You can visit Helen's website at www.helenhalliday.com
Very knowledgeable about the area as well as about painting. Hard-working and constantly checking that all group members were happily occupied. Very impressive all round.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person