John Woods, was one of three leaders who led the first Family Cycling and Walking holiday at Freshwater Bay earlier this summer. The group included children aged 2-15. The holiday offered cycling on 3 days and walking on 2 days with a choice of Easier, Medium and Harder options. Here is John's account of the holiday:
"Several guests had already experienced HF Holidays’ Family Cycling and Walking holiday at Dovedale where the cycling is mainly on cycleways following the routes of former railway tracks. Cycling on the Isle of Wight offers greater opportunity for off-road cycling: a first time experience for some guests.
The first day’s cycle routes took guests from Freshwater Bay to Yarmouth, with free-time to explore this ancient port. The second day’s cycle routes were on the eastern side of the island from Cowes and Newport, to Sandown where hot chocolate was a welcome antidote to the day’s rain.
The final cycling day dawned with winds strong enough to cause the ferry service to be cancelled! The planned routes, along the Tennyson Trail to Freshwater Bay, had to therefore be abandoned and more sheltered alternatives found: guests were also offered the option of a walk – along similarly sheltered paths. The majority of guests, however, perhaps enthused by their experiences earlier in the week, chose to cycle on what turned out to be the only rain-free day of the holiday!
The first walking day saw guests visiting Heddon Warren, Alum Bay and Tennyson Down, with the Old Battery at the Needles providing shelter for a lunchtime picnic. The second walking day took guests to Ryde, Bembridge and Brading; and, despite heavy rain for most of the day, guests remained upbeat and keen to complete their walk.
Running alongside a Family Walking holiday, this holiday gave guests, especially the children, the opportunity to meet other families and participate in a wide range of social activities, including rounders, cricket, a treasure hunt, mini-Olympics, a Jubilee boat race and a final evening of entertainment.
Having been fortified each day by Freshwater Bay’s legendary packed lunches and with any dampened spirits revived in the house’s drying room, guests departed with memories of personal achievement and new friends, many already looking forward to their next HF Holidays experience."
Look out for our 2013 Family holiday brochure which will be out in late October.