Kids go free

3 Night Isle of Wight Family Walking Adventure

Young Girl Touching Crab Found In Rockpool On Beach
Duration: 3 nights
Type: Family walking holidays
Walking Grade: 1 & 2
from £579pp

A firm favourite with families seeking a seaside escape, our holidays on the Isle of Wight will keep both kids and grown-ups happy. Hunt for fossils on the sands of Compton Bay, discover a secret rocket-testing range, and explore Carisbrooke Castle – the mighty fortress that held King Charles I prior to his execution in 1649. Further area attractions include Tennyson Down, Alum Bay, Ventnor Botanical Gardens, and Osborne House.

What you’ll love

  • Under 11s GO FREE
  • Meeting other families
  • Optional guided walks with an experienced HF Holidays Leader
  • Exploring beaches, caves, and coastline
  • Staying in our seafront country house
  • Swimming in the pool at Freshwater Bay

What’s included

  • Family rooms available subject to availability
  • Comfortable en-suite accommodation in our country house 
  • Cream tea on arrival day 
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning 
  • Daily packed lunches 
  • Three-course evening meals tailored towards families, plus tea & coffee 
  • Guided walking with experienced HF Holidays Leaders 
  • Choice of up to four guided walks (on walking days) 
  • All transport to and from walks where necessary 
  • Easy-to-follow routes, maps, and information in our Discovery Point if you want to explore independently  

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary afternoon tea on arrival including homemade scones with jam and cream.

Option 1 - The Needles

Distance: 3½ miles (6km) 

Ascent: 550 feet (180m) 

Stroll along the coast path to Tennyson Down and the Needles. We'll return on the open-top bus and be back to enjoy plenty of time to play in the pool at Freshwater Bay House.   

What your kids will love: Riding the world-famous Needles chair lift (payable locally). Test your bravery with a chair lift trip from the top of Alum Bay cliffs down to the beach below. There’ll also be time to paddle in the sea and make a game out of how many colours you can spot in the multi-coloured cliff face. Check out videos of the chairlift on YouTube.

Option 2 - Tennyson Down

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,200ft (360m)

A fabulous walk over the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down to the Needles and Alum Bay; one of England's finest coastal walks.   

What your kids will love: Discovering what was once a secret rocket testing range and finding out about the Isle of Wight’s role in the space race. Don’t forget the code word: Project Black Knight.

Option 3 - Headon Warren

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,300ft (400m)

Head to the coast at Totland Bay then soak up glorious sea views as you round the Needles headland and return over Tennyson Down.   

What your kids will love: Imagining what it was like to be one of the island’s ancient tribal chieftains with a visit to the ruins of a bronze age burial mound.

Option 4 - West Wight Circuit

Distance: 12 miles (19km)

Ascent: 1,550ft (480m)

Our longest walking option is a circuit of the western tip of the island. We’ll follow the Yar Valley to Yarmouth, then take the coastal path to Alum Bay, before a glorious finale over Tennyson Down.   

What your kids will love: Stopping at the Needles viewing platform – the perfect spot for selfies.

Option 1 - Around Carisbrooke

Distance: 3 miles (4.5km)

Ascent: 350ft (100m)

We’ll follow the Shepherd's Trail through the fields and along an ancient trackway to Carisbrooke Castle. If you’d like to visit the castle (payable locally), please check out the English Heritage website as they often run special events in the summer, some of which you will need to prebook. We haven’t included the cost of entrance as we know many of you are English Heritage members already and will benefit from free or reduced-price entry.

What your kids will love: The fairytale-feel of exploring mighty Carisbrooke Castle. Have fun dressing up as Norman soldiers, walk the battlements to discover how cannons are fired, and relive an age of knights, broadswords, and battles.

Option 2 - To Carisbrooke Castle

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Ascent: 700ft (220m)

This option is slightly longer and sees us cross the island's central hills from the picturesque village of Shorwell to the impressive medieval castle at Carisbrooke. If you’d like to visit the castle it is payable locally (see above). 

What your kids will love: Meeting Carisbrooke Castle’s resident family of donkeys. A supply of fresh water was essential for a well defended stronghold and for hundreds of years these friendly animals were used to turn the treadmill and raise water from the well.  Fun fact, all the donkey’s names begin with the letter J. See if you can guess them all.

Option 3 - Brighstone to Carisbrooke

Distance: 7½ miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 1100 feet (340m)

Starting from Brighstone we’ll pass through Shorwell before crossing open countryside until we arrive at Carisbrooke Castle (payable locally).   

What your kids will love: Spotting the small ships carved into the chalk blocks on the walls of Brighstone – these were once used as secret codes and signals for smugglers delivering contraband to the island. There’s time to explore the Carisbrooke Castle, too.

Option 4 - Three Trails Challenge

Distance: 12½ miles (20.5km)

Ascent: 1,600ft (480m)

Challenge yourself to this fantastic walk along the spine of the island from Carisbrooke Castle to Freshwater Bay. We’ll cross the hills to Shorwell then pick up the Tennyson Trail which runs along the top of the chalk downs.   

What your kids will love: The bragging rights of being tough enough to take on the challenge. Although this is our longest walking option of the day, there’ll be plenty of fun, excitement, and adventure along the way.

Depart after breakfast

Itinerary map for Isle of Wight Family Walking

Freshwater Bay House

Chalky white cliffs and eyebrow-arching sea views set the tone for the delights that follow at this county house on the Isle of Wight - Queen Victoria's favourite island that’s just a ferry hop from the South Coast. The location is as gorgeous as it gets; to the south of the village of Freshwater, within pebble-throwing distance of its namesake bay, and just a skip from Tennyson Down. You’ll also be within easy reach of the area’s showstoppers, including the imposing Stag and Mermaid rocks, the multi-coloured sands of Alum Bay, the remarkable Ventnor Botanic Gardens, and the 125-million-year-old dinosaur footprints at Compton Bay. And then, of course, there’s the Needles Old Battery for the ubiquitous photo opportunity and the best views of The Needles.



Designed with your comfort in mind, Freshwater Bay House has 43 well-appointed guest rooms available in three categories: Classic, Premium, and Superior. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

Superior Rooms are even more spacious en-suite guest rooms offering upgraded views of the surrounds. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

We love: Rooms 19 and 20 on the first floor for their lovely sea views. Rooms 18 and 22 are both corner rooms overlooking the bay and Tennyson Downs. The more spacious Room 24 has five large windows overlooking the gardens and bay as well as a private sitting room. Room 39 on the second floor is a corner room with a bathtub. 

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments.  

Room supplements

Superior Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£25 pppn £20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.


For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Freshwater Bay House

Freshwater - IOW - External -NoDandelion.jpg

Getting to Freshwater Bay House

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information


Freshwater Bay House
Freshwater Bay
Isle of Wight PO40 9RB

Tel: +44 (0)1983 753854

By taxi

From Yarmouth ferry port it’s a five-mile taxi journey that takes approximately 15 minutes. We recommend booking your taxi at least seven days in advance as availability may be limited. 

For pricing, please contact the taxi company directly.

Taxi companies in the area include:

Bay Taxi  
Tel: +44 (0)7475 662350
Email: (Please provide your phone number when emailing)

Rayner’s Taxis
Tel: +44 (0)1983 752784

I Cabs 
Tel: +44 (0)7553 567567

A return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the HF Holidays House Manager at Freshwater Bay.

*HF Holidays does not own or manage any of the above taxi companies.

By train

The nearest station is Lymington Pier on the mainland which is adjacent to the ferry terminal.  

Check National Rail for train times and routes. 

By ferry

You have two ferry options. The Wightlink Lymington to Yarmouth ferry is the most convenient for Freshwater Bay. Alternatively, the Red Funnel Southampton to East Cowes ferry is often the cheapest option if you want to take your car to the Isle of Wight. 

HF Holidays member discount 
If you’re a member, you can get  15% off car travel and 20% off foot travel with Wightlink Ferry. For full details visit

By car

From Yarmouth
Turn right out of the ferry terminal onto the A3054 and cross the bridge. After one mile, turn left down Pixley Hill, signposted Freshwater Bay. Turn left at Freshwater Garage and continue along Afton Road. At the lifeboat station turn right and follow the road round. Freshwater Bay House is on your left. 

From East Cowes
Follow signs for Newport, taking the A3021 and then A3054. Continue through Newport and Carisbrooke. Turn left onto the B3401 through Calbourne. At the junction with Afton Road (A3055), turn left and then right by the lifeboat station, and follow the road round to Freshwater Bay House. 

Or you can leave your car on the mainland (there’s a pay and display car park at Lymington Pier) and travel on the ferry as a foot passenger. 

By air

The nearest airport is Southampton Airport. 

From Southampton Airport Parkway station (adjacent to the airport terminal) there are regular trains to Lymington Pier, taking about 40 minutes. From here, you’ll need to catch the ferry over to the Isle of Wight. 

Otherwise, the best options are London Heathrow or London Gatwick airports for connecting trains to Lymington Pier.  

Check National Rail for the best routes and train times. 

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next.  To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing.   


  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip  
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable)  
  • Mid-layer(s) to keep you warm. Fleeces make a good choice
  • Waterproof overtrousers  
  • Gloves and a warm hat  
  • Rucksack with waterproof liner 
  • Spotting scope and/or binoculars 
  • Flask for hot drinks   
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)  
  • Sunscreen  
  • UV sunglasses  


  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve)  
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters  
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat   
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables  
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace)  
  • Wallet/purse  
  • Camera 
  • First-aid kit 

Freshwater Bay House Calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take an alternative route, or vary the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book

27 Jul - 30 Jul 2024

3 nights

Family Walks

Single from


Double from

£579 pp


£579 pp



Trip Notes

10 Aug - 13 Aug 2024

3 nights

Family Walks

Single from


Double from

£579 pp


£579 pp



Trip Notes

17 Aug - 20 Aug 2024

3 nights

Family Walks

Single from


Double from

£579 pp


£579 pp



Trip Notes

Important information

Maximum 3 free child places under 11 years per full paying adult price on UK country house stays.

Family rooms are subject to availability. Sole occupancy charges may apply. 

Children under 11 go free

Children 11-17 years on 3-night breaks in 2024: £55pp and 2025: £75pp

All children's rates are based on sharing a guest room with one or more adults.

Children under 14 must be accompanied by a responsible adult on all walks, though this need not be a parent or guardian

3 nights
Family walking holidays
Walking Grade:
1 & 2

3 nights from £579pp

Kids go free

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

Add to wishlist Added to wishlist