Under 18s GO FREE

4-Night Isle of Wight Family Walking Adventure

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Duration: 4 nights
Type: Family Walking Holidays
Walking Grade: 1 & 2
from £559pp

The Isle of Wight has a fantastic range of walks to choose from with many sites of interest along the way. There are numerous coastal routes to explore, including stretches along the windswept southwest coast path where the jagged white chalk Needles stick up from the sea. Alum Bay is a children’s favourite with its multi-coloured layers of sand – best viewed from a chairlift if you have a head for heights! Coastal walks often end at the beach – great for cooling feet in the waves and going in search of fossils – including dinosaur footprints! Inland, the well-preserved remains of Carisbrooke Castle can be explored. Children will be captivated by the story of how King Charles I was imprisoned here and will adore the donkeys which pump water from the well. You can also enjoy far-reaching views across the island walking over Tennyson Down, discover a once-secret rocket testing range, spot red squirrels, listen out for singing nightingales, climb to the top of the island’s only windmill and see exotic flowers in the Botanical Gardens. There is something for everyone here!

Holiday Highlights

FAMILY FUN AT FRESHWATER BAY HOUSE

  • Making a boat to enter the swimming pool boat race
  • Toasting marshmallows on a beach campfire
  • Playing rounders
  • Getting creative in the craft room with paint and clay

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO SEE...

  • Visit Osborne House – once home to Queen Victoria
  • Ride on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway
  • Meet the animals at Monkey Haven rescue centre
  • Carisbrooke Castle
  • Bembridge Windmill
  • Dinosaur tracks at Compton Bay

What’s included

Full Board en-suite accommodation.

Max guests in house: 98

Family rooms: 10

A full programme of walks guided by HF Leaders

All transport to and fromthe walks

Free Wi-Fi

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice.

Arrive at Fresherwater Bay House


Option 1 - Bembridge Windmill

In Summary Walk from the Bembridge Windmill to the coastal path which we follow over the chalk headland of Culver Cliff to Sandown.

HighlightThe walk finishes at the island's excellent Dinosaur Museum and large play are or spend time on the beach at Sandown.

Option 2 - Brading to Sandown

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

In SummaryWalk from the historic village of Brading to the Bembridge Windmill. We'll continue atop the chalk cliffs of Culver Down, near the eastern tip of the island, and follow the coast path to Sandown.

Highlight: The working windmill at Bembridge; one of the National Trust's smallest, but most fascinating, properties.

 

Option 3 - Over the hills to Sandown

In Summary: From Brading Down we descend into a shaded wooded valley to the historic Brading. We continue to Bembridge Windmill and along the coastal path to Sandown

Highlight: The Yarborough Monument on top of Culver Down commands a wonderful view over the Solent and English Channel.

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Option 4 - Over the Chalk Downs

Distance: 11 miles

In Summary: Walk along the valley under the downs before ascending Brading Down and walking along the chalk ridge, enjoying the views across the Solent to the mainland. We’ll continue over Culver Down and along the coastal path to Sandown.

HighlightThere are great views over the Solent where vessels ranging from hovercraft to huge container ships complete this bustling scene.


Option 1 - Ventnor Coastline

Distance:  3 miles (5km)

In Summary: Walk along the promenade from Bonchurch to Ventnor, then continue along the coast path to the lovely beach at Steephill Cove.

Highlight We'll stop to play in Ventnor's fantastic (and free) paddling pool, where you can paddle across the 'sea' to the minature Isle of Wight. Adults can join in or relax in the adjacent cafe.

Option 2 - Niton to Ventnor

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

In Summary: Walk from Niton to the village of Whitwell. Our walk continues to the inland cliffs with good views of the Channel. We then follow the coast path to Ventnor and Steephill Cove.

Highlight: There's plenty of time to enjoy the beach at Steephill Cove. Build sandcastles or paddle in the sea at the prettiest location on the island. Adults can enjoy a coffee and soak up the atmosphere of this nostalgic cove.

Option 3 - The Undercliff

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

In Summary: Soak up the sea air and views of the English Channel on a walk through the Undercliff from Niton, past Ventnor to Shanklin.

HighlightDon’t miss: Discover the Undercliff; a natural sun trap, rich with verdant vegetation, created by a series of landslips over the centuries.

 

Option 4 - Chale to Shanklin

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

In SummaryA journey along the length of Undercliff. Starting at the coastal path after Whale Chine we'll round St Catherine's Point before picking up the coastal path through Ventnor to Shanklin.

Highlight: The cliff-top section above St Catherine's Point is particularly impressive, with views down to the lighthouse far below.

 


Option 1 - Yarmouth

Distance: 3 miles (5km)

In Summary A gentle walk from Freshwater Bay House following the Yar Valley through a nature reserve and a disused railway line to the old harbour town of Yarmouth.

Highlight: At Yarmouth there's time to walk on the pier, visit the castle, play on the green, or have an ice cream before returning on the open-top bus.

 

Option 2 - Yar Valley

Distance:  7 miles (11km)

In Summary: Walk beside the tidal River Yar to the historic town of Yarmouth with its bustling harbour and Tudor castle. We’ll return on the opposite side of the river back to Freshwater Bay.

Highlight: The salt marsh, reedbeds and mud flats of the Yar Estuary are a great place to see wildfowl and waders.

 

Option 3 - Compton Bay

Distance:8 miles (13km)

In SummaryWalk atop the Downs east of Freshwater Bay. We then descend to the beach and follow the coastal path back to Freshwater Bay.

HighlightThere's time to paddle at then beach, then enjoy the sweeping views along the island's south-west coast, as you walk over the chalk cliffs of Compton Down.

 

Option 4 - The Longstone

Distance: 13 miles (21km)

In Summary: Walk over the Downs to the Neolithic Longstone, then descend to coast and follow the coastal path back to Freshwater Bay.

Highlight: The Neolithic Longstone on Mottistone Down; according to legend this 13ft stone was thrown here by a giant!

 


Depart after breakfast


You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


Enjoy some relaxed, peaceful walks along the coast, see some well-known landmarks or visit the quaint villages in the Isle of Wight.

  • Alum Bay to the Needles - 2 miles
  • Tennyson Monument - 3 miles
  • St Catherine's Down - 3 miles
  • Yarmouth to Freshwater Bay - 3 miles
  • Freshwater Bay to Yarmouth - 3 miles
  • Alum Bay to Freshwater Bay via the Needles - 3 miles

Some longer walks on inland and coastal paths. Experience the true flavour of the island as you follow these varied routes.

  • Compton Bay - 5 miles
  • The Pepperpot & Gore Cliff - 5 miles
  • St Boniface Down - 5 miles
  • Compton Down - 7 miles
  • West Yar Valley - 7 miles
  • The Needles - 7 miles

For those who love to stride out with some longer routes following the coastal path and inland trails.

  • Shorwell to Freshwater Bay - 8 miles
  • Shorwell to Freshwater Bay via the Coast - 10 miles
  • Tennyson Trail - 10 miles
  • West Wight Circuit - 12 miles
  • Brighstone and SW Coast - 13 miles
  • Wight's Highest Hills - 15 miles

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


Isle of Wight Family Walking Itinerary Map

Freshwater Bay House

Holidaying on the picturesque Isle of Wight doesn’t get any better than at Freshwater Bay House. Stood atop the island’s classic white cliffs and dominating the bay that it is named after, Freshwater Bay House has a gorgeous location. As well as 43 bedrooms, many decked out in blue and white printed wallpaper featuring foam-tipped waves breaking softly across the walls that act as a promise of the coastal scenery to come, there are three lounges and a friendly bar. Extensive gardens give on to the coast path, with a staircase that drops to the beach one way, while a path leads away across Tennyson Down towards the Needles in the other direction. If you’re experiencing some of the island’s plentiful sunshine (it averages around 2,000 hours a year), head to Alum Bay for coloured sands or Compton Bay for dinosaur footprints. Explore Carisbrooke Castle, stroll through Ventnor Botanic Gardens and keep an eye out for red squirrels in Borthwood Copse and America Wood.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the main building’s bright, beautifully presented rooms, many that come with sea views. They’re mostly spacious and chic, styled to acknowledge the house’s nautical connections but with a modern twist of dove greys, clean whites and contemporary furniture. With 43 bedrooms, Freshwater Bay House has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from: Rooms 19 and 20 on the first floor come with spectacular sea views out over the English Channel; Rooms 18 and 22 are sumptuous corner rooms with expansive views over both the bay and Tennyson Downs. If it’s a room with a view you’re after, ask for Room 24, a superb, spacious corner space with five large windows all overlooking the gardens and bay, with its own private sitting room to relax in. Request Room 39 on the second floor and you’ll get an attractive corner room complete with a bath to soak in after a day of coastal walking.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, outdoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, lounges, library and board games to borrow

After a day walking on the coast, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax by sitting in the extensive gardens or challenge a fellow guest to a game of croquet. If you’re visiting with children, turn them loose in the outdoor playground area or watch them splash in the large heated alfresco pool (closed for 2020) – there’s seating with sea views for you to enjoy a drink in too on a hot English summer’s day. For something less strenuous, snag a comfy chair in one of the three cosy lounges to read a book, play a board game or just hideaway; there’s a grand piano in one if you’re feeling musical. Head to the bar before dinner to perch on a tall stool with a perfect gin and tonic made with the Isle of Wight’s very own Mermaids Gin and a chance to catch up with your companions.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Freshwater Bay House is hearty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the light-filled dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of local flavours.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

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Getting to Freshwater Bay House

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

More Information

What to Bring

Suggested Kit List

  • a rucksack,
  • a waterproof jacket
  • waterproof over trousers,
  • a spare jumper or fleece,
  • sun protection cream,
  • a water bottle (at least 1 litre),
  • some spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • a small torch
  • first aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).

    (in spring, autumn and winter)

  • a hat and gloves (Britainis famous for its changeable weather after all!)
  • You might find walking poles useful, particularly for descents (the kids usually find their own big stick en route!).
  • thermos flask for a hot drink
  • sun hat
  • towel for paddling on hot days

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £20 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
05 Apr - 09 Apr
4 Guided Family Walks £559 Available Trip Notes Enquire

Important Information

Maximum 3 free child places per full paying adult. Child price up to 17 years. Sole occupancy charges may apply. Family rooms are subject to availability.

Reduced-price ferry and transfer ticket available - £29 return for adults, £15 return for children aged 5 - 15. £7 return for children aged under 5.

Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Family Walking Holidays
Walking Grade:
1

4 nights from £559pp

Under 18s GO FREE

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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