4-Night Rambles with a Sketchbook Holiday in the Isle of Wight

Image of notebooks, colorful pencils on wooden table outdoors at afternoon. selective focus
Duration: 4 nights
Interests: Art Holidays

Create your own artistic impressions, capturing the UK’s most inspirational landscapes out in the field. Led by our art leader, you’ll walk up to four miles each day carrying your equipment and stopping to sketch local scenes. The tutor will talk you through sketching techniques and composition and will be on hand to give help and advice. Working in the company of fellow artists, you can expect great group camaraderie.

Holiday Highlights

  • Guidance from expert artists 
  • Full days to practise in inspirational surroundings 
  • Fun and supportive environment
  • Small group sizes to enhance your experience 

What’s included

  • 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
  • Loan of wooden A3 art boards

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

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


On your Rambles with a Sketchbook holiday, you will spend the majority of the day outdoors, walking up to four miles to reach the most inspirational vistas in the local area. Your Art Tutor will guide you in learning different techniques to help develop your skills, all with the encouragement of your fellow guests. On 7-night holidays, there will be a free day for you to explore the area independently, relax in the house, or perhaps practise some more!

The evenings are your own to socialise, relax in the house lounges or bar, or take part in a range of house activities.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


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

Following the relaxation in government guidance on 19 July, we are continuing to take extra steps to keep our guests leaders, and staff safe in our HF country houses. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

The English, Scottish and Welsh governments are not in sync, so measures in our country houses will vary between the nations. With the relaxation of social distancing in England, from 19 July we will be allowing larger groups to dine and relax in the bar together. However, we will still give guests space e.g. we will seat 6 people at a table where pre-pandemic we may have seated 8. We will ensure our public rooms are well ventilated by opening doors and windows wherever possible. If you have any concerns about distancing, please speak to the House Manager. The government recommendation for England is to wear face coverings in crowded areas.

In Scotland and Wales physical distancing is still in place so this will be adhered to indoors and outdoors. Guests will need to wear face masks in public areas except when eating and drinking. The Scottish and Welsh governments are reviewing their guidance in August and we will adapt our measures in line with any updated guidance at this time.

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 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. Menus for the week will be available in your room on arrival. A self-service breakfast will be served from 7.45am – 9am. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. Evening meals will be table service. A dinner order form will be available in each room for completion. Dinner is served at either 7.15pm or 7.30pm. Please check at the house for details. The bar will be open. We will be offering a table service but guests can also come to the bar to order (depending on local restrictions).

At this time the evening social programme has been replaced by individual or small group walks talks which allow guests to talk through the following day’s walk options with leaders. All of our swimming pools have opened as planned, except for Brecon and Glen Coe, which have delayed pool re-openings. Swimming pools are being operated in line with guidance provided by Swim England.

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 (currently closed) – 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 or view the accessibility information online for Freshwater Bay House

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Getting to Freshwater Bay House

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

More Information

Essential Information

  • Sketchbook – good cartridge paper (e.g.150gm), A4 or 8” square and/or A5 or 6” square (spiral bound or hard back – the smaller ones are fine
  • 2B & 4B pencils and a water soluble graphite pencil
  • Craft blade for sharpening pencils
  • Putty rubber
  • Bulldog clips or large elastic bands for holding paper in windy conditions
  • A sketching pen
  • Blank slide mount or small cardboard mount for view finder (e.g. ½ postcard)
  • A rucksack to carry the materials
  • Good hiking shoes or boots, hiking sticks if you need them
  • 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 (to prevent sunburn).

Optional –

  • a set of Caran D’Ache Neocolour water-soluble pastels, or a set of water-soluble crayons (e.g.Derwent Inktense)
  • a water brush
  • Any other lightweight materials you like to use

Please remember - You will have to carry your equipment and lunch/drink so keep it simple.

*Lightweight wooden A3 painting boards are available for guest loan at the Country House.

Leader to Be Announced

We’ll announce the leader for this holiday shortly. Be assured that all of our expert leaders share one goal; to create an exceptional experience for our guests. We look forward to welcoming you on this holiday.

Guest Reviews

Duration:
4 nights
Interests:
Art Holidays

Fully Booked

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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