6-Night Isle of Wight Guided Walking Holiday

Freshwater Bay - IOW
Duration: 6 nights
Type: Guided Walking
Walking Grade: 1 & 2
from 0pp

The Isle of Wight is a world away from the bustle of the mainland. On our guided walking holidays you'll discover the best of the island’s glorious 85-mile coastline of unspoilt sandy beaches and dramatic white cliffs, as well as panoramic walks over the flower-rich chalk downland.

Holiday Highlights

  • Head out on guided walks with an experienced leader to discover the varied beauty of the Isle of Wight on foot. 
  • Admire panoramic views from dramatic cliff top coastal paths or along the lush Undercliff. 
  • Visit enchanting villages and beautiful unspoilt beaches. 
  • Look out for wildlife, find secret corners and learn about the Island's history 
  • A relaxed pace of discovery in a sociable group keen to get some fresh air away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland 
  • Evenings in our country house where you share a drink and re-live the day’s adventures

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • 4 days guided walking; 1 free day
  • Choice of up to three guided walks each walking day
  • The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders
  • Any transport to and from the walks

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.

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


Option 1 - Over Tennyson Down

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

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

Highlight: The commanding view over the Western Solent from the Tennyson Monument. You'll also discover the once secret rocket testing range, and the area's role in the space race.

Option 2 - Headon Warren & The Needles

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

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

Highlight: The heather-clad headland of Headon Warren is a real delight, and offers the best views of the Needles.

Option 3 - West Wight Circuit

Distance: 12 miles (19km)

Total ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)

In Summary: A circuit of the western tip of the island. We’ll follow the Yar Valley to Yarmouth, then follow the coastal path to Alum Bay, before a glorious finale over Tennyson Down.

Highlight: The final section atop the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down is a fitting conclusion to this splendid walk.


Option 1 - Tennyson and Hamstead Trails

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 900 feet (280m)

In summary: A gentle climb through the golf course on the Tennyson Trail to cross the Downs. The walk drops down to the farms around the Hamstead trail that lead to the south side of the island with some impressive views on the Coast Path that returns to Freshwater.

Highlight: Stunning panoramic views from 'The Downs', the site is famous for the Bronze Age burial mounds and endangered flora and fauna. 

Option 2 - The Downs and Mottistone

Distance: 10 miles (16.5km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In summary: Traverse Compton and Brook Downs to ‘The Longstone’ before passing through the charming village of Mottistone and onto the South Coast path to return to the House.

Highlight: 'The Longstone' is a 10 ton 13 foot high megalith of iron sandstone of archaeological interest, plus the views from the coast path are spectacular.

Option 3 - Longstone, Brighstone and the South Coast Path

Distance: 13 miles (20.5km)

Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

In summary: Enjoy the uninterrupted views of the Solent and Channel as you cross Compton and Brook Down. The route passes the impressive ‘Longstone’ and through a mixture of woodland and countryside to reach the charming village of Brighstone before reaching the South Coast path following this back to Freshwater.

Highlight: The Downs, the Longstone and a walk full of variety with spectacular coastal scenery.



Option 1 - The Yar Valley

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 350 feet (120m)

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 2 - Yarmouth and the Three Forts

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Ascent: 550 feet (180m)

In summary: Walk through Golden Hill Country Park to the coast at Fort Victoria with uninterrupted views across the Solent to Hurst Castle on the mainland. Continue on the Coastal Path into the old port of Yarmouth and return to Freshwater beside the River Yar.

Highlight: A walk full of history from the Victorian forts at Golden Hill & Fort Victoria to the remains of Henry Vlll’s castle at Yarmouth.

Option 3 - The Hamstead Trail, Bouldnor Forest and Yarmouth

Distance: 12 miles (19km)

Ascent: 800 feet (240m)

In summary: Enjoy the rolling countryside of the Hamstead trail, crossing the Island from south to north, before joining the Coastal path to the west of Hamstead.  The walk continues through Bouldnor Forest into the historic port of Yarmouth with its associated yachting activities. The return to Freshwater is by the River Yar and Afton Nature reserve.

Highlight: A variety of landscapes from the open countryside of the Hamstead trail to the beauty of Bouldnor Forest and the bustling little port of Yarmouth.  Opportunities to see wading birds by the River Yar.


Option 1 - Over Tennyson Down

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

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

Highlight: The commanding view over the Western Solent from the Tennyson Monument. You'll also discover the once secret rocket testing range, and the area's role in the space race.

Option 2 - Headon Warren & The Needles

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In Summary: We start by head to the coast at Totland Bay then soak up glorious sea view as you round the Needles headland and return over Tennyson Down.

Highlight: The heather-clad headland of Headon Warren is a real delight, and offers the best views of the Needles.

Option 3 - West Wight Circuit

Distance: 12 miles (19km)

Total ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)

In Summary: A repeat from earlier in the week for 7 nIght guests. A circuit of the western tip of the island. We’ll follow the Yar Valley to Yarmouth, then follow the coastal path to Alum Bay, before a glorious finale over Tennyson Down.

Highlight: The final section atop the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down is a fitting conclusion to this splendid walk.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


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


Option 1 - Over Tennyson Down

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Total ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

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

Highlight: The commanding view over the Western Solent from the Tennyson Monument. You'll also discover the once secret rocket testing range, and the area's role in the space race.

 

Option 2 - Headon Warren & Needles

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

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

Highlight: The heather-clad headland of Headon Warren is a real delight, and offers the best views of the Needles.

 

Option 3 - West Wight Circuit

Distance: 12 miles (19km)

Total ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)

In Summary: A circuit of the western tip of the island. We’ll follow the Yar Valley to Yarmouth, then follow the coastal path to Alum Bay, before a glorious finale over Tennyson Down.

Highlight: The final section atop the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down is a fitting conclusion to this splendid walk.

 


Option 1 - To Carisbrooke Castle

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Ascent: 700 feet (210m)

In Summary: Cross the island's central hills from the picturesque village of Shorwell to the impressive castle at Carisbrooke.

Highlight: Take time to explore this well-preserved castle. Walk around the walls, and watch the donkeys turn the treadmill to raise water from the well.

 

Option 2 - Shorwell & Carisbrooke

Distance: 9 miles (14km)

Ascent: 1,150 feet (360m)

In Summary: Walk from the south coast to Shorwell village, then continue over the downs to Carisbrooke Castle.

Highlight: Explore picturesque Shorwell with its thatched cottages and historic church. There's also plenty of time to visit Carisbrooke Castle.

 

Option 3 - Tennyson Trail

Distance: 12½ miles (20½km)

Ascent: 1,600 feet (480m)

In Summary: 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.

Highlight: This is one of our most popular walks. After several ups and downs, your celebratory pint at the end of the walk will be well deserved!

 



Option 1 - Through the Undercliff

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Ascent: 600 feet (200m)

In Summary:  Follow the coast along the Undercliff from St Catherine's Point to Ventnor’s Botanic Gardens.

Highlight: Walking through the lush vegetation of this natural suntrap

 

Option 2 - Godshill to Ventnor

Distance: 5.5 miles (9 km)

Ascent: 800 feet (250m)

In Summary: Cross the downs from Godshill to Ventnor, passing the grand ruins of Appuldurcombe House and its surrounding parkland laid out by ‘Capability’ Brown.

Highlight: Enjoy great views right across the island from the top of Stenbury Down.

 

Option 3 - Woods & Downland

Distance: 10½ miles (16½km)

Ascent: 1,350 feet (420m)

In Summary: Walk through the woods near Sandown, then admire the widespread views as we cross the downs to Ventnor.

Highlight: Our path through Borthwood Copse and America Wood take us to one of the best places in England to spot Red Squirrels.

 


 

 

Option 1 - Calbourne to Freshwater

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (240m)

In Summary: Walk from Calbourne to Freshwater Bay via the Downs.

Highlight: The much photographed 'chocolate box' cottages at Winkle Street in Calbourne. 

 

Option 2 - Mottistone Down

Distance: 8½ miles (14km)

Ascent: 1,100 feet (340m)

In Summary: From Winkle Street ascend over the Downs, descending Mottistone Down to the south coast. You then follow the coastal path back to Freshwater Bay. 

Highlight: The final section over Compton Down enjoys splendid views over Freshwater Bay, and back along the island's southwest coast.

 

Option 3 - Hanover Point

Distance: 11 miles (17.5km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In Summary: Cross over the downs to Brighstone, then follow the coast path along the island’s southwest coast to Freshwater Bay.

Highlight: Tides permitting, look out for the fossilised forest at Hanover Point.

 


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

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

Freshwater - IOW - External -NoDandelion.jpg

Getting to Freshwater Bay House

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

More Information

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
02 Oct - 08 Oct
6 Version 1 £735 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
Duration:
6 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
1

6 nights from 0pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

Add to wishlist Added to wishlist