Bridge & Walking at Freshwater Bay
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Meadows & hills
Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Exercise your mind and body with this classic holiday combination. During the day you'll have a choice of two walks; either an easier (4-6 miles) or harder route (6-8 miles), both carefully selected to enable you to see the best of the local area. We'll return to the Country House in time to freshen up before the Duplicate Bridge competition in the evening. All guests on this holiday should be comfortable playing duplicate bridge at club level.
- Easy walks of between 4 and 6 miles
- Harder walks of between 8 and 10 miles
- Daily Bridge competition
- Comfortable Bridge rooms, quiet and as light as possible
- Small prizes offered, for fun
Great reasons to join us:
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, Bridge fees, EBU qualified Bridge Director, and prizes
- Accommodation: enjoy high-quality accommodation and excellent food at Freshwater Bay House
- Expert leader: we carefully select friendly and knowledgeable Bridge Directors for each holiday
- Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - play Bridge together, eat together and relax together
Freshwater Bay House boasts a beautiful cliff-top location overlooking the bay. Enjoy dramatic chalk cliffs, sandy beaches, picture-postcard villages and more from this wonderful island gem.
Freshwater Bay House has 48 bedrooms located in the main building and a cottage in the grounds. Many of the rooms have sea views, whilst others overlook the gardens and downs.
Choose your room
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Large double or two single beds
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Check in from 1:30pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
• Check in from 2:30pm
• 3 or 4 beds
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk or occasional beds for children
|• Welcoming bar with local beer
• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Three lounges with view across the bay
• Dining room
• Dandelion Cafe
|• Multi-purpose activity room with a Nintendo Wii
• Free WiFi is available in some public rooms
• Range of broad games and books
• Heated outdoor swimming pool (Open Easter to September)
• Extensive gardens
|• Putting green and croquet lawn
• Table football
• Outdoor playground for children
• Outdoor games
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
- The fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance with an evacuation are identified at this point and alternative door hangers are issued to help the team members identify them
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- All team members have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for and specialist food can be arranged with prior notice
- Hired equipment can be arranged for your stay with prior notice
- Fridges can be supplied for medication with prior notice.
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
Your first Bridge session starts at 5pm and continues again after dinner.
Please note: The evening competition is structured by Duplicate Bridge movements which organise which competitors play which opponents and when and on which boards. In order to ensure fair competition and the correct "balance", we are obliged to ask that guests either take part in the whole evening competition (ie from 5pm through to 10.30pm) or "sit out" the entire competition on any particular evening. Please inform your Bridge leader as soon as possible if you intend not to attend the evening bridge competition.
9.30am-3.30pm: A choice of guided walks lead by experienced HF Holidays' walks leaders
5pm-10.30pm: Bridge competition, with a break for the evening meal
Sunday: Tennyson Down and Alum Bay
Option 1: Over Tennyson Down
Distance: 7 miles
The walk in a nutshell: A fabulous walk over the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down to the Needles and the Alum Bay; one of England's finest coastal walks.
Don’t miss: 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
The walk in a nutshell: Head to the coast at Totland Bay then soak up glorious sea view as you round the Needles headland and return over Tennyson Down.
Don’t miss: The heather-clad headland of Headon Warren is a real delight, and offers the best views of the Needles.
Monday: Shorwell and Carisbrooke Castle
Option 1: To Carisbrooke Castle
Distance: 6½ miles
The walk in a nutshell: Cross the island's central hills from the picturesque village of Shorwell to the impressive castle at Carisbrooke.
Don’t miss: 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
The walk in a nutshell: Walk from the south coast to to Shorwell village, then continue over the downs to Carisbrooke Castle.
Don’t miss: Explore picturesque Shorwell with its thatched cottages and historic church. There's also plenty of time to visit Carisbrooke Castle.
Tuesday: The Undercliff
Option 1: Ventnor to Shanklin
Distance: 5½ miles
The walk in a nutshell: Walk through the lush Undercliff. Our walk takes us from Ventnor's Botanic Gardens along the coastal path to Shanklin.
Don’t miss: Discover the Undercliff; a natural sun trap, rich with verdant vegetation, created by a series of landslips over the centuries.
Option 2: Niton to Shanklin
Distance: 8½ miles
The walk in a nutshell: Soak up the sea air and views of the English Channel on a walk through the Undercliff from Niton to Shanklin.
Don’t miss: Stop to explore the Victorian resort of Ventnor midway through the walk, and see the 11th Century St Boniface Church in nearby Bonchurch.
Wednesday: A day to explore independently
A free day for you to simply relax and enjoy the facilities at the Country House or explore the lovely island independently.
Thursday: Godshill & Appuldurcombe
Option 1: Godshill & Appuldurcombe
Distance: 5 miles
The walk in a nutshell: A delightful circuit from the village of Godshill takes us to the Worsley Monument and the ruined shell of Appuldurcombe House.
Don’t miss: There's plenty of time to explore Godshill and admire its quintessential thatched cottages and historic church.
Option 2: Over the Downs
Distance: 8½ miles
The walk in a nutshell: Walk from the charming village of Godshill onto the Stenbury and St Boniface Downs.
Don’t miss: The grand ruins of Appuldurcombe House and its surrounding parkland laid out by ‘Capability’ Brown.
Friday: Calbourne to Freshwater Bay
Option 1: Calbourne to Freshwater
Distance: 6½ miles
The walk in a nutshell: Walk from Calbourne to Freshwater Bay via the Downs.
Don’t miss: The much photographed 'chocolate box' cottages at Winkle Street in Calbourne. There's plenty of time to relax in the pool or gardens at the end of today's walk.
Option 2: Over Compton Down
Distance: 8½ miles
The walk in a nutshell: Ascend over the downs to the south coast, then follow the coastal path over the chalk cliffs of Compton Down back to Freshwater Bay.
Don’t miss: The final section over Compton Down enjoys splendid views over Freshwater Bay, and back along the island's southwest coast.
Images supplied by visitisleofwight.co.uk
What to bring
All your Bridge stationery and equipment will be supplied. You may, however, like to bring a notebook and pen to make your own notes. EBU Members - don’t forget to bring your EBU membership number to earn Master Points on this holiday.
To enjoy your walking comfortably and safely, it is essential that your footwear, clothing and equipment are suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Britain is famous for its changeable weather, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.
Bring a rucksack, a thermos flask for a hot drink, a water bottle (at least 1 litre) and spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar, a small torch (in spring, autumn and winter) and first aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed). Many guests find walking poles useful, particularly for descents. Insect repellent, sun hat, sunglasses and protection cream and a camera are all optional extras you may choose to bring.
Discover the Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a delightful haven away from the bustle of the mainland, easily reached by ferry. Broadly diamond shaped, the island is 25 miles long and 15 miles wide. This makes it ideally sized for a week’s walking and exploration.
Freshwater Bay is a small semi-circular cove at the foot of the garden of Freshwater Bay House. There is a pebble beach here, or better sandy beaches approximately 3 miles away at Totland Bay or Colwell Bay. Shops and banks are located in Freshwater village, about 30 minutes’ walk away.
The small harbour town of Yarmouth is located 3 miles north of Freshwater Bay; either a 10 minutes drive, a pleasant 1 hour walk, or reached using the 'Needles Breezer' open-top bus. Yarmouth has a selection of small shops and pubs, and there's always a bustle of activity around the harbour. Yarmouth's Tudor castle is also worth a visit. www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/yarmouth-castle/
Queen Victoria’s island residence, managed by English Heritage, is located near East Cowes at the north of the island. Enjoy the lavish interiors and take time to explore the extensive grounds which slope down to the Solent. Osborne House is about 40 minutes drive from Freshwater Bay. During the main season (May to Sept) we offer an excursion to Osborne on most Wednesdays. www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/osborne/
A fine medieval castle situated near Newport in the heart of the island. The castle's most famous 'resident' was King Charles I, who was imprisoned here after the English Civil War. Walk around the impressive walls and visit the castle's famous well where donkeys are used to raise the water using a large treadmill. The castle is around 20 minutes' drive from freshwater Bay, and can also be reached direct using the number 12 bus. www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/carisbrooke-castle/
Isle of Wight Steam Railway
Step back in time and ride this vintage steam railway from Wootton to Smallbrook Junction. The railway has a particularly historic collection of locomotives and rolling stock, including many wooden 4-wheeled carriages dating from the the 19th Century. The main station is at Havenstreet where you'll also find a museum and the line's workshops. The steam railway is about 45 minutes' drive away, but can also be reached by local bus, via Newport. www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk
This fantasy theme park is a big hit with children of all ages. Attractions include Cowboy village, 'Fantasyland', maze and the giant snakes and ladders. Adults may also enjoy the maritime exhibition and working sawmill. Blackgang is 20 minutes' drive from Freshwater Bay and in Summer can be reached using the 'Island Coaster' bus. www.blackgangchine.com
Ventnor Botanical Gardens
The island's rich climate enables Mediterranean plants to prosper. Enjoy magnificent floral displays and relaxing gardens. Ventnor is 30 minutes' drive from Freshwater Bay and in Summer can be reached using the 'Island Coaster' bus. www.botanic.co.uk
Travel to Freshwater Bay
Our address is: Freshwater Bay House, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight PO40 9RB
By ferry & transfer - great value!
We offer a reduced price ferry and transfer ticket - just £20 return for adults and £10 for children. This includes a foot passenger ticket for the Lymington to Yarmouth ferry, plus a connecting transfer to Freshwater Bay.
Our transfers operate every Saturday and Wednesday (Friday and Monday in the low season). These connect with the 1500, 1600 and 1700 ferries from Lymington. On departure day the transfer will get you back to Yarmouth in time to catch the 0845 or 1005 ferries to the mainland.
Book your tickets by calling our Reservations team on 0345 470 7558.
The nearest train station is Lymington Pier on the mainland. This is immediately adjacent to the ferry terminal. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
The Lymington to Yarmouth ferry is the most convenient for Freshwater Bay - see www.wightlink.co.uk
Alternatively the Southampton to West Cowes ferry is often the cheapest option if you want to take your car to the Isle of Wight - see www.redfunnel.co.uk
From Yarmouth turn right out of the ferry terminal onto the A3054 and over the bridge across the River Yar. After 1 mile turn left down Pixley Hill, signposted to Freshwater Bay. At the double roundabout by the Co-op turn left onto the A3055 and follow this road to the seafront at Freshwater Bay. Turn right passing the Albion Hotel on the left. The entrance to Freshwater Bay House is beyond on your left.
Alternatively leave your car on the mainland and travel to the Isle of Wight as a foot passenger. There is a pay and display car park at Lymington Pier - price £8.20 per day.
Travelling from overseas
If you're travelling from Europe the most convenient airport is at Southampton. From Southampton Airport Parkway station (adjacent to the airport terminal) there are regular trains to Lymington Pier - journey time 40 minutes). See www.nationalrail.co.uk for details.
For most guests, travelling to either London Heathrow or London Gatwick airport is the best option. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for onward connections by train to Lymington Pier.
Titch is a professional Bridge teacher. She ran her own Bridge School in Devon for many years before selling it to move to Surrey. Bridge has been an important part of her life, opening doors when she moved to new countries in her youth, including Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, East Africa, Canada, India, etc. Titch works for the English Bridge Union, training Bridge teachers all over England. Her love of the game is infectious and she believes every player is an ambassador to Bridge. Learning and playing Bridge is equivalent to taking your brain to a mind gym and giving it a good work-out, thereby keeping it fit and active while also improving the memory. Titch’s classes are relaxed and full of good humour.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person