Walking with Sightseeing at Freshwater Bay

Isle of Wight

Code: FWWOD

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • History
  • Meadows & hills
  • Newly Refurbished
From £279.00 - 3 to 7 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

Enjoy full days exploring the Isle of Wight, combining guided walks of up to 5.5 miles with plenty of time for sightseeing. 

Holiday highlights

  • Walk on the chalk cliffs above Freshwater Bay and see how it inspired Tennyson
  • Explore the chocolate-box village of Godshill and the romantic Carisbrooke Castle
  • Follow trails across the Downs to vineyards and Roman villas
  • Take a trip on the Isle of Wight steam railway
  • Visit delightful Appuldurcombe House and the beautiful Mottistone Manor Gardens

Great reasons to join us

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, the services of an experienced HF Holidays’ guide, all transport to and from the walks and sightseeing, and light-hearted evening activities
  • Walks & Visits: enjoy carefully selected shorter walks and sightseeing visits with a knowledgeable leader
  • Accommodation: extensive grounds, direct access to the beach, and an outdoor heated swimming pool
  • Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - walk together, eat together and relax together

Accommodation

Freswater Bay refurbished for 2016

Visit England 4 star guest accommodation logo at HF Holidays

Freshwater Bay House dates from the 1790s and is a prominent local landmark, occupying a premier coastal location below the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down. As a comfortable Country House it makes an excellent base for our walking and leisure activity holidays.

Bedrooms

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.

Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.

You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.    

If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.

A limited number of value twin rooms are available at a discount of £8 per person per night and value single rooms with a £5 per night discount. Our value rooms have the same facilities as our classic rooms, but bathroom facilities are nearby rather than en-suite.

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Facilities

All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.

Freshwater Bay House has three lounges with views across the bay. There is also an attractive dining room and bar. The multi-purpose activity room can either be used as a painting studio, or as a games room with table tennis and a Nintendo Wii. Free WiFi is available in some public rooms. There is also a range of board games and books.

The heated outdoor swimming pool is usually open from Easter to September, depending on the weather, and is very popular with our guests.

Freshwater Bay House sits in extensive gardens with steps down to the beach. Outside there is a putting green, croquet lawn, table football, badminton and tennis. For children there is an outdoor playground, plus outdoor games.

Freshwater Bay also has a Dandelion Café serving a range of coffee and speciality leaf teas, plus snacks and sandwiches. It is also licensed, offering beer, spirits, and a variety of wines from around the world.

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Food

All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.

Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.     

Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).   

The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

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Evening

Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk on wildlife or the island’s rich history from a local speaker or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.

Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.

Family holidays: our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.

Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.

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Accessibility

Arrival & car parking facilities

  • Specific disabled parking bays are available at the front of the house and there is a comprehensive disabled ramp leading into the main entrance of the building
  • The main car park is a grassed area 

Main entrance & reception

  • Disabled ramp leading up to the main entrance. There are double doors at the top of the ramp (140cm wide) leading into the foyer
  • Alternatively, you can reach the main entrance up six concrete steps. Each step is16cm high. Grab rails are provided on both sides of the main entrance (the main door is 170cm wide)
  • There is one step (13cm high) leading up to the reception area with a portable ramp available on request. Seating is available in the foyer area
  • All public areas are carpeted with a short-pile carpet 

Hall, stairs, landing & corridors

  • All public areas are carpeted. The corridors are 1.5m wide, all carpeted and well lit, including night lights
  • A public telephone is located on the ground floor, the door width of 86cm 

Public areas - sitting room, lounges, lobbies etc

  • On the ground floor, there is ballroom, bar, dining room, large lounge and ladies and gents toilets
  • A loop system has been installed in the ballroom (you need your hearing aid switched to T for this facility)
  • The large lounge has sliding patio doors also leading into the garden and pool area. These doors are 114cm wide 

Public WCs

  • Fully accessible ladies and gents toilets are available on the ground floor.

Dining room & bar

  • The corridor leading to the dining room is 123cm wide with short pile carpet throughout
  • Dining room tables have an underspace of 73cm and all furniture is flexible
  • Double patio doors (100cm wide) lead from the dining room to garden
  • All meals served are with waitress service
  • The bar is located on the ground floor. The bar is 1.25m high 

Bedrooms

There are 3 single rooms and 3 double rooms on the ground floor. Access to these rooms is via 2 steps (62cm in total height) with a portable ramp available. 

Room 1 (especially adapted for wheelchair use):

  • Entrance door 102cm wide, room size 4m x 3.5m, fully carpeted
  • Single bed, bedside cabinet, armchair, dressing table and wardrobe with lower hanging rail fitted
  • All electric plugs and sockets have been fitted in lower position
  • Bathroom fully adapted
  • Bathroom fully adjusted for wheelchair use. Entrance 89cm and vinyl flooring
  • Sink has 87cm underspace, lightcords have been extended and a flexible shaving mirror fitted
  • Roll in shower with space of 115cm x 78cm. Special shower chair available on request. All shower accessories have been adapted for wheelchair user (incl. soap dishes, grab rails, coat hooks etc)
  • Toilet is 51cm high, extended toilet seat available on request. Easy transfer from wheelchair to toilet
  • Total bathroom size 290 x 203cm 

Room 4

  • Entrance door 108cm. Large and bright room with easy access to main areas of the house
  • Double bedded room, sleeping area suitable for wheelchair user
  • Although the sleeping area is suitable for wheelchair user, the bathroom has not been adapted
  • The entrance to shower has a lip of 8cm in height 

Other bedrooms are situated on the first and second floors

  • There are 21 steps to first floor, 16cm high, 32cm deep and 122cm wide
  • There are a total of 40 steps from the ground floor to the second floor
  • Most of the other rooms are en-suite, some with shower, others with both shower and bath. There is vinyl flooring in all bathrooms 

Grounds and gardens

  • Access to the beach via private steps (rather steep) in the hotel garden
  • Garden is level, with tarmac pathways 

Additional information

  • Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
  • Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
  • 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
  • Staff have received disability awareness training
  • Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
  • Hired equipment can be arranged for your stay with prior notice
  • Fridge for medication can be supplied

Itinerary

Walkers on the chalk cliffs of Compton DownSunday: Compton Down and Mottistone Manor

Our walk takes us along part of the Isle of Wight Coast Path, to join the Tennyson Trail up on Compton Down. Fantastic views as we follow the chalk ridge, the backbone of the island. Our walk ends at the enchanting gardens at Mottistone Manor. The beautiful gardens here make the perfect place to enjoy the afternoon. 5.5 miles (9km) with 850 feet (260m) of ascent.

 

 

Steam train on the Isle of Wight steam railwayMonday: Isle of Wight steam railway, vineyards and Roman villas

After an exploration of the museum and workshops of the Isle of Wight steam railway at Havenstreet, we take a ride on this heritage line to the beginning of our walk at Ashey station. Quiet countryside trails take us up onto Brading Down for fabulous views, before we drop down to Adgestone Vineyards, one of the oldest commercial vineyards in England. There's the option of spending time here with a tour or maybe a cream tea, before continuing to Brading Roman Villa, one of the best preserved Roman sites in the UK. 3 miles (4.5km) with 300 feet (100m) of ascent. 

The enttrance to Carisbrooke CastleTuesday: Carisbrooke Castle

Starting high on Bowcombe Down, gives us fine views out to the north and over to the mainland. Our walk takes us to the romantic Carisbrooke Castle, once the prison of Charles I. We've the afternoon to walk the battlements, explore the Princess Beatrice Garden, maybe enjoy a cream tea, and to take in a demonstration by the castle's famous residents - the donkeys, as they work the ancient waterwheel. 4 miles (7km) with 450 feet (140m) of ascent.

 

Wednesday: free day

Maybe take the opportunity to visit Queen Victoria's, Osbourne House.

Thatched cottages and church in Godshill villageThursday: Godshill, Appuldurcombe House and Ventnor Botanic Gardens

We start in the village of Godshill, with its model village and Blacksmith’s shop garden, and begin our walk to the romantic Appuldurcombe House, one of the grandest, most elegant houses on the island. Time to explore here before we continue our walk down to The Undercliffe and Ventnor Botanic Gardens, with its fabulous collection of exotic and subtropical plants. 5.5 miles (8.5km) with 750 feet (240m) of ascent. 

 

View from Headon Warren to Alum Bay and the NeedlesFriday: Alum Bay, the Needles and the Downs

We begin by exploring Alum Bay, with its famous coloured sands, then on to visit The Needles Old Battery and New Battery. We walk onto West High Down, with superb views to the mainland as we gradually descend to the Replica Beacon and up to the Tennyson Monument. We then enjoy the wonderful descent of Tennyson Down, offering magnificent views over the western half of the island. 4 miles (6.5km) with 850 feet (260m) of ascent.


Holiday Information

  • The walking is on good paths generally. Walks are up to 5.5 miles (9km) with 850 feet (260m) of ascent.
  • Each holiday visits a selection of museums, historic buildings and attractions, whose entrance is optional. Please allow between £20 and £40 for admissions, less if you bring your English Heritage and National Trust cards
  • The seven-night holiday has a free day on the Wednesday for you to explore independently
  • Please note, on some holidays the Sunday/Monday of the itinerary may swap in running order, depending on the timetable for the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.

Images supplied by visitisleofwight.co.uk

 

Local area

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
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.

Sailing boats and ferry in Yarmouth harbourYarmouth
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/ 

Impressive frontage of Osborne HouseOsborne House
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/

Entrance to Carisbrooke CastleCarisbrooke Castle
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/ 

Black steam locomotiveIsle 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

Blackgang Chine
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

Travel to Freshwater Bay

Our address is: Freshwater Bay House, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight PO40 9RB

 Ferry

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.

 Ferry heading to the Isle of Wight

How to get to us by train

By train:

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).

Train at Lymington Pier station 

 Ferry

By ferry:

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

 Ferry heading to the Isle of Wight

Driving to us

By car:

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. 

 

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
11 Oct 2016, 8:01 p.m.

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Found the website booking process a little difficult.

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The holiday I went on was Discovery Walking with just the right mix of walking and sight seeing.
11 Oct 2016, 6:14 p.m.

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No review provided

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Very good customer service
21 Jun 2016, 8:37 a.m.

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Easy to book online. Very helpful customer service.

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Lovely room, delicious food
24 May 2016, 4:31 p.m.

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Service review:

Everyone was most helpful and accommodating and the choice of food was excellent and all very good.

Product review:

The Discovery Walks are a good idea and should enable some of us "oldies" to keep walking. However, I found that the tendency to spend the morning sight-seeing and then have to face a 3 - 4 mile walk was somewhat daunting. Other people were also saying they preferred to do the walk first as, indeed, we did on the Friday which was very enjoyable.
24 May 2016, 2:35 p.m.

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I thought the newly refurbished rooms at Freshwater were lovely - very stylish and good quality wall paper and bathroom tiles. The duvets were too hot and there was no lighter cover available

Product review:

I did not think the first days walk along the river after going to Osbourne House was particularly pleasant. The tide was out and there was a lot of mud and rubbish -however it was flat and that was good.
24 May 2016, 7 a.m.

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Food and service very good.

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Well organised and balanced short break
23 Sep 2015, 9:47 a.m.

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Service review:

Some of the administration could be slicker in processing holiday information and invoicing - I got the wrong invoice although promised it would be dispatched immediately by email, and then none at all, so had to chase. HF used to be very reliable, but it seems to have changed its ways of working!

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First experience of Discovery Walks. Very enjoyable but perhaps something between this and the Easier Walk standard would be good to offer too.
17 Sep 2015, 9:44 a.m.

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friendly, well organised

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some walking days not ideal
17 Sep 2015, 7:05 a.m.

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Most enjoyable holiday, with friendship and fellowship.

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Most enjoyable, and the length of walks were within my capability.
14 Sep 2015, 6:43 a.m.

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A well organised holiday and given that everything is provided - good value for money.

Product review:

A very good balance of walking and visiting interesting places,with a leader who knew about them,and had a lot of "tit bits "of information and amusing anecdotes along the way .Really enjoyed it.

Read more reviews from feefo

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
6 May 2017 FWWOD - Guided Walking with Sightseeing - Freshwater 4 £499.00 £424.00 Save £75 pp Book Now
6 May 2017 FWWOD - Guided Walking with Sightseeing - Freshwater 7 £819.00 £719.00 TOP DEAL Early Booking Offer - save £100 pp Book Now
10 May 2017 FWWOD - Guided Walking with Sightseeing - Freshwater 3 £359.00 £299.00 Save £60 pp Book Now
8 Jul 2017 FWWOD - Guided Walking with Sightseeing - Freshwater 4 £499.00 £424.00 Save £75 pp Book Now
8 Jul 2017 FWWOD - Guided Walking with Sightseeing - Freshwater 7 £819.00 £719.00 TOP DEAL Early Booking Offer - save £100 pp Book Now
12 Jul 2017 FWWOD - Guided Walking with Sightseeing - Freshwater 3 £359.00 £299.00 Save £60 pp Book Now
2 Sep 2017 FWWOD - Guided Walking with Sightseeing - Freshwater 4 £499.00 £424.00 Save £75 pp Book Now
2 Sep 2017 FWWOD - Guided Walking with Sightseeing - Freshwater 7 £819.00 £719.00 TOP DEAL Early Booking Offer - save £100 pp Book Now
6 Sep 2017 FWWOD - Guided Walking with Sightseeing - Freshwater 3 £359.00 £299.00 Save £60 pp Book Now
7 Oct 2017 FWWOD - Guided Walking with Sightseeing - Freshwater 4 £459.00 £384.00 Save £75 pp Book Now
7 Oct 2017 FWWOD - Guided Walking with Sightseeing - Freshwater 7 £749.00 £649.00 TOP DEAL Early Booking Offer - save £100 pp Book Now
11 Oct 2017 FWWOD - Guided Walking with Sightseeing - Freshwater 3 £339.00 £279.00 Save £60 pp Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person

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