Isle of Wight Family Walking Adventure
A fantastic seaside location just above the beach and overlooking the bay
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Meadows & hills
Choosing the level of your walks
Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. 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 grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Children Aged 5 and Under Go FREE
It's easy to see why Freshwater Bay is the most popular location for our fun-packed Family Holidays. Stunning walks follow coastal paths and trails, while the extensive grounds, outdoor heated pool an children's playground at Freshwater Bay House are great after a day out exploring.
- Choice of up to 4 walks per day
- Discover the donkey-powered well at Carisbrooke Castle
- Search for dinosaur footprints or visit Dinosaur Island
- Explore the fascinating multi-coloured sands at Alum Bay
- Playing on the sandy beach, just minutes away from the house
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.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|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.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our option evening activities.
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.
Our family holidays offer the choice of up to 4 guided walks each day – you can choose an Easier Walk one day and switch to a Harder Walk the next. Our routes range from short strolls that are ideal for little legs, to longer walks that will appeal to active teenagers.
Please note that the outdoor pool is not open during October half-term breaks but our leaders will organise lots of activities before and after dinner!
- Expert leaders: our friendly walks leaders will ensure that families get the most out of the walks
- Peace of mind: only families can book on our dedicated Family holidays - the kids get the run of the Country House in a safe environment
- Free day: on our 7 night holidays, enjoy a day without walks to get out and make the most of the nearby family-friendly attractions
Sunday: Tennyson Down & the Needles
Option 1: The Needles
Distance: 3 miles
The walk in a nutshell: A stroll along the coast path to Tennyson Down and the Needles. We'll return on the open-top bus with plenty of time to enjoy the pool at Freshwater Bay House.
Don’t miss: See the famous sands of Alum Bay with the opportunity to descend to the beach by chair lift.
Option 2: Tennyson Down
Distance: 6 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: Discover the once secret rocket testing range on the Needles headland, and the area's role in the space race.
Option 3: Headon Warren
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.
Option 4: West Wight circuit
Distance: 12 miles
The walk in a nutshell: 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.
Don’t miss: The final section atop the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down is a fitting conclusion to this splendid walk.
Monday: Carisbrooke Castle or the three trails
Option 1: Around Carisbrooke
Distance: 3 miles (5km)
The walk in a nutshell: Follow the Shepherd's Trail through the fields and along an ancient trackway to Carisbrooke Castle.
Don’t miss: Take time to explore this well-preserved castle. Don't forget to walk around the walls and see the donkey powered well. During the Summer there are often special events such as jousting and treasure hunts.
Option 2: To Carisbrooke Castle
Distance: 5 miles (8km)
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: There's lots of time to explore the castle. A real highlight is watching the donkeys turn the treadmill to raise water from the well.
Option 3: Shorwell & Carisbrooke
Distance: 7 miles (11km)
The walk in a nutshell: Walk from Brightstone to the village of 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.
Option 4: Three Trails Challenge
Distance: 13 miles (21km)
The walk in a nutshell: 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.
Don’t miss: This is one of our most popular walks. There's a real sense of achievement when you cross the final hill to Freshwater Bay.
Wednesday: Sandown and the home of the dinosaurs
Option 1: Bembridge Windmill
Distance: 3 miles (5km)
The walk in a nutshell: Walk from the Bembridge Windmill to the coastal path which we follow over the chalk headland of Culver Cliff to Sandown.
Don’t miss: The walk finishes at the island's excellent Dinosaur Museum and large play area, or spend time on the beach at Sandown.
Option 2: Brading to Sandown
Distance: 6 miles (9½km)
The walk in a nutshell: Walk 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.
Don’t miss: The working windmill at Bembridge; one of the National Trust's smallest, but most fascinating, properties.
Option 3: Over the hills to Sandown
Distance: 8 miles (13km)
The walk in a nutshell: 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
Don’t miss: The Yarborough Monument on top of Culver Down commands a wonderful view over the Solent and English Channel.
Option 4: Over the Chalk Downs
Distance: 11 miles
The walk in a nutshell: 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.
Don’t miss: There are great views over the Solent where vessels ranging from hovercraft to huge container ships complete this bustling scene.
Thursday: Ventnor, Steephill Cove & Shanklin
Option 1: Ventnor Coastline
Distance: 3 miles (5km)
The walk in a nutshell: Walk along the promenade from Bonchurch to Ventnor, then continue along the coast path to the lovely beach at Steephill Cove.
Don’t miss: 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)
The walk in a nutshell: 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.
Don’t miss: 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)
The walk in a nutshell: Soak up the sea air and views of the English Channel on a walk through the Undercliff from Niton, past Ventnor 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 4: Chale to Shanklin
Distance: 10 miles (16km)
The walk in a nutshell: A 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.
Don’t miss: The cliff-top section above St Catherine's Point is particularly impressive, with views down to the lighthouse far below.
Friday: The Yar Valley or Tennyson Trail
Option 1: Yarmouth
Distance: 3 miles (5km)
The walk in a nutshell: 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.
Don’t miss: 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)
The walk in a nutshell: 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.
Don’t miss: 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)
The walk in a nutshell: Walk atop the Downs east of Freshwater Bay. We then descend to the beach and follow the coastal path back to Freshwater Bay.
Don’t miss: There'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)
The walk in a nutshell: Walk over the Downs to the Neolithic Longstone, then descend to coast and follow the coastal path back to Freshwater Bay.
Don’t miss: The Neolithic Longstone on Mottistone Down; according to legend this 13ft stone was thrown here by a giant!
Terrain and transport
Our Family and Easier Walks finish earlier in the afternoon to suit little legs - walks are not suitable for pushchairs. Easier Walks have gently undulating gradients whilst the Medium and Harder Walks have occasional steeper sections.
On some days the walks start or finish at Freshwater Bay House; on other days we use hired transport at the start and/or end of the walks. The cost of all transport to and from the walks is included in the price of your holiday.
Activities at Freshwater Bay House
Your leaders will inform you about the choice of walks for the next day and answer any questions you may have. After a sociable evening meal you could join in an evening activity created specifically for all the family or use the Country House facilities.
Images supplied by visitisleofwight.co.uk
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 £23 return for adults and £13 for children. This includes a foot passenger ticket for the Wightlink Lymington to Yarmouth ferry, plus a connecting taxi / coach transfer to Freshwater Bay.
Our transfers operate every Saturday and Tuesday (Friday and Monday in the low season). These connect with the 1500 or 1600 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 at least 14 days in advance by calling our Reservations team on 020 8732 1220.
The nearest train station is Lymington Pier on the mainland. This is immediately adjacent to the ferry terminal. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
The Wightlink Lymington to Yarmouth ferry is the most convenient for Freshwater Bay - see www.wightlink.co.uk
Alternatively the Red Funnel Southampton to East 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. Turn left at Freswater Garage and continue along Afton road. At the Lifeboat station turn right and follow the road round passing the Albion Hotel on the left. The entrance to Freshwater Bay House is the next driveway on your left.
From East Cowes: Follow signs for Newport following A3021 and then A3054. Continue through Newport and Carisbrooke. Turn left onto the B3401 through Calbourne. At the T junction with Afton Road (A3055) turn left and then right by the Lifeboat station and follow the road round passing the Albion Hotel on the left. The entrance to Freshwater Bay House is the next driveway 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 approximately £8.50 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.
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Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|25 May 2019||FWFAM - Isle of Wight Family Walking Adventure - Freshwater Bay||3||£419.00||£418.00||Book Now|
|25 May 2019||FWFAM - Isle of Wight Family Walking Adventure - Freshwater Bay||7||£929.00||£928.00||Book Now|
|28 May 2019||FWFAM - Isle of Wight Family Walking Adventure - Freshwater Bay||4||£579.00||£578.00||Book Now|
|27 Jul 2019||FWFAM - Isle of Wight Family Walking Adventure - Freshwater Bay||7||£929.00||£928.00||Book Now|
|3 Aug 2019||FWFAM - Isle of Wight Family Walking Adventure - Freshwater Bay||7||£929.00||£928.00||Book Now|
|10 Aug 2019||FWFAM - Isle of Wight Family Walking Adventure - Freshwater Bay||7||£929.00||£928.00||Book Now|
|17 Aug 2019||FWFAM - Isle of Wight Family Walking Adventure - Freshwater Bay||3||£419.00||£418.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person