Isle of Wight Festive Self-Guided Walking Holiday

Explore the Isle of Wight on foot

Code: FWPXA

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Meadows & hills
  • Newly Refurbished
  • Twixmas & New Year

Level

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
More information

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.

More about difficulty levels

From £384.00 - 3 nights

Book

Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

Enjoy a festive break on the Isle of Wight. We have all the ingredients for your perfect self-guided escape this winter.

Our 4-star Country House Freshwater Bay House, superbly located beneath the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down, is geared to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts. This festive season you can enjoy superb winter walks as well as hearty local food, our legendary picnic lunches, and you can be smug in the knowledge that there’s an excellent boot and drying room should you need it. To help you get the most out of your festive escape, we'll give you a free Ordnance Survey map, plus detailed route notes for our recommended walking and cycle routes. On many holidays our experienced leaders are on hand to offer help and advice.

Great value. What’s included: 

  • Full Board accommodation - breakfast, evening meal and an extensive walkers' picnic lunch
  • A free Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 scale Explorer map of the local area with every booking
  • Detailed route notes, ranging from short strolls to longer coastal walks
  • Country House Escapes guide – full of information about local attractions, activities and suggested itineraries to help plan your break
  • All the Country House facilities, including our well equipped boot and drying room, and outdoor swimming pool
  • On many holidays our experienced walking leaders are available to offer help and advice

In pictures...

Accommodation

HF Holidays' Freshwater Bay House in Isle of Wight

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.

Rooms

'Good' Rooms 

These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:

  • Check in from 2:30pm
  • Tea and coffee-making facilities
  • 23 inch TV
  • Toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Free WiFi

'Better' Rooms 

These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:

  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

Only an extra £15 per person per night

'Best' Rooms 

These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:

  • Recently refurbished to an exceptional standard
  • Large rooms
  • Stunning views of the surrounding area
  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

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

  • Welcoming bar with local beer
  • Excellent boot and drying rooms
  • Three lounges with view across the bay
  • Dining room
  • Bar
  • 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
  • Badminton
  • Tennis
  • Outdoor playground for children
  • Outdoor games
  • Mini-golf

Dining

An example of Freshwater Bay evening mealAll 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.
 Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the barJust 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.

Accessibility

More details on Freshwater Bay accessibility

Additional information

  • 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.

Self-Guided Walks

Get to know the area using our Discovery Point at Freshwater Bay -the starting point for your outdoor adventure. You'll find:

  • Our recommended walking and cycling routes - detailed route notes for you to borrow
  • Comprehensive library of local maps and guidebooks
  • Ideas and contacts for more active options such as watersports and mountain biking
  • A daily weather forecast 

When you're not walking, there's plenty to do locally. Why not explore the island by bike, visit Queen Victoria's Osborne House, or just spend the day at the beach. See the 'Local Area' tab for further ideas.

Detailed walking notes: all our walking notes contain detailed directions, route maps, and information about the places of interest on the route.

Sample route - The Needles    Sample route - Tennyson Trail  

HF Holidays car icon

Travel by car       HF Holidays bus icon  Travel by bus Self-guided walking at HF Holidays  No transport required            

Laid back walks

Our easiest routes, allowing plenty of time to savour the island's beautiful scenery. All our walk notes suggest the best places to stop, great pubs, and tea rooms.

HF Holidays car iconHF Holidays bus icon

  HF Holidays walks level 1 easier   Alum Bay to the Needles - 2 miles
Self-guided walking at HF Holidays  HF Holidays walks level 1 easier Tennyson Monument - 3 miles

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 HF Holidays walks level 1 easier St Catherine's Down - 3 miles

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 HF Holidays walks level 1 easier Yarmouth to Freshwater Bay - 3 miles

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 HF Holidays walks level 1 easier  Freshwater Bay to Yarmouth - 3 miles
 HF Holidays bus icon  HF Holidays walks level 1 easier  Alum Bay to Freshwater Bay via the Needles - 3 miles

Leg stretcher walks

Some longer walks on inland and coastal paths. Experience a true flavour of the island as you follow these varied routes.

Self-guided walking at HF Holidays

HF Holidays walks level 1 easier Compton Bay - 5 miles

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 HF Holidays walks level 1 easier The Pepperpot & Gore Cliff - 5 miles

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 HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy St Boniface Down - 5 miles

Self-guided walking at HF Holidays

 HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy The Needles - 7 miles
Self-guided walking at HF Holidays  HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy Compton Down - 7 miles
Self-guided walking at HF Holidays  HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy West Yar Valley - 7 miles

Full on walks

For those who love to stride out with some longer routes following the coastal path and inland trails.

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HF Holidays walks level 3 medium Shorwell to Freshwater Bay - 8 miles

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 HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy Downs Circuit - 8 miles

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 HF Holidays walks level 3 medium Shorwell to Freshwater Bay via the Coast - 10 miles

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 HF Holidays walks level 3 medium Tennyson Trail - 10 miles

Self-guided walking at HF Holidays

 HF Holidays walks level 3 medium West Wight Circuit - 12 miles
Self-guided walking at HF Holidays  HF Holidays walks level 3 medium Brighstone and SW Coast - 13 miles

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HF Holidays walks level 3 medium

Wight's Highest Hills - 15 miles

What our HF Holidays' route testers say:

Tennyson Trail- "It is mostly high up on the Downs where there are always wonderful views. The views get better and better as you approach Freshwater Bay with the English Channel on one side and the Solent on the other." Penny Jamieson, HF Holidays Leader

St Catherine's Down- "A short walk along a superb ridge taking in extensive views over the west of the Island and towards The Solent and Southampton Water. Also visit two iconic landmarks of the Island, ideal spots for a picnic." Peter Maule, HF Holidays Leader

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 £22 return for adults and £12 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 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 7 days in advance by calling our Reservations team on 0345 470 7558.

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).

 Ferry

By ferry:

The Lymington to Yarmouth ferry is the most convenient for Freshwater Bay - see www.wightlink.co.uk

Alternatively the 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

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. 

Travel by plane 

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.

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
27 Dec 2018 FWPXA - Festive Self Guided - Freshwater Bay 3 £384.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

We like to reward early bookers with our best rooms so book early to avoid disappointment.
Please note that we aren't able to take room number requests as we are unable to guarantee them. 

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