4-Night Isle of Wight Christmas Guided Walking Holiday

Sunrise at the Long Stone
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Guided Walking
Walking Grade: 1 & 2
from £855pp

Spending the festive season on the beautiful Isle of Wight will have you wanting to stay all year. Socialise, walk and get away from the bustle of the mainland on this stunning island. Join our festive breaks and choose from a guided walking holiday in the company of one of our knowledgeable leaders. We pull out all the stops on our festive holidays, with fabulous food, lots of seasonal entertainment and great walks and activities. The walks are tailored to the time of year and will remain flexible to suit the weather conditions. Each day three grades of walk will be offered. So wrap up warm, lace up your boots and go for an invigorating walk.

Holiday Highlights

  • Plenty of exercise to walk off the festive excesses
  • A choice of guided walks in spectacular winter scenery
  • Just relax, soak up the party atmosphere, enjoy wonderful festive fare and leave all the organising to us
  • Evening activities include dancing, quizzes and New Year celebrations
  • Cosy Country House and a special festive cheer

What’s included

  • Wonderful meals – full selection at breakfast, your choice of picnic lunch, an excellent evening meal, afternoon tea and cakes every day, and plenty of festive sweets and nuts
  • A full programme of organised walks
  • The services of experienced HF Holidays’ leaders
  • Any transport to and from the walks
  • A packed programme of evening activities offering something festive for everyone, including some old HF favourites
  • A celebration dinner with all the trimmings on Christmas Day and New Years Eve 

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

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. Some of our breaks have more than one itinerary. To check which itinerary is running on your holiday date please refer to the Dates, Prices & Trip Notes tab.

You're welcome to check in from 1pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Mottistone to Freshwater Bay

Distance: 5 miles (7.5km)

Ascent: 550 feet (160m)

In Summary: This linear walk takes us from Mottistone Manor towards the famous Longstone before meandering along the Tennyson trail and arriving back in Freshwater Bay.

Highlight: A 10 ton, 13 feet high megalith of iron sandstone. The Longstone is one of just three surviving field monuments from the Neolithic period on the Isle of Wight.

 

Option 2 - Wooded Trails & Grassy Downs

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 750 feet (220m)

In Summary:  Starting from Calbourne, the prettiest village on the island, we follow the footpath passing Winkle Street, and then ascending on to Westover Down before crossing countryside following the Tennyson Trail back to Freshwater Bay.

Highlight: Visiting the postcard village of Calbourne and enjoying breathtaking views of land and sea while walking along the Downs.

Option 3 - 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 1 - A Visit to Tennyson's Memorial

Distance: 3½ miles (6km) 

Ascent: 450 feet (140m) 

In Summary: An easy circular walk around Tennyson Down to reach the Tennyson Monument, passing by points of interests that were reminisces of the Napoleonic wars.

Highlight: Standing on a long chalk ridge, Tennyson Monument sits on the highest point of Tennyson Down offering magnificent views over land and sea.

Option 2 - Over Tennyson Down

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,200 feet (360m)

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 3 - Headon Warren & The Needles

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

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 1 - Yar Valley to Yarmouth

Distance: 3½ miles (5.5km)

Ascent: 130 feet (40m)

In Summary: A one-way walk beside the tidal River Yar to the historic town of Yarmouth with its bustling harbour and Tudor castle. We’ll take a bus back to Freshwater Bay House.

Highlight: The salt marsh, reedbeds and mud flats of the Yar Estuary are a great place to see wildfowl and waders.

Option 2 - Yar Valley

Distance:  7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 350ft (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 3 - 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.


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

We appreciate that COVID-19 continues to impact the nations.  The English, Scottish and Welsh governments are not always in sync, so measures in our country houses may vary between the nations. We thank all guests for adhering to the measures we have introduced to keep our guests, leaders and team members safe.

You can see our latest FAQs and guarantees at https://www.hfholidays.co.uk/coronavirus-travel-advice 

Ventilation, Physical Distancing Measures and Group Sizes around the Houses

We will keep our public areas well ventilated; for your comfort you might want to pack an extra layer to keep you comfortable.

With the relaxation of physical distancing, we will be allowing larger groups to dine and relax in the bar together.

Hand sanitiser stations will be made available in frequently used public areas for guests and staff use. It is advisable to bring additional hand sanitiser for whilst you are out walking.

We always follow the latest regional government advice, but our one recommendation is don’t forget your face mask! There is no requirement to wear a face covering in communal areas, but you may of course choose to. Some places throughout the UK may still require you to wear a mask even if the government legislation does not. With this in mind we suggest you bring a personal supply of face coverings for the duration of your stay.

Servicing Bedrooms:

At this stage we are not reintroducing our daily room servicing.  Extra tea, coffee, milk, towels and toiletries will be available on request from our team. Bins can be left outside your door for emptying.

COVID-19 Symptoms or Cases 

If a guest has symptoms of COVID-19 then they should inform the house team and immediately self-isolate to minimise any risk of transmission and make arrangements to request a COVID test. If a guest receives a positive test result, they should return home if they reasonably can. They should where possible use private transport but only drive themselves if they can do so safely. If a guest cannot reasonably return home, they should discuss their circumstances with the House Manager. Additional charges may be levied if a guest needs to self-isolate for longer than their planned holiday.

What can you do to help keep everyone safe?

  • Wear a face mask/covering where required and please bring plenty of face coverings for the duration of your stay
  • Carry/use hand sanitiser
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water when possible
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoid passing round objects such as cameras & phones
  • If you are displaying symptoms of Coronavirus, please do not travel to an HF Holidays House

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 Classic, Premium and Superior 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 ‘Classic’ rooms are en-suite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Premium’ and ‘Superior’ 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.

Check in:

Check in opens at 4pm for all guests. Guests will be unable to access any of the Country House facilities, including leaving luggage before 4pm.

We are delighted to invite you to enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival. Relax and meet your fellow guests and leaders. 

Check out:

Check out time: 10am

Please note, you will need to settle your bill before departure and payment will only be possible by card.  Gratuities and donations to the Pathway Fund can also be made by card.

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 (open in summer season) – 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 Mermaid Gin and a chance to catch up with your companions.

Welcome Information

A Welcome Information Pack providing details about the Country House and your holiday will be available in each bedroom. This personal pack of information will detail what to expect during your stay in the house, the menu for the duration of your stay, dinner & picnic lunch order forms and the guest registration form for completion.

Our houses are locked at night-time and accessible with a door code which is available in the Welcome Pack. However, we also recommend making a note of the Duty Manager number on arrival, in case of an emergency or getting locked out.

Evenings

Join our team after dinner on Wednesday evenings to see if you’ve got the knowledge to triumph in the HF Big Pub Quiz!  There will also be another evening of entertainment at the beginning of the week which will vary depending on the house you are visiting.

If there are leaders resident, they will be available to chat to guests about self-guided walks. You can borrow walking route notes and maps from our Discovery Point.

Walks Talks – Guided Walking Information Briefings

Self-Guided guests are always welcome to join our Guided Walking briefings to hear about the local conditions. 

Our leaders will deliver a Guided Walking Information Briefing on each arrival day before and after dinner followed by a group Walks Talk to let guests know about the following day’s walks. Walks Talks are usually before and after dinner prior to each walking day. The information is repeated so you can join whichever time suits you. 

If you are undecided which walk to do, our leaders will be available in the bar or lounge to answer any questions you might have. Our website contains up-to-date information about the walks for each holiday.

Before you leave for your walk your leader will run through a short safety briefing for the day.

Each day, the latest weather forecast will be displayed for all guests to check to ensure appropriate clothing is worn for the walks.

Please note, if you decide to do your own walks, or you are on a self-guided walking holiday, you must complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house.

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. Food at Freshwater Bay House is varied with a strong emphasis on the use of seasonal British produce. Our experienced chefs create each dish using only the freshest ingredients and, when in season, use home grown herbs and vegetables taken from our own gardens to give a true taste of the local area.

Along with many hospitality business across the UK we are presently experiencing disruption to our food and drink supply chain. COVID continues to limit the ability of suppliers to deliver and the war in Ukraine (along with several other global challenges) is impacting availability of many basic products.  We are working hard to ensure that these challenges do not negatively impact your holiday but ask for your understanding should we need to make last minute changes to dishes or menus.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Freshwater Bay House

Freshwater - IOW - External -NoDandelion.jpg

Getting to Freshwater Bay House

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

More Information

Essential Information

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.

Essentials

  • Walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)

Recommended

  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner
  • Sun hat and sunscreen (we may just get lucky and have some festive sunshine!)

Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

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: £30 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Single Room Double Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2022

23 Dec - 27 Dec 2022

4 nights

Christmas

Single from

£855

Double from

£855 pp

from

£855

from

£855 pp

Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
1

4 nights from £855pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

Add to wishlist Added to wishlist