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 PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

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.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Mottistone to Freshwater Bay

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Ascent: 525 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: 6.5 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: 3.7 miles (5.9km) 

Ascent: 460 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: 1,250 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: 1,250 feet (380m)

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: 4 miles (6km)

Ascent: 350 feet (120m)

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 - The Yar Valley

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 350 feet (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

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

Following the relaxation in government guidance on 19 July, we are continuing to take extra steps to keep our guests leaders, and staff safe in our HF country houses. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

The English, Scottish and Welsh governments are not in sync, so measures in our country houses will vary between the nations. With the relaxation of social distancing in England, from 19 July we will be allowing larger groups to dine and relax in the bar together. However, we will still give guests space e.g. we will seat 6 people at a table where pre-pandemic we may have seated 8. We will ensure our public rooms are well ventilated by opening doors and windows wherever possible. If you have any concerns about distancing, please speak to the House Manager. The government recommendation for England is to wear face coverings in crowded areas. You must wear a face covering by law in public areas in hotels in Scotland. This is mandatory in public spaces; however, face coverings will not be required whilst eating and drinking in the restaurant and bar areas or whilst you are outside our houses. In Wales face coverings will remain a legal requirement indoors, with the exception of hospitality premises.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

Menus for the week will be available in your room on arrival. A self-service breakfast will be served from 7.45am – 9am. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. Evening meals will be table service. A dinner order form will be available in each room for completion. Dinner is served at either 7.15pm or 7.30pm. Please check at the house for details. The bar will be open. We will be offering a table service but guests can also come to the bar to order (depending on local restrictions).

Join our team after dinner on Wednesday evenings for the HF Big Pub Quiz. There will be one other evening of entertainment at the start of the week, which will vary depending on the country house that you are staying at. Our Walk Leaders will also be on hand in the bar or lounge for individual or small group walks talks briefings, which allow guests to talk through the following day’s walk options and ask any questions. All of our swimming pools are open, except for Glen Coe, which will not re-open this year. Swimming Pools will be operated in line with maximum capacities.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

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.

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.

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. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Freshwater Bay House is hearty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the light-filled dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of local flavours.

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

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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) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
23 Dec - 27 Dec 2021
4 Christmas £799 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
2022
23 Dec - 27 Dec 2022
4 Christmas £855 Available 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

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