Christmas & New Year Walking at Freshwater Bay

Isle of Wight

Code: FWXFW

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Activity types:

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

Level

  • Easier
  • Easy
More information

Difficulty indicator

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 use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £374.00 - 3 to 4 nights

Book

Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

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 programme of organised walks and activities
  • The services of experienced HF Holidays’ guides
  • Any transport to and from the walks

In pictures...

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

Our House Manager and leaders have put together a unique programme of walks and social activities, and look forward to welcoming you on your holiday.

The Walks programme

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:
Easier: up to a maximum of 4 miles (6.5km)
Medium: up to a maximum of 7 miles (11km)
Harder: up to a maximum of 9 miles (14.5km)


Christmas – Festive Guided Walking

Saturday 24 December 2016 – Christmas Eve

The easier walk today takes the shortest route of the three offered to reach Carisbrooke, making its way over Bowcombe Down before turning north to finish on the Shepherd’s Trail at the impressive castle. The medium walk starts in the pretty village of Shorwell with its thatched cottages and historic church and also follows the Shepherd's Trail. The harder walk goes all the way up from the south coast to the castle via Shorwell (to pronounce and sound like a local, rhyme with coral).


Sunday 25 December 2016 – Christmas Day

We’ll build up an appetite for our Christmas dinner on some of the island’s very best cliff walks, which start and finish on our doorstep. The easier walk makes its way onto the beautiful chalk downland of Tennyson Down, turning back around at the Tennyson Monument, with its panoramic view stretching across the Solent to the mainland. The medium walk enjoys the same spectacular views but continues as far as Alum Bay, while the harder route heads first to Totland Bay to soak up its views before heading back via the Needles and Tennyson Down.

When you return to Freshwater Bay there will be presents under the Christmas tree before our Christmas lunch. Our celebration Christmas dinner is the highlight of the evening - enjoy traditional turkey with all the trimmings, or alternative options if you prefer.


Monday 26 December 2016 – Boxing Day

Today’s easier walk enjoys excellent views to the south of the island heading east through Brighstone, passing the Longstone (a neolithic long barrow and ancient meeting point) and ending at Isle of Wight Pearl where we are picked up by return coach. The medium and harder walks both start from Calbourne, with its much photographed Winkle Street and walk back to the house via slightly different routes over the Downs.


Wednesday 28 December 2016

Walk beside the tidal River Yar to the historic town of Yarmouth with its bustling harbour and Tudor castle. The easier walk returns from here by coach, the medium returns on foot via the opposite side of the valley, and the harder strikes out from Yarmouth to the West Wight coast, returning inland through Freshwater village, at Colwell Chine.


Thursday 29 December 2016

We all head east towards Ventnor today. From the village of Bonchurch the easier walk explores the rolling downs south of Godshill village, the highlight of which is the impressive ruins of Appuldurcombe House finishing at Ventnor Botanic Garden. The medium circuit passes Appuldurcombe House on the way onto Stenbury Down. The harder walk runs along the spine of the island from Carisbrooke Castle to Freshwater Bay. We’ll cross the hills to Shorewell and then follow the Tennyson Trail along the top of the chalk downs with extensive views throughout, finishing back at Godshill.


New Year – Festive Guided Walking

Saturday 31 December 2016 – New Year’s Eve

We all head east towards Ventnor today. From the village of Bonchurch the easier walk explores the rolling downs south of Godshill village, the highlight of which is the impressive ruins of Appuldurcombe House finishing at Ventnor Botanic Garden. The medium circuit passes Appuldurcombe House on the way onto Stenbury Down. The harder walk runs along the spine of the island from Carisbrooke Castle to Freshwater Bay. We’ll cross the hills to Shorewell and then follow the Tennyson Trail along the top of the chalk downs with extensive views throughout, finishing back at Godshill.

In the evening, join our fellow guests for a fantastic celebration dinner to welcome the new year – you are invited to ‘dress to impress’.


Sunday 1 January 2017

We will be traversing some of the island’s very best cliff walks, which start and finish on our doorstep. The easier walk makes its way onto the beautiful chalk downland of Tennyson Down and the Tennyson Monument, with its panoramic view stretching across the Solent to the mainland. The medium walk heads off northwest to reach Totland and Alum bays with views of the majestic Needles before turning back and returning towards the house. The harder routes stretches further north to Colwell bay before joining the same route as the medium walk.


Monday 2 January 2017

Today’s easier walk enjoys excellent views to the south of the island heading east through Brighstone, passing the Longstone (a neolithic long barrow and ancient meeting point) and ending at Isle of Wight Pearl where we are picked up by return coach. The medium and harder walks both start from Calbourne, with its much photographed Winkle Street and walk back to the house via slightly different routes over the Downs.

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
12 Jan 2016, 4:05 p.m.

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Service review:

The usual excellent H.F. Holiday

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Another lovely holiday with H.F.
8 Jan 2016, 10:22 a.m.

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Service review:

Some of the telephone manner and customer service could be improved but otherwise good.

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The weather was foul but everyone made sure we stayed safe on walks that had to be curtailed or amended and the accommodation, food and activities were brilliant.
7 Jan 2016, 5:17 p.m.

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Service review:

The houses vary a bit, ( I can only speak re holidays in England and Wales) but the organisation of the holidays I have found to be always very good, and the food, and the staff at the houses. I always tell others that one can rely on a good standard of holiday with HF.

Product review:

The holiday would have been excellent (despite the bad weather!) because the three leaders were really good - it was a few inadequacies in the house which prevented it being excellent.
7 Jan 2016, 10:25 a.m.

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The fact that we keep coming back for another holiday with HF says it all!

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Too much food - not much of a complaint!
6 Jan 2016, 5:33 p.m.

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Service review:

The Hotel and Staff were excellent. However the head office staff never picked up
that both my wife and I were members and tried to charge us an affiliation fee.
As a retired leader I found this quite insulting.

Product review:

I think it is a big mistake to do away with the last night Ceilidh and instead go to a
talk at Dimbola Lodge in the pouring rain and also to have live music on New Years
Eve. When I led the Holiday The leaders used to do all the entertainment to much
higher guest numbers ie 2015 36 guests. 2001 90+ Guests. Please Jim Forward
will you have a look at this. we Were not alone in complaining about this.
6 Jan 2016, 2:53 p.m.

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Service review:

Everything went extremely well - apart from weather!!

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Excellent leaders, great hotel with a super manager and such a good staff - nothing too much trouble.
6 Jan 2016, 8:29 a.m.

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A wonderful way of spending your holidays: out in nature during the day, company of like-minded people, good food and often good entertainment in the evenings.

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I had an absolutely wonderful time there. It was one of the best Christmases I had had in years.
2 Jan 2016, 7:29 p.m.

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Good walking/company/organisation

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Good walks inspite of the poor weather
2 Jan 2016, 2:29 p.m.

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Service review:

Usual excellent service from all concerned.

Product review:

A super holiday, food excellent and plenty of it. Everything a Christmas holiday
should be. Staff and management were first class and worked extremely hard to make it a great 4 days. Pity the weather couldn't have been kinder.
30 Dec 2015, 5:19 p.m.

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Service review:

All the staff were really pleasant and did all they could to ensure the stay was comfortable

Product review:

Food excellent, walks were lead well although sometimes the pace was quite fast due to other walkers. The food was fantastic although I would have liked the dinner time to be a little earlier like 6:30. The entertainment was a bit old fashioned but was still fun

Read more reviews from feefo

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
27 Dec 2016 FWXFW - Festive Walking - Freshwater Bay 3 £375.00 £374.00 Free Car Ferry - Southampton to Cowes - Red Funnel - subject to availability Book Now
30 Dec 2017 FWXFW - Festive Walking - Freshwater Bay 4 £645.00 £645.00 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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