The Isle of Wight is a world away from the bustle of the mainland. On this Gentle Guided Walking holiday you'll discover the island’s glorious 85-mile coastline of unspoilt sandy beaches and dramatic white cliffs, as well as panoramic walks over the flower-rich chalk downland.
- Head out on guided walks to discover the varied beauty of the Isle of Wight on foot
- Experience this magnificent island at a gentle pace with plenty of time to admire your surroundings
- Let our experienced leader bring classic routes and offbeat areas to life
- Admire panoramic views from coastal paths
- Visit enchanting villages and beautiful unspoilt beaches
- Look out for wildlife, find secret corners and learn about the Island's history
- A relaxed pace of discovery in a sociable group keen to get some fresh air away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland
- High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
- Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
- 2 days guided walking
- Use of our comprehensive Discovery Point
- Choice of up to three guided walks each walking day
- The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders
- Any transport to and from the walks
Option 1 - Ventnor to Bonchurch
Distance: 3 miles (5km)
Ascent: 300 feet (80m)
In Summary: We start our day with a visit to the beautiful botanic gardens in Ventnor. From here we walk along the coastal path past the lovely beach at Steephill Cove, through the Victorian seaside resort and along the promenade to Bonchurch.
Highlights: Bonchurch is a very old village, known to be inhabited in prehistoric times. Many well-known literary figures have lived in Bonchurch, including Tennyson, Macauley, Dickens, Thackeray and Elizabeth Sewell.
Option 2 - Ventnor to Shanklin
Distance: 5½ miles (9km)
Ascent: 950 feet (300m)
In Summary: Walk through the lush Undercliff. Our walk takes us from Ventnor's Botanic Gardens along the coastal path to Shanklin Old Village.
Highlights: Discover the Undercliff; a natural sun trap, rich with verdant vegetation, created by a series of landslips over the centuries.
Option 3 - Niton to Shanklin
Distance: 8½ miles (13½km)
Ascent: 1,200 feet (360m)
In Summary: Soak up the sea air and views of the English Channel on a walk through the Undercliff from Niton to Shanklin Old Village.
Highlights: Stop to explore the Victorian resort of Ventnor midway through the walk, and see the 11th Century St Boniface Church in nearby Bonchurch.
Option 1 - Yarmouth
Distance: 3½ miles (5.5km)
Ascent: 150 feet (60m)
In Summary: Walk beside the tidal River Yar to the historic town of Yarmouth. Take time to explore the cobbled streets and quaint shops and cafes, before catching the Breezer bus back to Freshwater Bay.
Highlights: Opened in 1876, Yarmouth Pier is the UK's longest wooden pier and stretches 186 metres into the Solent.
Option 2 - 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.
Highlights: The salt marsh, reedbeds and mud flats of the Yar Estuary are a great place to see wildfowl and waders.
Option 3 - West Yar Valley & Colwell Bay
Distance: 8½ miles (14km)
Ascent: 650 feet (200m)
In Summary: Follow the River Yar to Yarmouth before continuing west along the Promenade and shingle beaches to reach Colwell Bay. Returning to Freshwater we pass Farringford, home to Alfred, Lord Tennyson for 30 years.
Highlights: St Agnes Church, one of only 18 thatched churches in the country.
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 stop 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.
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 Good, Better and Best 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 ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.
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 – 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 Mermaids 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.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
- Rucksack with a waterproof liner,
- Thermos flask for hot drink,
- Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
- Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar.
- Small torch
- First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)
- Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
- Insect repellent,
- Sun hat,
- Sun cream
All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-Member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Version||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
|17 Apr - 20 Apr||2019 Itinerary||£385||Available||Book Now|
|16 May - 19 May||2019 Itinerary||£395 £345||Save £50 Per Person||Book Now|
3 nights from £345pp
...or call 020 3974 8865