4-Night Isle of Wight Gentle Guided Walking Holiday

The Solent from the Isle Of Wight
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Gentle Walks
Walking Grade: 1 & 2
from £599pp £569pp

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.

Holiday Highlights

  • 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

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • 3 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

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

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

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Around Carisbrooke

Distance: 3 miles (4.5km) 

Ascent: 350 feet (100m) 

In SummaryFollow the Shepherd's Trail through the fields and along an ancient trackway to Carisbrooke Castle. 

HighlightsTake time to explore this well-preserved castle. Don't forget to walk around the walls and see the donkey powered well. 

 

Option 2 - To Carisbrooke Castle

Distance: 6 miles (10km) 

Ascent: 700 feet (210m) 

In SummaryCross the island's central hills from the picturesque village of Shorwell to the impressive castle at Carisbrooke. 

HighlightsTake time to explore this well-preserved castle. Walk around the walls, and watch the donkeys turn the treadmill to raise water from the well. 

 

Option 3 - Shorwell and Carisbrooke

Distance: 9 miles (14km) 

Ascent: 1,150 feet (360m) 

In SummaryWalk from the south coast to Shorwell village, then continue over the downs to Carisbrooke Castle. 

HighlightsExplore picturesque Shorwell with its thatched cottages and historic church. There's also plenty of time to visit Carisbrooke Castle.

 

 


Option 1 - Bonchurch to the Botanic Gardens

Distance: 3 miles (5km) 

Ascent: 300 feet (80m) 

In Summary: Our walk starts by visiting the village of Bonchurch. We then walk the promenade before reaching the classic Victorian seaside resort of Ventnor. We then take the coastal path past Steephill Cove on our way to complete our stroll at the botanic gardens at Ventnor.

HighlightsBonchurch 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 SummaryWalk through the lush Undercliff. Our walk takes us from Ventnor's Botanic Gardens along the coastal path to Shanklin Old Village. 

HighlightsDiscover 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 - 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

Essential Equipment

  • 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)

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
  • Insect repellent,
  • Sun hat,
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Camera

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
2022
07 Jun - 11 Jun 2022
4 Gentle Walk £599 £569 Save £30 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
02 Aug - 06 Aug 2022
4 Gentle Walk £599 £569 Save £30 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Gentle Walks
Walking Grade:
1

4 nights from £599pp £569pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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