Isle of Wight Gentle Guided Walking Holiday

Explore the Isle of Wight on foot

Code: FWBEW

Print page

Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Free WiFi
  • Meadows & hills

Level

  • 1
  • 2
More information

Choosing the level of your walks

Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. 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 grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £315.00 - 3 to 7 nights

Book

Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

This easier variation of our best-selling Guided Walking holidays is the perfect way to enjoy a gentle exploration of the Isle of Wight. The choice of three guided walks includes a half-day walk of 3 or 4 miles. 

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.

Accommodation

HF Holidays' Freshwater Bay House in Isle of Wight

Freshwater Bay House boasts a beautiful cliff-top location overlooking the bay. Enjoy dramatic chalk cliffs, sandy beaches, picture-postcard villages and more from this wonderful island gem.

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.

Rooms

'Good' Rooms 

These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:

  • Check in from 2:30pm
  • Tea and coffee-making facilities
  • 23 inch TV
  • Toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Free WiFi

'Better' Rooms 

These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:

  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

Only an extra £15 per person per night

'Best' Rooms 

These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:

  • Recently refurbished to an exceptional standard
  • Large rooms
  • Stunning views of the surrounding area
  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

Only an extra £20 per person per night

Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.

At the house

  • Welcoming bar with local beer
  • Excellent boot and drying rooms
  • Three lounges with view across the bay
  • Dining room
  • Bar
  • Multi-purpose activity room with a Nintendo Wii
  • Free WiFi is available in some public rooms
  • Range of broad games and books
  • Heated outdoor swimming pool
    (Open Easter to September)
  • Extensive gardens
  • Putting green and croquet lawn
  • Table football
  • Badminton
  • Tennis
  • Outdoor playground for children
  • Outdoor games
  • Mini-golf

Dining

An example of Freshwater Bay evening mealAll holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
 Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the barJust relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our option evening activities.

All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.

Accessibility

More details on Freshwater Bay accessibility

Additional information

  • The fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance with an evacuation are identified at this point and alternative door hangers are issued to help the team members identify them
  • 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
  • All team members have received disability awareness training
  • Special diets can be catered for and specialist food can be arranged with prior notice
  • Hired equipment can be arranged for your stay with prior notice
  • Fridges can be supplied for medication with prior notice.

Itinerary

This easier variation of our best-selling Guided Walking holidays is the perfect way to enjoy a gentle exploration of the Isle of Wight. The choice of three guided walks includes a half-day walk of 3 or 4 miles. 

Half-Day walks

HF Holidays walks level 1 easier

Bembridge windmill

Easier walks

HF Holidays walks level 1 easier

Headon Warren

Medium walks

HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy

Compton Down

 Select the date of your holiday to see which walks are running during your stay.

Tennyson Down and Alum Bay

Available on: 30 Mar 2019

Option 1: Alum Bay and the Downs

Coloured sands of Alum Bay

Distance: 4½ miles (7km)

Total ascent: 350 feet (100m)

The walk in a nutshell: Explore Alum Bay and the Needles Old Battery and New Battery before a glorious walk atop the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down, offering magnificent views over the western half of the island

Don’t miss: Alum Bay with it's coloured sands. The sand was once used for sand painting pictures, a popular craft in Victorian times.

Option 2: Over Tennyson Down

The Needles rocks

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Total ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

The walk in a nutshell: A fabulous walk over the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down to the Needles and the Alum Bay; one of England's finest coastal walks.

Don’t miss: 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 & Needles

View from Headon Warren to Alum Bay and the Needles

Distance: 8½ miles (13½km)

Total ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

The walk in a nutshell: Head to the coast at Totland Bay then soak up glorious sea view as you round the Needles headland and return over Tennyson Down.

Don’t miss: The heather-clad headland of Headon Warren is a real delight, and offers the best views of the Needles.


Calbourne to Freshwater Bay

Available on: 31 Mar 2019

Option 1: The Long Stone & Brighstone

Thatched cottages om Brighstone

Distance: 4½ miles (7km)

Total ascent: 350 feet (100m)

The walk in a nutshell: Walk to the Long Stone, a neolithic long barrow and ancient meeting point, then on over the hills to Brighstone village.

Don’t miss: Legend has it that St Catherine and the Devil had a contest to see who should control the Isle of Wight. The Long Stone’s tall iron sandstone pillar was supposedly thrown by St Catherine.

Option 2: Calbourne to Freshwater

Picturesque cottages in Winkle Street, Calbourne

Distance: 6½ miles (10½km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (240m)

The walk in a nutshell: Walk from Calbourne to Freshwater Bay via the Downs.

Don’t miss: The much photographed 'chocolate box' cottages at Winkle Street in Calbourne. There's plenty of time to relax in the pool or gardens at the end of today's walk.

Option 3: Mottistone Down

Walkers on the chalk cliffs of Compton Down

Distance: 8½ miles (14km)

Total ascent: 1,100 feet (340m)

The walk in a nutshell: From Winkle Street ascend over the Downs, descending Mottistone Down to the south coast. We then follow the coastal path back to Freshwater Bay. 

Don’t miss: The final section over Compton Down enjoys splendid views over Freshwater Bay, and back along the island's southwest coast.


Shorwell and Carisbrooke Castle

Available on: 2 Apr 2019

Option 1: Around Carisbrooke

Donkey turning the wheel at Carisbrooke

Distance: 3 miles (4½km)

Total ascent: 350 feet (100m)

The walk in a nutshell: Follow the Shepherd's Trail through the fields and along an ancient trackway to Carisbrooke Castle.

Don’t miss: Take 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

The enttrance to Carisbrooke Castle

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (210m)

The walk in a nutshell: Cross the island's central hills from the picturesque village of Shorwell to the impressive castle at Carisbrooke.

Don’t miss: Take 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

Thatched cottages om Brighstone

Distance: 9 miles (14km)

Total ascent: 1,150 feet (360m)

The walk in a nutshell: Walk from the south coast to Shorwell village, then continue over the downs to Carisbrooke Castle.

Don’t miss: Explore picturesque Shorwell with its thatched cottages and historic church. There's also plenty of time to visit Carisbrooke Castle.


Walks through the Undercliff

Available on: 3 Apr 2019

Option 1: Bonchurch to Ventnor

Terrace at Ventnor Botanical Gardens

Distance: 3 miles (5km)

Total ascent: 300 feet (80m)

The walk in a nutshell: Walk along the promenade from Bonchurch to Ventnor, then continue along the coast path to the lovely beach at Steephill Cove and the Botanic Gardens.

Don’t miss: 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

Victorian promenade at Ventnor

Distance: 5½ miles (9km)

Total ascent: 950 feet (300m)

The walk in a nutshell: Walk through the lush Undercliff. Our walk takes us from Ventnor's Botanic Gardens along the coastal path to Shanklin Old Village.

Don’t miss: 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

Undercliff coast at Luccombe

Distance: 8½ miles (13½km)

Total ascent: 1,200 feet (360m)

The walk in a nutshell: Soak up the sea air and views of the English Channel on a walk through the Undercliff from Niton to Shanklin Old Village.

Don’t miss: Stop to explore the Victorian resort of Ventnor midway through the walk, and see the 11th Century St Boniface Church in nearby Bonchurch.

Images supplied by visitisleofwight.co.uk


The Yar Valley

Available on: 4 Apr 2019

Option 1: Yarmouth

Yarmouth harbour and ferry

Distance: 3½ miles (5½km)

Total ascent: 150 feet (60m)

The walk in a nutshell:  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.

Don’t miss: Opened in 1876, Yarmouth Pier is the UK's longest wooden pier and stretches 186 metres into the Solent.

Option 2: Yar Valley

Tranquil reedbeds of the yar Estuary

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Total ascent: 350 feet (120m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.                       

Don’t miss: 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

Colwell Bay

Distance: 8½ miles (14km)

Total ascent: 650 feet (200m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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. 

Don’t miss: St Agnes Church, one of only 18 thatched churches in the country.

 

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 £22 return for adults and £12 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 or 1600 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 at least 7 days in advance by calling our Reservations team on 0345 470 7558.

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).

 Ferry

By ferry:

The Lymington to Yarmouth ferry is the most convenient for Freshwater Bay - see www.wightlink.co.uk

Alternatively the Southampton to East Cowes ferry is often the cheapest option if you want to take your car to the Isle of Wight - see www.redfunnel.co.uk

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. 

Travel by plane 

Travelling from overseas

If you're travelling from Europe the most convenient airport is at Southampton. From Southampton Airport Parkway station (adjacent to the airport terminal) there are regular trains to Lymington Pier - journey time 40 minutes). See www.nationalrail.co.uk for details.

For most guests, travelling to either London Heathrow or London Gatwick airport is the best option. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for onward connections by train to Lymington Pier.

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
29 Mar 2019 FWBEW - Gentle Guided Walking - Freshwaterbay 3 £365.00 £315.00 Early Booking Offer - Save £50 Per Person Book Now
29 Mar 2019 FWBEW - Gentle Guided Walking - Freshwaterbay 7 £799.00 £674.00 Save £125 off pp - Special Early TOP Spring Booking OFFER Book Now
1 Apr 2019 FWBEW - Gentle Guided Walking - Freshwaterbay 4 £495.00 £420.00 Early Booking Offer - Save £75 Per Person Book Now

Prices are per person

Sign up for our newsletter

Our newsletters are a great way to receive special offers, inspiring articles, stories and news from HF Holidays.

To subscribe, please enter your email address below and click 'submit'.

We won't pass your details on to any third party unless we have your express permission, you are free to unsubscribe at any time.