7-Night Isle of Wight Guided Walking for Solos Holiday

Sunset on Limerstone Down, Isle of Wight
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Guided Walking Holidays for Solos
Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3

Country walking is a great way to meet new friends. We welcome individual travellers on all of our holidays, but on Guided Walking for Solos the entire holiday is especially for single guests. Enjoy like-minded company and a great selection of guided walks. Discover stunning cliff-top paths, beautiful chalk downland, and walks in the footsteps of writers Tennyson, JB Priestley and Lewis Carroll.

Holiday Highlights

  • Head out on guided walks with an experienced leader to discover the varied beauty of the Isle of Wight on foot. 
  • Admire panoramic views from dramatic cliff top coastal paths or along the lush Undercliff
  • 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 
  • Evenings in our country house where you share a drink and re-live the day’s adventures

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • 5 days guided walking and 1 free day
  • 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

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 - Over Tennyson Down

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Total ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

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 2 - Headon Warren & Needles

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In Summary: 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 3 - West Wight Circuit

Distance: 12 miles (19km)

Total ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)

In Summary: A circuit of the western tip of the island. We’ll follow the Yar Valley to Yarmouth, then follow the coastal path to Alum Bay, before a glorious finale over Tennyson Down.

Highlight: The final section atop the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down is a fitting conclusion to this splendid walk.

 


Option 1 - Through the Undercliff

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Ascent: 600 feet (200m)

In Summary:  Follow the coast along the Undercliff from St Catherine's Point to Ventnor’s Botanic Gardens.

Highlight: Walking through the lush vegetation of this natural suntrap

 

Option 2 - Godshill to Ventnor

Distance: 8.8 miles (14 km)

Ascent: 1300 feet (390m)

In Summary: Starting in Godshill we work our way towards Wroxall, passing the grand ruins of Appuldurcombe House and its surrounding parkland. We then head up over the Downs before we make our way into Ventnor.

Highlight: Enjoy great views out to sea from the highest point on the Island, St Boniface Down.

Option 3 - Woods & Downland

Distance: 10½ miles (16½km)

Ascent: 1,350 feet (420m)

In Summary: Walk through the woods near Sandown, then admire the widespread views as we cross the downs to Ventnor.

Highlight: Our path through Borthwood Copse and America Wood take us to one of the best places in England to spot Red Squirrels.

 


Discover more about Freshwater Bay House and the local area for ideas on how to fill your free day. 


Option 1 - To Carisbrooke Castle

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Ascent: 700 feet (210m)

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

Highlight: 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 2 - Shorwell & Carisbrooke

Distance: 9 miles (14km)

Ascent: 1,150 feet (360m)

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

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

 

Option 3 - The Three Trails

Distance: 12½ miles (20.5km)

Ascent: 1,600 feet (480m)  

In Summary: Challenge yourself to this fantastic walk along the spine of the island from Carisbrooke Castle to Freshwater Bay. We’ll cross the hills to Shorwell then pick up the Tennyson Trail which runs along the top of the chalk downs. 

Highlight: This is one of our most popular walks. After several ups and downs, your celebratory pint at the end of the walk will be well deserved!

 


Option 1 - Historic Brading and Culver Cliff

Distance: 6½ miles (10km) 

Ascent: 600 feet (180m) 

In Summary: A scenic walk along the coastal paths of the Isle of Wight as you walk from the historic Brading to Yaverland. 

Highlight: Brading is home to the Church of St Mary. Although not mentioned in the Domesday Book, it is believed to be the oldest church and the most interesting on the island. 

Option 2 - Ryde to Sandown

Distance: 8½ miles (14km)

Ascent: 750 feet (220m)

In Summary: Soak up the sea air and as we follow the coastal path from the outskirts of Ryde to St Helens, then on over Culver Cliff to Sandown.

Highlight: The Yarborough Monument on top of Culver Down commands a wonderful view over the Solent and English Channel.

 

Option 3 - Havenstreet to Sandown

Distance: 11 miles (18km)

Ascent: 1,150 feet (360m)

In Summary: Enjoy panoramic views on our walk from Havenstreet over Brading Down. We'll pass Bembridge Windmill and Culver Down, then along the coastal path to Sandown.

Highlight: Views over the Solent where vessels ranging from hovercraft to huge container ships complete this bustling scene.

 


Option 1 - Tennyson and Hamstead Trails and South Coast Path

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 900 feet (280m)

In summary: A gentle climb through the golf course on the Tennyson Trail to cross the Downs. The walk drops down to the farms around the Hamstead trail that lead to the south side of the island with some impressive views on the Coast Path that returns to Freshwater.

Highlight: Stunning panoramic views from 'The Downs', the site is famous for the Bronze Age burial mounds and endangered flora and fauna. 

Option 2 - The Downs and Mottistone

Distance: 10 miles (16.5km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In summary: Traverse Compton and Brook Downs to ‘The Longstone’ before passing through the charming village of Mottistone and onto the South Coast path to return to the House.

Highlight: 'The Longstone' is a 10 ton 13 foot high megalith of iron sandstone of archaeological interest, plus the views from the coast path are spectacular.

Option 3 - Longstone, Brighstone and the South Coast Path

Distance: 13 miles (20.5km)

Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

In summary: Enjoy the uninterrupted views of the Solent and Channel as you cross Compton and Brook Down. The route passes the impressive ‘Longstone’ and through a mixture of woodland and countryside to reach the charming village of Brighstone before reaching the South Coast path following this back to Freshwater.

Highlight: The Downs, the Longstone and a walk full of variety with spectacular coastal scenery.


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

Freshwater - IOW - External -NoDandelion.jpg

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

  • Waterproof 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)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

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

Guest Reviews

Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Guided Walking Holidays for Solos
Walking Grade:
1 & 2

Fully Booked

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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