Guided Walking for Solos at Freshwater Bay
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Meadows & hills
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.
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 likeminded 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.
Freshwater Bay House boasts a beautiful cliff-top location overlooking the bay. Enjoy dramatic chalk clilffs, 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.
Choose your room
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Large double or two single beds
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Check in from 1:30pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
• Check in from 2:30pm
• 3 or 4 beds
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk or occasional beds for children
|• Welcoming bar with local beer
• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Three lounges with view across the bay
• Dining room
• Dandelion Cafe
|• 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
• Outdoor playground for children
• Outdoor games
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board with breakfast, picnic lunch and evening meal. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Our experienced guides offer the choice of up to three different walks each day – you can choose an Easier Walk one day and switch to a Harder Walk the next.
Easier Walks Medium Walks Harder Walks
Sunday: Tennyson Down and Alum Bay
Easier Walk: A fabulous figure of eight walk over Tennyson Down, the grand chalk cliffs directly behind Freshwater Bay House. We’ll walk to the view of the Needles at the very tip of the island and visit Alum Bay, famous for its coloured sands. 7 miles (11km) with 1,250 feet (380m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Head to the coast at Totland Bay and soak up the glorious sea view as we round the Needles headland and return over Tennyson Down. 8.5 miles (13.5km) with 1,250 feet (380m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: A circuit of the western tip of the island. We’ll follow the Yar Valley to Yarmouth, and then follow the coastal path to Alum Bay, before a glorious finale over the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down back to Freshwater Bay. 12 miles (19km) with 1,550 feet (480m) of ascent.
Monday: Eastern Wight
Easier Walk: Starting from St Helens we cross the Causeway at Bembridge harbour and walk to the 18th century Bembridge Windmill. We’ll then walk to the chalk cliffs of Culver Down, near the eastern tip of the island, and follow the coastal path to Sandown. 7 miles (11km) with 550 feet (160m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Soak up the sea air and views of the Solent as we follow the coastal path from the outskirts of Ryde to St Helens. We head inland past the Bembridge Windmill and rejoin the coastal path to Sandown. 8.5 miles (14km) with 750 feet (220m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: From the village of Havenstreet, we cross the Isle of Wight steam railway before ascending Brading Down and walking along the ridge, enjoying the views across the Solent to the mainland and over Sandown bay to the English Channel. We’ll continue through Brading to Bembridge Windmill, then over Culver Down and along the coastal path to Sandown. 11 miles (18km) with 1,150 feet (360m) of ascent.
Tuesday: Shorwell and Carisbrooke Castle
Easier Walk: We start in the pretty village of Shorwell with its thatched cottages and historic church and follow the Shepherd’s Trail to the impressive castle at Carisbrooke, with its well-preserved walls and famous donkey well (admission payable). 6.5 miles (10.5km) with 700 feet (220m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Walk from the south coast to Carisbrooke Castle via Shorwell village. One steep ascent. 9 miles (14km) with 1,150 feet (360m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: A great 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, with extensive views throughout. Three steep ascents. 12.5 miles (20.5km) with 1,600 feet (480m) of ascent.
Thursday: Over the Downs to Ventnor Botanic Garden
Easier Walk: Starting near St Catherine’s Point at the southern tip of the island we’ll follow the coast along the Undercliff to Ventnor’s Botanic Garden, detouring to visit the village of Whitwell. 6 miles (10km) with 600 feet (200m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Cross the downs from Godshill to Ventnor, passing the grand ruins of Appuldurcombe House and its surrounding parkland laid out by ‘Capability’ Brown. One steep descent. 9 miles (14km) with 1,250 feet (380m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Look out for red squirrels as we walk through the woods near Sandown, then admire the widespread views on the second part of the walk which takes us over the downs to Ventnor. One steep descent. 10 miles (16.5km) with 1,350 feet (420m) of ascent.
Friday: Calbourne to Freshwater Bay
Easier Walk: Visit the much-photographed thatched cottages on Calbourne’s Winkle Street before crossing the downs and descending to Freshwater Bay. 6½ miles (10.5km) with 800 feet (240m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: From Calbourne we ascend over the downs to the south coast. We’ll then follow the coastal path over the chalk cliffs of Compton Down back to Freshwater Bay. 8½ miles (14km) with 1,100 feet (340m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Cross over the downs to Brighstone, then follow the coast path along the island’s southwest coast to Freshwater Bay. Tides permitting, there’s an opportunity to see the fossilised forest at Hanover Point. 11 miles (17.5km) with 1,250 feet (380m) of ascent.
Terrain and transport: Easier Walks have gently undulating gradients. Medium Walks have occasional steeper sections. Harder Walks have a few steeper sections.
On some days the walks start or finish at Freshwater Bay House; on other days we use hired transport at the start and/or end of the walks. The cost of all transport to and from the walks is included in the price of your holiday.
Our guests: The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. There is normally a good mix of ages, of new guests and 'regulars' from Britain and overseas. On our Guided Walking for Solos holidays, the holiday is especially for single guests.
Free day: Each seven night holiday has a day without any organised walks, so you can explore the Isle of Wight independently. We can arrange transport to Osborne House, for £11 per person (dependent on numbers).
In the evenings: Your leaders will inform you about the choice of walks for the next day and answer any questions you may have. After a sociable evening meal you could join in an organised activity such as a quiz or a talk about the local area, relax in the bar or use the Country House facilities.
Images supplied by visitisleofwight.co.uk
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 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.
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/
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/
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/
Isle 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
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 to Freshwater Bay
Our address is: Freshwater Bay House, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight PO40 9RB
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person