Guided Walking for Solos at Freshwater Bay
Isle of Wight
Code: FWBOSPrint page
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, and the convivial atmosphere of our Country Houses will make sure you have an enjoyable time.
- Great walks on chalk downs and coastal paths on this walker-friendly island
- Outstanding coastal location by the cliffs of Tennyson Down
- Trace Queen Victoria’s long connection with the island and follow in the footsteps of writers Tennyson, JB Priestley and Lewis Carroll
Great reasons to join us
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, a full programme of walks with all transport to and from the walks, and light-hearted evening activities
- Choice: choose from up to 3 guided walks each walking day.
- Accommodation: extensive grounds, direct access to the beach, and an outdoor heated swimming pool
- Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - walk together, eat together and relax together
Freshwater Bay House dates from the 1790s and is a prominent local landmark, occupying a premier coastal location below the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down. As a comfortable Country House it makes an excellent base for our walking and leisure activity holidays.
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.
Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.
You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.
If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.
A limited number of value twin rooms are available at a discount of £8 per person per night and value single rooms with a £5 per night discount. Our value rooms have the same facilities as our classic rooms, but bathroom facilities are nearby rather than en-suite.
All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.
Freshwater Bay House has three lounges with views across the bay. There is also an attractive dining room and bar. The multi-purpose activity room can either be used as a painting studio, or as a games room with table tennis and a Nintendo Wii. Free WiFi is available in some public rooms. There is also a range of board games and books.
The heated outdoor swimming pool is usually open from Easter to September, depending on the weather, and is very popular with our guests.
Freshwater Bay House sits in extensive gardens with steps down to the beach. Outside there is a putting green, croquet lawn, table football, badminton and tennis. For children there is an outdoor playground, plus outdoor games.
Freshwater Bay also has a Dandelion Café serving a range of coffee and speciality leaf teas, plus snacks and sandwiches. It is also licensed, offering beer, spirits, and a variety of wines from around the world.
All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.
Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.
Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.
Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).
The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.
All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk on wildlife or the island’s rich history from a local speaker or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.
Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.
Family holidays: our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.
Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.
Arrival & car parking facilities
- Specific disabled parking bays are available at the front of the house and there is a comprehensive disabled ramp leading into the main entrance of the building
- The main car park is a grassed area
Main entrance & reception
- Disabled ramp leading up to the main entrance. There are double doors at the top of the ramp (140cm wide) leading into the foyer
- Alternatively, you can reach the main entrance up six concrete steps. Each step is16cm high. Grab rails are provided on both sides of the main entrance (the main door is 170cm wide)
- There is one step (13cm high) leading up to the reception area with a portable ramp available on request. Seating is available in the foyer area
- All public areas are carpeted with a short-pile carpet
Hall, stairs, landing & corridors
- All public areas are carpeted. The corridors are 1.5m wide, all carpeted and well lit, including night lights
- A public telephone is located on the ground floor, the door width of 86cm
Public areas - sitting room, lounges, lobbies etc
- On the ground floor, there is ballroom, bar, dining room, large lounge and ladies and gents toilets
- A loop system has been installed in the ballroom (you need your hearing aid switched to T for this facility)
- The large lounge has sliding patio doors also leading into the garden and pool area. These doors are 114cm wide
- Fully accessible ladies and gents toilets are available on the ground floor.
Dining room & bar
- The corridor leading to the dining room is 123cm wide with short pile carpet throughout
- Dining room tables have an underspace of 73cm and all furniture is flexible
- Double patio doors (100cm wide) lead from the dining room to garden
- All meals served are with waitress service
- The bar is located on the ground floor. The bar is 1.25m high
There are 3 single rooms and 3 double rooms on the ground floor. Access to these rooms is via 2 steps (62cm in total height) with a portable ramp available.
Room 1 (especially adapted for wheelchair use):
- Entrance door 102cm wide, room size 4m x 3.5m, fully carpeted
- Single bed, bedside cabinet, armchair, dressing table and wardrobe with lower hanging rail fitted
- All electric plugs and sockets have been fitted in lower position
- Bathroom fully adapted
- Bathroom fully adjusted for wheelchair use. Entrance 89cm and vinyl flooring
- Sink has 87cm underspace, lightcords have been extended and a flexible shaving mirror fitted
- Roll in shower with space of 115cm x 78cm. Special shower chair available on request. All shower accessories have been adapted for wheelchair user (incl. soap dishes, grab rails, coat hooks etc)
- Toilet is 51cm high, extended toilet seat available on request. Easy transfer from wheelchair to toilet
- Total bathroom size 290 x 203cm
- Entrance door 108cm. Large and bright room with easy access to main areas of the house
- Double bedded room, sleeping area suitable for wheelchair user
- Although the sleeping area is suitable for wheelchair user, the bathroom has not been adapted
- The entrance to shower has a lip of 8cm in height
Other bedrooms are situated on the first and second floors
- There are 21 steps to first floor, 16cm high, 32cm deep and 122cm wide
- There are a total of 40 steps from the ground floor to the second floor
- Most of the other rooms are en-suite, some with shower, others with both shower and bath. There is vinyl flooring in all bathrooms
Grounds and gardens
- Access to the beach via private steps (rather steep) in the hotel garden
- Garden is level, with tarmac pathways
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
- Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
- 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
- Staff have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
- Hired equipment can be arranged for your stay with prior notice
- Fridge for medication can be supplied
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.
We’ve a fantastic selection of walks for 2016 - see below. Please check back here in November for any variations for our 2017 holidays.
Group A: 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 1,200 feet (360m) 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 miles (13km) with 1,600 feet (480m) 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 1,300 feet (390m) of ascent.
Group B: 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 (10.9km) with 600 feet (180m) 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. 9 miles (14.5km) with 700 feet (210m) 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 (17.4km) with 1,100 feet (330m) of ascent.
Group C: 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 miles (9.5km) with 700 feet (210m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Walk from the south coast to Carisbrooke Castle via Shorwell village. One steep ascent. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,200 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. 13 miles (21km) with 1,600 feet (480m) of ascent.
Group D: 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 (9.5km) with 600 feet (180m) 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 (14.5km) with 1,300 feet (390m) 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 (16km) with 1,400 feet (420m) of ascent.
Group E: 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. 6 miles (9.5km) 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. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,000 feet (300m) 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 1,100 feet (330m) of ascent.
2016 Walking Programmes
7 night holidays: 5 days of walking and a free day on the Monday (unless stated)
Walks A-E: Fri 8 April (free day on Monday)
4 night holidays: 3 days of walking
Walks C, D, E: Mon 11 April
3 night holidays: 2 days of walking
Walks A & B: Fri 8 April
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.
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
Freshwater Bay House, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight PO40 9RB
Let us help you get to Freshwater Bay House
Our own ferry and taxi transfers: We offer a reduced price transfer between Lymington Pier railway station and Freshwater Bay House every Saturday and Wednesday (Friday and Monday in the low season). This includes your foot passenger ferry ticket (on 1500, 1600 or 1700 Wightlink Ferries) and the taxi from Yarmouth to Freshwater Bay House. On departure day the taxi transfer will get you back to Yarmouth to catch the 0845 or 1005 Wightlink Ferries. The transfer is £20 return, but a place must be reserved in advance by calling our Reservations team on 0345 470 7558.
By train: The nearest train station is Lymington Pier on the mainland. 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).
Car parking at Lymington: There is a pay and display car park at Lymington Pier. The cost is approx £8 per day and is to be paid on your outward journey. You cannot pre-book the car park but there is a large overflow car park nearby.
Wightlink Ferries from Lymington to Yarmouth (foot passenger and car)
Red Funnel Ferries from Southampton to West Cowes (car ferry and foot passengers) − this is often the cheapest option if you want to take your car to the Isle of Wight.
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. Look out for our sign. A car park is available in the grounds with free parking.
To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info
|Date & Rating||Customer Review||HF Holidays says|
24 Apr 2016, 7 a.m.
Something of a muddle when trying to pay - otherwise good service
Excellent accommodation and food
22 Apr 2016, 8:37 p.m.
No review provided
Excellent as always
22 Apr 2016, 11:15 a.m.
Good Walking, Good Food, Good Company & Good Accomodation.
20 Apr 2016, 10:40 a.m.
Fantastic in every respect bar one.... recycling. A small point maybe but one which should, I feel, become increasingly important. I was directed to the recycling bins and found three, with different coloured lids. This might mean something to those who live on the IOW but meant nothing to me. There were no labels. Worse, on opening the lids I found only rainwater inside. One cannot help but conclude that recycling is not taken seriously.
Lovely holiday, absolutely perfect in every way bar the lack of recycling mentioned above.
18 Apr 2016, 7:47 p.m.
Very professional and well organized.
Good walks, excellent food and nice accomodation.
18 Apr 2016, 4:55 p.m.
Beautiful coastal location, heated swimming pool (even in April!) and delicious local food. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful and the walks were nicely varied. My favourite house so far.
It was a pleasure to spend the week there
18 Apr 2016, 8:10 a.m.
No review provided
Wish you could improve your title image, surround HF with additional wording indicating holiday function. When I recommend the question what does HF mean inevitably asked. Fellowship is not a good sell, although it's interpretation fits your programmes to the already converted, it remains a barrier to first timers.
15 Apr 2016, 10:26 a.m.
No review provided
All leaders fab. Linda Suzanne and Graham
Hotel well run and nicely refurbished. Staff friendly
9 Nov 2015, 9:59 a.m.
The holiday aspect was fine, the booking procedure and the response to my initial enquiry was not so good.
Good holiday in an excellent location.
7 Nov 2015, 2:22 p.m.
No glitches or misunderstandings. Did what it said on the tin, well.
Hotel was satisfactory, staff were attentive, & food was plentiful with a good choice.
Walk leaders were friendly, helpful & knowledgeable
Read more reviews from feefo
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|17 Jun 2017||FWBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Freshwater Bay||4||£499.00||£424.00||Book Now|
|17 Jun 2017||FWBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Freshwater Bay||7||£819.00||£719.00||Book Now|
|21 Jun 2017||FWBOS - Guided Walking - for Solos - Freshwater Bay||3||£359.00||£299.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
- Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
- Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person