The Isle of Wight Coast Path Guided Trail Holiday

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Duration: 7 nights
Type: Guided trails
Walking Grade: 3
from £1,059pp

With miles of coastline to explore and more than half the island bestowed National Landscape status, the Isle of Wight has plenty of walks worth shouting about. But by far the most standout of them all is the Isle of Wight Coastal Footpath – a 71-mile route around the entire island that raises the bar for history, nature, and big-name sights. This guided trail holiday ticks off all the highlights including the chalk headlands of the Needles and Culver Cliff, the Victorian seaside resort of Ventnor, and Osborne House – Queen Victoria’s favourite summer residence.

What you’ll love

  • Walking the full circuit of the Isle of Wight coast
  • Having all planning and navigation taken care of
  • The chance to spot rare flora and fauna
  • The dramatic chalk headlands of the Needles and Culver Cliff
  • Soaking up excellent coastal views
  • Staying in the comfort of Freshwater Bay House

What’s included

  • Comfortable en-suite rooms in our partner accommodation(s)
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning
  • Daily packed lunches
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee
  • Guided walks with an experienced HF Holidays Leader
  • All transport to and from walks where necessary 

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary cream tea on arrival.


From Freshwater Bay we face an ascent over the chalk cliffs of Compton Down, passing Hanover Point with its fossil forest. Along these cliffs you will see evidence of the battle against the sea. We reach the Blackgang Chine theme park where we ascend to the Gore Down viewpoint for a spectacular view back along the coast.

13 miles (21km) with 1,650 feet (500m) of ascent.


This section of coast has been prone to erosion and for much of the day we'll walk through the 'Undercliff' or on the escarpment cliffs above. Blackgang is on one of the most dramatic sections of this inland cliff and we pass St Catherine’s Point, the southern-most tip of the island. We continue to the village of St Lawrence before descending to the coast, passing the Botanic Gardens into the Victorian seaside town of Ventnor. We follow the promenade to Bonchurch with its ancient church, then through the richly vegetated Landslip (so named as it suffered in the great landslip of 1810), to Shanklin with its Victorian elegance. We follow the promenade to the resort of Sandown.

12 miles (19.5km) with 1,350 feet (410m) of ascent.

Please note, there has been a landslip on the coast path between Ventnor and Shanklin. For the time being, we will be using the public service bus to bypass this section. The resulting walks statistics are: 10.6 miles (16.9 km).


From Sandown we ascend the chalk clifftops of Culver Down, before passing the cliffs of Whitecliff Bay as we walk to Bembridge at the eastern tip of the island. Around the harbour we pass the tidemill and cross a causeway to the beach at St Helens Duver. As we follow the coast to Ryde, you'll see the Solent Forts, built in the early 19th-century to guard the approaches to Portsmouth against French invasions.

11 miles (17.5km) with 800 feet (250m) of ascent.


Around the northern tip of the island from Ryde we head west past the ruins of Quarr Abbey, a once-flourishing Cistercian Monastery, and on past Fishbourne with its ferry boats to Portsmouth and to Wootton Bridge. The path heads inland around Queen Victoria’s Osborne House estate. To avoid road walking, we take a bus to East Cowes and cross the chain-ferry to Cowes. We pass the Royal Yacht Squadron Club House, with its 22 bronze cannons, to Egypt Point and Gurnard Bay.

9½ miles (15.5km) with 900 feet (270m) of ascent.


We ascend the cliffs above Gurnard Bay, with magnificent views across the Solent and Southampton Water. After Thorness Bay the coastal path heads inland around the tidal creeks of the Newtown River. We pass the villages of Porchfield and Newtown. Newtown was the Island’s capital in the Middle Ages and once a thriving port and commercial centre. Continuing over the causeway to Shalfleet we head back to the coast at Hamstead Point and on to Cranmore.

11½ miles (18.5km) with 800 feet (240m) of ascent.


We pass Yarmouth with its historic castle and busy harbour and continue along the coast past Fort Victoria with views over the Solent to Hurst Castle. After Totland Bay, we ascend onto Headen Warren with its Bronze Age camp; a delightfully peaceful spot before the bright lights and music of the Alum Bay theme park. The most dramatic section of the coast path is the Needles; the chalk stacks that mark the western tip of the island before the outstanding final section along the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down back to Freshwater Bay.

12 miles (19km) with 1,350 feet (410m) of ascent.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Itinerary map for Isle of Wight Coast

Freshwater Bay House

Chalky white cliffs and eyebrow-arching sea views set the tone for the delights that follow at this county house on the Isle of Wight - Queen Victoria's favourite island that’s just a ferry hop from the South Coast. The location is as gorgeous as it gets; to the south of the village of Freshwater, within pebble-throwing distance of its namesake bay, and just a skip from Tennyson Down. You’ll also be within easy reach of the area’s showstoppers, including the imposing Stag and Mermaid rocks, the multi-coloured sands of Alum Bay, the remarkable Ventnor Botanic Gardens, and the 125-million-year-old dinosaur footprints at Compton Bay. And then, of course, there’s the Needles Old Battery for the ubiquitous photo opportunity and the best views of The Needles.

 

Rooms

Designed with your comfort in mind, Freshwater Bay House has 43 well-appointed guest rooms available in three categories: Classic, Premium, and Superior. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

Superior Rooms are even more spacious en-suite guest rooms offering upgraded views of the surrounds. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

We love: Rooms 19 and 20 on the first floor for their lovely sea views. Rooms 18 and 22 are both corner rooms overlooking the bay and Tennyson Downs. The more spacious Room 24 has five large windows overlooking the gardens and bay as well as a private sitting room. Room 39 on the second floor is a corner room with a bathtub. 

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments.  

Room supplements

Superior Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£25 pppn £20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.

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

Address

Freshwater Bay House
Freshwater Bay
Isle of Wight PO40 9RB

Tel: +44 (0)1983 753854

By taxi

From Yarmouth ferry port it’s a five-mile taxi journey that takes approximately 15 minutes. We recommend booking your taxi at least seven days in advance as availability may be limited. 

For pricing, please contact the taxi company directly.

Taxi companies in the area include:

Bay Taxi  
Tel: +44 (0)7475 662350
Email: info@baytaxi.co.uk (Please provide your phone number when emailing)

Rayner’s Taxis
Tel: +44 (0)1983 752784

I Cabs 
Tel: +44 (0)7553 567567

A return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the HF Holidays House Manager at Freshwater Bay.

*HF Holidays does not own or manage any of the above taxi companies.

By train

The nearest station is Lymington Pier on the mainland which is adjacent to the ferry terminal.  

Check National Rail for train times and routes. 

By ferry

You have two ferry options. The Wightlink Lymington to Yarmouth ferry is the most convenient for Freshwater Bay. Alternatively, the Red Funnel Southampton to East Cowes ferry is often the cheapest option if you want to take your car to the Isle of Wight. 

HF Holidays member discount 
If you’re a member, you can get  15% off car travel and 20% off foot travel with Wightlink Ferry. For full details visit www.wightlink.co.uk/HFHolidays

By car

From Yarmouth
Turn right out of the ferry terminal onto the A3054 and cross the bridge. After one mile, turn left down Pixley Hill, signposted Freshwater Bay. Turn left at Freshwater Garage and continue along Afton Road. At the lifeboat station turn right and follow the road round. Freshwater Bay House is on your left. 

From East Cowes
Follow signs for Newport, taking the A3021 and then A3054. Continue through Newport and Carisbrooke. Turn left onto the B3401 through Calbourne. At the junction with Afton Road (A3055), turn left and then right by the lifeboat station, and follow the road round to Freshwater Bay House. 

Or you can leave your car on the mainland (there’s a pay and display car park at Lymington Pier) and travel on the ferry as a foot passenger. 

By air

The nearest airport is Southampton Airport. 

From Southampton Airport Parkway station (adjacent to the airport terminal) there are regular trains to Lymington Pier, taking about 40 minutes. From here, you’ll need to catch the ferry over to the Isle of Wight. 

Otherwise, the best options are London Heathrow or London Gatwick airports for connecting trains to Lymington Pier.  

Check National Rail for the best routes and train times. 

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next.  To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing.   

Essentials  

  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip  
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable)  
  • Mid-layer(s) to keep you warm. Fleeces make a good choice
  • Waterproof overtrousers  
  • Gloves and a warm hat  
  • Rucksack with waterproof liner 
  • Spotting scope and/or binoculars 
  • Flask for hot drinks   
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)  
  • Sunscreen  
  • UV sunglasses  

Recommended  

  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve)  
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters  
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat   
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables  
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace)  
  • Wallet/purse  
  • Camera 
  • First-aid kit 

Freshwater Bay House Calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take an alternative route, or vary the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.


Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

27 Apr - 04 May 2024

7 nights

Guided Trail

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£1,199 pp

from

£1,199 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now

08 Jun - 15 Jun 2024

7 nights

Guided Trail

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes

20 Jul - 27 Jul 2024

7 nights

Guided Trail

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£1,199 pp

from

£1,199 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now

05 Oct - 12 Oct 2024

7 nights

Guided Trail

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes

12 Oct - 19 Oct 2024

7 nights

Guided Trail

Single from

£1,059

Double from

£1,059 pp

from

£1,059 pp

from

£1,059

Trip Notes
Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Guided trails
Walking Grade:
3

7 nights from £1,059pp

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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