3-Night Isle of Wight Discovery Tour

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Duration: 3 nights
Interests: Discovery Tours
from £409pp £379pp

A short break to visit some of the Isle of Wight’s many attractions during two days of guided sightseeing. You’ll explore Carisbrooke Castle to meet the donkeys which power its water pump and delve into its many layers of history, which includes the imprisonment of Charles I prior to his execution. Enjoy the exotic blooms which thrive in the sheltered gardens at Mottistone and the sub-tropical gardens at Ventnor and learn a little about the island’s interesting geology at Shanklin. A coastal drive will reveal the island’s beautiful and varied coastal scenery including the iconic Needles – a row of chalk sea stacks. There will also be plenty of time to relax at our clifftop country house and enjoy the sweeping views across Freshwater Bay.

Holiday Highlights

• Discover Carisbrooke Castle, where Charles I was imprisoned
• Explore Ventnor's famous Botanic Gardens
• Wander through the picturesque town of Shanklin
• Gaze over the distinctive chalk Needles and coloured sands of Alum Bay

What’s included

  • High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
  • The services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays Leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
  • Full-day excursions with all transport on touring days in good-quality coach transport

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


Carisbrooke Castle sits in the centre of the island and we'll spend time exploring and learning about its history with time to climb the ramparts and meet the donkeys in the pumphouse who help pump water up from the well. In the afternoon, after stopping for a refreshing cuppa, it’s time to head for the peaceful gardens at Mottistone which surround an Elizabethan manor. Located in a sheltered valley, these enchanting gardens enjoy their own micro-climate. This means that the flowering season of familiar favourites is extended and plants usually associated with the Mediterranean region thrive. 


Today we enjoy the island’s spectacular coastal scenery starting with a scenic drive along the island’s Military Road. Running parallel with the island’s southern coast from Freshwater to Chale, it offers unbeatable views of the coast. The road takes us to Ventnor and a visit to its sub-tropical Botanic Gardens.  The gardens are split out into zones of the world so you can travel from New Zealand to the Mediterranean to Japan in a few paces!


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

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

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 have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. 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.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

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 Good, Better and Best 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 ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ 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 (closed for 2020) – 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 Mermaids 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

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Getting to Freshwater Bay House

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

To enjoy your holiday comfortably and safely, it’s essential that your clothing and footwear is suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Changeable weather is possible throughout the year, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities – hot, cold, wet or dry.

All of our Discovery tours involve active sightseeing and you should, therefore, be prepared for walking between the sights and wear flat, comfortable shoes. In the evening most guests wear casual clothing. You will probably find a small rucksack or cross-body bag useful for carrying spare clothing, a camera, sun protection, and drinks (at least 2 litres) during the day.

Admission costs are not included within the price of this holiday. Please bring cash to cover admissions - approximately £10 per day. Your Leader will advise you of the daily admission costs throughout the holiday.

Paul Birbeck

Paul is a Blue Badge guide for the South-West region, and he’s led for us since 2013. Being a former Geography & Environmental Education Advisor for Somerset, he’s very knowledgeable and familiar with the social, economic & political history, geography & geology that create the distinctive character of the West Country. His passion is making holidays interesting for guests, and he does this in a confident and relaxed way.

”His enthusiasm was passed onto the group. A top rate leader. Good local knowledge and friendly.”

Michael Craze

Mike is a professional Blue Badge Guide based at Winchester in Hampshire who has been guiding for 12 years and enjoys combining the facts and stats with a bit of fun and trivia as well.

A keen historian and member of an archaeology group in Hampshire, he likes nothing better than researching new places and learning about their ‘hidden secrets’ and telling their story. ‘History fascinates me. It’s like pulling at a thread that never stops unravelling.’

He is quick to acknowledge though that ‘sometimes it’s just about relaxing. Sharing a breathtaking piece of landscape or soaking up the atmosphere of a beautiful garden or mediaeval cobbled street. People are on holiday’.

Mike made the holiday most enjoyable. He is a very friendly and knowledgeable leader and it would be a great joy to go on another holiday with him.

Jill Durnford

Brought up in south-east England, Jill has lived in the West Country, Scotland and, since 1998, Cumbria. She has a real passion for Britain, its history, geology and wildlife and loves sharing that with other people. She loves visiting stately homes and gardens but is also interested in how ordinary people lived in the past. Jill works as a Blue Badge Guide which is the perfect job for combining her wide range of interests with a love of communicating with people.

I cannot praise Jill enough.  She was a mine of information which she put over in an interesting way.  She organised everyone efficiently and pleasantly and ensured everyone felt included and had a good time

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £20 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
29 May - 01 Jun
3 Discovery Tour £409 £379 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
19 Jun - 22 Jun
3 Discovery Tour £409 £379 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
24 Jul - 27 Jul
3 Discovery Tour £409 £379 Save £30 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
28 Aug - 31 Aug
3 Discovery Tour £409 £379 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
Duration:
3 nights
Interests:
Discovery Tours

3 nights from £409pp £379pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

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