4-Night Isle of Wight Discovery Tour

Summer day view of Osborne House and gardens, Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK
Duration: 4 nights
Interests: Discovery Tours
from £569pp £514pp

Three days of guided sightseeing reveal some of the Isle of Wight’s many attractions. Step back to Roman times at Brading Roman Villa, explore Osborne House – Queen Victoria’s glorious summer residence – and visit Quarr Abbey – home to Benedictine monks. You’ll visit some of the island’s prettiest village and spend time in Cowes – yachting capital. There’s also the opportunity to travel on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway and its slightly quirky main railway.

Holiday Highlights

  • Discover Quarr Abbey with its small group of Benedictine monks
  • Explore Brading Roman Villa
  • Wander through the old smuggling village of Brighstone
  • Visit Osborne House – once home to Queen Victoria

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
  • Day excursions with all transport on touring days in a good-quality, comfortable mini-coach

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.

 


Modern Quarr Abbey has a fascinating history. Discover this, then we'll head to Ryde, for the opportunity to travel on both the Isle of Wight Railway and the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. We then take the scenic route around Brading Haven, seeing the island’s only remaining windmill, before rounding off the afternoon by visiting Brading Roman Villa, one of the finest Roman sites in the UK.


Be charmed by the pretty village of Brighstone, followed by a lunch stop at historic Appuldurcombe House before exploring the village of Godshill. From there we'll head to the 17thcentury old town hall in Newtown, then take a stroll down to the quay-side of the salt-marsh nature reserve. 


The focus today is on the island’s royal connections. We head to West Cowes for a pleasant walk through Cowes across the floating bridge to East Cowes. The afternoon is spent at the island’s premier visitor attraction – Osborne House.


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.

 

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, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 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 – 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: £10 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
12 May - 16 May
4 Discovery Tour £569 £514 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
16 Jun - 20 Jun
4 Discovery Tour £569 £514 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
28 Jul - 01 Aug
4 Discovery Tour £569 £514 Save £55 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
01 Sep - 05 Sep
4 Discovery Tour £569 £524 Save £45 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Interests:
Discovery Tours

4 nights from £569pp £514pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

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