Isle of Wight Discovery Tour
Freshwater Bay House
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Meadows & hills
Our Discovery Tours really get into the heart of the countryside. These are sightseeing tours by minibus, visiting places not normally reached by a full-sized coach. Small groups and friendly leaders make this a great way to enjoy Britain at its best.
On this holiday you will enjoy the varied landscape the island has to offer, from towering chalk cliffs to pretty villages. Over time the island has been frequented by smugglers, poets and the royal family and we’ll show you why.
- The old smuggling village of Brighstone where the museum depicts village life in the Victorian era
- The distinctive Needles and Alum Bay
- Osborne House and gardens, home of Queen Victoria until her death in 1901
- Quarr Abbey with its group of Benedictine monks
- The bustling port of Yarmouth and the traditional villages of Bonchurch and Brading
- Ventnor's famous Botanic Gardens
Great reasons to join us
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus five full-day mini-coach tours, with plenty of stops at places of interest and short walks of up to 1½ miles
- Knowledgeable leader: learn more about the history and landscapes of the Isle of Wight from your knowlegeable leader
- Accommodation: great food and an outstanding coastal location make Freshwater Bay House a firm favourite
- Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - explore together, eat together and relax together
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.
During your Discovery Tour you will have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places of interest. The following is a suggested programme, but your HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times or the wishes of the group.
Saturday: Arrival day
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Tea and coffee are available throughout the afternoon. We invite everyone to afternoon tea at 4pm. This is the first occasion when everyone meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday.
Sunday: Yarmouth & Freshwater
Stroll from the house following a village trail, viewing houses with literary connections such as Farringford House - the much-loved home of Alfred Lord Tennyson. In the afternoon we visit Yarmouth or Fort Victoria with its numerous attractions, followed by a visit to Freshwater Church with many Tennyson connections.
Monday: Cowes & Osborne House
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 (English Heritage).
Tuesday: Isle of Wight Villages
Be charmed by the pretty village of Brighstone, followed by a lunch stop at historic Appuldurcombe House (English Heritage) with the chance for a falconry display. Then explore the village of Godshill followed by a drive to the ‘failed’ medieval town of Newton and lovely Newtown Creek.
Wednesday: Free day
A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House.
Thursday: North East Wight
Modern Quarr Abbey has a fascinating history. Discover this, then we head to Ryde, for the opportunity to travel on both the Isle of Wight Railway (ex-London Underground rolling stock) and the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. We then take the scenic route round Brading Haven, seeing the island’s only remaining windmill, with a brief stop at Brading. Enjoy afternoon tea at the Garlic Farm.
Friday: Along the South West Coast
Today we encounter much of the island’s spectacular coast scenery. Firstly, a drive along the island’s Military Road to visit sub-tropical Ventnor Botanic Gardens, then continue to the resort of Shanklin with its fascinating geology. We conclude our tour exploring the iconic Needles at the west end of the island.
Saturday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast
For maximum flexibility, admissions are not included; please remember to bring your National Trust or English Heritage cards if you have them. Otherwise please allow up to £80 for entrances (there may be concessionary and group discounts which may reduce this price).
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
Images supplied byvisitisleofwight.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.
Audrey is widely travelled, both in the UK and worldwide, and is an experienced HF Holidays’ leader and National Trust volunteer. Living close to the New Forest, her local knowledge ranges from butterflies to badgers.
Audrey appreciates the many opportunities to explore our history, architecture, culture and customs HF Holidays’ Discovery Tours provide. She enjoys seeking out local stories, historical personalities, unusual buildings and legends that enhance the experience on a holiday.
Audrey has a range of interests including gardening, reading, walking, art, history, opera and wild flowers.
Diana was previously an IT professional working for IBM, in the UK, Africa, Belgium and the USA. She took voluntary redundancy in 2009 to take the Institute of Tourist Guides coveted 'Blue Badge' qualification. Completing the course in March 2011, she now guides throughout the South and South East of England. She enjoys taking people to icons such as Windsor Castle and Stonehenge, as well as introducing them to important habitats such as the New Forest. Her aim is to ensure that HF guests experience a professional, interesting and enjoyable holiday, discovering and exploring the region they are visiting.
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Dates & Prices
|9 Sep 2017||FWHCR - Discovery Tour - Freshwater Bay||4||£505.00||Book Now|
|13 Sep 2017||FWHCR - Discovery Tour - Freshwater Bay||3||£355.00||Book Now|
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