Isle of Wight Gardens Tour
The mild island climate allows plants usually associated with warmer climes to thrive, giving gardens here a different look to those to those on the mainland. The ornate terrace gardens of Osborne House, the sheltered Mediterranean style valley garden of Mottistone and the Edwardian-inspired Princess Beatrice garden at Carisbrooke Castle all provide beauty and inspiration. Ventnor Botanical Gardens will give you a chance to take a horticultural journey around the world and see exotic and unusual species.
- Osborn House is where Queen Victoria and Price Albert enjoyed private family life growing vegetables and planting trees
- Visit the enchanting gardens at Mottistone - brightly coloured borders, beautifully scented flowers set in a sheltered valley.
- Enjoy the charming period planting, water feature and orchard from ground level and the battlement walk at Carisbrook Castle
- Uncover the many layers of interest at Ventnor Botanical garden with an impressive collection of over 30,000 rare and subtropical plants and trees.
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- The guidance and services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
- All transport to and from gardens on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach with PA system
- All garden admissions costs. For Garden Tours, National Trust, English Heritage and RHS admissions are not included.
- Heritage gardens(please note this does not include entrance to stately homes/houses, for which there is a separate admission fee)
You can check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (Best and Better rooms from 1pm). All guests are invited to join us for afternoon tea. This is the first occasion when everyone in the country house meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday.
Today we will visit the ornate terrace gardens of Osborne House which were, renovated in 2016/17 as part of a wider conservation project. We'll wander around the Victorian walled garden with its espaliered fruit trees, explore the wider parkland with its historic trees, many planted by Prince Albert and enjoy the stunning seaviews. We'll then visit the Princess Beatrice Garden at Carisbrooke Castle.
Ventnor Botanic Garden boasts an impressive collection of sub-tropical plants and trees and its planting is based on geographical regions of the world. Its unique microclimate is on average 5 degrees warmer than mainland UK.
Set in a sheltered valley the magical gardens of Mottistone Manor are full of surprises, with shrub-filled banks, hidden pathways and colourful herbaceous borders. Surrounding an attractive Elizabethan manor house these 20th-century gardens show a Mediterranean-style planting scheme which takes advantage of the southerly location.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast
Freshwater Bay House
Holidaying on the picturesque Isle of Wight doesn’t get any better than at Freshwater Bay House. Stood stop 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.
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.
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.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
As you'll be walking around the gardens please bring stout, comfortable footwear for rough, wet or uneven terrain in gardens, and clothes for the great British weather!
Christine is a freelance plantswoman and horticulturist. She is a national and international lecturer, TV and radio broadcaster, author, botanical guide, trainer, garden designer and photographer. Christine is a Lancastrian living in Hertfordshire with her dog Willow. She began gardening at the age of ten and now gardens in a cottage garden style with a keen interest in alpines, herbaceous plants, trees and shrubs. She has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The University of Essex for her contribution to horticulture. Christine is much loved following her highly successful BBC 2 TV series Christine’s Garden. For more information visit www.christinewalkden.com
Christine led the tour superbly with her considerable knowledge, humour, consideration, and 'down to earth' company which enhanced the garden visits considerably. She also provided excellent evening entertainment with her "Gardeners' Question Time".
Sally Nex is a qualified professional gardener and has also been writing about gardening for over 10 years. She’s a regular contributor to national magazines including RHS The Garden, where she writes a regular column as well as items for the news pages. She also writes articles for BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, Grow Your Own, The English Garden, The Guardian and BBC Countryfile, and gives regular talks to gardening clubs around the south-west. Very occasionally, she gets a few minutes spare to tame her own, slightly wild garden in Somerset. Her book, Growing Self-Sufficiency, is published by Green Books.
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.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
30 May - 02 Jun
|3||Garden Tour||£449 £424||Save £25 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
22 Sep - 25 Sep
|3||Garden Tour||£439 £414||Save £25 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
3 nights from £439pp £414pp
...or call 020 3974 8865