Outdoor Escapes at Freshwater Bay

Guided Walking for guests escaping the working day

Code: FWBOE

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Meadows & hills
  • Wildlife

Level

  • Easier
  • Easy
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

Our Outdoor Escapes are an ideal way to end the working week. Enjoy a few days away, or a longer holiday, with people on the same wavelength as you.

During the day you can enjoy the choice of 3 guided walks, a great way to explore the great British countryside - take it easy on our easier walks, or relish the challenge of our longer routes. In the evening relax with likeminded guests, enjoy a glass of wine at the bar, or relax in the lounge with new-found friends. For those that wish they'll also be informal evening activities on offer; perhaps a team quiz, or talk from a local wildlife ranger.

The Isle of Wight is a world away from the bustle of the mainland. On our Outdoor Escapes, guided walking holidays you'll discover the island’s glorious 85-mile coastline of unspoilt sandy beaches and dramatic white cliffs, as well as panoramic walks over the flower-rich chalk downland.

In pictures...

Accommodation


HF Holidays' Freshwater Bay House in Isle of WightFreshwater 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

Classic Rooms
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• TV
• Hairdryer
• Large double or two single beds
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
Premium Rooms
• 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
Family Rooms
• 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

Facilities

• Welcoming bar with local beer
• Excellent boot and drying rooms 
• Three lounges with view across the bay 
• Dining room
• Bar
• 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
• Badminton
• Tennis  
• Outdoor playground for children
• Outdoor games
• Mini-golf

Dining

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.
 Take your fill from our famous self service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

An example of Freshwater Bay evening meal

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the bar


Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our option evening activities.

All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.

 

Itinerary

Discover the Isle of Wight on Foot

Experience the very best of the Isle of Wight on our walks. Each day we'll offer three options, ranging from relaxing shorter strolls, to more challenging longer walks. Our flexible programme allows you to choose the option that suits your mood. 

Sunday: Tennyson Down & Alum Bay

Option 1: Laid Back

The Needles rocks

Distance: 4 or 7 miles

The walk in a nutshell: A fabulous walk over the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down to the Needles and the Alum Bay; one of England's finest coastal walks. Either catch the open-top bus at Alum Bay, or walk back atop the Downs.

Don’t miss: The commanding view over the Western Solent from the Tennyson Monument. You'll also discover the once secret rocket testing range, and the area's role in the space race.

Option 2: Leg Stretcher

View from Headon Warren to Alum Bay and the Needles

Distance: 8½ miles

The walk in a nutshell: Head to the coast at Totland Bay then soak up glorious sea view as you round the Needles headland and return over Tennyson Down.

Don’t miss: The heather-clad headland of Headon Warren is a real delight, and offers the best views of the Needles.

Option 3: Full On

View over Freshwater Bay to Tennyson Down

Distance: 12 miles

The walk in a nutshell:  A circuit of the western tip of the island. We’ll follow the Yar Valley to Yarmouth, then follow the coastal path to Alum Bay, before a glorious finale over Tennyson Down.

Don’t miss: The final section atop the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down is a fitting conclusion to this splendid walk.

 

Monday: Through the Undercliff

Option 1: Laid Back

Terrace at Ventnor Botanical Gardens

Distance: 5 miles

The walk in a nutshell: Walk through the Undercliff; an area of widespread landslips and lush vegetation. Our walk takes us from Ventnor's Botanic Gardens to Shanklin.

Don’t miss: Relaxing in the peaceful surroundings of Ventnor's botanical gardens; a delightful spot to explore before starting the walk.

Option 2: Leg Stretcher

View over St Catherine's Point lighthouse

Distance: 9 miles

The walk in a nutshell: Soak up the sea air and views of the English Channel on a walk through the Undercliff from Blackgang to Shanklin.

Don’t miss: The cliff-top section above St Catherine's Point is particularly impressive, with views down to the lighthouse far below.

Option 3: Full On

Medieval lighthouse on St Catherines Down

Distance: 13 miles

The walk in a nutshell: A journey along the length of Undercliff. Starting at Chale Green we'll cross St Catherine's Down before picking up the coastal path through Ventnor to Shanklin.

Don’t miss: The 'pepperpot' (pictured); a medieval lighhouse built on the crest of St Catherine's Down, with its views across the whole island.

Tuesday: Shorwell and Carisbrooke Castle

Option 1: Laid Back

The enttrance to Carisbrooke Castle

Distance: 6½ miles

The walk in a nutshell: Cross the island's central hills from the picturesque village of Shorwell to the impressive castle at Carisbrooke.

Don’t miss: Take time to explore this well-preserved castle. Walk around the walls, and watch the donkeys turn the treadmill to raise water from the well.

Option 2: Leg Stretcher

St Peter's church in the village of Shorwell

Distance: 8 miles

The walk in a nutshell: Walk from picturesque Brighstone to Shorwell village, then continue over the downs to Carisbrooke Castle.

Don’t miss: Explore picturesque Shorwell with its thatched cottages and historic church. There's also plenty of time to visit Carisbrooke Castle.

Option 3: Full On

Rolling chalk hills on the Tennyson Trail

Distance: 12½ miles

The walk in a nutshell: Challenge yourself to this fantastic walk along the spine of the island from Carisbrooke Castle to Freshwater Bay. We’ll cross the hills to Shorwell then pick up the Tennyson Trail which runs along the top of the chalk downs.

Don’t miss: This is one of our most popular walks. After several ups and downs, your celebratory pint at the end of the walk will be well deserved!

Wednesday: A day to explore independently

There's plenty to enjoy locally. You may enjoy one of these options, or see the other suggestions on the 'local area' tab.

Osborne House

Osborne House

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 the time to explore the extensive grounds which slope down to the Solent.

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Steam train on the 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 19th Century.

Self-guided walks

Discovery Point with self-guided route notes

Our Discovery Point at Freshwater Bay House contains a wealth of recommended walking routes. Detailed route notes include route maps and information about the places of interest on the walk. There's also a comprehensive library of local maps and guidebooks.

 Thursday: Chalk Downs above Godshill

Option 1: Laid Back

Thatched cottages and church in Godshill village

Distance: 5 miles

The walk in a nutshell: A delightful circuit from the village of Godshill takes us to the Worsley Monument and the ruined shell of Appuldurcombe House.

Don’t miss: There's plenty of time to explore Godshill and admire its quintessesntial thatched cottages and historic church.

Option 2: Leg Stretcher

The ruined shell of Appuldurcombe House

Distance: 8½ miles

The walk in a nutshell: Walk from the charming village of Godshill onto the Stenbury and St Boniface Downs.

Don’t miss: The grand ruins of Appuldurcombe House and its surrounding parkland laid out by ‘Capability’ Brown.

Option 3: Full On

Bluebells in field overlooking Shanklin

Distance: 10½ miles

The walk in a nutshell: Our 'eight Downs horseshoe' is a grand circuit that takes in the tops of Stenbury Down and St Boniface Down; the highest point on the island.

Don’t miss: Walking atop the Downs is a real delight, with great views across the island, and across the Solent to the mainland.

Friday: Downland and coast to Freshwater Bay

Option 1: Laid Back

Picturesque cottages in Winkle Street, Calbourne

Distance: 6½ miles

The walk in a nutshell: Walk from Calbourne to Freshwater Bay via the Downs.

Don’t miss: The much photographed 'chocolate box' cottages at Winkle Street in Calbourne. There's plenty of time to relax in the pool or gardens at the end of today's walk.

Option 2: Leg Stretcher

Walkers on the chalk cliffs of Compton Down

Distance: 8½ miles

The walk in a nutshell: Walk from Shorwell over the Downs to Freshwater Bay. Visit the Neolithic Long Stone, before following the Tennyson Trail atop the chalk Downs.

Don’t miss: The final section over Compton Down enjoys splendid views over Freshwater Bay, and back along the island's southwest coast.

Option 3: Full On

The beach and cliffs at Compton Bay

Distance: 11 miles

The walk in a nutshell: Follow the coast path along the island’s windswept southwest coast from Blackgang to Freshwater Bay.

Don’t miss: Tides permitting, look out for the fossilised forest at Hanover Point.


Images supplied by visitisleofwight.co.uk

Local area

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
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.

Sailing boats and ferry in Yarmouth harbourYarmouth
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/ 

Impressive frontage of Osborne HouseOsborne House
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/

Entrance to Carisbrooke CastleCarisbrooke Castle
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/ 

Black steam locomotiveIsle 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

Blackgang Chine
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

Travel to Freshwater Bay

Our address is: Freshwater Bay House, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight PO40 9RB

 Ferry

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.

 Ferry heading to the Isle of Wight

How to get to us by train

By train:

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).

Train at Lymington Pier station 

 Ferry

By ferry:

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

 Ferry heading to the Isle of Wight

Driving to us

By car:

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. 

 

Travel by plane 

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.

 Quantas Boeing 747

Dates & Prices

We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.

Prices are per person

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