Self-guided Walking at Freshwater Bay
Isle of Wight
Code: FWPOAPrint page
Meadows & hills
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.
Enjoy a break on the Isle of Wight with the walking experts; we have all the ingredients for your perfect self-guided holiday.
Our 4-star Country House, Freshwater Bay House, is superbly located beneath the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down and geared to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts. Enjoy hearty local food, our legendary picnic lunches, and our excellent boot and drying room. There's also a heated outdoor swimming pool, tennis court and easy access to the beach straight from the extensive grounds. To help you explore the ISle of Wight we'll give you a free Ordnance Survey map, plus detailed route notes for our recommended walking and cycle routes. On many holidays our experienced leaders are on hand to offer help and advice.
Great value. What’s included:
- Full board accommodation - breakfast, evening meal and an extensive walkers' picnic lunch
- A free Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 scale Explorer map of the local area with every booking
- Detailed route notes, ranging from short strolls to longer coastal walks
- Country House Escapes guide – full of information about local attractions, activities and suggested itineraries to help plan your break
- All the Country House facilities, including our well equipped boot and drying room, and outdoor swimming pool
- On many holidays our experienced walking leaders are available to offer help and advice
Freshwater Bay House dates from the 1790s and is a prominent local landmark, occupying a premier coastal location below the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down. As a comfortable Country House it makes an excellent base for our walking and leisure activity holidays.
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.
Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.
You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.
If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.
A limited number of value twin rooms are available at a discount of £8 per person per night and value single rooms with a £5 per night discount. Our value rooms have the same facilities as our classic rooms, but bathroom facilities are nearby rather than en-suite.
All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.
Freshwater Bay House has three lounges with views across the bay. There is also an attractive dining room and bar. The multi-purpose activity room can either be used as a painting studio, or as a games room with table tennis and a Nintendo Wii. Free WiFi is available in some public rooms. There is also a range of board games and books.
The heated outdoor swimming pool is usually open from Easter to September, depending on the weather, and is very popular with our guests.
Freshwater Bay House sits in extensive gardens with steps down to the beach. Outside there is a putting green, croquet lawn, table football, badminton and tennis. For children there is an outdoor playground, plus outdoor games.
Freshwater Bay also has a Dandelion Café serving a range of coffee and speciality leaf teas, plus snacks and sandwiches. It is also licensed, offering beer, spirits, and a variety of wines from around the world.
All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.
Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.
Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.
Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).
The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.
All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk on wildlife or the island’s rich history from a local speaker or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.
Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.
Family holidays: our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.
Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.
Arrival & car parking facilities
- Specific disabled parking bays are available at the front of the house and there is a comprehensive disabled ramp leading into the main entrance of the building
- The main car park is a grassed area
Main entrance & reception
- Disabled ramp leading up to the main entrance. There are double doors at the top of the ramp (140cm wide) leading into the foyer
- Alternatively, you can reach the main entrance up six concrete steps. Each step is16cm high. Grab rails are provided on both sides of the main entrance (the main door is 170cm wide)
- There is one step (13cm high) leading up to the reception area with a portable ramp available on request. Seating is available in the foyer area
- All public areas are carpeted with a short-pile carpet
Hall, stairs, landing & corridors
- All public areas are carpeted. The corridors are 1.5m wide, all carpeted and well lit, including night lights
- A public telephone is located on the ground floor, the door width of 86cm
Public areas - sitting room, lounges, lobbies etc
- On the ground floor, there is ballroom, bar, dining room, large lounge and ladies and gents toilets
- A loop system has been installed in the ballroom (you need your hearing aid switched to T for this facility)
- The large lounge has sliding patio doors also leading into the garden and pool area. These doors are 114cm wide
- Fully accessible ladies and gents toilets are available on the ground floor.
Dining room & bar
- The corridor leading to the dining room is 123cm wide with short pile carpet throughout
- Dining room tables have an underspace of 73cm and all furniture is flexible
- Double patio doors (100cm wide) lead from the dining room to garden
- All meals served are with waitress service
- The bar is located on the ground floor. The bar is 1.25m high
There are 3 single rooms and 3 double rooms on the ground floor. Access to these rooms is via 2 steps (62cm in total height) with a portable ramp available.
Room 1 (especially adapted for wheelchair use):
- Entrance door 102cm wide, room size 4m x 3.5m, fully carpeted
- Single bed, bedside cabinet, armchair, dressing table and wardrobe with lower hanging rail fitted
- All electric plugs and sockets have been fitted in lower position
- Bathroom fully adapted
- Bathroom fully adjusted for wheelchair use. Entrance 89cm and vinyl flooring
- Sink has 87cm underspace, lightcords have been extended and a flexible shaving mirror fitted
- Roll in shower with space of 115cm x 78cm. Special shower chair available on request. All shower accessories have been adapted for wheelchair user (incl. soap dishes, grab rails, coat hooks etc)
- Toilet is 51cm high, extended toilet seat available on request. Easy transfer from wheelchair to toilet
- Total bathroom size 290 x 203cm
- Entrance door 108cm. Large and bright room with easy access to main areas of the house
- Double bedded room, sleeping area suitable for wheelchair user
- Although the sleeping area is suitable for wheelchair user, the bathroom has not been adapted
- The entrance to shower has a lip of 8cm in height
Other bedrooms are situated on the first and second floors
- There are 21 steps to first floor, 16cm high, 32cm deep and 122cm wide
- There are a total of 40 steps from the ground floor to the second floor
- Most of the other rooms are en-suite, some with shower, others with both shower and bath. There is vinyl flooring in all bathrooms
Grounds and gardens
- Access to the beach via private steps (rather steep) in the hotel garden
- Garden is level, with tarmac pathways
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
- Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
- Hired equipment can be arranged for your stay with prior notice
- Fridge for medication can be supplied
To make the most of your break use the Discovery Point at Freshwater Bay House - the starting point for your outdoor adventure.
You'll find our recommended walking and cycling routes - detailed route notes for you to borrow contain route maps, and information about the places of interest on the walk. There's also a comprehensive library of local maps and guidebooks.
When you're not walking, there's plenty to do locally. Why not explore the island by bike, visit Queen Victoria's Osborne House, or just spend the day at the beach. See the 'Local Area' tab for further ideas.
During your stay at Freshwater Bay you can enjoy the following recommended routes:
Laid back walks
- Alum Bay to the Needles - 2 miles
- Tennyson Monument - 3 miles
- St Catherine's Down - 3 miles
- Yarmouth to Freshwater Bay - 3 miles
- Freshwater Bay to Yarmouth - 3 miles
- Alum Bay to Freshwater Bay via the Needles - 3 miles
Leg stretcher walks
Some longer walks on inland and coastal paths. Experience a true flavour of the island as you follow these varied routes.
- Compton Bay - 5 miles
- The Pepperpot & Gore Cliff - 5 miles
- St Boniface Down - 5 miles
- Compton Down - 7 miles
- West Yar Valley - 7 miles
- The Needles - 7 miles Sample route - The Needles Sample route - Tennyson Trail
Full on walks
For those who love to stride out with some longer routes following the coastal path and inland trails.
- Shorwell to Freshwater Bay - 8 miles
- Downs Circuit - 8 miles
- Shorwell to Freshwater Bay via the Coast - 10 miles
- Tennyson Trail - 10 miles
- West Wight Circuit - 12 miles
- Brighstone and SW Coast - 13 miles
- Wight's Highest Hills - 15 miles
Image supplied by vistisleofwight.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.
|Date & Rating||Customer Review||HF Holidays says|
1 Nov 2016, 4:52 p.m.
I am gluten free and I was served pearl barley in the soup. I had difficulty remembering whether this was gluten free and a member of the kitchen staff confirmed it was I therefore ate it. Next day I had digestion difficulties.
We borrowed a guide card from the Discovery Centre (Walk 7- Needles), it was difficult to use in reverse from hotel to Alum Bay. We decided not to borrow any further ones and used our own guides and maps.
30 Oct 2016, 8:11 a.m.
No review provided
Lovely house, excellent food
25 Jul 2016, 7:26 p.m.
Really excellent holiday. As usual the organisation was fantastic. Thank you hf
Lovely setting, really good accommodation, lovely staff. Too much food!!
25 Jul 2016, 4:19 p.m.
Straight forward booking process, ample literature
High hotel standard, good food and helpful staff
20 Jul 2016, 4:18 p.m.
This was my first holiday so my knowledge is limited.
This was my first HF holiday. I took my mother who is 94 and so we did not do any walking but wanted a nice place to stay on the island. We were very pleased with the house/ accommodation/ location and staff. Staff were very friendly and helpful and could not do enough to make our stay a very pleasant one . The evening entertainment was welcome. We enjoyed the food especially the breakfast and the choice for lunch time. Generally we both enjoyed the evening meal but felt that one or two choices , especially in starters could have been improved.
We would certainly use HF again and I would personally like to take advantage of some of the guided walking opportunities.
20 Jul 2016, 9 a.m.
Our only complaint was the evening meal item of braised meat which was visually poorly presented .The meat was on two large bones and was poorly cooked and truly revolting and was left after first forkful. No complaint was made during the meal so other diners were not disturbed.
13 Jul 2016, 3:25 p.m.
Well organised with good accommodation.
Great location with excellent accommodation. Food less good.
7 Jul 2016, 4:05 p.m.
The staff are such had workers and really tried hard to be great hosts. The staff make this place in lots of ways.
We had a premier room which we ordered and was nice. Not sure what the difference is as some had not paid but had premier rooms.
21 Jun 2016, 7:53 a.m.
Straightforward. Requests taken account of.
Made welcome and well cared for.
21 Jun 2016, 7 a.m.
Read more reviews from feefo
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|24 Mar 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£265.00||£215.00||Book Now|
|27 Mar 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£315.00||£254.00||Book Now|
|30 Mar 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£579.00||£479.00||Book Now|
|31 Mar 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£265.00||£215.00||Book Now|
|31 Mar 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£579.00||£479.00||Book Now|
|3 Apr 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£315.00||£254.00||Book Now|
|10 Apr 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£375.00||£315.00||Book Now|
|14 Apr 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£375.00||£315.00||Book Now|
|14 Apr 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£649.00||£549.00||Book Now|
|18 Apr 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£285.00||£235.00||Book Now|
|22 Apr 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£375.00||£305.00||Book Now|
|22 Apr 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£649.00||£524.00||Book Now|
|26 Apr 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£285.00||£225.00||Book Now|
|6 May 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£699.00||£599.00||Book Now|
|6 May 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£415.00||£340.00||Book Now|
|10 May 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£299.00||£239.00||Book Now|
|20 May 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£415.00||£340.00||Book Now|
|24 May 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£299.00||£239.00||Book Now|
|3 Jun 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£415.00||£340.00||Book Now|
|3 Jun 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£699.00||£599.00||Book Now|
|7 Jun 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£299.00||£239.00||Book Now|
|10 Jun 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£415.00||£340.00||Book Now|
|10 Jun 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£699.00||£599.00||Book Now|
|14 Jun 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£299.00||£239.00||Book Now|
|17 Jun 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£699.00||£599.00||Book Now|
|24 Jun 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£415.00||£340.00||Book Now|
|24 Jun 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£699.00||£599.00||Book Now|
|28 Jun 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£299.00||£239.00||Book Now|
|1 Jul 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£699.00||£599.00||Book Now|
|1 Jul 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£415.00||£325.00||Book Now|
|5 Jul 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£299.00||£239.00||Book Now|
|8 Jul 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£699.00||£624.00||Book Now|
|8 Jul 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£415.00||£340.00||Book Now|
|12 Jul 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£299.00||£239.00||Book Now|
|15 Jul 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£699.00||£624.00||Book Now|
|15 Jul 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£415.00||£340.00||Book Now|
|19 Jul 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£299.00||£239.00||Book Now|
|26 Aug 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£699.00||£599.00||Book Now|
|26 Aug 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£415.00||£340.00||Book Now|
|30 Aug 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£299.00||£239.00||Book Now|
|13 Sep 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£299.00||£239.00||Book Now|
|16 Sep 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£415.00||£340.00||Book Now|
|16 Sep 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£699.00||£599.00||Book Now|
|20 Sep 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£299.00||£239.00||Book Now|
|23 Sep 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£699.00||£599.00||Book Now|
|23 Sep 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£415.00||£340.00||Book Now|
|27 Sep 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£299.00||£239.00||Book Now|
|30 Sep 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£649.00||£549.00||Book Now|
|30 Sep 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£375.00||£305.00||Book Now|
|4 Oct 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£285.00||£225.00||Book Now|
|14 Oct 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£375.00||£305.00||Book Now|
|18 Oct 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£285.00||£225.00||Book Now|
|28 Oct 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||4||£500.00||£430.00||Book Now|
|28 Oct 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||7||£579.00||£479.00||Book Now|
|1 Nov 2017||FWPOA - Self-guided Walking - Freshwater Bay||3||£265.00||£215.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
- Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
- Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person