Singing for Pleasure on the Isle of Wight
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This holiday is all about group singing just for the fun of it, both in parts and in unison. You don't need to sight-read.
Charles West trained initially as a classical pianist, but then developed an interest in jazz before retiring from public performance. He maintained his interest in classical and jazz composition, and was able to develop this further on retiring to Devon where a number of his works have been performed. A new dimension emerged five years ago when he was invited to direct a Male Voice Choir, and he also directs a Chamber Choir of mixed voices in Exeter. Creating music in Community Theatre provides a further interest, bringing with it the enjoyment of working with people of all ages and talents.
- Relaxed informal sessions
- An expert tutor to help you get the most out of your voice!
- Free time in the afternoons
- An informal concert on the final evening of your holiday
- Full-board en-suite accommodation
- Full programme of tuition from our knowledgeable leader
Freshwater Bay House boasts a beautiful cliff-top location overlooking the bay. Enjoy dramatic chalk cliffs, 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.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
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.
- The fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance with an evacuation are identified at this point and alternative door hangers are issued to help the team members identify them
- 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
- All team members have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for and specialist food can be arranged with prior notice
- Hired equipment can be arranged for your stay with prior notice
- Fridges can be supplied for medication with prior notice.
Musical experiences are always better together, so join us and create wonderful music with other like-minded enthusiasts.
You’re welcome to check-in from 2.30pm (1pm for best & better rooms). Please join us for afternoon tea.
During your stay
We’ll start singing each morning from 9.30am. Keep your vocal chords lubricated with a morning coffee break.
Enjoy lunch together, then you’ve got some free time. There are fantastic walks right on the doorstep and our Discovery Points are ready to make the most out of your stay - there are plenty of maps and a selection of the best tried and tested walking and cycling routes to use, as well as local weather forecasts and public transport options too – plus those all important personal insights on things to spot, places to stop, and things to do along the way. Or you can always get some more rehearsal time in by yourself.
There’s more practice before dinner from 5.30pm and again after, so you can spend the evening doing what you love best!
There’s usually an informal concert at the end of the holiday. Why not show off your new repertoire to other guests in the house?
A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House. Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your free day. There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, as well as weather forecasts and public transport options – plus details about other places to visit.
Leave (on a high note) after a leisurely breakfast.
What to Bring
All music will be provided. The final evening may conclude with an informal concert and if you would like to sing something at this, you may like to bring some music for a party piece.
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 £23 return for adults and £13 for children. This includes a foot passenger ticket for the Wightlink Lymington to Yarmouth ferry, plus a connecting taxi / coach transfer to Freshwater Bay.
Our transfers operate every Saturday and Tuesday (Friday and Monday in the low season). These connect with the 1500 or 1600 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 at least 14 days in advance by calling our Reservations team on 020 8732 1220.
The nearest train station is Lymington Pier on the mainland. This is immediately adjacent to the ferry terminal. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
The Wightlink Lymington to Yarmouth ferry is the most convenient for Freshwater Bay - see www.wightlink.co.uk
Alternatively the Red Funnel Southampton to East 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. Turn left at Freswater Garage and continue along Afton road. At the Lifeboat station turn right and follow the road round passing the Albion Hotel on the left. The entrance to Freshwater Bay House is the next driveway on your left.
From East Cowes: Follow signs for Newport following A3021 and then A3054. Continue through Newport and Carisbrooke. Turn left onto the B3401 through Calbourne. At the T junction with Afton Road (A3055) turn left and then right by the Lifeboat station and follow the road round passing the Albion Hotel on the left. The entrance to Freshwater Bay House is the next driveway 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 approximately £8.50 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.
Charles trained as a classical pianist before becoming interested in jazz, forming two jazz trios. While keeping an interest in both classical and jazz, his music composition has gradually shifted more towards choral music, both sacred and secular, a move encouraged by his appointment as musical director to two local choirs. Charles also creates music for community theatre as he enjoys working with people of all ages and talents.
Charles is keen to bring out the very best in your singing, in a friendly and relaxed way. He’ll lead you on a journey that might run from Rutter to Clapton, from Mozart to the Carpenters, from musicals to spirituals to shanties. ‘There can be few things more uplifting than to sing beautiful music beautifully.’
"He knew how to get the best from the group - a varied selection of lovely music - attention to detail. Excellent - I learned a lot and would book another holiday with him."
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