HF Holidays Freshwater Bay House Isle of Wight
Walking Holidays On The Isle Of Wight – HF Holidays Freshwater Bay House
We arrived at Freshwater Bay House in time for check-in and we were shown to our newly refurbished room which had fabulous views out to sea and up to Tennyson Down.
The Tennyson Trail is one of my all time favourite walks so it was great to be back in an area where the walks are so spectacular. Walking around West Wight is amazing as you get a really clear 360 degree view of the Island with fabulous views of the mainland, out to sea and the undulating countryside hills.
Tedi went to play in the spacious children’s play area while I got my bearings for the week, over a very delicious crab sandwich and coffee in the Dandelion Cafe.
Tony Wootton, the Country House Manager, was absolutely superb, as were all of the staff, making us feel very welcome and even accommodating Tedi and I for an earlier dinner sitting. There’s always someone on hand to answer any questions and the information left in our room about timings and where everything is very clear and concise.
The Discovery Room for self-guided walks is easy to use and all of the walks looked great and very easy to navigate with clear instructions, photographs and an OS map – even laminated for wet weather. We had a map of the island in our room so was able to roughly sketch out where we wanted to go and then found a self-guided walk which pretty much covered the same area.
The Boot Room is vast, and cosily warm! There are two hoses with brushes, plenty of boot scrapers, brushes and polishes etc, so at the end of the week even our walking boots got pampered.
Tedi’s Hi-Tec walking boots were an absolute blessing as the ones we brought with us, which are also Hi-Tec, are more suited to dryer conditions but the ones we received were waterproof. After four long walks Tedi’s feet were bone dry every time and not a mark on his heels or toes so they fit perfectly.
The Berghaus Scafell Hydrodown Jacket certainly kept out the early morning autumn chills and was also easy to compact into my rucksack when the sun came out and it warmed up.
Everyone met up in the late afternoon to meet the walk leaders and get an overview of what would be happening over the course of the week, where we need to be and when, as well as answering any questions.
We then set off for a very short walk down to Freshwater Bay, with the late afternoon sun shining down on the Mermaid and Stag rocks creating a warm glow from the chalk cliffs. As the group headed back to the hotel Tedi and I shot up the hill to Tennyson Down to catch the sunset, which was spectacular!
Over the course of the rest of the week Tedi and I completed three guided walks and one self-guided walk. We walked a 10 mile circular walk around West Wight from Freshwater Bay to Colwell and back via The Needles, an 11 mile circular walk from Godshill and a 10 mile linear walk from the Isle of Wight Pearl in Chiltern Green up to Carisbrooke Castle. Our last walk was a very gentle 8 mile circular walking route from Freshwater Bay to Yarmouth up and down each side of the River Yar.
One of the best things about HF Holidays is you can talk, or just walk, as much or as little as you like. There’s always a good mix of people on every trip I’ve ever been on – from beginners to experienced walkers and people who like to chat and people who just like to drift off with their thoughts.
Our walk leaders, Mike, Linda and Martyn, were all brilliant with Tedi and kept a pace that everyone was happy with. Worth noting that in 2017 HF Holidays are launching their new UK Family Adventures where kids go free!
The breakfasts at Freshwater Bay House were magnificent! Plenty of fresh fruit, cereals, porridge and a choice of amazing cooked options. The choice of lunchtime sandwiches, baps or baguettes was also excellent with plenty of additional snacks available.
At the end of our week Tedi was presented with a special certificate for his walking achievements and the following morning we were treated to the most fantastic sunrise!