Situated on the western tip of the Isle of Wight and surrounded by the pretty bays of Alum, Colwell and Totland, you can’t beat Freshwater for a family holiday by the sea. Not only does it have spectacular beaches with hidden coves, it is the perfect spot to enjoy the island’s patchwork quilt of lush countryside.
The village sits behind the spectacular Freshwater Bay, with its huge chalk cliffs and Stag and Mermaid rocks that jut majestically out into the sea. Though it has its own merits as a holiday resort, it is also famous for being the last bay before reaching the famous Needles Headland and Tennyson Down, perhaps one of the loveliest parts of the Isle of Wight.
Things to do in Freshwater
The Needles Landmark Attraction
Without doubt one of the highlights of the island, the Needles Landmark Attraction is located on the land next to the Needles rocks, only a ten-minute drive from Freshwater Bay. Here you can pop into the 4D cinema, try your hand at zorbing and ride on the pretty carousel. More than that, it is an excellent place to hop on the chairlift down to the beach below.
A pebble beach situated under towering chalk cliffs, this stunning bay is great for swimming, boating and long brisk walks all year round. It is really easy to access the coastal path in both directions, either west to the Needles Headland and Tennyson Down or right towards Brook and Brighstone. There are some sandy parts at the more eastern side of the bay and a rock ledge at low tide which is excellent for rockpooling with the children.
One of the most spectacular walks on the Isle of Wight, this spectacular area named after the local poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, rises high above Freshwater Bay and gives you possible the best views on the island. It runs along to the Needles rocks and Landmark Attraction as well as the famous red and white lighthouse that sits in the sea beyond. One for photographers is the granite cross of the Tennyson monument which stands on the highest point of Tennyson Down.
There are two churches in Freshwater for those interested in a little history. The pretty thatched church of St. Agnes is located in Freshwater Bay and the medieval All Saint’s Church stands near the head of the tidal estuary of the River Yar.
Dimbola Museum and Galleries
Dimbola was the home and workplace of the internationally acclaimed Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. Known for being ahead of her time, many of her portraits were created here. The house became a place for bohemian artists, writers and poets such as Tennyson, Watts and Carroll to get together and be creative. Visit the exhibits and the Victorian dressing-up room and you will also receive free entry to the award-winning Tea Room and Museum Gift Shop.
Tapnell Farm Park
Just 3 miles north of Freshwater in Yarmouth, is Tapnell Farm Park, a great place to spend the day with family, especially if you have little ones in your party. This all -weather attraction has a wide range of hands-on animal experiences as well as indoor and outdoor play. Try the Wallaby Walkabout where you will find a friendly group of wallabies waiting to be fed as well goats, meerkats and a play barn.
Just across the tip from Freshwater Bay is the picturesque sandy beach of Totland Bay. With sparkling turquoise water and amazing views , this rocky part of the coastline filled with trees gives it a feel of the rainforest. There is a short pier currently under redevelopment and behind it a row of pretty colourful beach huts. A lovely place to just kick back and watch the boats bobbing about in the water during the day and fishermen bringing in their wares at dusk, amore relaxing place you couldn’t find.
If there is too much child-play for out at the farm, why not head along to a whole host of fun adventures at Adventure Activities, also in Yarmouth. With activities in the water, hills and woods, you are sure to find something to whet your appetite. Kayaking, archery, cliff-jumping and coasteering are just a few of the things on offer and there is also a café and archery range if that is your thing.
Freshwater is located on the western edge of the Isle of Wight, 3 miles south of the popular seaside resort of Yarmouth. Only half an hour from the centre of the island, it is easily accessible from all towns and villages of the Isle of Wight such as Ryde, Sandown and Cowes.
Stay in Freshwater
If you are tempted to visit this beautiful part of the Isle of Wight, why not have a look at our selection of cottages in Freshwater? They are the perfect base to visit The Needles and Tennyson Down as well as the rest of the island.