The Sykes Cottages Guide To Freshwater, Isle of Wight

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Freshwater is one of a number of small towns making up the lovely area known as West Wight, an ideal area to visit on a cottage holiday. Here you’ll find a large designated area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, featuring a varying landscape of rolling farmland, precipitous chalk cliffs and fabulous beaches and sea views, together with access to the Isle of Wight’s most iconic landmark, the famous Needles. Freshwater itself is popular with golfers and families, thanks to an excellent 18-hole golf course and proximity to lovely beaches. The town itself has a small, sandy bay, whilst nearby Alum Bay, Compton, Colwell and Totland all offer a different beach experience. Alum, with its striking sandstone cliffs, is a good beach for viewing the Needles; you can also take a boat trip out to the lighthouse and rocks from here. Windsurfers are drawn to Compton, whilst Totland and Colwell are popular with families. Freshwater has a leisure centre, with an indoor swimming pool, for when the weather is less favourable, and there are plenty of shops and places to eat.

Enjoying the countryside around Freshwater is easy; follow the Tennyson Trail to the Needles; get on your bike and cycle the old railway track to neighbouring Yarmouth, play a round or two of golf or get close to nature with a ramble round Afton Marsh Nature Reserve. Relax and enjoy the views as well as the plants at Afton Park Nursery; visit Dimbola Lodge, home of Victorian photographer, Julie Margaret Cameron, and now a museum and photographic gallery. Between Freshwater and neighbouring Yarmouth, Alum Bay, on the most westerly tip of the island, is home to The Needles Park, one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions. Enjoy the best vantage point of the Needles and the unique multi coloured cliffs behind the bay from the dizzying heights of the Needles Chairlift, before checking out all the attractions of the Park. Take home your own souvenir of the famous sand, watch craftsmen blowing glass or see how old-fashioned sweets, a mere memory from childhood, are still made here. There are rides, entertainment and a shopping emporium – everything for a great day out. Once the Park has been exhausted, take in the views from the Needles Old Battery, an ancient cliff-top fort now managed by the National Trust, with its original twin guns and tunnel giving a different perspective on the famous Needles.

Why not take a look at our self catering cottages in Freshwater?

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