A charming resort town between Freshwater Bay and Toland. Located on the southwestern side of the island , it is surrounded by a wonderful natural and jagged coastline, ending at the world famous needles rocks. Declared an area of outstanding natural beauty, it provides spectacular views from the tops of the cliffs.

The Needles

The Needles © TAB

The down, to the west of Freshwater is named after the English Poet Laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson. He lived in Freshwater for 14 years from 1853 onwards and took regular walks along these cliffs from his home. His house, a Grade 1 Listed Building called Farringford, has been recently restored (open to the public). The down is 483 ft (147 metres) above sea level at its highest point, at the Tennyson Monument.

Around Yarmouth and Freshwater there are long stretches of unspoilt beaches and romantic pathways with spectacular vistas. Freshwater has two beaches, one is a stony area popular with walkers and a long secluded sandy section with rock pools at low tide.

One of a number of stunning coastal footpaths around the island includes the Tennyson Trial, which starts at the Needles, then heads up over the headland along the island's central chalk ridge, ending at Carisbrooke Castle. The full circular route traces some 165 miles around the island, offering some of the most dramatic and interesting views in England, with lighthouses, leafy chines, enchanting waterfalls, roman remains, ancient forts and mighty castles.

Places of Interest to Visit near Freshwater

Alum Bay

The cliffs at Alum Bay are famous for their multi-coloured sand layers, the result of a geological fault that runs through the island.

Alum Bay Cliffs
The Multi-coloured Sandstone Cliffs at Alum Bay © Travel About Britain

These sands have been used to produce colourful layered souvenirs since early Victorian times. An Alpine style cable car runs from the top of the cliff down to the bay, where you can enjoy a boat trip around the Needles or take a picturesque open top bus ride along the bay. After which, you can relax and indulge yourself in one of the bay's many tea rooms. There is also a sweet shop making traditional confectionery, a souvenir "Sand Shop" and a glass making workshop.

Dimbola Lodge Museum

Old Camera

The home of Julia Margaret Cameron, a pioneer Victorian portrait photographer. The house is now run by the Julia Margaret Cameron Trust and has the largest permanent collection of Cameron prints in the UK. As well as galleries exhibiting work by other acclaimed photographers, plus an extensive display of historic cameras and accessories.

Opening times: for opening times see website for details - Admission Charge
Location: Terrace Lane, Freshwater PO40 9QE
Tel: 01983 756814
Website: dimbola.co.uk

The Needles Battery

Guns at Needles Battery

The most iconic attraction on the Isle of Wight, The Needles, is a range of jagged chalk stacks reaching out into the Solent, with a lighthouse at the seaward end. The Needles Old Battery, a military fort built in 1861 above the cliff to guard the approaches to western side of the island. Run by National Trust.

Opening times: see website for details
Location: West High Down, Alum Bay PO39 0JH
Tel: 01983 754772
Website: nationaltrust.org.uk

Map of Freshwater

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