Situated on the West coast of the Isle of Wight, Freshwater is split into two parts – Freshwater town, which is a lively town full of quaint shops and places to eat and drink, and Freshwater Bay.
Freshwater Bay is one of the most picturesque beaches in West Wight and lies just to the South of the town of Freshwater.
The beach is a mix of grey flint and chalk pebbles in Freshwater Bay, which is perfect for a refreshing swim, with it’s clear water and secluded cove. Freshwater Bay is also the perfect spot to begin a walk up and along the cliff-tops, with the Tennyson Trail offering amazing 360 degree views of the UK coast line and the English Channel.
The big white chalk cliffs are iconic, smugglers once used the caves around the bottom of the chalk cliffs that are exposed at low tide. If you fancy exploring, then kayaking is the ideal way to see them and the other small bays, Watcombe and Scratchells that are also hewn from the chalk. This beach is popular for surfing and water sports and boats will moor in the bay to come ashore. The Freshwater Independent Lifeboat is launched from this bay when required by those in trouble at sea.
Freshwater Lifeboat is an independent lifesaving organisation based in Freshwater Bay, It operates the Freshwater Bay Lifeboat Station on the promenade along Freshwater Bay and two lifeboats from public donations and profits from shop sales as it is not part of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
One of the oldest beach cafes, The Freshwater Bay Cafe, sits on the road through the bay, selling ice creams, cream teas and some beach goods and sundries. Opposite here the Albion Hotel houses a public bar and behind the bay is a large car park off which is the Sandpipers Hotel: also a popular bar and eatery.
Because there is so little artificial light in Freshwater Bay it is one of the best places in the south in which to enjoy the marvels of the night sky.
Located in Freshwater is Dimbola Lodge, this was the home of the celebrated Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. It is now a Museum and Gallery dedicated to her life and work, which also showcases contemporary exhibitions from photographers around the globe. There is also an 18 hole golf course in Freshwater, this offers panoramic views of the whole Island and beyond.
If you are feeling adventurous book some water sports tuition with Isle of Wight Adventure Activities at Afton Apple Farm nearby who operate from the Bay. If you enjoy walking, try a walk along the cliff-top paths, along the Tennyson Downs which provides stunning views, towards the famous Needles with the iconic lighthouse perched on the end. The lighthouse guides ships safely past the treacherous rocks. Alternatively, you could walk the opposite way towards the impressive red cliffs of Compton Beach.
Freshwater has plenty of parking, both in the town and in Freshwater Bay.