Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight

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St Catherine’s, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight, UK

Three-bedroom cottage sleeping six with sea-view balcony and enclosed garden

St Catherine’s Cottage, which sleeps 6 plus infant in three bedrooms, is tucked away at the foot of Tennyson Down along a 'no-through' private road close to numerous local footpaths, giving access to miles of downland and coastal walks. The cottage is within a few hundred yards of the beach and Nature Reserve in Freshwater Bay, and is a stone’s throw from historic Dimbola, the former home of pioneering Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron and now a photographic museum and exhibition space with popular tea room.

  • Sleeps up to 6 in 3 bedrooms: 1 king; 2 singles/1 king; 2 singles

  • Balcony with sea views, sea glimpses from master bedroom and living room

  • Two bathrooms: 1 first-floor family bathroom with shower over bath with WC, 1 ground floor shower room with WC

  • Enclosed garden

  • Parking for one car (additional parking on street available locally). Please note that electric vehicle charging is available in Freshwater but not onsite

  • Recently renovated to high standard with full kitchen including induction hob, oven, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, kettle, microwave, coffee maker

  • Utility area with washing machine, dryer, iron and ironing board

  • TV and internet access (smart TV with Roku connection for streaming and fast fibre broadband)

  • 5-minute (450m) safe walk to picturesque Freshwater Bay beach (chalk and flint pebbles usually with small sandy stretch)

  • Handy corner store 400m, large Tesco Superstore 1.4km and other amenities (leisure centre with indoor pool) in Freshwater town

  • 100m to Dimbola museum/gallery and tea room

  • 5-min drive to sandy Compton Bay (NT), Island’s best beach

  • Dozens of picturesque walks on your doorstep, including woodlands, the Yar estuary, and the breathtaking clifftops of Tennyson Down



The accommodation comprises a ground-floor sitting room to the front with a beamed ceiling and sea glimpse, modern open plan kitchen/dining room to the rear with vaulted ceiling, three first-floor bedrooms – two with access to a decked balcony with sea views – and two bathrooms, one on the first floor. The entire cottage has been renovated recently to a high standard.

St Cats is entered via a stable door from the gated side garden, into a small entrance hall with storage for hats, coats and shoes.

To the first floor, the well-proportioned, double-aspect Master Bedroom has a king-sized bed (150x200cm) and room for a baby travel cot (provided), with sea glimpse, vaulted beamed ceiling and glazed door to the balcony. There is also a large open wardrobe as well as a small desk and chair with TV/computer monitor for remote work (but hopefully not too much!).

Bedroom Two, with double doors to the balcony, sea views, and a small open wardrobe, has two single 80x200cm beds which can be configured as one king-sized bed (160x200cm) on request. Bedroom Three has two 90x190cm single beds, a small built-in wardrobe, and double-aspect windows, one with views over the owners’ meadow. The first-floor family bathroom is generously proportioned with a tiled floor and a shower/bath.

All bedroom windows and glazed doors have blackout roller blinds or curtains, and all bedroom windows have voile curtains for privacy. Please note that the blackout blinds do not block out all light due to small gaps on their top mountings.

On the ground floor is the modern Kitchen/Diner, a light-filled room with vaulted ceiling, triple-aspect windows, two comfortable armchairs, and a dining table seating six. Appliances include a built-in fridge/freezer, dishwasher, electric oven and induction hob, in addition to a four-slice toaster, coffee maker and kettle. In the Utility area off the kitchen are a washing machine, dryer, microwave, and iron/ironing board, as well as cupboards for food storage.

The Living Room, a cosy space with white beamed ceiling and sea glimpse, has a three-seat sofa and two comfortable arm chairs, as well as a wall-mounted television.

The ground-floor bathroom is tiled and has a generously proportioned shower – convenient when you return from the beach.

To the rear of the cottage is a small paved courtyard with table and chairs accessed via a patio door off the kitchen/diner, as well as gardens to the side and rear, all enclosed by a secure fence with gate. At the end of the rear garden is a footpath which gives access down onto Gate Lane. Beyond the rear footpath lies the owners’ private meadow.



Please note there is only space for parking one vehicle at St Cats.

A second vehicle may stop in the courtyard to unload, but when finished unloading can park on local streets including Gate Lane, in the car park for Dimbola Museum (after hours only), or in the Freshwater Bay public car park (fee).

Charging for electric vehicles is available in nearby Freshwater but not on site.

Local Area

This quiet corner of the Island is steeped in literary and artistic history, with Virginia Woolf and the Thackeray family having spent holidays next door, as well as Victorian celebrities such as Alfred Lord Tennyson, Charles Darwin, Jenny Lind, Fredrick Watts and the Reverend Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) spending time in the neighbouring houses.

Dimbola Lodge 1871, the setting for Virginia Wolf's play "Freshwater"

Some prominent Victorians also stayed at the Cottage, once part of the Tennyson estate, which was run as a lodging house as well as being home to the local horse and carriage proprietor.

In walking distance is a charming corner store called the Orchard Brothers, operating since the Victorian times, as well as a lively popular cafe called the Piano, and the characterful thatched church of St Agnes. Picturesque Freshwater Bay is only a few minutes’ walk (mostly flint and chalk pebbles with a small sandy area), fabulous for rock pooling, as well as the scenic Tennyson Down, with some of the best 360 degree views on the Island.

Nearby Freshwater town has numerous facilities including a large Tesco Superstore, a leisure centre with indoor pool, library, playgrounds, small shops and restaurants. Colwell Bay and Totland Bay are a short drive away, as is the long sandy stretch of Compton Bay (National Trust), which many consider to be the best beach on the Island (just keep an eye on the tides, and don’t forget to look for dinosaur fossils).