Local Area

Note  The telephone code for the Isle of Wight is: 01983  ( outside of the uk +44 1983 ) and most local telephone numbers start 75

The time zone is the same as the rest of the UK ( plus, some say, minus 25 years )

The following are the two main maps of the Isle of Wight:
AZ Visitors' Map - Isle of Wight  ISBN 0-85039-981-5
Ordnance Survey Explorer OL29  Isle of Wight     ISBN 0-319-23464-9

Google Earth location:   50.669920,-001.510650      or for boat owners :  50 degrees 40' 09.52" North      001 degrees 30' 36.93" West

 Sat Nav postcode address: PO40 9QX

Freshwater Bay lies at the western end of the Isle of Wight. Known locally as the quiet end, the area is not as densly populated as other areas of the Island. The whole area forms part of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is much photographed.

Geographically it is part of the long run of chalk hills that stretch from Devon to beyond Dover, all part of the chalk basin that extends down into France, to the Champagne growing areas. The Bay also is referred to as Freshwater Gate as it forms a break in these hills and was probably a watery cut through to Yarmouth.

There is some evidence of a Roman harbour just beyond the barrier in the western Yar. There is evidence of a lot of pre-history in the area as well, in the shingle rim at Compton Bay can often be found remains of bronze age pottery and artefacts. On the top of Afton Down, above Brook there is an area of tumili and these also occur on Tennyson Down.

The hills of the area offered good vantage points as well as a good supply of natural fruits and game in the valleys that now form Freshwater and the western Yar valley. Sea food could also be gathered from around the shores of the Bay and the Solent. Rain water from the Downs has given rise to a number of fresh water springs, hence the name of the main village and this coupled with a mild maritime climate has made the area an important location and a popular settlement.

Yarmouth is only about 2 miles or 3 kilometers from Freshwater Bay and has a ferry link to Lymington on the mainland. This is the shortest crossing and usually one of the smoothest across the Solent. Having protected harbours at both ends this crossing has always been significant in the Island's history.

 Google Earth location:   50.669920,-001.510650
or, for boat owners :  50 degrees 40' 09.52" North   001 degrees 30' 36.93" West

 Sat Nav postcode address: PO40 9QX