Freshwater Bay is a small imperfection in an otherwise smooth line of high chalk cliff. The chalk dips dramatically and then quickly rises up again to lordly heights, as if embarrassed about the lapse.
Lynne Truss, Tennyson’s Gift
Lewis Carroll and other famous Victorians holiday at Freshwater Bay in July 1864
Is there no-one who is commonplace here? Is everybody a poet, or a genius, or a painter, or peculiar in some way?
1853, age 16, as Tennyson, Watts, Dodgson etc go by
Freshwater is much resorted to in summer as a marine bathing place, on account of its pure atmosphere, its remarkable cliffs and caverns, and its beautiful land and sea views.
Kelly’s Directory, 1886
I like the moon on the water. The sea seems to be poured out of the moon, and rocking in the hands of the coast. I am transported to a new life, to realise my dream. Fairy-tales are true after all.
DH Lawrence, The Trespasser (Siegmund and Helena spend a week at Freshwater Bay)
… a little gem.
Karl Marx to Friedrich Engles, 1874
Long lines of cliff breaking have left a chasm;
And in the chasm are foam and yellow sands
Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Enoch Arden
Look, stranger on this island now…
Stand stable here
And silent be…
Where the chalk wall falls to the foam…
WH Auden, On this Island
Our young sea village is as delightful and bracing a spot as one could wish to settle in or near. The air is so transparently clear. The beautiful, though tiny, bay is unlike anything else in the island.
Ward Lock Guide, 1920s
What a panorama! Typically English. And the air! Walk along the springy turf, amid the heather and gorse, for a mile or two, and work up an appetite. Freshwater is a good base for rambling. The climate is equable, bathed in fresh sea air, but protected from cold winds.
Ward Lock’s Illustrated Guide Book for Motorists, 1930s