The name Freshwater in West Wight comes from the spring in Witches’ Copse.
Freshwater Gate (now Bay) is the opening to the Channel where merchant ships and navy vessels called in to fill their barrels for the voyage ahead.
In the 19th century eminent Victorians came to visit Tennyson at Farringford; Prince Edward stayed at a number of holiday villas with Lillie Langtry; and the government built forts and gun batteries to protect Britain from invasion from France.
The West Wight military installations also served in the 20th century. The Needles Battery hosts living history re-enactments and on the headland to the south you can see the remains of a top-secret rocket-testing station. This is all within easy walking distance over the downs from the bothy at Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight.