Farringford is a Grade 1 listed building that was the main residence of renowned Victorian Poet Laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson from 1853 until his death until in 1892.
Here he wrote some of his most famous works, including Maud and The Charge of the Light Brigade, as well as entertaining eminent artists and intellectuals of the day.
The estate remained a family home until eventually becoming a hotel in 1945.
More than half a century later this dramatic Gothic house has been meticulously restored and redecorated in a late 19th-century style that reflects the Tennysons’ tastes, interests and lifestyle, featuring personal artefacts and original furniture.
It is now open to the public as a heritage attraction. The extensive grounds have also been restored to their authentic Tennyson-era condition, including an enchanting walled garden with a planting scheme based on contemporary descriptions and artistic depictions by the poet’s friends.
3 April - 26 October.
Days open: Wednesday - Saturday.
Open hours 10am - 4.30pm.
We are located in the village of Freshwater on the SW of the Isle of Wight. 0.8 miles from Freshwater Bay; 3 miles from the Needles on Alum Bay Old Road/Moons Hill; 3.5 miles from Yarmouth on A3054; 12 miles from Newport on The Middle Road.
Wightlink ferries run daily between Portsmouth and Fishbourne, Portsmouth and Ryde, and Lymington and Yarmouth. Red Funnel operates a car ferry and foot-passenger catamaran between Southampton and Cowes. Three bus services stop within a 10-15 minute walk of Farringford.
Car park on site
Children (0-16 years): £6.50
- Accessible toilets
Things to See
Having recently become Poet Laureate, Alfred Tennyson moved to Farringford in 1853 to escape the clamour of London. Here he produced some of this most famous work: Maud was composed in the attic, Enoch Arden in the summer house and Idylls of the King in the library.
He also played host to a vast array of Victorian notables, from the artists G.F. Watts, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais to the writers Lewis Carroll, Charles Kingsley, Algernon Charles Swinburne and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Great scientific minds like Charles Darwin, John Herschel and the geologist Richard Owen also visited.
Pioneering photographer Julia Margaret Cameron was Tennyson’s close friend and neighbour, frequently photographing both the poet and his guests; together they were at the centre of the famed ‘Freshwater Circle’ of artistic luminaries that flocked to this quiet corner of the Isle of Wight. Prince Albert paid a surprise visit in 1856, and in 1864 the celebrated military campaigner Giuseppe Garibaldi planted a Wellingtonia tree in the grounds that is still visible today.
We have several pieces of original furniture belonging to Tennyson, as well as personal items.
Within the grounds is a Parkland Walk round the perimeter of the estate, of about a kilometre (just over half-a-mile).
The most popular established walk nearby is from Freshwater Bay along Tennyson Down to the Needles.
Our 4-star self-catering cottages are the ideal holiday destination; set in the stunning and tranquil grounds of Farringford, they offer the perfect base from which to enjoy and explore the beautiful Isle of Wight.
Equipped with every comfort from home, all our cottages have been recently refurbished to a very high standard and are available to let throughout the year.
Accommodation is available across two areas of Farringford estate.
Our beautifully-restored events room, formerly the Tennysons' Music Room, is available to hire for corporate, academic and private events at certain times of the year.
The room has capacity for 45 people; facilities include Wifi, and a projector and screen. Catering options are available, and include the use of the adjoining Conservatory.
We can also offer a guided tour of the main house at preferential rates.
We can give guided tours of the house and grounds for classes of up to 30 students, accompanied by school staff. We have a dining area on site that would be suitable for students bringing packed lunches.
We can adapt our material to suit different age ranges and topics (i.e. Tennyson's life and work, Gothic architecture, a Victorian Christmas etc.). Regrettably, we cannot accommodate coaches on-site, only minibuses.