10 bedroom House for sale


Colwell Bay, Isle of Wight, PO40 9SB

Key features:

Coastal opportunities across the Island and indeed South Coast, such as this are extraordinarily rare. Holmes House is a very private and secluded compound, made for the highlife and experiential living.

Perched on gently sloping cliffs above Colwell Bay the property has wonderful, level grounds with majestic Holmes Oak trees and well-manicured lawns. Holmes House overlooks one of the most vibrant and interesting stretches of sea in the country. Hurst Castle is just ¾ of a mile away at the narrowest point across the Solent, and the New Forest Coastline is approximately three miles to the north. The house is set, proudly, overlooking the often turquoise sandy and partly rocky waters of Colwell Bay. Holmes House on Colwell Bay, and indeed the West Wight, is a dream come true for sailing/windsurfing/kite-surfing/waterskiing/paddle boarding/fishing/equestrian/walking/cycling enthusiasts.

There is a cleverly engineered cantilevered entertaining deck that extends 50% over the cliff and trees below which has to be the ultimate place for sunset supping, garnering 180 degree views across Colwell Bay (an AONB), Hurst Castle & Lighthouse, Fort Albert and along the South Coast from Lymington to Bournemouth. The exceptionally wide (154m) clifftop frontage has unobstructed views of the Solent, and faces directly at the setting sun in the summertime. The boundary of the property includes much of the cliff/mature woodlands that leads down towards the water's edge/seawall.

Constructed before 1900, Holmes House is steeped in history, having been built for a notable Naval Officer and offers extensive accommodation over three floors. The house was built by W H Paul of Totland for the Heytesbury Estate. It was a private home, then a hotel, and was a commandeered officer's barracks in WWII, strategically overlooking the anti-U-boat chains across the Solent's narrowest point. It has played host to numerous weddings.

This fabulous house has an unusual combination of being a substantial beachside residence as well as having high quality facilities for the equine or small holding enthusiast. There are paddocks on the south and eastern side of the house with box stabling for 6 horses, tack room and associated storage rooms. An all-weather 40m x 20m menage with dressage mirrors has been constructed between the fields where there are facilities for cross-country and show-jumping and eventing practice. Suitable post and rail fencing divides the paddocks and an enormous vegetable patch, and they are all largely self-draining. The paddocks are laid to permanent pasture and offer a wonderful setting with fine views. Power and water are supplied to the outbuildings and paddocks. There is an elaborate web of nearby bridal paths leading to Golden Hill, Afton and the River Yar, Tennyson Trail, Freshwater Bay and the Downs toward Compton Bay.

In a secluded, sun-trapped back corner of the side lawn, beside a former grass tennis court on the western side of the house, there is a Roman-end heated swimming pool with steps at one end and diving board at the other, with a large cabana/changing area and a spacious patio for entertaining pool-side.

Extensive outbuildings include a small gym with sea views, a two-tractor shed, tool shed, bicycle shed and wood shed.

The principal rooms offer large proportions with high ceilings and are replete with original wood herringbone parquet floors and large windows, to take full advantage of this unique setting to the north, east and west. The ground floor comprises of three front rooms including a foyer/drawing room with an open fireplace, an enormous and imposing, elegant formal living room/dining room, also with an open fireplace (comfortably seating 36 guests for dinner parties (or dinner/dances) and panoramic views directly overlooking the Solent's sunsets, and a full bar and bar room which enables truly spectacular sea views, perfect from which to watch the boating activity, such as the Round the Island Race sailing directly past the front of the House, and world class sunsets. The bar room takes the form of an enclosed veranda which was a later addition to the original construction on the seaward elevation of the house with built-in window seats for reading and relaxing beside a wood-burning fireplace. There is a rear media/playroom, and a cosy formal library/study. The informal country farmhouse style kitchen with refurbished Aga, large pantry with abundant storage, ample larder, leads out to the large Southeast-facing back deck with sun-drenched potted kitchen garden, and further leads through to a large rear utility/boot room.

The extra wide main staircase is a character feature from the bygone days of naval wives' ballgowns, leading to the first floor with 6 bedrooms (5 ensuite), two with working open fireplaces. There is a spacious landing on the first floor, which leads off to the main bedrooms – most of which deliver some of the very finest sea views the Island has to offer. The main bedrooms have high quality large en-suite facilities with built in wardrobes.

There is an historic 'servants' private rear entrance and staircase, which is accessed adjacent to the kitchen leading to the second floor with a further three bedrooms with a full bathroom, used for live-in staff quarters or additional guest rooms with views to Tennyson down. Additionally, all of the second floor bedrooms feature a wash hand basin. There are extensive eaves and attic storage.

This deceptively substantial house benefits from being able to accommodate, with ease and comfort, multiple guests and their families at the same time, making this the ultimate private entertainment home for the perfect blend of country life and coastal life.

Holmes House is the perfect property for entertaining. The extensive grounds give rise to the opportunity for a helipad, mooring, tennis court, conservatory, and greenhouses - subject to planning permission.

Holmes House is extremely quiet, exuding delightful charm and good karma in equal measure.



Yarmouth and the Wightlink Ferry to Lymington is 5 minutes by car. It is a 5 minute walk to The Hut beachside restaurant & bar just metres from the stunning Colwell Bay that is situated directly below the property. It is a further 10 minute walk along the Colwell Bay promenade to Totland Bay and its restaurants and pier. 


Mains water and sewage, drainage, gas, and electricity serve the property.  

Overage Provision

It is proposed that the rear large paddock which abuts houses on three sides including a mid/high-end housing development, will have a development overage clause placed on it. The subject land is illustrated in hatched blue on the plan. The duration will be 30 years from the date of completion of the sale and will be 30% of the uplift in value as a result of planning permission being granted leading to an increase in value. Further information on this available on request.  




Strictly by appointment with the sole selling agents, Spence Willard.  

Important Notice

1. Particulars: These particulars are not an offer or contract, nor part of one. You should not rely on statements by Spence Willard in the particulars or by word of mouth or in writing ("information") as being factually accurate about the property, its condition or its value. Neither Spence Willard nor any joint agent has any authority to make any representations about the property, and accordingly any information given is entirely without responsibility on the part of the agents, seller(s) or lessor(s).

2. Photos etc: The photographs show only certain parts of the property as they appeared at the time they were taken. Areas, measurements and distances given are approximate only.

3. Regulations etc: Any reference to alterations to, or use of, any part of the property does not mean that any necessary planning, building regulations or other consent has been obtained. A buyer or lessee must find out by inspection or in other ways that these matters have been properly dealt with and that all information is correct.

4. VAT: The VAT position relating to the property may change without notice.  

Wight Agent:

Spence Willard

Spence Willard
Yarmouth Office Spence Willard, The Square Yarmouth PO41 0NP

Tel 01983 761005
Email Click to Email

Visit our Website

Floor plan Save Property Print
Request Details