Dog Friendly Stays on the Isle of Wight
Wightlink rounds up the best walkies, accommodations, restaurants and attractions on the Island
Having enjoyed watching Crufts over the past few days, Wightlink is shining a spotlight on our four-legged friends with a roundup of the top places to take your pooch on the Isle of Wight, one of the UK’s most dog-friendly destinations. And as one of the sunniest places in the UK with over 500 miles of footpaths to discover, the Island is a dogwalker’s dream. Although the weather isn’t always guaranteed, the beautiful coastal paths, stunning woodland scenery and quaint villages are sure to wow, whatever the weather. Furry friends are catered for from start to finish when visiting the Isle of Wight, beginning with a warm welcome from Wightlink as they em-bark for the short 40 minute ferry crossing. With plenty of attractions, cosy pubs and seafront eateries welcoming dogs of all shapes and sizes, the Isle of Wight is the paw-fect place for a staycation. For more information visit www.wightlink.co.uk
BEST DOG FRIENDLY BEACHES
During the quieter months between October and April, beaches are open to dogs and one of the best routes for really stretching their legs is the Sandown to Ryde walk. The whole route takes in 12 miles of beautiful coastal path, starting on the soft golden sands of Sandown Bay and Yaverland beach before winding up and over Culver Down, past the Earl of Yarborough Monument and down through woodlands near Whitecliff Bay. Then it’s on to the pretty harbour town of Bembridge with its beaches open to dogs all year round followed by the traditional village of St Helens with its large village green - perfect for a some frisbee and a picnic, before finishing in Ryde which is well-known for its miles of safe, sandy beaches.
Another beach that is brilliant for dogs, winning the award for ‘Best Beach’ at the Wightlink Wag Awards, is Seagrove Beach, which at low-tide, transforms into a huge flat sandy cove with safe paddling waters. Other top dog-friendly beaches include: Colwell Bay, Bembridge Beach, Priory Bay, Whitecliff Bay, Yaverland, South Wight, Brook Bay, Chilton Chine and Rocken End.
BEST DOG-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATION
With over 100 dog-friendly accommodations to choose from across the Isle of Wight, ranging from glamping in a Seaview Yurt, and cosying up in an Isle of Wight Campervan to pampering your pooch at the luxury Haven Hall or Royal Hotels and Luccombe Manor or making them feel at home in a private cottage at Tapnell Farm or across the island with Classic Cottages’s dog-friendly homes, there’s something to suit the needs of every furry friend.
DOG-FRIENDLY PUBS AND RESTAURANTS
When it comes to dinnertime, dogs are welcome (and even catered for!) at many restaurants, cafes and pubs across the Island. Traditional pubs such as the Buddle Inn and quirky restaurants such as Off the Rails are such dog lovers themselves that they offer special dogs menus, whilst the picturesque Fisherman’s Inn is perfectly positioned on the beach, offering plenty of space for four-legged friends to stretch their legs. Cafes such as Pedallers make the perfect pit-stop on popular walking routes such as the popular ‘Red Squirrel Trail’, a cycle route traversing 23 miles across the east Wight. Afternoon tea at the Pearl Cafe looking out across the English Channel is a must and the Dairyman’s Daughter is a great spot for a delicious, traditional lunch after perusing the craft and local produce stores at the Arreton Barns.
HOW TO GET THERE: WIGHTLINK’S TOP TIPS FOR TRAVEL WITH DOGS
Having welcomed pets on-board for many years, Wightlink has pulled together some top tips for a smooth journey when crossing the Solent, such as not feeding your dog directly before sailing, places for a quick walk before boarding and even what to pack for your pooch! All Wightlink car ferries offer comfortable, dog-friendly designated lounges or pets can relax in the comfort of their own car during the journey.
The Isle of Wight is just a 40-minute ferry ride by car or 22 minutes on foot with Wightlink, the leading eco-friendly cross-Solent ferry company. A car ferry return crossing from Portsmouth to Fishbourne starts from £59 for a car with up to seven people. For foot passengers, tickets cost £14.80 per person with kid’s travelling free during school holidays*. For further information and/or to book Wightlink ferry tickets, visit www.wightlink.co.uk.