If your four-legged friend could choose his (or her) favourite holiday destination in the UK, we’d bet our last Bonio that it would be the Isle of Wight!
We’re one of the most genuinely dog-friendly places to visit, with a massive variety of walks around our coastlines, beaches to be sniffed, places to be explored and acres of downland and woodland to be scampered on.
Dogs are welcome on most of our beaches all year round and there are loads of restaurants, cafes, hotels, pubs, holiday cottages and places to stay that would be honoured to host your pooch – as well as you, of course. Lots of accommodation places have separate sections for pet-friendly places to stay so that everyone can enjoy their holiday according to their needs – and if you need your dog around to have the time of your life then you’ll be spoiled for choice.
As well as offering only the best for your dog while you’re on holiday, we make sure it’s easy to get them across the Solent. Dogs travel free on all our car ferry routes, as well as on the Ryde catamaran, Cowes passenger ferry and Hovertravel services.
Here are some handy tips for bringing your dog (or herd of pooches) to the Isle of Wight for a fantastic holiday break. We’ve included beach information, dog-friendly attractions and pet-friendly accommodation.
Dogs love beaches and the Isle of Wight loves dogs, so it’s a match made in heaven!
We have everything from big swathes of sand to play on to rock pools to clamber over and, of course, lots of lovely waves to swim in.
The majority of our beaches are open all year round and welcome dogs with open arms – there’s nothing nicer than a beach full of dogs playing, digging and swimming.
During high season (1 May to 30 September) there are restrictions on the main resort beaches only, with dogs not allowed on them during those months. Click the button below to view a council map of these restrictions.
Despite some having restrictions, there are some beaches that welcome dogs all year round. You can walk your four-legged friend at the following, all towards the east of the Island, even in the summer:
And although the main swathe of sandy beach in Ryde is inaccessible for dogs during the summer, a bit further on from Appley Tower onwards, is open for walks and fun with your dog.
For eight months of the year, dogs are welcome pretty much everywhere so if you’re holidaying during half term, Easter or just out of high season, it’s the perfect place to come with your doggy pals.
We know the struggle only too well – trying to find accommodation that works for you, your family and friends - and your dog!
Luckily, on the Isle of Wight we have more than 100 hotels, guest houses and self-catering establishments more than happy to accommodate dogs during your stay. Have a look here at just a couple of our favourites.
Willow and Pond Cottage (Sykes Cottages) in Yafford are not only set in idyllic surroundings out in Yafford, they’re also dog-friendly. The perfect location in the quieter South West of the island, it’s perfect for long dog walks out in the countryside and along the coast. Willow Cottage can accommodate three people and Pond Cottage up to five people, so if you’re a big group you can book both and take two well-behaved doggies with you.
If you’re coming over as a foot passenger with your dog then you can’t get much handier than The Fountain Inn in Cowes. A short hop from the Red Jet ferry from Southampton, it offers comfortable and central accommodation with modern décor and some sea views. Ask when you book for pet-friendly rooms. Perfect for the discerning dog who favours a bit of Cowes Week sailing action!
Another dog-friendly option in Shanklin is Luccombe Manor Country House Hotel, which stands high on the cliff top. With the most beautiful sea views over the nearby Sandown Bay, it’s a tranquil place to get away from it all. Just a two-minute walk away from the busy Old Shanklin Village, it also has a pool, direct beach access and a games room, meaning there’s plenty to do for every guest – whether two legged or four!
Family-owned, The Orchards Holiday Park near Yarmouth, is another great place to take your dog. Set in 15 acres of gorgeous countryside, it’s an exceptional park offering caravans, touring and camping with trees, meadows and beautiful views everywhere you look. With two heated swimming pools and plenty of things to do it’s the perfect backdrop for a great holiday – and your dog will be overjoyed with the space, countryside and beach action!
There are more than 500 miles of footpaths wending their way through the Island and no matter the kind of walk your dog prefers, we’ll be able to provide it!
There are woodland trails, clifftop walks, walks over the Downs, forest hikes, beachside rambles… everything your furry pal could dream of. Many of the walks have safe areas where dogs can run free, and a lot take in dog-friendly beaches. You’ll also find many pubs, cafes and eating places along the way that are more than happy to accept dogs – most will provide water bowls and some will even go so far as to have their own box of treats.
Here are a couple of suggestions to start you off:
If you start from St Catherine’s Lighthouse on Rocken End beach, you can follow the coastal path with a steep climb up to the top. If you’re Shanklin way, then start at Shanklin Beach and go toward Luccombe – make sure you time it for a low tide and you might find some fossils on the beach.
Culver Cliff on the East side of the island offers some great views and has some lovely walks around it. Bembridge is also great and has plenty of dog friendly eateries and drinking places to stop and rest on the way.
To plan your walks before you arrive, have a look here for maps and ideas.
Don’t think that you have to leave Fido at home if you want to explore some of the best attractions on the Isle of Wight – many are completely dog-friendly as well! There’s a more extensive list here but here are just some of our favourite ideas. It’s always worth checking before you go, just in case there have been any updates to their dog policies.
Dogs are very welcome at many of our pubs and cafes, with lots of Isle of Wight pubs more than happy to accommodate dogs inside as well as in their gardens. Water bowl facilities are usually provided as well.
For a list of lots and lots of dog friendly pubs on the Isle of Wight, check out www.doggiepubs.org.uk.
We’ve picked out just a few here:
Over in Sandown, Flanagan’s routinely welcomes locals and visitors with dogs. There’s an outside terrace overlooking the beach with dog bowls for water.
The Buddle Inn at Niton is also a favourite with dogs and their owners. Dogs are welcome inside and out and there are some great walks nearby.
The Kings Head in Yarmouth is similarly welcoming of dogs, their owners and their families. With good food, ale and a waterbowl, what more could you want?
There are so many places that welcome dogs, particularly on the walking paths, that you will feel you’ve come to a doggy paradise!
To find out more about the Isle of Wight and to book your holiday, click the buttons below.