With my 16 year old having finished his GCSE’s what better way to celebrate than take him away with our beagle/ basset, Biscuit & Co Founder of Pets Lets, as well as a friend of my sons to experience a dog friendly holiday on the Isle of Wight.
Simple to get to from London and the ferry to Fishbourne from Portsmouth (insert Whitley ferries link) was easy. We even arrived early and drove straight on to a ferry. Before 8.30am we were on the Isle of Wight with all three asleep in the back of the car. Holidaying with a dog can be more complicated when looking for place to stay. On Pets Lets we list pet friendly rentals from long & short lets to holiday lets and now dog friendly pub rooms. We work a lot with Michael Paul Holidays, who are so helpful and recommend and decided to use one of their resorts that we list on the Pets Lets portal. Biscuit needed to ‘sniff’ the place out.
When going on holiday with a dog or more than one dog, there are other things to consider. At your dog friendly place to stay, having that safe and secure bit of outside space makes such a difference in the morning and at night. Far more relaxing and stressful. Save the harness and leads for the main walks during the day.
Our pet friendly accommodation
We stayed at The Lakes Rookley, in a 2-bedroom dog friendly bungalow with a wet room. Wooden flooring which is ideal for dogs, very simple and spacious, so you could have a dog bed in the living room without feeling cramped. We found it very clean. Included in the kitchen is a dishwasher, microwave, oven, large fridge & freezer (so you can buy lots of ice cream and frozen foods), towels as well as a TV for the teenagers to put their feet up. Wifi is being installed in the 2 bedroom bungalows, something we missed, but actually it was lovely to talk and keep them off their devices. The Lake Rookley offers a large bar with eating inside and out, activities for children as well as an indoor and outdoor pool. All these things have to be booked in advance. On the lake there is paddleboarding, waterball walking as well as kayaks.
At £15 each for hour and bit including wetsuits and a bit of tuition, not bad value at all. We had a great time and within minutes we were standing up on the boards. Some people find it more difficult. Just depends on the person. Balance is key. You will 100% fall in and that is part of the fun, especially when the boards ‘accidentally’ bump into each other.
Paddleboarding is a good workout as you can see from the article. It is great for toning the upper body as well as the legs. Balance is key and on the sea with currents is far more challenging.
Despite the resort being full, it did not feel like that. There were places available for activities. Literally, within a 5-minute walk there is a co-operative supermarket on the main road which has all you need.
Importantly, our bungalow had a small fenced backyard, so we could leave to door open and let Biscuit out without any worries. Something to double-check. ** Note, check-in is at 4pm** So arriving early on the Isle is great, but make sure you plan what to do before then. Let’s just say Biscuit was exhausted walking along the beach and shopping.
Why the Isle of Wight?
Based in Southwest London, the journey is straight down the A3. I was talking to a fellow dog owner on the beach, whilst our dogs ran after a tennis ball, who had driven from Horsham for the day, to be on the beach. His first time and would do it again.
The isle of Wight Ferries are really esy. We wne t from Portsmouth to Fishbourne, which is a 45-minute trip. Both there and back we dove on to an earlier ferry with minimal wait.
Some other beach resorts are so busy. The Isle of Wight, because it is an Island and you need a ferry, puts some propel off. There are numerous beaches and The Beach Guide is a comprehensive guide to the dog friendly beaches and the restrictions. Some allow dogs all year round, other for only part of the year or certain sections of the beach.
Dog Friendly Isle of Wight Beaches
Seagrove Bay Located near Bembridge, Seagrove Bay is on the northeast coast of the Isle of Wight. Facing eastwards into the English Channel it is fairly sheltered from both the wind and waves. We were recommended this beach as one ’off the tourist radar’ by an employee where we stayed. He was right. The sun was shining and the beach had only a few people on it with people walking their dogs and throwing tennis balls. When the tide is out, there is a lot more sand. Even with the tide in, there was plenty of space.
Parking is close by and the town is a few minutes’ walk. There was a lovely pub just off the high street, a deli, a biltong shop as well as a few gift shops. The locality came across as very affluent.
This Seagrove Bay Beach Guide give a bit ore information about the location as well as the Sat Nav which we used to easily find the place.
Yaverland Sandown Beach
We drove to Sandown, drove through the town and missed the beach by taking the wrong turn. Upon doing more research that evening, we read up about it and visited it the following morning. Located between Sandown and the cliffs of Culver Down, Yaverland is thought by many to be one of the best beaches on the Isle of Wight. The trick is to get here at low tide so you have a much bigger area of beach to walk along with your dog.
Click on Yaverland Sandown Beach Guide, use the Sat Nav on the article and you will end up at the beach car park. Rather than walk the beach to the town, turn left and there is about a mile of lovely open coastline. There was a mist when we walked it and there were people walking their dogs. Again, it was quiet and we were there in early June.
A peaceful location and we could casually walk along without wondering whether our hound might run after a picnic or steal some other dogs ball. Again, another highly recommended dog friendly beach.
The Isle of Wight Needles
One of the most photographed group of rocks in the world. A tourist destination where you can see them from the cliff edges of from the chair lifts. Unfortunately, when we went, there was thick fog and rather than see the needles, we listened to the sound of the ship’s horns. Even so, it was worth while being there and experiencing the surroundings. Then when we drove back a few miles inland, the fog lifted, and the sun came out. The National Trust website is a good way to ding out more about the needles and the history behind them and how the name evolved.
Based on our short time
The Isle of Wight is a dog friendly destination. Really easy to get to from our experience and Biscuit enjoyed the trip and made lots of friends. After the beach walks, she was exhausted.
You just need simple dog friendly accommodation and use that as a base to explore the Island. We were there for 3 nights, which in my opinion is enough.
With 2 teenagers, an early start was tricky. Otherwise, you could ‘pack’ a lot more into a short stay. Unlike other dog friendly UK destinations, the Isle of Wight, seems to be less restrictive with allowing dogs on the beaches.
When taking your dog on any dog friendly break, do your research in advance. This blog is a brief outline of our trip. We highly recommend our place of stay at Rookley as well as the Isle of Wight in general as a dog friendly place to stay and walk along the beaches and take in the scenery. Portsmouth can be easily seen across the sea. The distance is only 14 miles.
This article was written by Russell Hunt, Founder of Pets Lets, a UK pet-friendly property portal where landlords consider pets as well as a pet friendly specialist relocation service, for pet owners looking to rent with their pets.
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