I vaguely remember going to the Isle of Wight when I was a child, and my lasting memory is the funny sand! There is obviously so much more to the island than that, so I asked Suzanne from Little Moon Cottage & Sunbeam Cottage to let us know what we can do when we visit with our dogs.
The western end of the Isle of Wight – the West Wight – is rural, unspoilt and so pretty. The weather is generally good with amazing sunrises and sunsets and dramatic clouds reflecting on the sea. It is the perfect holiday destination for dogs as there are so many lovely walks of all lengths and to suit all abilities in areas of woodland, on beaches, downland and near rivers. There is also historic interest and many attractions for the humans!
Freshwater is a thriving and friendly village and the town of Yarmouth is pretty and quaint. A good day out would be to have lunch at 'Off the Rails' Café in Yarmouth, then walk down the abandoned railway which runs alongside the Yar Estuary to Freshwater, in time for a cup of tea at the 'End of the Line' Café before taking a stroll through the fields on the other side of the estuary back to Yarmouth. Both cafés have outside seating areas, so dogs can come along too.
A walk from Freshwater Bay over Tennyson Down and West High Down to the Needles and back offers fantastic views across the Solent to the New Forest. In the far distance you will glimpse the chalk cliffs of Ballard Down near Swanage which are an extension of the Freshwater Downs. Once at the Needles, visit the Needles Old Battery with it's wartime history or stroll round the evocative concrete remains of the Rocket Testing Site looking out over the English Channel.
There are many beautiful beaches around the coast of the West Wight: Alum Bay – the one with the coloured sands and Brook Bay are open to dogs all year. Freshwater Bay with it's round grey pebbles and crystal clear water; Colwell Bay and Totland Bay all have at least one section which is always accessible to dogs.
If your dog likes a run through the woods, then the Fort Victoria Country Park would be the place to go – with it's many attractions: a Planetarium, a Sea Life Centre and a Model Railway there is plenty for children. Lunch at Verdi's Café looking out over the fast flowing tides in the Solent would set you up for a ramble around the Nature Trail.
All dogs are very welcome at our cottages in Moons Hill at the foot of Tennyson Down. The gardens are secure and spacious with wonderful open farmland all round and views over the wooded slopes of Tennyson Down. There are many walks from the doorstep at Little Moon and Sunbeam Cottages and a dog friendly pub within easy walking distance. What more could you need!