BA English student studying at the University of Birmingham. Reviewing theatre, films, books, local events. My Twitter is @robynwithayuh
Published April 21st 2013
Trails for furry friends on the Isle of Wight
For dog owners, the Isle of Wight is an ideal place to holiday with family and friends, both two legged and four. There are coastal walks, walks through wooded areas, and National Trust trails. Here are the five favourites of a dog who visits the island every year.
- Mottistone Down and Manor - the Down is a 'Site of Special Scientific Interest' north of Mottistone. Most of the area is owned by the National Trust. Try walking along the Down, which is rather windy at times but beautiful. You can also visit the Manor, lower down, and its gardens, or just walk nearby and visit the Island's only megalithic monument, The Longstone.
- Mottistone Down to Freshwater Bay - I recommend you begin at Mottistone Down and head to Freshwater; after the long and scenic walk you can relax on the seafront, visiting the nearby cafe. You can also visit Dimbola Lodge, the home of Julia Margaret Cameron and now a photographic museum. The walk itself crosses fields, and a golf course, so be ready to meet grazing cattle, and put your dog on a lead.
- Yarmouth to Freshwater - follow signposts for this walk, up some steeper hills, and through fields. The paths are clear and good to walk on, and once you reach Freshwater you can wander around the town and then follow the trail back - look out for slightly hidden signs here. The renowned scientist Robert Hooke was born in Freshwater in 1635 and the Robert Hooke Society have created a walking trail around the area called the Hooke Trail which includes sites associated with him.
- Ventnor - a favourite area to walk in, the village is peaceful and pretty with a range of antique and bric-à-brac stores:. Dogs can be walked on the beach at certain times in the year, and it is long and perfect for running on. Follow the beach and you will reach the coastal path to walk on, higher up. The warm sunny sheltered area of Ventor is perfect for more tropical plants, so why not also visit the Ventnor Botanic Gardens.
- Compton Bay - the Isle of Wight Coastal Path runs along the cliff edge of the bay. It is a windy spot and your dog may have to be on it's lead for a while, but there are areas to play fetch. The bay is increasingly popular with wave and kite surfers. The beach consists mainly of sand but at high tide it is almost completely covered so if you want to walk there and see dinosaur footprints, make sure you check the time of day most appropriate. It's one of the best areas to see the Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight, and is also a great coastal path walk.
I hope you and your furry friends enjoy exploring the beautiful beach and woodland walks of the Isle of Wight.