Walkies across the Isle of Wight holiday cottages


Walkies across the Isle of Wight

Elianne Reed 20 January 2020

If you were in any doubt as to whether to take your dog to the Isle of Wight, generally known for its summer resorts and prestigious sailing events, you won’t be after reading our guide to dogtastic walks across the Dinosaur Isle. Luckily for your pup, there are over 500 miles of footpaths snaking their way across the island, with beaches, heather-clad moorland and woodland trails galore – many have safe areas for running and playing, and most of them come with breathtaking sea views as well.

With the help of our canine friends, we’ve sniffed out the top 7 dog walks in the Isle of Wight that will get even the grumpiest tail wagging!

Ventnor Downs

Ventnor Isle of Wight
From Instagram: @rddcandrhfh


Bring your holidaying hounds up to this stretch of heather-studded countryside managed by the National Trust - one of the best dog walks on the island. Tire energetic pups out with the whole route or just do the first bit if you’ve got an older or lazier pup onboard!

Why your dog will love this: Lots of open space to run and meet new pals, as well as great views and historical landmarks for the history-loving hound.

Terrain: Downland so grass and hill – kissing gates, some steps and a steep path included.

Difficulty: 🐕 🐕 🐕

Distance: 2.6 miles

Ideal for: Full-of-beans pups who want to run and run (keep dogs on leads around wildlife and livestock).

In addition: Car parking at the top of the downs, dog bins, toilets and refreshments in Ventnor town (0.5 miles).

Stay nearby: Bonchurch Waterfront Bliss, Bonchurch (sleeps 2 dogs and 6 humans)

Find the route here.

Needles Headland

Needles Isle of Wight

Commit to this invigorating walk across the downs, home to the best views on the island. Visit a Cold War rocket test site, a 19th-century fort and a monument dedicated to Victorian poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. Do the whole figure-of-eight walk or split it up into shorter sections but definitely make sure that you do the breathtaking Needles part if you’ve never visited before.

Why your dog will love this: It’s a long walk with a stop-off at a dog-friendly café – need we say more?

Terrain: Downland, so grass and hill – gates, kissing gates, stiles and quite a few steps; but be careful as the chalk path can be slippery. The path from the car park to the Tennyson monument is steep.

Difficulty: 🐕 🐕 🐕

Distance: 7 miles

Ideal for: Dogs who love long and scenic walkies with their favourite human.

In addition: Parking at beginning of route, toilets and refreshments en route at the dog-friendly Needles Old Battery tearoom. Facilities also at Needles Park.

Stay nearby: Little Halt Cottage, Freshwater (sleeps 2 dogs and 10 humans)

Find the route here.

Mottistone Estate

Mottistone Isle of Wight

Another walkie with sea views (hard to avoid on the Isle of Wight), this hike over the Mottistone Estate gives you the opportunity to do a long circular walk, or just a small part of it, depending on the type of canine at heel.

Why your dog will love this: This meander offers lots of sniffs, including paths, tracks and fields. It also ends (or begins) at a dog-friendly café where water bowls are provided, as well as crumbs from the human’s second slice of cake if you are lucky.

Terrain: Some steep paths and chalk tracks that can be slippery. There are also some gates, kissing gates and some steps. Some traffic on tarmac lanes en route.

Difficulty: 🐕 🐕

Distance: 3.9 miles

Ideal for: Hounds who like to join their families on a trip to a National Trust property with a nice long walk first.

In addition: Parking in Strawberry Lane and Mottistone Gardens, dog bins, toilets and refreshments in Mottistone Gardens when open.

Stay nearby: Driftwood Cottage - Brighstone, Brighstone  (sleeps 2 dogs and 6 humans)

Find the route here.

Bembridge Beach

Bembridge Isle of Wight

Stroll along this dog-friendly beach, starting at The Tollgate Café where you can pack some carbs for the walk, then follow the beach along the harbourside towards the lifeboat station. You can then continue along the coastal path along to the white cliffs of Culver if you want a longer walk.

Why your dog will love this: Ample opportunity for running, chasing, fetching and splashing about in the shallows, along with a nice stretch of coastal path.

Terrain: Sand, pebbles and some rocks, which then gives way to path on coastal route.

Difficulty: 🐕

Distance: 2-3 miles

Ideal for: Water-loving hounds and those who like their walkie with a view.

In addition: Parking and a café at the beginning of the walk and en route.

Stay nearby: Larkspur House, Bembridge (sleeps 1 dog and 9 humans)

If beaches are your thing, then check out more fantastic dog-friendly beaches below:

Brilliant beaches

Carisbrooke Castle

Caristbrooke Isle of WIght

Famous as the last place that King Charles I was imprisoned, this romantic hilltop castle has lots of outside space for dog walking. Just be sure to keep dogs on leads – nobody wants to end up in the tower!

Why your dog will love this: This is a walk with a difference – with the castle, donkey demos working the 16th-century treadwheel, and strolls around the battlements, there’s lots to do. The only place that four legs aren’t allowed is in the museum.

Terrain: Fairly even all the way through but some short climbs.

Difficulty: 🐕

Distance: Depends on where you go!

Ideal for: Haughty hounds who like to imagine they are king of the castle.

In addition:  Parking, toilets and café, picnic areas, gift shop.

Stay nearby: Dairy Cottage – Carisbrooke, Carisbrooke (sleeps 2 dogs and 6 humans)

Robin Hill Country Park

Robin Hill Isle of Wight

Bound with your hound at this gorgeous park with 88 acres of rolling parkland, natural woodland and extensive countryside gardens. Right of the heart of the Isle of Wight, dogs are allowed on leads throughout the park.

Why your dog will love this:  They can chop and change between open parkland, curated sculpture gardens and musty woodland, as well as having fun and games down in the Lower Valley.

Terrain: Easy, lots of flat paths and trails through woodland.

Difficulty: 🐕

Distance: Anything within the 88 acres.

Ideal for: Family dogs with little humans in tow who get bored easily, as there’s lots on offer at the park for children.

In addition: Parking, toilets, café, restaurant, various kiosks, picnic area.

Stay nearby: Knighton Gorges Cottage, Newchurch (sleeps 2 dogs and 10 humans)

St Helens Dulver

St Helens Isle of Wight

It’s not only grass at St Helens, you can also whizz down the sand dunes and play in the sea at Nodes Point just under half-way round the circular walk. Much of the area at St Helens is flat so it’s easy for both humans and dogs, making this varied coastal walk one for everybody.

Why your dog will love this:  There are lots of places on the old golf course for a nice game of fetch. You can buy balls at any of the beach shops on the island we are told.

Terrain: Flat and easy with gates, kissing gates and a few steps. Some steep paths. Choose routes depending on tides as otherwise, it is rocky and very slippery. See National Trust info below for details of tides.

Difficulty: 🐕 🐕

Distance: 3.5 miles

Ideal for: Hounds who love to play ball and have a poodle around – more energetic hounds and humans can continue for the full circular walk.

In addition: Parking, dog bins, toilets at St Helens and Seagrove Bay, picnic area at St Helens Old Church, pub and shops in St Helens village.

Stay nearby: Carpenters Cottage, St Helens (sleeps 2 dogs and 3 humans)

Find the route here.

Start planning your dream holiday with your pooch

With so much to see and so many new chums to make, it’s time to hunt out your four-legged friend’s best collar and lead and head to the Isle of Wight. Check out our top dog cottages across the island.

Isle of Wight cottages


Want to find out about all things dog-friendly across the Isle of Wight? Check out our full canine guide to the island, which will point you to the best attractions, walks with dogs, beaches, places to eat and cottages to stay in. You can't not read it if you are travelling to the Isle of Wight!

Dog-friendly Isle of Wight

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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