Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight

Okay, I’m going to confess something now – I’ve never been to the Isle of Wight and neither has any of my intrepid band of rover reporters. But Jane discovered a little booklet called Pawprint, produced by Wightlink, the ferry company which serves the Isle of Wight, and in this little booklet are 12 dogs that either love living on or visiting the island. So Jane rang the people at Wightlink and asked if we could share these island tips with Phileas Phans and the people at Wightlink said yes.

This photograph is the main reason Jane wanted to share Pawprint with my readers – not hers. But I don’t mind. Seven-year-old Breez lives in a part of the island called West Wight and she is ferried around the country lanes in a customised sidecar on her owner Graham’s Vespa scooter. A dog’s life indeed – how much better is that than having to squeeze on to the smelly old number 12 bus in Peckham and be stared at in a none-too-friendly manner by a lot of dog haterz?

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Photograph and copyright Lee Higham; Wightlink 2012

Here are Breez’s top tips for her patch, near the village of Freshwater on the island.

‘In the summer I love swimming in the sea at Whale Chine. It’s quiet there and we often have the beach to ourselves. Another favourite is Fort Victoria Country Park where the coastal walk through the woods provides inquisitive dogs like me with lots to sniff out. The Fort has large cannons which I like to jump over and if you visit you can check out the model of me sitting in the sidecar of Graham’s scooter at the Model Railway.’

Three-year-old Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Daisy-May also lives on the Isle of Wight and Daisy-May runs a hotel, along with the occasional assistance of her humans, Mary, Kim and Cam. Daisy-May barks: ‘I love meeting the dogs that come to my guest house as long as they remember I’m top dog.’

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Photograph and copyright Lee Higham; published by Wightlink

  • Daisy-May’s hotel is called Heatherleigh Guest House. It is at 17 Queens Road, Shanklin, Isle of Wight,  PO37 6AW. Tel: 01983 862503. Website: Prices start at £32 pppn.
  • Her favourite walks around Shanklin are the south end of the beach by the Fisherman’s Cottage and the low tide walk from Fisherman’s Cottage to Luccombe beach. ‘I like paddling in the shallow water up to my chest,’ she barks.

The top ten pubs in the Isle of Wight, as selected by the pups and pooches of Pawprint are:

  • The Crab & Lobster Inn, Bembridge ( 872244). This dog-friendly establishment topped the Pawprint dog poll and is located above the beach at Bembridge Ledge.  Dogs are welcome in the bar and eating areas.
  •  Crown Inn, Shorwell ( 740293).  Recommended by Spice, dogs are welcome in the inn and outside in its picturesque garden.
  • Culver Haven Inn, Culver Down (01983 406107).  Chosen by photographer’s dog Noah because of their specially cooked sausages for dogs, this cliff top pub has spectacular views to the mainland
  • Driftwood Beach Bar, Sandown ( 404004).  Surfer dog Sherrie and owner Pauline paddle their kayak to this beach bar.  Open from March for the summer season.
  • Fisherman’s Cottage, Shanklin (01983 297171). Recommended by locals Daisy-May and Sherrie, this historic thatched pub is on the beach below Shanklin Chine.  Open May-October.
  • Folly Inn, Whippingham ( 297171).  Just up river from Cowes in Whippingham, this riverside inn is a favourite of both Daisy-May and Foxy.
  • The Spyglass Inn, Ventnor ( 855338) was another Pawprint Poll favourite, located just above the beach on Ventnor seafront.
  •  The Steamer Inn, Shanklin ( 862641).  A Foxy favourite, this seafront pub welcomes dogs on a lead and provides two water bowls for light refreshment.
  •  The Sun Inn, Hulverstone ( 741124).  A second nomination from Noah, this character pub near Brook Chine provides biscuits for good dogs in the bar and garden.
  • The Wight Mouse Inn, Chale ( 730431).  Spice and Foxy both enjoy the huge garden of this south Wight pub.

Phileas Fact Box: Isle of Wight

  • Dogs travel FREE on Wightlink ferries. Log on to Foot passenger fares start from £12.50 for a day return and car ferry fares start from £36 for a day return for a car and four passengers. I, Phileas Dogg, very much hope to visit the Isle of Wight some time soon so that I can sniff bottoms with Breez and Daisy-May. Grrrrr-huzzah!
  • (If you’d like a copy of Pawprint, log on to and the people there will send you and your owners one.)




9 Responses

  1. FrankieDogg says:

    Breez is so cool. Attlee and Breez forever!

  2. Jo Sinnott says:

    I wonder if you have any information on Graham Lee and his lovely dog Breez – who notoriously ride round on a vespa scooter with sidecar in Isle of Wight. I am filming a programme on the Isle of Wight in July – and would love to make contact – see if we could do a feature on them

    • AttleeCommon says:

      I will find the details of someone who can put you in touch Jo. Do you have an email address I can send them to? Jane (Attlee’s PA)

  3. wendy shoulders says:

    Hi – further to your Isle of Wight article, Seren would like to report that whilst on a travelling on Wightlink, she listened to the announcement concerning what to do in an emergency. The announcement tells you to remove shoes, don life jackets and make your way to the life boats. she asked me ‘what would happen to dogs should there be a reason to abandon ship’? Curious, I checked it out on her behalf and found out that there are no life jackets for dogs ! The need to remove shoes was to eliminate sharp objects such as stilettos from inflatable life craft – we voiced concerns about scared dog claws and teeth – we were also informed that dogs ‘may’ be left behind in an emergency – it was down to the captains discretion, available space, dog size etc……
    We are most concerned about this : (

  4. Molly & Jessica says:

    My name is Molly, I am an American Cocker and my sister Jessica is a Cocker, our favourite bar is the Met Bar is on the sea front in Ventnor. We are always made a fuss of and there is always plenty of water for us. We are welcomed inside as well as outside and can even stretch out on the carpeted area on the higher level. Perfect.

  5. Hope,Izzy and Fred the shred says:

    The Spyglass on Ventnor seafront is always welcoming even on a wet day with plenty of room for waggy tails. We love to bark along to the piano and accordion and mom and dad love to partake of the old glass or two. Always a friendly welcome to be had. We also enjoy the odd evening in the Union flag in Cowes especially in the winter when the fire is lit and we can curl up on the settee.during Cowes week there are plenty of strokes to be had and ice creams to be licked.Paradise found.

  6. Poppy says:

    Hi everybody,
    I am a Griffon Vendee living in France and am hoping to come and live in the I-O-W when my mum and dad have sold their house in France.
    I very much look-forward to meeting other dogs and making friends.

  7. Lee says:

    I not only have to find a destination to satisfy the kids , I have to find one to satisfy my beach loving dog. After reading the isle of Wight dog living island I thought I’d found the perfect place. If you come from may to Oct this fact is far from the truth, to find somewhere to satisfy the need for building sandcastles and pooch been happy is nearly impossible. You are welcome with open arms outside the summer period when the island tourism is down and they need people here. Will I be returning. NO very disappointing

  8. jacqui ADAMS says:

    Sadie dog is from Cyprus and now lives on the Isle of Wight and she loves it.. So many types of terrain and scenery..from woods to beaches, from downs to cliffs. So many dog friendly places to eat.. check out Puckpool Cafe in Ryde, then a lovely walk along Seaview to Lily’s cafe in Seaview.

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