When I did my research into the Isle of Wight and wrote down a list of all the places we could potentially visit while we were there, the Donkey Sanctuary was most definitely not on my list, yet it turned out to be one of the best things we did!
It just didn’t seem like somewhere we’d enjoy all that much so it didn’t make the cut onto our list of places that we wanted to try and visit. After taking a wrong turn on the way back to our caravan one afternoon though, we passed the sign for it so we thought we’d just pop in for a quick look around. It ended up being one of my favourite memories from the whole trip though!
There are 91 donkeys and horses at the Donkey Sanctuary, all of whom were unwanted or rescued from sad situations before being brought to their new home in the Isle of Wight countryside where they now have over 60 acres of land to enjoy as well as a variety of indoor stables, barns and field shelters to make their lives as comfortable as possible.
The map of the Donkey Sanctuary made me smile as there are areas set aside for the oldies (who get an extra blanket among other added benefits in the elderly donkey pasture), one for the chubby donkeys who clearly have a few pound to lose, one for the ladies, one of for the gents and one for the new arrivals. They keep donkeys with similar needs together, presumably so it’s easier to deal with them that way but it did keep us laughing as we wandered around.
It was the horses section that we loved most though (after the tea room with the pretty cakes that is) and we made a friend that the kids genuinely wanted to adopt and bring home. He followed us from one end of the field to the other along and kept popping his head over the fence to let us know that he was still with us. He made little purring noises when the kids stroked him and pawed at the fence as we walked away. He was such a cutie that he’s now Miss Frugal’s screensaver on her phone! 😉
It’s completely free to get in to the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary although they do have a collection box that you can pop any donations into to help them with their running costs of around £1250 a day!
Once you’ve had a look at the amazing work the team are doing with the animals, there’s a little charity shop kind of room and a gift shop to look around as well as a tea room where you really have to try one of the amazing cakes they sell there!
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