Since we first met, it’s been love at first donkey.
A charity with a genuine passion for all things donkey, the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary is a simple but amazing place that people of all ages will fall in love with.
It’s been a summer of donkey love for myself and my daughter. We are on our 4th visit. Ticking off each donkey as we find them has not worn off yet. On your arrival at the Donkey Sanctuary, kids (and big kids) can obtain a list of all 93 donkeys. These numbers maybe slightly less or more depending on donkey days out and new friends arriving. Then it’s time to get donkey hunting……..
Spotting Sooty, Delboy, Charlie and friends, isn’t always easy. Some donkeys like to roll around the mud and make it a bit tricky to read their names tags. Others just fling off their name tags, if they don’t fancy wearing them that day. The really devious ones hang out over the other side of the field avoiding a tick on the donkey list. You don’t stand a chance of reading their names without a pair of binoculars! Still, it makes the whole spotting malarkey more of a game, and a lot more fun if you’re 6 (or 66 to be fair). It also makes for a perfect excuse to come back again and find the ones you missed on the first visit.
Apart from Donkey Spotting….
Along with fields and barns housing the many donkeys, the sanctuary has a cafe, a gift shop and charity shop. The proceeds go towards looking after the donkeys. Justification to browse in the shops and a perfect excuse to indulge in a slice of cake (or 2!)
The sanctuary runs various events and experiences to help fundraise. We met Queen Victoria on one of our visits. On our second visit, my Rosie groomed one of the donkeys for a suggested donation of £5. She loved the experience, enjoyed chatting with the girls who look after the donkeys and was made to feel very special.
You can also adopt a Donkey.
For £20 a year, you can choose yourself a donkey to help look after. After spending so much time at the sanctuary, I have decided to adopt Daisy the Donkey as a Christmas present for my little girl. I will keep you posted, but I have a distinct feeling she is going to be over the moon to become the proud ‘owner’ of Daisy.
The overall feeling at the Sanctuary is one of caring, kindness and compassion. The sanctuary is free to enter, but donations are definitely welcomed. Maybe treat yourself to a Donkey Experience, a Shetland Stroll (it’s not all about donkeys, there are a few Shetland ponies to admire too) and most definitely a large slab of cake and a coffee.
After surviving our first 6 week school holiday together, I treated Rosie to the cuddly donkey she had been saving up for all holiday. Somehow the addition of yet another soft toy in the house, didn’t seem quite so bad knowing our money was going towards looking after Murphy, Busby or maybe even Trevor the donkey.
We will be back.
Our Verdict 10/10 – whether you are 5 years old, 55 or 105, you going to love it. A must see on the Isle of Wight, with a feel good factor.