The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary is located between Godshill and Ventnor, on the outskirts of Wroxall towards the south of the Isle of Wight and is home to over 100 donkeys and ponies. The sanctuary is open 7 days a week, all year round (except Christmas day), from 10am until 4:30pm and it is free entry and free parking. The sanctuary welcomes everyone and is very dog friendly, allowing dogs to go everywhere, as long as they are kept on a lead.
The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary has been awarded a Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Award in 2021, and have won Red Funnel’s Isle of Wight Award for Best Place For Dogs, for several years.
The Donkey Sanctuary began in 1987 with a single donkey called Dillon and became a registered charity in 1991, it then moved to its current location in 1993. Since then, the sanctuary has continued to grow and develop, building more barns, field shelters, converting barns into a café and continuing to rescue donkeys that are in need of a forever home.
The donkeys and ponies have 55 acres which they call home, which are set in Wroxall valley and surrounded by beautiful countryside. The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary rescues and provides a forever home to donkeys that are unwanted, abandoned or who have found themselves in a situation in which they need to be rehomed. All of the donkeys have very varied backgrounds when they come to us, but all of them receive the same high level of care and welfare, and we ensure that they want for nothing.
The Isle of Wight Sanctuary has 4 main elements:
To rescue and support the health of homeless donkeys
To act as an education centre and support and provide learning through apprenticeships, volunteers, students, and children.
To be a visitor attraction in which visitors can meet the donkeys, and interact with them through various activities, and hold a number of event and open days throughout the year.
To provide a therapy programme in which our donkeys visit people with a variety of needs.
Whilst at the sanctuary, visitors can follow an information trail and take part in a quiz, they can tick off the donkeys they see on a donkey spotting sheet and can also take part in activities (subject to availability). The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary is also home to Grazers Café and Browse and Brays Shop, where you can find delicious food and lots of fun, donkey related items. Alongside all of the adorable donkeys, there is also a wildlife area which is currently being developed to support the wildlife and a bridleway and footpaths that lead through the sanctuary and into the surrounding area.
The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary relies entirely on donations. It relies on people adopting donkeys, fundraising, taking part in activities, buying food and items in the shop and café, or leaving a legacy. The sanctuary survives because of the goodwill and generosity of supporters and visitors.
Trip Advisor reviews:
Such a special little place. The donkeys looked so happy and well cared for. We really enjoyed walking around and reading the descriptions of each donkey. Free admission but we donated and spent money in the lovely gift shop – Laura
Such a lovely afternoon spent seeing and visiting this donkey sanctuary. Fell in love with a handsome donkey called hulk. The donkeys you can see and feel from their coats and so well looked after. Staff are lovely and even done a halloween thing for the kids which was lovely. Thank you 🙂 – Portia R
Wonderful experience and great cafe. We visit the sanctuary a few times a year and it is always a wonderful experience. It is so nice to see the donkeys and ponies being so well cared for in lovely surroundings. We visited the new cafe for breakfast with was really fantastic. Good quality food and good service. The cafe is nicely done with a good selection – TravellingLady