The Dog's Blogs

And off we go…


My new pal, Sammy and I decided to take our ‘elevensies’ at The Mess Deck Café before embarking (no pun intended) on our morning stroll (of course accompanied by our human folk).
From Portland Castle we head straight over to Chesil Beach where Sammy and I can run freely. We make our way south towards Quiddles Café situated at the southern end of Chesil Beach. Naturally, we partake in ‘refuel number two’, after all, it would be frightfully rude not to?! From the end of the sea wall we pick up the coastal path, then it’s bunny rabbits, butterflies and freedom all the way! If you look at the Google map can see our route. Do join us, you won’t be disappointed!

Roo Roo Roo your boat


We all know it's Autumn but try telling this to the weather! It was a wee bit chilly for a row but we donned our lifejackets and the old man wore his obligatory ‘bobble hat’ and off we set…Firstly a meander around Portland Marina, trying to find our friendly dolphin and giant squid. Yes, I kid you not, Frank is a giant squid and most friendly. The old man even pats him fondly on the head. Then is was back to dry dock and a quick hot chocolate and a small 'biscotti' at The Mess Deck Café before starting work at Athay Gallery. Ah, the woes of a gallery dog ;)

STUDLAND and beyond...


We had a fabulous weekend away on the boat at Studland Bay. And I’ve decided this houses my favourite walk to date. Studland to Old Harry and beyond. We walked from Studland Bay (where we had anchored the boat) but if you arrive by car there are car parks and the footpaths are well signposted. From Studland to Old Harry there are superb views over Poole Bay to Bournemouth and across the Solent to the matching cliffs of the Needles on the Isle of Wight. Many of our exhibiting artists have painted this stretch of coast and I can see why. It’s simply superb. We walked the full 4.7 miles to Swanage where we took advantage of a nearby café with a view of the beautifully restored Victorian Pier. Stopping for a spot of lunch before hiking back to Studland. If you don’t fancy the return walk there is a regular bus service from Swanage to Studland. 

Do visit, it really is the most lovely stroll...

Roo's 'Thrift'y Day Out


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A Spot of Sunbathing


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Coast Path Frolics


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Walking the Weares, Portland

Roo walking the East Weares path around Portland to Church Ope Cove beach huts.

Hello, let me introduce myself, I’m Roo. I have only recently arrived at Athay Gallery. I’m being most respectful of the absence of Claude, he was most gentile and left me his collection of artefacts and stuffed toys! For that I shall be forever grateful. I am tasked with the job of informing you of my adventures around Portland and the Jurassic Coast. I shall venture forth and conquer said task! Here goes…

This morning the sun was shining so Alex suggested she and I take a short stroll pre- breakfast. A splendid idea. We decided on The Weares (a Celtic word meaning rough and wild land). It’s an easy stroll of around 1.5 miles. Take a look at this map..

After meandering through the Weares, you'll arrive at the ground above the beach huts. One path hugs the top of the slope above before joining the steps. There is a steepish slope down to the left of the path and so if you prefer, follow one of the paths up towards the wooded slope where you join the steps further up towards the view point. At the steps go down to Church Ope Cove or climb back up past Rufus Castle to the viewing point. It was worth climbing down the remaining steps to sit on the beach or go rock polling. Keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins which can sometimes be seen from the Cove.
Heres a photo of my good self enjoying the morning.

Roo finds his feet on the water...

Keith 'Kitt' Athay and Roo enjoying the unseasonal sunshine on the water on Portland, March 2019

It is well-known that if you become a part of the Athay family you 'have' to like being in, on and under the water! Keith is an avid watersports enthusiast and has always loved the idea of having a faithful dog who shares his passion of being on the water. 

Roo, who very much enjoys a revitalizing swim, is taking to paddleboarding equally with as much excitement and enthusiasm as Kitt. Persuading Roo that his super-trendy lifejacket is for his own safety, as any teenager, is taking a little more convincing! Happy surfing guys...

Claude’s recommendation for a Bank Holiday stroll…

Claude at Portland Castle, Dorset

Portland Bill Lighthouse

As I am no spring chicken (or rather mutt) I like to take things at a slower pace these days. In my youth a 25km run wouldn’t go a miss, now at the grand old age of 12 my more mature legs prefer to gentle stroll. 

This is one of my favourite strolls from Portland Bill Lighthouse Paths, 3km so not too tiring!

A quick paddle before some culture :)


A short stroll form my work place at ATHAY Gallery is a fine beach where I like to have a little paddle before my obligatory stroll. Last week, after said paddle I discovered the fascinating history of Portland Castle.
Overlooking Portland Harbour stands one of Henry VIII's finest coastal forts, built in the early 1540s to protect against French and Spanish invasion. Today it provides a great day out for visitors and its audio tour, included in the admission price, tells of the castle's 450 year history and the part it played in the First and Second World Wars. Portland Castle offers lots to do for families and couples alike, and only four miles from Weymouth, this historic adventure can easily be combined with some more contemporary seaside fun.

Officially 'dog-friendly'


Hooray! Our 'dog friendly' sticker is on it's way. As you know we welcome you and your pooch but it's good to be officially recognised as a 'dog friendly' establishment.

After a hearty breakfast...


I began my morning on the pontoon, basking in the October rays and cocooned in my bed. Hmmm, not a bad way for an old boy to start the day?! Then, my old man (Kitt) suggested we take a hike to Church Ope Cove. A splendid spot in Portland and I must say, perhaps one of my favourites (that said, I do prefer a sandy beach!). 

Church Ope Cove is a small secluded beach on the eastern side of Portland, near the hamlet of Wakem. The beach consists of soft limestone pebbles and is surrounded by cliffs on three sides which provide shelter from the often strong breeze in our area. As the beach faces south, it is also something of a sun trap throughout the day and as you all know, I am rather keen on the sunshine. For humans, one of the big draws of Church Ope Cove is the views of Rufus Castle and you can walk to the nearby ruins of old St Andrew's Church. I can thoroughly recommend it for two and four legged friends!

60 hidden sculptures


As you know, apart from basking on the deck and eating, I am rather partial to my morning 'passeggiata' (as the Italians would say). This morning was no different. A hearty breakfast followed by 40 winks and then the ‘old fellow’ suggested a walk to Tout Quarry. A splendid idea! This was a first for me and I was most intrigued by the 60 hidden sculptures. Normally, I’m looking for rabbits and small rodents so this is something of a novelty!

Tout Quarry is an abandoned stone quarry which has now been turned into a nature reserve and stone sculpture park. The remnants of the quarry's limestone have been used to create sculptures within the quarry. The site has been left to regenerate naturally, with control of invasive scrub forming the main management. 

The old fella and I took the south west coastal path but there are also many other access points to the quarry.

The Rainbow Bridge


It is with a heavy heart that we write to inform you of Claude’s passing. Our faithful four-legged friend crossed The Rainbow Bridge.

We are utterly heartbroken, especially Kitt as Claude has been his faithful companion for 10 years. 

Rest in peace and journey far our beautiful old boy.  We love you.