There's good reason why nature lovers come to Sooke every year!
Hiking, walking, and cycling
East Sooke Regional Park
is located just a few minutes drive from the cottage. The
Pike Road entrance has
a lovely beach approximately 1/2 hour walk from the parking lot, along a wide well-groomed
trail. If you prefer a more rugged hike through the forest, visit the
Anderson Cove entrance.
The Aylard Farm entrance
is probably the most popular and well-known - it offers a combination of picnic
areas, easy walks to a beach, and hikes to scenic viewpoints. The strenuous, rugged,
and spectacularly scenic Coast Trail can be accessed at various points in the park.
The Galloping Goose Regional Trail System
is located approximately 10 minutes drive from the cottage, on Gillespie Road. Look for the signs for
Roche Cove Park. This wide easy
trail through the forest is perfect for both walking and
biking (bikes can be
rented in town). There is a small trail that
heads down to the cove which is absolutely beautiful (wear shoes with good traction). You can also
follow the main trail all the way to
Matheson Lake, a
popular recreation & swimming area. Matheson Lake is also accessible by
car from Metchosin Road.
Whiffen Spit, accessible
via Quimper Park in Sooke (near Sooke Harbour House
- see Restaurants and Dining section below), is a scenic & easy walk with the
ocean on three sides! Very pretty. Can be windy sometimes so dress appropriately.
Ed Macgregor Park is located
near the Sooke town core, about 20 minutes from the cottage. It features a
gorgeous waterfront boardwalk and is a popular place for locals and tourists
is a beautiful area that's especially popular with bird-watchers.
It is located on Metchosin Road (from Gillespie, turn right onto Sooke Road and
look for signs to Metchosin). The Nature Centre entrance is the more popular of
the two entrances to Witty's Lagoon, as it has a gorgeous beach and picnic area.
There are three main hikes - the Lagoon Trail,
the Beach Trail, and
Goldstream Provincial Park
is a true wonder. Giant trees, waterfalls, and the annual salmon spawn make the park
a favourite with both the locals and with tourists.
In the mood for a little exploration? Drive up the
coast and visit the rugged beauty of French
Beach Provincial Park, China Beach, or Sombrio Beach. Accessible via
West Coast Road (head into Sooke and continue following the road. Sooke Road
turns into West Coast Road).
Take a big trees tour! Port Renfrew and the amazing ancient forests of
are a pleasant day trip from the cottage.
The island is blessed with an abundance of wildlife. There is a large variety of wildlife that
can be seen from the cottage, from eagles, heron, the tiny hummingbirds, fun
quail family, elusive otter, and the spectacular sight of seal fishing just
offshore! Visit between December and February for a chance to see the
"eagle extravaganza" at
Goldstream Park, when bald eagles feast on salmon.
The Sooke Basin on which the cottage is located, is a wonderful
and protected place to kayak. Kayak
rentals and equipment are available in the town of Sooke from
Rush Adventures (tel: 250-642-2159).
Pedder Bay Marina (tel: 250-478-1771)
rents out motor boats.
For something different, try Adrena Line Zipline Adventure Tours
(tel: 250-642-1933) where you can ride a zip-line through the West Coast forest.
They're located near 17 Mile Pub, approximately 10 minutes drive from the cottage.
Restaurants and Dining
Fine Dining: Our favourite is an unassuming local gem called the
Smokin' Tuna Cafe
(tel: 250-642-0332), situated on a pretty spot on the waterfront. Open May to October, they offer casual lunches and fine dining for dinner, with an ever-changing
menu. There's also the ever-popular and famous
Sooke Harbour House (tel: 250-642-3421)
offers fine gourmet dining.
Casual Dining:17 Mile House Pub (tel: 250-642-5942)
is popular with the locals. You will have passed it on the way to the cottage, near the intersection of Gillespie
and Sooke Roads. Many people also enjoy Stonepipe (tel: 250-642-0566)
located across the street from PetroCanada in Sooke. Also in Sooke is the
Stickleback West Coast Eatery (tel: 778-425-4499),
located at 5449 Sooke Road next to Rush Adventures.
Mom's Cafe (tel: 250-642-3314) is popular for breakfasts and milkshakes.
Little Vienna Bakery (tel: 250-642-6833) offers fresh baked goods, sandwiches,
and light snacks. Heading the other way towards Victoria, there is a lovely
restaurant and one of our favourites, called My Chosen Cafe (tel: 250-474-2333)
on the corner of Metchosin Road and Happy Valley Road. You can get pizza from
My Chosen Cafe as well as from Sooke 2-for-1 Pizza (tel: 250-642-5451).
Fast Food: McDonald's and A&W are available in the town of Sooke.
The city of Langford and the town of Sooke
(both approximately 20 minutes from the cottage) have grocery stores. Langford
has a Superstore as well as several grocery stores, while Sooke has Village Foods
and Western Foods. We suggest shopping for groceries prior to heading to the cottage.
Stores are open 7 days a week.
Bill's Food & Feed (also called East Sooke Grocer)
is approximately 5 minutes drive from the cottage at the intersection of Gillespie and East Sooke Roads.
Please visit our
Travel Resources section for information
on ferries, passports, weather, etc.