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Dog-friendly Dorset

04 April 2017

A fully-fledged member of the family, your four-legged friend doesn’t need to feel left out of the holiday loop and will be well-catered for when you come to dog-friendly Dorset.

Dog-friendly places to go in Dorset

Accommodation

When it comes to finding somewhere to stay, there’s no shortage of accommodation to choose from. Whether it’s camping, a caravan, cottage or lodge you’re after, Dorset has plenty of dog-friendly options to choose from to make the perfect holiday for you and your pooch.

Beaches

Dorset is a coastal and countryside paradise; and a long walk across the fields, a dip of your toes – or paws – in the surf, or a leisurely stroll on the beach is just the tonic needed for a great holiday. Many Dorset beaches are dog-friendly all-year round, but some do have restrictions, especially in the main summer season. For a detailed looks at all Dorset beaches, visit: www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/walking-dogs-on-beaches.

Walks

With ancient woods, secluded streams, and rolling hills to ramble upon, there’s plenty of Dorset just waiting to be sniffed out. Dorset loves responsible dog owners, so please do follow any requests on signs e.g. keeping your dog on a short lead/not chasing other animals or wildlife, and please do bag and bin your dog’s poop. Some great places to walk include:

Thorncombe Wood: a 26-hectare mixed woodland and heath site that sits next to Hardy’s Cottage. You’ll also find Under the Greenwood Tree – a dog-friendly café located in the Hardy's Birthplace Visitor Centre there, so not only can you discover some of the literary history of Dorset, you and your dog can explore the woods, then enjoy a well-earned treat.

Moreton Forest & Ford: The Forest at Moreton offer a variety of woodland and paths to explore. The Ford is wide and shallow, but deeper in places and is perfect for splashing about in, and for keeping cool on warm days. Located nearby is the lovely Moreton Tearooms too, so you can enjoy lunch or a nice bit of cake – maybe some Dorset Apple cake?

Hardy Monument: This iconic Dorset landmark sits above the village of Portesham and is surrounded by a landscape that’s suited to and welcomes dog walkers.

Pubs and Cafés

If you’re wanting to eat out, many Dorset cafés and pubs welcome dogs. Some to look out for include The Greyhound at Corfe, Hive Beach Café at Burton Bradstock, and The Castle Inn at Lulworth Cove. Hall & Woodhouse have a selection of pubs in the area and if you take a look at their website, you’ll be sure to find one suited to you. The website even has a section for Dorset Walks – perfect for planning your day out.

Attractions

Many Dorset Attractions welcome dogs, so there’s no need for your furry friend to miss out on the fun. Durlston Country Park, situated in the south-east corner of the Isle of Purbeck, is dog-friendly, they even provide water bowls which can be found on the terrace outside the Castle. Sherborne Castle also welcomes dogs in the Gardens and Grounds, provided they are kept on a lead at all times. Plus many more Dorset Gardens, such as Compton Acres, Athelhampton, and Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens allow well-behaved dogs, as long as they’re on a lead.

Events

For more doggy-themed fun on your holiday, head to some of these fab events:

Scruffs Dog Show’ at Swanage Carnival. Take your pooch to this ever-popular event at Sandpit Field on Wednesday 2 August and enter them into as many classes as you like. Registration opens at 10am. Events Start at 12:15.

Petfest at Highliffe Castle takes place on 4 June 2017. Along with other pets, go and witness Highcliffe's very own Crufts to see who will be crowned as their ‘Dog of the Year’. 

Margaret Green Animal Rescue have their annual Companion Dog Day at the Church Knowle Centre in Wareham on 6 August, where you can enjoy a doggie-packed day. 

Dorset Dogs Festival at Upton Country Park, near Poole, takes place on 12 August – a fun-filled day for dogs.

More ideas for dog-friendly days out

See Dog Friendly Dorset magazine or check out the venues below.

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