14 of the Best Dog Walks in Bournemouth

With its five Blue Flag beaches, dog friendly walks in Bournemouth are not in short supply. If you are planning a trip away there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to put your pooch in the back of the car and head to this coastal town with some of the best dog walks the UK has to offer.

Find Good Places to Walk Dogs in Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s seven long miles of golden sands is maintained to the highest international standards for clean beaches and environmental management. It goes one step further than most with its BCP Beach Check app that is free to download for any Apple or Android device. Originally created to monitor peak time visits it is the perfect way to find all the good places to walk dogs that won’t be too crowded.

The joy of this stretch of seaside paradise is that it plays host to a number of other attractions such as its Bournemouth Pier, Lower Gardens and a pirate playground for the tots. There is even the option of hiring a colourful beach hut where you and your pooch can chill out in the shade after a scamper on the shoreline.

The Best Bournemouth Walks for Dogs

1. Lower Gardens

Fido can frolic to his heart’s content in this fragrant patch of flora right beside the beach in Bournemouth. It is best enjoyed when the flowers are in full bloom in spring and summer. For you, there are high season events at the Pine Walk bandstand and there is an aviary and mini-golf course.

2. Sandbanks

Just west of Bournemouth this coastal stretch is where dogs are welcome throughout the year. There is plenty of space to exercise and there is a promenade for those pooches who don’t like to get their paws wet. For your two-legged tots, there is a play area, and you can also have a barbeque picnic or order some fish and chips to refuel.

3. Fisherman’s Walk, Southbourne

It’s clear why this postcard-pretty space has Green Flag status, and it will take you through a range of woodland which is certain to get your fur baby’s tail wagging. There are formal and informal gardens too and once out of the woods, manicured lawns will lead you to an ornamental pond and then the coastal over the cliff.

4. Kingston Lacy, Wimbourne

Wander with your waggy tail in the Japanese Garden and then explore a slice of the 8,500 acres just a 20-minute drive from Bournemouth. Here you will chance upon Iron Age hill forts, course heathland and water meadows and get to see the world’s oldest pedigree herd of Ruby Red Devon cattle. Although the house, open to the public, doesn’t permit pooches, you can sit on the landscaped lawns and enjoy a doggie-inclusive picnic.

5. Boscombe Arts Trail

Who needs the confines of a gallery when you can view some great art along this quirky trail? Two miles along Sea Road from Bournemouth it ends at Boscombe Bay’s pier and includes seven installations. Along the way you’ll see sculptures such a three-metre-high octopus and a funky fish on wheels.  

The Best Woodland Walks in Bournemouth for your Dog

1. Moors Valley Country Park and Forest

This walk provides a fabulous day out for Fido and the family too. It has numerous trails with plenty of stick-throwing opportunities and then there is the Go Ape course for the kids. It has an audio trail that takes you around Moors Lake where you can see anglers casting their nets. For the whole family, furry kids included, you can take part in the Hawk Walk experience.

2. Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch

If you and your canine charge are twitching to do a bit of bird watching, then this serene seaside reserve has to be your paw-of-call. With more than 300 bird species including Brent geese, coot and egrets you are going to be in for a treat. It is a 20-minute drive from Bournemouth and for the energetic, it is an hour and a half walk along the coast.

3. Delph Woods, Poole

If you have a curious interest in the history of trees, then this nature reserve is a good starting point for you and your pet. Its mixed woodland’s flagship is the 200-year-old oak tree that rises 80ft from the ground. Its 13ft circumference means there will be no tree-hugging here. Instead, you can look out for Nuthatches and Great Spotted Woodpeckers in their foliage and roe deer in the undergrowth.

Best Coastal Dog Walks in Bournemouth

1. Bournemouth Coast Path

Although this is 30 miles long, all the way to Swanage, you can pick up the core trail that runs from Sandbanks to New Milton. It is varied and takes you up and down the many chines surrounding Bournemouth rather than simply. Going along the promenade above the beach. The route includes the harbours and Poole and Christchurch and you will see Highcliffe and Hurst castles en route.

2. Alum Chine Trail

Walk along the Undercliff Promenade and it will take you and your furry friend about half an hour. It is a flat route that takes you past the Tropical Gardens so lush you’ll think you are abroad. The chine, a deep ravine that leads to the sea, has three bridges, one a suspension, so this is only suitable for hounds that have no fear of heights.  

3.  Little Sea, Long Walk

This is for only energetic two and four-legged walkers and goes from Bournemouth Pier to the natural lagoon Little Sea in the Studland Heath Nature Reserve. It is about eight miles, including a quick trip on a chain ferry across the entrance to Poole Harbour. The 35-acre lagoon plays host to spotted spika deer, otters and white egret. Many of the beaches in Bournemouth have restrictions at certain times of the year so always check beforehand.

Off Lead Dog Walks in Bournemouth

1. Mudeford Sandbank

This beautiful Bournemouth beach can be reached by foot or even the dog-friendly land train from Hengistbury Head. Here your happy hound will be happier still gambolling in the gentle waves or scampering across the sand. Be sure to pack a ball or frisbee for a game of fetch. Before making for the shoreline take a walk along Hengistbury Head which has a settlement dating back 12,000 years.

2. Slade’s Farm

If your pooch loves a challenge, then hear you can let her loose on an obstacle course designed for dogs. Slade’s Farm Doggy Play Patch consists of open fields and a wooded area. The enclosed dog playground with its various pieces of agility equipment has picnic benches for dog owners and the on-site car park is free to use for up to three hours.

3. Millhams Mead Nature Reserve

With car parks at either end of this idyllic spot, you can choose either end to start your free-of-lead ramble. There are various habitats here such as meadows, woodland and scrub. A shallow stream runs through the reserve to meet the River Stour. Millhams Mead has around 200 species of flowering plants, 24 species of butterflies and almost 50 species of birds.  

About Visiting in Bournemouth with Dogs

Voted the UK’s best coastal resort Bournemouth has plenty to offer its visitors, four-legged furry ones included. It also has some of the top places to walk dogs meaning you can have a perfect time away without having to leave your pet behind.

To the east and west of this spectacular seaside town there are seven miles of golden sandy beaches; ravines, known as chines, leading to the sea; castles; nature reserves and coves and cliffs waiting to be explored.