Dorset offers family-friendly seaside fun, areas of outstanding natural beauty, and incredible historic walks. Is it little wonder, then, that so many of us love hunting down dog-friendly walks in Dorset? From the Bournemouth seaside to the brilliant, rugged Jurassic views, it’s a dog walker’s paradise.
Find Good Places to Walk Dogs in Dorset
Dorset backs onto Devon to create a really unique, craggy, coastal experience. This is a county that’s home to some of the most famous sights on the south coast. If you’re keen to show your pup the best views England has to offer, check out these great dog walks. Take a look at some wonderful pet friendly days out in Dorset.
The Best Walks in Dorset for Dogs to Explore
1. The Jurassic Coast
The stunning Jurassic Coast remains perhaps the best known of all walking trails in Dorset, and it’s perfect for dogs. Linking Devon, there are miles upon miles of craggy trails close to the sea – with millions of years of ancient history to take in, too. Bring your dog!
2. Durdle Door, Lulworth
Durdle Door is another amazingly popular dog walk in the region, and it’s actually part of the Jurassic Heritage Site. It’s that big! It’s a grand arch in natural limestone, curving out into the sea. It’s a popular photo spot, so get that camera ready next time you visit.
3. Throop and Piddle, Dorchester
This lovely walk is often known by many as the Throop Loop! Throop is actually a tiny hamlet and is completely off the beaten track. This Dorchester walk will take you through rustic Dorset, offering riverside walks once you get alongside the local Piddle.
4. Kimmeridge Bay, Wareham
Kimmeridge Bay is already popular with locals and tourists for its amazing rock pools. However, this rugged coastal stretch is – arguably – what a real beach should look like! It’s down from the Jurassic site and is unspoilt – it’s a World Heritage Site.
5. Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock
Dorset dog beaches are a fan favourite, and Hive Beach is no exception with it being a walking spot amongst local dog lovers. It offers gentle sands to traverse, and there’s also a nice cafe at the beach’s edge, great for unwinding in. There are also gorgeous fields for your pets to run rampant in!
The Best Coastal Dog Walks in Dorset
1. Knoll Beach, Studland Bay
Knoll Beach is found within the reaches of Studland Bay, which is in itself a National Trust marvel. Close to Corfe Castle, this beach offers lots of wonderful nooks and crannies for you and your pets to explore. Dogs are always welcome here, which is of course great news.
2. Worbarrow Bay, Tyneham
Worbarrow Bay offers a very different kind of beach trail for you and your dogs! This is a spectacular secluded sandy stretch, where you’ll need to access the bay area via Tyneham itself. It’s very exclusive – and amazingly quiet, too. Tread respectfully!
3. Gundimore Beach, Mudeford
If you’re looking for a cross-season dog walking in Dorset, then head for Gundimore Beach. This is a quintessential beach escape for pets and their owners, and there are also lots of spots to sit and refresh, too. There are even close links across to the Isle of Wight.
Woodland Walks in Dorset with Dogs
1. Duncliffe Woods, Duncliffe
This gorgeous expanse of woodland takes you across almost seven and a half kilometres of dog walking wonderland. It’s actually an ancient plot of land, making it a historic stroll, too! You’re very close to the likes of Gold Hill, a romantic vantage point where you can look over Aylesbury.
2. Cerne Abbas Giant, Dorchester
The Cerne Abbas Giant is an amazing Dorset artefact that’s mystified millions. There just so happens to be some great walks close by, too. Take your dogs on a tour of the Giant and explore hills, forests and riverside strolls. Be warned – this can be a tricky walk sometimes!
3. Puddletown Forest, Puddletown
For a more gentle stroll through the woods with your dog, check out Puddletown Forest. This delightful green spot has lots of solid paths and is pretty much off the beaten track. It’s close to the village of Puddletown, funnily enough, and there are lots of forest critters to spot.
National Trust Walks
1. The Golden Cap, Bridport
Combining hilly trails with charming coastline, Golden Cap forms part of the World Heritage site and offers amazing views across the sea. It’s actually part of a wider estate, too. Perfect for dog walkers, this region close to Bridport is wonderfully well-preserved for all to enjoy.
2. The Branscombe Walk
The National Trust also offers a circular walk around Branscombe, a quaint village. This is a lovely walk that gives you lots of insight into the local natural history and character. However, it can be a bit of a wobbly trail, so do make sure to take care of pets.
3. Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster
This opulent and stunning mansion is, believe it or not, a wonderful hotspot for dog walks! While you won’t be able to take your pets into the main gardens of the estate, you are completely free to walk them on the lead across the miles of country paths explorable nearby.
It’s pretty safe to say that we absolutely adore dog friendly Dorset cottages. There are lots of good places to walk dogs with some fantastic panoramic vantage points. This is a corner of the country you may have seen on TV and film more than a few times before, and for good reason! They say that England is lucky to have so many gorgeous nature walks and views, and Dorset really does take the lion’s share. It’s also brimming with family fun down in Poole and Christchurch (as well as Bournemouth and Weymouth, of course). Why not check the days out in Dorset if you’re stuck for inspiration on where to take your pets in the region?
That said, with a little help from this guide above, you hopefully won’t have too many moments where you feel bored or at a loss! One thing to remember with many walks across Dorset is the fact that lots of the trails are quite rugged and steep. This is the ancient coastline you’re traversing. Therefore, don’t expect it to be paved over with nice, flat tarmac!
Instead, expect a walk or two full of character and with a wonderful, breezy backdrop. We think there are more than a few photo opportunities down on some of the dog friendly beaches in Dorset that you may well be missing out on. Do also keep in mind that Dorset gives you a fantastic launchpad for adventures on the Isle of Wight, too!
If you’ve never taken your dog on walks around Dorset before, make that change – and use this guide to the best Dorset dog walks as a starting point!