15 Things to do in Dorset with dogs

The picturesque county of Dorset on England's southern coast offers no shortage of adventures for your pooch. Whether you want to explore castle ruins or hike through the breathtaking Jurassic Coast, there are plenty of things to do in Dorset with dogs!


Opt for a City Cruise to admire the scenery, eat at the Hive Beach Cafe, and more with your dog by your side. There are so many things to do with dogs in Dorset, and with endless options for outdoor exploration, Dorset is a paradise for canine companions. This list highlights the top 15 things to do with your beloved four-legged friend in Dorset. Get ready for memorable adventures!

Top 5 dog-friendly walks and attractions in Dorset

Dorset offers some of the best attractions and walking trails that provide some of the nicest things to do in Dorset with Dogs. Whether you visit historical sites like Corfe Castle or take a boat ride to see the Dorset views from a different perspective, here are 5 of the best ones you must try on holiday:

An image of Corfe Castle on a bright day with blue skies.

Corfe Castle

The ruins of Corfe Castle sit atop a steep hill in a quaint village that welcomes dogs on leads. Dogs are allowed in the castle, tea room, shop, and more. The surrounding countryside is beautiful, where you can take delightful walks with your pooch. The castle makes for an exciting day out and one of the best things to do in Dorset with dogs.

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City Cruises Poole image

City Cruises Poole

Sail the picturesque waters off the Dorset coast with City Cruises, which operates daily out of Poole Quay and Swanage Pier. You can cruise along the famous coastline to see the natural landmarks. Travel by sea train or admire the harbour on an evening cruise. You can even book a guided evening birdwatching or Jurassic Coast trip.

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Two children waving at the camera out the window of a train.

Swanage Railway

One of the best things to do with dogs in Dorset is visit Swanage Railway. This great attraction allows leashed dogs to ride along on the heritage steam trains (as long as your dog is kept on the floor). Starting from Norden and ending at Swanage, your dog can join you for the scenic ride as you travel through some stunning views.

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Nothe Fort image

Nothe Fort

This coastal defence fort in Weymouth allows dogs, as long as they are kept on a short lead and supervised at all times. You and your pup can explore the historic Nothe Fort and enjoy the excellent harbour views. Only around a 15-minute drive from East Fleet Farm holiday park, coastal walks are nearby to enjoy with your canine companion.

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Arne, RSPB Nature Reserve image

Arne, RSPB Nature Reserve

At the Arne Nature Reserve, there are lovely walking trails around the protected heathland and along the shoreline that you and your dog can enjoy together. Dogs on a lead are welcome on the designated dog-friendly trails on the reserve. Keep your dog on a short lead at all times due to the sensitive wildlife, habitats, and livestock here to ensure the best time possible.

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5 dog-friendly restaurants in Dorset

After all the exploring, you'll get to this beautiful part of the UK, where you'll want to refuel and refresh with tasty local food and drinks. So, here are some top dog-friendly picks in Dorset:

The Saxon Arms, Dorchester image

The Saxon Arms, Dorchester

This traditional, beautifully thatched flint-stone pub in Dorchester welcomes dogs – except in the main restaurant area. After a stunning walk, you can refuel with traditional, hearty English food at The Saxon Arms. It's a cosy spot at a maximum of a 30-minute drive from the East Fleet Farm holiday park, where you can enjoy classic pub fare and a pint with your furry friend.

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The New Inn, Corfe Castle image

The New Inn, Corfe Castle

Situated 1.5 miles behind the ruins of Corfe Castle, this beautiful location allows dogs in both their garden and bar area – booking is highly advised for the bar. The New Inn has a tasty homemade menu and refreshing drinks that you can savour alongside views of the stunning Purbeck hills – a dog walker's paradise!

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Hive Beach Café, Bridport image

Hive Beach Café, Bridport

Right on the beach at Burton Bradstock on the Jurassic Coast, you'll find the first-ever site to make the UNESCO World Heritage list! Visit there, but also visit the Hive Beach Café, as they all welcome dogs. You can dine al fresco with your pup and enjoy fresh local seafood dishes as you take in the seaside views.

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Symondsbury Kitchen, Bridport image

Symondsbury Kitchen, Bridport

For tasty home-cooked food fresh from the Estate, try some of the most sustainable and authentic food sourced locally where possible. This contemporary restaurant close to West Bay allows dogs to dine with you, so you can visit Symondsbury Kitchen to relax and savour their menu of modern British dishes.

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The Green Man, Wimborne Minster image

The Green Man, Wimborne Minster

In the heart of Wimborne, Dorset, The Green Man allows dogs inside on a lead. Your furry friend can join you to sample their homemade pub food and local ales. They also offer delights for different dietary requirements, so everyone can enjoy their time shared here!

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Top 5 dog-friendly beaches in Dorset

One of the best things to do in Dorset with dogs is to visit the many beaches in and around the county. You may be thinking – 'Are dogs allowed on beaches in Dorset?'

The straight answer would be yes. Just be aware of certain beach restrictions.

Here are our top 5 picks:

Weymouth Beach image

Weymouth Beach

With its long expanse of sandy beach, Weymouth Beach is a great spot to take your dog. There is an allocated exercise area for your pup near the Pavillion, so let your dog run free and splash in the gentle waves.

  • Dog restrictions: Dogs are not allowed on the main sections of Weymouth Central or Lodmoor between Good Friday and 31st October.

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Abbotsbury Beach – Chesil Bank image

Abbotsbury Beach – Chesil Bank

At this shelving beach made up of pebbles and shingles, this is a popular choice to visit! This beach is even better because dogs are welcome all year, from Chesil Beach at Abbotsbury to the Tank Teeth Boundary.

  • Dog restrictions: Chesil Beach - dogs welcome all year. Tank Teeth - dogs welcome on leads to the beach's outer flank from 1 September to 30 April.

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Alum Chine Beach image

Alum Chine Beach

West of Bournemouth Beach, you'll find Alum Chine Beach, often quieter than the more central beaches. There are plenty of facilities for everyone including kiosks and a paddling pool.

  • Dog restrictions: Dogs are allowed on parts of the beach throughout the year. Dogs are banned from Alum Chine's (1st May- 30th September) and must be kept on a lead.

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Bowleaze Cove image

Bowleaze Cove

Just northeast of Weymouth, Bowleaze Cove offers excellent off-leash fun for dogs all year. Let your pup play in the pebbles and sand while you relax – the water is zoned for the safety of bathers, so splash around with your pooch.

  • Dog restrictions: Dogs are permitted all year.

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An image of Durdle Door on the coast of Dorset.

Durdle Door

Durdle Door is one of the biggest Dorset attractions, so you may be wondering, ' Is Durdle Door dog-friendly?' Durdle Door Beach allows dogs. Explore the rocky shores and crystal-clear waters with your canine companion by your side; plus, it's the perfect place to relax with a picnic.

  • Dog restrictions: Dogs are permitted all year.

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How dog-friendly is Dorset?

After this whistle-stop tour of the things to do in Dorset with dogs, there are plenty of things to do in this beautiful location, including:

And with many other attractions to visit whilst you're on your Dorset holiday that are pretty close to the top holiday parks, you can create the perfect base for your upcoming getaway!

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