Home to The Jurassic Coast, majestic ruins and stunning hill walks, there’s no shortage of picturesque strolls to enjoy with your best furry friend in Dorset. From tranquil beach walks to more challenging hill climbs, discover the fabulous landscape of Dorset to be sure of a beautiful and memorable experience.
Here are some of our favourite dog walks in Dorset…
The Rodwell Trail and Sandsfoot Castle
This route will take you and your canine companion along an accessible footpath between Weymouth and Ferrybridge with Sandsfoot Castle just a short walk from the trail. You will start at Jubilee clock tower and pass unrivalled views over Portland. Stop off at an outdoor dog-friendly cafe at Sandsfoot Castle where they also run regular events throughout the year.
Length of walk: 6½ miles
Difficulty: Easy, the terrain consists of paths, meadows and park
An enchanting shorter walk through meadows and beside the River Frome, this route begins at Lubbecke Way and will lead you and your canine companion across the bridge where you will venture into fields for off-lead fun in beautiful surroundings. Make sure to venture into Dorchester and visit the dog-friendly Dinosaur Museum where dogs can roam on leads.
Length of walk: 2 miles
Difficulty: Easy, you will pass through flats and fields
A picturesque walk around a beautiful Georgian country house, there are many routes you can take around the park including along the shoreline. Start at any of the car parks and visit the manor house and surrounding gardens, the park even has a safely enclosed “training area” for dogs, perfect for teaching recall or walking off-lead. Some areas of the country park are dog-free or on-lead only but there are many open field areas for off-lead frolics.
Length of walk: Various
Difficulty: Easy, walk along paths, meadow and park
For somewhere a little different to visit with your best furry friend, Tout Quarry was an abandoned Portland Stone quarry and has since been transformed into a nature reserve and sculpture trail with over 70 unique sculptures to discover. Start at Tout Quarry car park or access the quarry from the South West Coastal Path and admire the wildlife and beautiful views over Portland Harbour and Chesil Beach. From here you can walk to Fortuneswell and rest your legs at Quiddles cafe with a hot and bite to eat, making the walk very much worth it!
Length of walk: 1 mile
Difficulty: Moderate, best suited to walkers and their pets who can handle the few steep sections and stiles.
A pawsome attraction to round off your Dorset stay, visit the Cerne Abbas Giant, the largest chalk figure in Britain. Steeped in mystery, furry plus ones who prefer a more gentle stroll will love starting at the picturesque village of Cerne Abbas where you can walk up to the giant’s feet. A picnic spot by the viewing point gives you the best vantage point of the Chalk figure. Or for more refreshments and where your four-legged friend can rest their legs, visit a dog-friendly tea room or picturesque pub in the village such as the New Inn and Royal Oak.
Length of walk: 2 miles
Difficulty: Easy, paths lead up to the hill which follows with even slopes.
A beautiful walk of both heathland and forest, start at Sika Trail car park and explore the fantastic surroundings full of wildlife and interesting trails. There’s plenty of open space for four-legged friends to explore off-lead with Wareham Forest Tourist Park also having a large enclosed exercise arena. Stop off at the dog-friendly cafe in the park and grab a doggy ice cream for your adventure-loving pup!
Length of walk: 1.8 miles or 6.8 miles
Difficulty: Easy, beware of muddy sections during wet weather!
Stretching for three miles, Studland Bay consists of four beaches and is one of Dorset’s most famous shorelines. Reached either by the ferry from Sandbanks in Poole, via Corfe Castle or Swanage, you can explore the bay on designated trails through the nature reserve behind the beaches. Enjoy views of the Isle of Wight as you head south towards Old Harry Rocks, beware of the British reptiles so make sure dogs are kept on lead. At the end of a long day of walking visit dog-friendly Bankes Arms in Studland with your canine companion.
One of the most tranquil beach dog walks in Dorset, Eype Beach is much quieter than its neighbouring beaches and offers miles of relaxing waves and fantastic cliff-top scenery. Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round and its vast landscape makes Eype Beach perfect for off-lead frolics. Make sure to stop off at the local pubs, shops and tea rooms nearby in Eype or West Bay where many of them are dog-welcoming.
Length of walk: 3.7 miles
Difficulty: Easy, enjoy walking along the beach, shingle and tracks
A beautiful and challenging walk, this route takes you to the highest point on the south coast where you’ll have unparalleled views of the surrounding fields and miles of the Jurassic Coast. Start the walk at the holiday park, or Eype’s Mouth which gives you the opportunity to visit the beach with your four-legged friend. For refreshments before or after you climb Golden Cap, the nearby towns of Seatown and Charmouth have plenty of dog-friendly pubs and cafes.
Length of walk: 4.4 miles
Difficulty: Challenging, there are some steep sections and stiles which will be better suited to the more seasoned hiker and high-energy dogs, however, the views at the top are very much worth it!
For beautiful views of the countryside, the Eggardon Hill walk is perfect for enjoying the exercise of this hike with your furry plus one. Your dog can run through the expanses of open countryside along the route towards the top where the views are truly spectacular. Make sure to bring along a picnic as you might need it after all your walking! The route starts and finishes in Askerwell where you can visit the dog-friendly Spyway Inn pub, a smuggler’s inn where you will both receive a hearty welcome.
Length of walk: 6 miles
Difficulty: Challenging, this route is better suited to seasoned trekkers and high-energy dogs with its uneven terrain and steep sections.