Dorset’s dramatic coastline is one of the best the UK has to offer. A world heritage site, its Jurassic coast offers stunning scenery with amazing cliff-top walks perfect for dog walkers, beautiful beaches with sweeping golden sands, hidden coves and secluded bays. We’ve compiled a collection of the best dog-friendly beaches in Dorset that we think you and your dog will love.
Not only are they all dog-friendly beaches that are dog-friendly all year round, but they also include favourites like Hive Beach, and cliff-top walks as well as a few recommendations for dog-friendly beachside cafes and pubs along the way.
1. Boscombe Beach, Bournemouth
Dogs are welcome year-round in the dog-friendly section of Boscombe Beach at Fishermans Walk Beach – a blue flag beach with a lovely wide, sandy stretch of sand between Southbourne and Boscombe – perfect for long walks or runs with your dog along the beach. The sea is very calm and safe -perfect for dogs who like to splash in the sea.
There is deckchair hire, beach hunts and a lift up the cliffs to a dog-friendly cafe, Cafe Riva, at the top where your dog will be warmly welcomed after your early morning stroll.
2. Bowleaze Cove, Preston
Your dog will be welcome all year at this small sandy and pebble beach which is close to the village of Preston and Weymouth. Your dog will love splashing in the rock pools that appear at low tide and from the beach, there are wonderful views of the Jurassic coastline towards Weymouth and also the Isle of Portland. There is a lovely walk along the South West Coast path from the beach to Osmington Mills.
3. Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock
Hive Beach is where Hitler planned to land his troops in 1940 and where the Allies practised for D-day landings. A gorgeous beach close to the charming village of Burton Bradstock on the stunning Jurassic coast.
Walk your dog along the dog-friendly stretch of the beach and afterwards enjoy lunch at the Hive Beach Cafe – a dog-welcoming cafe right on the beach, renowned for its local fish as well as their doggy welcome. From Hive Beach you can enjoy a 45-minute walk to West Bay.
4. Cogden Beach, Burton Bradstock
Just along the coast from Burton Bradstock is Cogden Beach – a sandy beach that is especially popular with dog walkers as dogs can run freely off the lead. Owned by the National Trust and located near Bridport, it is a steep shelving shingle beach with wonderful views of Portland and Lyme Regis. The beach car park is on the coast road between Abbotsbury and Burton Bradstock or walks from Hive Beach.
5. Durdle Door Beach, Durdle Door
Dogs are welcome all year round at Durdle Door is famous for its iconic limestone arch which forms part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. A gorgeous beach – it is backed by amazing limestone cliffs and there are wonderful walks along the South West Coast path, there are plenty of dog-friendly cafes and pubs and it is also perfect for watching the sunset with your best furry friend in tow.
6. Eype Beach, Eype
If you are looking for somewhere gorgeous and relatively unspoilt then Eype Beach is for you. With a vast stretch of pebble beach for your dog to play, it is less well-known than some of the other beaches that run along the South West Coast Path, it offers far-reaching views of Lyme Bay and the cliffs along the Jurassic Coast. Great for fossil collectors and there are also a number of dog-friendly cafes and pubs including the New Inn and the Watch House cafe.
7. Chesil Beach, West Bay to Portland
A sloping, pebble beach which stretches 18 miles from Portland to West Bay – dogs are welcome year-round. It provides plenty of space for active dogs to run as well as a chance to go fossil hunting too. The eastern part of the Chesil Bank is home to a saltwater lagoon – home to a range of wildlife and the chance to take your dog on board a shallow-bottomed boat trip.
Monkey Beach is a lovely sandy beach located on the southern end of the town and very close to the Victorian pier where dogs can happily run off lead. The water is lovely and clear and the beach has won many Blue Flag awards.
Perfect for water sports enthusiasts, there are pedalos and kayaking, windsurfing and water-skiing available. Enjoy lunch at the Pig on the Beach with your best friend in tow just a short drive up the coast at Studland Bay.
9. Knoll Beach, Studland Bay
Knoll Beach is a really gorgeous award-winning sandy beach surrounded by sand dunes and forms part of the Studland National Nature Reserve. The largest and best-known beach on Studland Bay, it is very popular with families with dogs and is surrounded by woodlands.
Although in the summer it is on-lead only you can always get a ferry across to Sandbanks where dogs are allowed off lead.
10 Kimmeridge Bay, Kimmeridge
Dogs are welcome year-round off lead at Kimmeridge Bay on the left-hand section of East Beach of Lulworth Cove. The beach is a Special Area of Conservation and is famous for rock pooling and snorkelling. Part of the Jurassic Coast it is on the South West Coast Path.
Popular with surfers and windsurfers it is sheltered and safe and your dog will love scampering along the shoreline or frolicking in the sea.