Although Hampshire is primarily known for the fabulous New Forestcountryside, there is much more for you and your curious canine to discover. Hampshire’s coastline has plenty to offer beach-loving hounds who enjoy running off lead and frolicking by the sea; with lovely sandy stretches backed by pretty coloured huts and wonderful clifftop walks.
Humans will enjoy the fabulous views of the Isle of Wight, the historic castles on the beach as well as the dog-friendly cafes and the chance to collect a fossil or two along the way. To ensure you take your pup to the very best places, we’ve sniffed out our favourite dog-friendly beaches in Hampshire.
Dog-friendly Calshot beach is a shingle beach close which is close to Lymington – part of a mile-long shingle split your dog will love. It stretches out as far as Southampton Water and is dotted with an array of colourful huts.
From the beach, there are lovely views of Southampton as well as the Isle of Wight. It is also the home to historic Calshot Castle. It also makes a great base for watersport enthusiasts – with activities ranging from windsurfing to kitesurfing and sailing.
A real doggy paradise, Barton-on-Sea is a short, shingle beach backed by dramatic cliffs. Perfect for clifftop walks with your best furry friend, it has wonderful views of Hengitsbury Head and the Isle of Wight.
It’s a great spot for fossil hunting with over 600 species of shells, and there are lots of pretty huts as well as a lovely dog-friendly cafe on the cliffs – the Beachcomber Cafe serves up the famous Beachcomber Belter, surrounded by stunning views of the Solent and the Needles.
Bembridge is ideal for dogs as it is open to them year-round. First, stop at the dog-friendly Tollgate cafe which is on the edge of the harbour and from here walk to the beach; if you head West you will find miles of beach for you and your dog to explore.
At Bembridge Ledge you will find a great pub – the Crab and Lobster and also the beach hut with great views out to sea. Further along is Whitecliff Bay – a lovely stretch of sand for your dog to play and the Wonky cafe with more lovely views of the beach.
Close to Milford-on-Sea, is Keyhaven and Hurst Spit – a mile-long stretch of beach, home to dog-friendly Hurst Castle; an artillery fort where dogs are welcome inside and out. You can reach the castle by walking along the split which takes around 40 minutes.
There are wonderful views from the Castle and you can either walk your dog there along the beach or take the dog-friendly ferry from Keyhaven.
Milford-on-Sea is a charming village with pretty coloured beach huts on a shingle beach. It’s dog-friendly year-round and was last year voted Hampshire’s most dog-friendly beach.
With excellent views of the Isle of Wight, there is a great walk from the beach along Hurst Spit to Hurst Castle. There are a couple of lovely cafes, an ice cream kiosk and a play area next to the beach.
Although there are some restrictions in the summer, dogs are permitted at the end of Eastney Beach and from Clarence Pier to Old Portsmouth all year. This beautiful beach at Eastney has a fantastically dog-friendly cafe – the Southsea beach cafe which has delicious food with a varied menu and a lovely decked area with terrific views. Doggy ice cream is also served!
The dog-friendly Hordle Cliffs are just to the West of Milford-on-Sea village and are an attractive combination of soft sand at the low time and clay cliffs. Perfect for clifftop walks with your canine by your side, there is a sealed gravel path running along the top of the cliffs it has lots of brightly coloured huts with great views of the Solent and the Isle of Wight.
This is a really gorgeous beach on the edge of the New Forest. It is a long shingle beach which forms part of Lepe Country Park, situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are great views across to the Isle of Wight and excellent coastal walks featuring pine-fringed cliffs; D-day remains and gorgeous wildflower meadows. Although not all areas of the beach are dog-friendly in the summer – it’s definitely worthy of a visit!
Goatee beach is super popular with pups; the year-round shingle beach overlooks the busy shipping lanes and docks of Southampton Water. It’s not a beach for swimmers or sunbathing, but perfect for a walk with your furry friend and there are picnic tables and benches on the beach, a riverside walk and a dog-friendly cafe.
A Ministry of Defence-owned beach, Browndown point beach has areas of woodland, perfect for a nice off-the-lead walk. It’s a fairly flat walk, so ideal for all the family. There is also a lovely cafe serving dog-friendly ice cream for furry friends!