Dorset offers a wonderful array of days out where your dog will be more than welcome! Explore Corfe Castle and its miniature model village, take a steam train along miles of beautiful villages or onboard you and your canine companion on a boat trip along the River Frome to take in the history and uniqueness of Dorset’s waterways.
Here are 10 of our favourite dog-friendly attractions in Dorset…
Corfe Castle Model Village
Dogs will love sniffing around the village of Corfe Castle in miniature! Set in the centre of the full-size village on the Isle of Purbeck, dogs are welcome on leads to explore the mini village and acre of gardens surrounding the attraction. After visiting the 1/20th scale model, check out the dog-friendly Tea Room for refreshments and sit on the lovely terrace for sweeping views of the surrounding hills and castle.
The 563-hectare nature reserve with fantastic wildlife welcomes dogs on leads. One of the few places in the UK where all six of the UK’s native reptiles can be found, venture through beech woodlands, heathland, butterfly meadows and wetlands to a small beach where you will get the opportunity to see wild sika deer to wading birds and butterflies.
Situated on Poole Harbour, your best furry friend will love exploring the stunning landscape consisting of dramatic open heathland and ancient oak woodland.
Running from Swanage to Corfe Castle along six miles of beautiful countryside, take your furry plus one along for a ride on Swanage Railway for a great day out on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. Jump on board a full-size steam or diesel passenger train and stop off at the scenic spots of Corfe Castle, Harman’s Cross or Herston before departing at the seaside town of Swanage.
There are refreshment buffets at Norden and Swanage stations with picnic tables at most of the stations to soak up the atmosphere with your canine companion. If you’re looking for a unique day out, they offer various dining experiences and run special events – you could even drive a steam train with your four-legged friend by your side!
Explore the 1,000 years of history of Corfe Castle and embark on fabulous walks around the ruins that guard the gateway to Purbeck. Situated on a natural hill providing stunning views, enjoy anything from a gentle stroll to a challenging all-day adventure with your canine companion.
Choose to walk in the footsteps of the castle builders around the ruins or trek the Purbeck Ridgeway from Corfe Castle to the sea. Make sure to stop off at the castle’s Tea Room, offering indulgent cream teas and unique views of Corfe Castle.
Dogs love Kimmeridge! Located within a marine Special Area of Conservation and the best rock-pooling site in Dorset, dogs are welcome year-round to explore the bay, its ledges and rock pools on off-lead adventures. After a long day of exploring, visit dog-friendly Clavell’s Restaurant in Kimmeridge to taste delicious locally sourced food.
Venture slightly further afield to the dog-friendly pubs of The New Inn and The Scott Arms for alfresco dining with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.
A 280-acre wildlife park situated on the western edge of Swanage, Durlston Country Park welcomes dogs on leads in certain areas of the park to enjoy the amazing diversity of wildlife. Most visitors start at the castle which houses a dog-friendly cafe for refreshments before wandering through the park gazing out across open downland and out to sea before turning back at the lighthouse.
Facilities include car parking, Visitor Centre and walking trails to lead you and your four-legged friend along with the best views that the Jurassic Coast has to offer.
What better way to spend a dog-friendly day out in Dorset than at one of Britain’s only dinosaur museums. The Dinosaur Museum welcomes dogs on leads to walk among life-size reconstructions of dinosaurs from the Stegosaurus to the T-Rex.
Set in a converted Victorian schoolhouse in the centre of the historic town of Dorchester, discover Jurassic Dorset before heading to a dog-friendly cafe in Dorchesters’ centre such as Hendover Cafe or Potters Cafe Bistrom – well known for their gorgeous courtyard garden.
Depart from Wareham Quay and enjoy a one-hour historical river trip with your furry plus-one by your side. With sailings up to five times a day, the historical trip takes you downstream on the River Frome and out into Poole Harbour.
A guide will explain the history and uniqueness of the beautiful sights as you pass ancient Priories, Wharves and Yacht Clubs. Dogs are welcome on board at no extra charge, allowing you both to cruise around every bend in the river with views of the largest natural harbour in the world.
A must place to visit with your canine companion on a sunny day, The Blue Pool is a beauty spot where dogs are welcome all year round. With a clay base which reflects the sun making stunning shades of blue, The Blue Pool in Wareham is a sight-seeing highlight for those exploring Dorset’s natural beauty.
Although dogs must be kept on leads and are not allowed in the water, there are some lovely woodlands to walk your dog around nearby. The Teamrooms at The Blue Pool are also very dog-welcoming, you’ll even find dog-friendly ice cream and dog-friendly popcorn for your canine companion to enjoy after a long day of exploring.
Enjoy beautiful strolls through the gardens at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens in Weymouth. Dogs are welcome on leads to explore the gardens with a history dating back to the 1700s when a kitchen garden was created to provide fresh produce for the family living in the Abbotsbury castle.
Home to rare plants, the magnificent Victorian walled garden is set in 20 acres of woodland valley, perfect for tranquil strolls. Sit back and relax at the end of your visit in their dog-friendly coffee shop surrounded by beautiful greenery.