Top 10 of our favourite dog-friendly attractions in Dorset

Dorset beckons curious canines with its blend of coastal charm, dramatic scenery and gorgeous countryside. Begin your journey with a tour of Lyme Regis, where the fossil-speckled shores invite playful digs and splashes under the gentle sun. Venture to Poole Harbour, a tableau of calm waters and serene islands, offering a plethora of dog-friendly beaches and trails. The adventure continues in Durlston Country Park, where meandering trails through wildflower meadows and woodland unveil panoramic vistas of the Jurassic Coast and enjoy fabulous boat trips along the coast. 

Every part of Dorset holds a promise of discovery, making it a perfect escape for you and your furry companion to explore, relax, and create cherished memories amidst nature’s bounty. Take a look at our top 10 favourite dog-friendly activities for your next adventure.

Bournemouth City Sightseeing Tour
First, climb aboard a distinctive, red double-decker bus with your best furry friend at a conveniently located stop close to your Bournemouth accommodation and embark on your sightseeing voyage. If the sun is shining, take a seat on the top deck where you and your dog will enjoy excellent views of Bournemouth’s top attractions while listening to audio commentary.
Choose to remain on the bus for the entire loop, or disembark whenever you wish. Gaze at the scenic curve of Bournemouth’s coast; hop off to absorb the cosmopolitan charm; or enjoy the botanical beauty of Boscombe Gardens.

Lyme Regis Walking Tour
Dogs are welcome on this Lyme Regis Walking Tour which offers a good introduction to the historical background of the town and interesting stories of Lyme’s past. We explore Lymes’ literary connections – John Fowles’s novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman was set in Lyme Regis and Cobb. The tour also explores filming locations and famous residents such as Mary Anning. The tour ends at the iconic Cobb harbour, with recommendations on where to find the best fossils and the best cream tea!

Hengistbury Head – Self-Guided Tour
History buffs and their four-legged friends will love discovering all about Hengistbury Head on this self-guided audio tour. Find out about the history of Hengistbury Head and how it was used after World War II. Discover what this area looked like 200 years ago, and learn about the rock and timber projections into the sea. Find out how we track the migration of birds that stop to visit here. There is even the account of the ghostly rider of Hengistbury Head and much, much, more. The tour begins at a dog-friendly Hiker cafe in Christchurch.

Poole Harbour and Islands Circular Tour
Dogs love boat trips and your furry friend will love the chance to join you, feeling the salty breeze on their fur on this Poole Harbour and Islands Circular Cruise where you’ll see the most incredible views of Dorset. Discover the birthplace of the Scouts and Guides, sail past Brownsea Island, which is home to rare red squirrels and unique birds, and see Sandbanks Peninsula, Studland Bay and more. A local captain will provide captivating live commentary as you sail along Europe’s largest natural harbour, Poole Harbour. Grab a drink from the onboard bar and enjoy!

The best of the Jurassic Coast- Self-Drive tour
Discover England’s UNESCO-listed Jurassic Coast the convenient way: with a self-drive tour in the style of a treasure hunt  – which will be fun for the whole family including four-legged friends. Downloadable to your smartphone, the self-guided tour gives you the freedom to sightsee at your own pace, and can be done when you want and with your own personal group. Discover off-the-beaten-path sites, fabulous beaches and tucked-away treasures along the way.

Boat Rental in Poole Harbour
If you would rather enjoy your own boat trip and be the captain of your own adventure then why not hire a self-drive boat, with no experience necessary? Explore Poole Harbour’s 10,000 acres of open water. Find total peace and tranquillity by taking a trip around the islands. You can also anchor up and visit one of the myriad beaches for a swim. Check out Brownsea Island; Shipstal Point; Bramble Bush Bay or the pier at Round Island where you’ll find seals! Pack a picnic or wade into Shell Bay Beach Bar for a drink. You could take a slow trip up the river to Wareham and moor up for a drink or an ice cream on the quay. Your dog will love this adventure and the chance for beachside frolics along the way.

Best of Bournemouth – Self-Guided Tour
There are so many interesting outdoor sights in Bournemouth, but without local knowledge or thorough research, it can be easy to miss the off-the-beaten-track highlights. See a different side of the city and bring out your competitive side by playing this treasure hunt smartphone game. As it’s a self-guided experience, you can start whenever you like, take breaks, and decide on your preferred route too.

Durlston Country Park
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.

Corfe Castle 
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.

Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens
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.

Explore our properties in Dorset for your next adventure!