Considered one of the most dog-friendly destinations in England, a visit to Dorset wouldn't be complete without some time spent by the sea.
Whether they love splashing in the surf or digging around in the sand, Dorset offers a beach to suit every dog and their human.
What are the best beaches in Dorset that allow dogs?
If you're in Dorset and looking for the perfect place to walk your dog, here are a few ideas:
Durdle Door Beach
One of the most beautiful beaches in Dorset that allows dogs, Durdle Door Beach is a must when visiting West Lulworth. With cliff top walks and a stunning rock formation, the beach offers breathtaking views and space to run and play. Perhaps the most famous spot along the Jurassic Coast, Durdle Door Beach is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Also known as Eype Beach, the beach offers fantastic swimming opportunities for water lovers, both four-legged and two. There are also plenty of lovely walks along the Lyme Bay Coastline. Eype beach is dog-friendly year round.
This shingle beach offers lovely rockpools for your pup to explore. As one of the best places to spot wildlife in the area, there's lots to look out for. Dogs are welcome off-lead all year round.
Often referred to as a secret beach, Cogden Beach lies between Abbotsbury and Burton Bradstock. A mixture of sand and shingle, it's popular among dog walkers year round.
Part of the world famous Jurassic Coast, Lulworth is perhaps one of the most popular beaches in Dorset that allows dogs. This pebble beach welcomes dogs year round, but walkers are asked to keep their four-legged friends to the left hand side of the slipway.
West Bay Beach
A mile south of Bridport lies the wide, sandy beach of West Bay. Cut in half by the harbour, West Bay is comprised of the East Beach (east of the Pier) and the West Beach (west of the pier). Dogs are not allowed here between the beginning of May and the end of September. The third beach is separated by a rock groyne, and dogs are welcome here year round without restriction.
Reputedly the best dog-friendly beach in Lyme Regis, this is a pretty beach made up of sand and pebble. Backed by ancient cliffs, it's a stunning spot for dog walkers and their canine companions. Dogs are allowed off-lead year round.
Dog-friendly beaches near Weymouth
A bustling seaside resort, Weymouth is positioned on the south coast of Dorset. With plenty of dog-friendly attractions, cafes and shops, it's a popular destination year round.
Chesil Beach is the perfect playground for your four-legged friend, with pebbles to dig around in and 17 miles of beach for as many zoomies as they can manage. On the eastern side of the beach is Fleet Lagoon, which is now a conservation area. Dogs are allowed on the beach without restriction.
Situated two miles north of Weymouth is Bowleaze Cove. With its shallow, calm waters, this is the perfect spot for families with children. At low tide, there are plenty of rockpools to splash around in, and a stunning view down the Jurassic coastline towards the Isle of Portland.
Church Ope Cove
A great beach for snorkelling and swimming, Church Ope Cove is a sheltered beach on the Isle of Portland, part of the Jurassic Coast. As the beach is shingle, sandy paws won't be an issue when bringing your pup home!
Surrounded by breathtaking cliffs, this unspoilt shingle beach offers crystal-clear water. Welcoming dogs year-round, a beautiful one mile trail leads you from the National Trust car park down to the sea.
Dog-friendly beaches near Bournemouth
A coastal resort town on the south coast of England, Bournemouth is famous for miles of golden sands. Here are a few beaches you can visit near there:
Fisherman's Walk Beach
This is an award winning beach with acres of golden sand. It offers a dedicated area for dog walkers, east of Fisherman's Walk leading up to Southborne Beach. If you fancy taking a walk along the promenade it's a 20 minute walk to Boscombe Beach, and 45 minutes to Bournemouth Pier.
Southborne Beach is popular with locals, as it's known to be quieter than the main Bournemouth Beach. With water sports on offer and a dedicated exercise area for dogs, this is a great choice for families and their canine companions.
Dog-friendly beaches near Poole
The second largest town in Dorset, Poole has plenty of hidden gems to explore. Lots of beaches are dog-friendly, but it's always worth researching each beach before arrival, to ensure you dog will be welcome.
Studland Bay is on the south west coast path, accessible from both Bournemouth and Poole by foot. It's split between Shell Bay, which offers breathtaking views over Sandbanks and Poole Harbour. Dogs are welcome year round, but access is restricted between April and September. During this time they must be kept on-lead.
Knoll Beach, which forms the other half of the bay, is owned by the National Trust. It offers four miles of white sand, meaning you and your pup will have plenty to explore. As with Shell Bay, dogs must be on lead between April and September.
Sandbanks is widely recognised as one of the most beautiful beaches in England, and has been awared the Blue Flag for over 30 years. With golden sands and shallow water, this is an extremely popular destination for those visiting the area. If you're looking for beaches in Dorset that allow dogs, Sandbanks most definitely deserves a place on the itinerary.
The dog-friendly area begins at the western end of the beach, running along to Haven Point. Dogs are not allowed in other sections from May to September. It's worth noting that the current can be strong at certain times of day, so careful supervision of your pup is important if they head for a swim. Here are some key safety tips to keep in mind when taking your dog to the beach.
With so many beautiful beaches to choose from, it can be hard to pick the best beach for your and your dog. With a ball, a towel and your four-legged friend by your side, beach-hopping is the perfect way to discover all this beautiful county has to offer.