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11 dog-friendly beaches in Dorset

Are you planning a beach holiday in Dorset but aren’t sure which beaches allow dogs? Then our list of 11 dog-friendly beaches will help you decide which ones to visit. Spend your day getting sandy paws and toes, paddling in the crystal clear waters and digging holes without the headache of restrictions. 

1. Durdle Door

Location: West Lulworth

Address: Wareham BH20 5PU

Dogs allowed? Yes, all year round

The shingle beach of Durdle Door is a steep 15-minute walk down from the cliff top car park. Located in West Lulworth you can walk from here all the way to Lulworth Cove with some spectacular views along the way. It’s one the Jurassic Coasts most iconic landscapes and can be enjoyed by you and your four-legged friends all year round. Be careful if you let your dogs swim in the water as there is a strong under-tow and the beach shelves steeply.

Car park: Via Durdle Door Holiday Park.

Facilities: No facilities although there are public toilets at Durdle Door Holiday Park.

Dog-friendly place to stay: Durdle Dreams is located in the heart of the picturesque village of West Lulworth and within a short distance of the Jurassic Coast and the coastal path that leads to Durdle Door.

2. Sandbanks Beach

Location: Poole

Address: Dorset, BH13 7QF

Dogs allowed? Yes but only on the western end of the beach

Sandbanks Beach in Poole is perfect for dogs and humans alike. This large area of fine golden sand and crystal clear waters is one Britain's best beaches. Dogs are welcome all year round, but some restrictions apply. Dogs are only allowed on the main beach between October and April, and must be kept on a lead at all times on the promenade. 

Car park: Car park is right next to the beach.

Facilities: Toilets, cold water showers and information centre.

Dog-friendly place to stay: Apartment in Dorset is a beautiful barn conversion that’s located within a short drive of Sandbanks Beach.

3. Lulworth Cove

Location: West Lulworth

Address: Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5RQ

Dogs allowed? Yes, on the left-hand side of the slipway.

Lulworth Cove welcomes thousands of visitors every year. You’ll enjoy stunning panoramic views and crystal clear waters on this stretch of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Perfect for rock pooling, swimming and walking, you and your canine will have lots of fun. 

Car park: Five-minute walk from the beach.

Facilities: Toilets and cafe.

Dog-friendly place to stay: Little Ivy is a lovely grade II thatched cottage which dates back 400 years and is only a short distance from Lulworth Cove.

4. Worbarrow Bay

Location: Tyneham

Address: East Lulworth, Dorset, BH20 5QF

Dogs allowed? Yes, all year round

Worbarrow Bay is a short walk from Tyneham village. The bay and the surrounding coastline is part of the Jurassic Coast and managed by the Ministry of Defense. The beach offers a great place for you and your dog to run around and play fetch before taking to the South West Coast Path for a nice long walk to Studland Bay or Minehead.

Car park: Nearest car park is at Tynemouth Village. 

Facilities: None, nearest facilities are in Tynemouth Village.

Dog-friendly place to stay: Hill View is positioned on a quiet village lane in West Lulworth and has easy access to the coast path.

5. Weymouth Beach

Location: Weymouth

Address: Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 7AN

Dogs allowed? Yes but with some restrictions

Weymouth Beach in Weymouth is an award-winning sandy beach that’s overlooked by a magnificent Georgian seafront. Dogs are welcome off lead within an allocated dog exercise area at the end of the beach. They are also welcome on the sandy beach up to the Greenhill Groyne between 1st October and 30th April, but should be on lead at all times on The Esplanade. 

Car park: Nearest car park is in town.

Facilities: Tourist information centre, toilets and showers.

Dog-friendly place to stay: Our cozy Mariner’s Cottage dates back to the 1800s and feels like a home away from home with a log burner you dogs will love to curl up in front of.

6. Hengistbury Head Beach

Location: Bournemouth

Address: Bournemouth, Dorset, BH6 4EW

Dogs allowed? Yes, all year round

Hengistbury Head boasts plenty of walking routes that lead to stunning panoramic views from Bournemouth to the Isle of Wight. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round but as it’s a nature reserve they must be kept under control. The beach and surrounding area is home to over 500 species of plants and 300 species of insects, birds, reptiles, and small mammals. 

Car park: Paid car park next to the beach.

Facilities: Cafe, toilets and information centre.

Dog-friendly place to stay: 4 Dalmeny Road offers guests beautiful seaside views with a large enclosed garden.

7. Church Cliff Beach

Location: Lyme Regis

Address: Lyme Regis, DT7 3BY

Dogs allowed? Yes, restrictions apply in summer months. 

Church Cliff Beach is a small sand and pebble beach located in Lyme Regis. The water around the beach isn't the cleanest so it’s advised not to swim, however, your dogs will love running along the sand and pebbles playing fetch. There are also lots of dog-friendly pubs, cafes and restaurants for you to refresh after your walkies.

Car park: 100 metres from the beach. 

Facilities: None but Toilets, cafe and first aid are available in town.

Dog-friendly place to stay: This Cottage in Dorset is the perfect couples bolthole that’s surrounded by beautiful countryside.

8. Chesil Beach

Location: Weymouth

Address: Weymouth, DT6 4RJ

Dogs allowed? Yes, but must be kept under control near nesting birds and mudflats

Chesil Beach is an 18-mile shingle beach that stretches from West Bay all the way to Portland. This beach is not your typical British Beach, it's wild, rugged and completely at the mercy of Mother Nature. Behind the beach is Fleet Lagoon - a natural habitat for many species. Dogs are allowed on the beach but must be kept under control. 

Car park: Adjacent to the beach.

Facilities: Toilets and visitor centre

Dog-friendly place to stay: Barn in Dorset is a charming single storey barn conversion perfectly located close to Chesil Beach.

9. Abbotsbury Beach

Location: Abbotsbury

Address: Abbotsbury, Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 4LA

Dogs allowed? Yes but restrictions apply.

Abbotsbury Beach is a popular spot for local anglers, as well as dogs and their owners. Your four-legged friends are welcome on leads to the outer flank of the beach to the Portland Boundary Stone from September to April only. The beach in Abbotsbury is also part of the Chesil and Fleet Nature Reserve, so watch out for nesting birds. 

Car park: At the end of Buller’s Way.

Facilities: Toilets.

Dog-friendly place to stay: This Cottage in Dorset is perfect for a romantic getaway and is set into the hillside with far reaching views.

10. Bowleaze Cove

Location: Weymouth

Address: Weymouth, DT3 6PR

Dogs allowed? Yes, all year round

Just over two miles North East of Weymouth is Bowleaze Cove. A sand and pebble beach that's perfect for dogs and their owners. Your pooch will love getting their paws wet both in the sea. The beach offers great views of the Jurassic Coastline and is a great starting point for a walk to see the ruins of a Roman temple on Jordan hill.

Car park: There is a car park on the beach. 

Facilities: Pub, shops and toilets.

Dog-friendly place to stay: Our dog-friendly cottage, Happy Endings, is a charming stone-faced terraced cottage in the village of Sutton Poyntz near Weymouth.

11. Church Ope Cove

Location: Isle of Portland

Address: Portland, DT5 1HU

Dogs allowed? Yes

Church Ope Cove consists of soft limestone pebbles and is located on the Isle of Portland. The beach is surrounded by cliffs on three sides which provides shelter from the strong breeze. There are also some lovely dog walks that can start here, which take you to the ruins of old St. Andrews Church. To access the beach there is a walk down a steep flight of stairs. The main focal point from the beach is the Rufus Castle which overlooks the beach from the clifftop. 

Car park: Parking available opposite Pennsylvania Castle.

Facilities: Toilets and cafe.

Dog-friendly place to stay: Stay at Seascape Retreat for some bracing walks along the coastline before relaxing and unwinding in your own private hot tub.