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Nine dog-friendly walks in Dorset

Are you looking for a holiday destination that you and your four-legged companion will enjoy? Then Dorset is the place for you. With stunning landscapes, varied terrain and countless walking routes, you and your pooch will be in seventh heaven. Here’s our list of the best dog walks in Dorset.

1. Durdle Door

Location: West Lulworth

Difficulty: Easy

Walk length: Two miles

Terrain: Sandy

Durdle Door, located in West Lulworth, is one of Dorset's most iconic landmarks. It’s part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site and provides the perfect walking place for both dogs and humans. Walking from Durdle Door to Lulworth Cove will take roughly 20 minutes down a steep, uneven coastal path. Walking boots or trainers are recommended. Durdle Door shingle beach is dog-friendly all year round and is accessible via a set of steep stairs.

2. Corfe Castle

Location: Corfe Castle

Difficulty: Moderate

Walk length: Two and a half miles (short route) or nine miles (long route) 

Terrain: Grass, stiles and steep hills

The hike up to Corfe Castle will reveal breathtaking views of Purbeck. There are two walks you and your canine can take after exploring the ruins. The moderate circular route takes you and your pooch through farmland, over Copper Bridge, and through the village of Corfe Castle before finishing back at the castle ruins. The longer walk takes you from Corfe Castle to Swanage along the ridge, where you can then catch the steam train back to the castle.

3. Tyneham and Worbarrow Bay

Location: Wareham

Difficulty: Easy

Walk length: Two miles

Terrain: Mainly tarmac with a small stone track

Tyneham to Worbarrow Bay goes from the ghost village of Tyneham, in Wareham, all the way down to Worbarrow Bay. You and your pooch will enjoy walking through Tyneham’s eerie streets, learning about its history and viewing exhibitions and museums along the way. After you’ve had a look around the village take the scenic coastal route down to Worbarrow Bay where your pooch is free to get its paws wet.

4. Lulworth Cove and The Fossil Forest

Location: Wareham

Difficulty: Moderate

Walk length: Two miles

Terrain: Pebble beach and uneven ground

Lulworth Cove is a sheltered white pebbled beach that both you and your dog can enjoy getting your feet and paws wet. After you’ve enjoyed the beach, take the steep path uphill along the Jurassic Coast where you’ll be met by Fossil Forest - a submerged ancient forest from Jurassic times. Keep your eyes open as you might find a fossil or two to keep as souvenirs.

5. Golden Cap

Location: Bridport

Difficulty: Hard

Walk length: Four and a half miles

Terrain: Heathland, hills and fields

If you’re looking for something a little challenging, why not climb to the highest point on the South Coast of Dorset for your next dog walk? Golden Gap offers unparalleled views of the surrounding fields and miles of Jurassic Coast. Although the official route starts at the holiday park, you can shorten it slightly and start from Eype’s Mouth Car Park in Bridport. This gives you and your dog a chance to explore the beach before taking on this walk. There is free parking for National Trust members.

6. Tout Quarry

Location: Portland

Difficulty: Easy

Walk length: One mile

Terrain: Slopes and stone tracks

Once used for quarrying stone, Tout Quarry in Portland has been transformed into a nature reserve and sculpture trail. Dogs are welcome to join you as you search for these incredible sculptures, however, they must be kept on leads. You can walk to Fortuneswell from the Quarry, or you can access it along the South West Coastal Path, making for a great walk.

7. The Rodwell Trail

Location: Weymouth

Difficulty: Easy

Walk length: Two miles (short route) or four miles (long route)

Terrain: Paths and meadows

The Rodwell Trail was created over a disused railway line and offers a surfaced path between Weymouth and Ferrybridge. It’s a popular walk for dog walkers and cyclists. Sandsfoot Castle was built to watch over and protect Portland harbour. It now stands in ruins and is only a short walk from the trail. You and your pooch are welcome to explore, before stopping at the outside cafe for a drink and a bite to eat. 

8. Wareham Forest

Location: Wareham

Difficulty: Easy

Walk length: 14 miles

Terrain: Heathland and inclines

There is plenty of open space for you and your dog to explore in Wareham Forest. With a mix of heathland and forest, it’s one of the least well-known landscapes in Dorset. The nearby Wareham Tourist Park has large enclosed dog exercise arenas which are perfect for ball games. There are also plenty of benches to perch on and enjoy the peace and tranquility of being out in nature. The cafe inside the park also sells doggy ice cream for those hot summer days.

9. Old Harry Rocks

Location: Studland, Isle of Wight

Difficulty: Easy

Walk length: Three and a half miles

Terrain: Grass, hills and paths

Enjoy beautiful views over the sea and out to the Isle of White. It’s a beautiful location in Dorset that can be reached either by ferry from Sandbanks, Corfe Castle or Swanage. Old Harry Rocks in Studland is one of the most famous and iconic landmarks on the South Coast. It is part of the Jurassic World Heritage Site and is managed by the National Trust. Due to the height of the cliffs, it is advised that you keep your dog on a lead.