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Dog-Friendly Beaches in Dorset

Posted on 20th May 2024 by Melissa Hawkins
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What Are The Best Dog Friendly Beaches in Dorset?

Where are the best Dorset beaches to take your dog, when are these dog friendly beaches open?  Where are the best sandy beaches in Dorset that welcome pets? Let us help you plan your day at the beach with your four legged friend!

where are the best beaches in dorset that allow dogs?If you are planning a visit to Dorset, let Lucy (our little Jack Russell) help you explore dog friendly beaches that are open all year, or advise when beaches are closed to pets.  We also detail the best dog friendly sandy beaches in Dorset. Let us help you plan a trip to the beach with your dog, what to take, where to park and where the water stations are located.  We will also explore which beach cafes in Dorset will welcome your dog.



Studland Beach – The Best Dog Friendly Beach in Dorset?

studland beach open for dogsFor us Studland Beach has to be on your itinerary.  Although dogs do have to be kept on a lead during the summer time, you can still explore the dunes behind the beach.

Studland Beach is run by the National Trust, so as you would hope they have put alot of thought into dog friendly facilities.  There is a drink station by the main cafe, dog ties, and shade. Dogs are not allowed where people eat inside but several dog friendly tables have been allocated in the adjacent shop.  There is also additional outdoor seating which is dog friendly.

The Trust do ask that dog owners keep dogs on a lead from March to July, when walking in the heath to protect nesting birds.  They also give advice on what to do if you are unlucky enough to encounter an adder

We think Studland beach is perfect for long stroll with your dog in the Autumn through to Spring or early on a Summer morning.  The beach is fully open to dogs at this time without restriction, it is popular with dog walkers, especially at the weekend or on say Boxing Day, so not ideal if you dog is not social.  Expect to find lots of dogs off the lead, enjoying a paddle. Studland beach is popular with horse riders (especially early morning).

Parking is plentiful and right behind the main beach, there is plenty of fencing to tie your dog too, whilst you sort out blankets.


Dog Friendly Pebble Beach at Lulworth Cove

best dog friendly beach at lulworth coveThough a pebbly beach, our little Lucy loves to explore Lulworth Cove and to be honest we perhaps take Lucy here as much for our own enjoyment as the scenery is so spectacular.  Lulworth is open all year and in the summer the cooler pebbly beach is kinder to tender paws. Being very sheltered, the bay tends to be calm so is ideal for a doggie paddle.

Parking is plentiful, though exceptionally busy in summer, we find an evening visit is best and a lovely time of day to appreciate the bay.  Lulworth Bay is very pet friendly, its not a bucket and spade kind of beach so you will find lots of like minded dog walkers. The beach itself is not very long, but you do have the option of a variety of long walks along the coast.  Our little Lucy has had both her cruciate ligaments damaged so a walk over to Durdle Door is too much for her but an easy walk for a fit dog.

There is a lovely area by the main car park to enjoy an ice cream or light meal with shaded seating.


Pet Friendly Delights at Weymouth Beach

dog on weymouth beachWe absolutely love Weymouth beach.  We love it so much that we take an annual Boxing Day visit with all of our four legged family.  Last Boxing Day we took our delightful friend Finn, not your typical four legged friend.  Finn being a Shetland Pony was out sized by some of the dogs on the beach but he isn’t the least bit fazed by the number of dogs who also love Weymouth beach.  Sadly Finn has been outgrown this year so we took a stroll on New Years Day with the extended family, which includes Loki, (pictured enjoying the waves).

Use of Weymouth beach for dogs is restricted.  Dogs are not allowed on the main beach from Good Friday until 31st October but dogs are allowed all year in the exercise area near the Pavillion.  There are several parking options, you can find free parking near Bowleaze Cove. We walked the entire length of the beach to enjoy lunch at The Lookout Cafe, this great cafe is dog friendly with dog ties and water. We sat outside on New Years Day, its well sheltered and I enjoyed some fresh seafood.

Shipstal Beach, Arne

shipstall beach ideal for a dog walkThis tiny little beach makes our top five because of the lovely walk down to the beach.  Arne is a RSPB reserve so parking is free for members. Pets are welcome but do need to be kept on a lead around livestock.  Shipstal Beach is approached via a lovely woodland walk, taking you past a play park for the kids. There is a lovely cafe on site, with plentiful outdoor seating, where dogs are welcome.




Swanage Beach – Information for Pet Owners 

Another great dog friendly Dorset beach, with options for all year round exploring.  The main beach is open to pets from 1st October until 30th April but Monkey Beach (near the old pier) is open all year and tends to primarily be used by dog walkers.  If you are visiting in summer, hiring a beach hut can be a great dog friendly option to shade them in the heat.

There are lots of great dog friendly options in Swanage.  You can park on the beach road out of season. There are showers to wash the sand off your dog and water stations close to the town end of the beach.  The beach is a popular choice with walkers but never too busy outside the summer holidays.


Dorset really is a dog friendly County, where dogs are actively encouraged to visit.  If you want to know more about the beaches in Dorset, why not visit


If we have inspired you to being your four legged friend to stunning Dorset, why not plan your stay using our information for pet owners page.

Next in our dog friendly series of blogs, we will explore the best dog friendly places to eat in Dorset.