Dorset is absolutely packed with things to set tails wagging – including fresh sea scents to sniff, undulating hills to chase up and forest floors to rootle through. In fact, we can’t imagine a more perfect holiday for your dog than exploring the miles upon miles of walks throughout Dorset.
With both the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the South West Coast Path to roam, it can be hard to know where to begin when it comes to finding the perfect Dorset dog walk. But we’ve sniffed out a few of our favourite dog walks in Dorset, plus a few delightfully dog-friendly places to stay while you’re there.
Why your dog will love this: Your pup can feel the wind through his ears and the salt in his fur on this high coastal path, which is also perfect for burning off excess energy. Plus, kids and the young at heart will be delighted that it passes through Scratchy Bottom!
Terrain: Very hilly – pack some water for you and the dog!
Distance: 7 miles
Ideal for: This is THE definitive Dorset walk, taking in the famous Durdle Door, so if you’re only going to do one walk in Dorset, make it this one (if your legs are up to it!)
In addition: This walk starts in Lulworth Cove, where there is parking and toilets, and goes in a circular route along the South West Coast Path where there are abundant views but scarce facilities – so pack a snack and some water (plus some treats for your good boy). There are some steep sections of cliff on the coast path too, so keep an eye on your four-legged walking buddy.
Stay nearby: Carefree Cottage, Lulworth Cove – sleeps 2 dogs and 4 humans.
Why your dog will love this: If your hound fancies channelling his inner Indiana Bones, this Jurassic Coast walk is for him – although if he’s got little legs, be prepared to take a few breathers as it’s a lung-buster!
Terrain: Another hilly walk to stretch those four fluffy legs.
Distance: 4.5 miles
Ideal for: Fossil hunters – this walk goes along the World Heritage coastline which has been recognised for its archaeological significance. So, if your dog is one that likes to dig, he may find some important old bones!
In addition: This walk begins in Eype where you’ll find parking. There are toilets a few miles down the coast path at Seaton, as well as an inn if you’re in need of some refreshment. It then takes a circular route past Golden Cap and back to Eype via Seaton.
Stay nearby: Eype Honeysuckle Cottage, Eype – sleeps 2 dogs and 4 humans.
Why your dog will love this: Your dog loves nothing more than sniffing butts, right? Well, this walk takes in the Cerne Giant – a 55-metre-high ancient hill figure with possibly the biggest bum in Britain.
Terrain: Mostly flat through woodland, with a few small hills – plus a stream which we know your pup is going to love!
Difficulty: 🐕 🐕
Distance: 3.5 miles
Ideal for: Getting up close and personal with Dorset’s most famous giant.
In addition: Park in Cerne Abbas – there’s a car park near the village hall. There’s also an award-winning pub in the village for when you need a post-walk pint, and it welcomes four-legged guests too.
Stay nearby: Abbey Cottage, Cerne Abbas – sleeps 2 dogs and 5 humans.
Why your dog will love this: This gentle walk is perfect for the smaller pup and the common is home to a wide variety of wildlife – and interesting scents – for your hound to explore.
Terrain: Mostly grassy with a few hills up to the top of Corfe Common.
Distance: 1.5 miles
Ideal for: Families – this short and easy walk is great for little legs and paws plus there’s plenty of amenities in Corfe Castle itself.
In addition: The walk starts and ends in Corfe Castle where there is parking, toilets and dog-friendly pubs.
Stay nearby: Purbeck House, Corfe Castle – sleeps 2 dogs and 8 humans.
Why your dog will love this: If your dog is top of his obedience class, this is a great walk for him – he can enjoy the sea breeze, the steady climb and the cliff-side scents and you can rest easy knowing he’ll come back from the sheer cliff edge when called!
Terrain: Mostly level with a few gentle hills. Watch out for the sheer cliffs on the coast path.
Difficulty: 🐕 🐕
Distance: 3.5 miles
Ideal for: Geologists – Old Harry Rocks is a fine example of a stack formation. But if you couldn’t care less about rocks, you get to take in some beautiful views and there’s a pub waiting for you at the end!
In addition: Parking, toilets and that aforementioned dog-friendly pub can all be found in Studland where this walk begins.
Stay nearby: Greystones, Studland – sleeps 1 dog and 8 humans.
Why your dog will love this: This woodland walk is packed with scents to sniff, mud to run through and, most importantly, squirrels to chase!
Terrain: Mostly level woodland with a few slopes.
Distance: 1.4 miles
Ideal for: Nature lovers – time this walk for the spring and discover carpets of bluebells stretching as far as the eye can see! While they’re a delight to look at, they don’t make great food for your pup so keep an eye on him if he loves a good chew.
In addition: Park in Langdon Hill car park where there’s also a play area for children. More facilities are found in Seatown or Chideock, both 1 mile away, or there’s a lovely farm shop in Morcombelake (0.75 miles).
Stay nearby: Mellowstone Cottage, Chideock – sleeps 1 dog and 6 humans.
Whether you choose a sandy scoot, a woodland wander or a countryside chase – we think Dorset ticks all the boxes for a dog-friendly holiday. Take a look at our full range of Dorset cottages or read our ultimate dog-friendly guide to Dorset for more staycation inspiration.
Also be sure to sniff out our complete guide to dog walks around the UK, where you'll find wonderful dog walks all over the country.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.