Holiday inspiration & travel tips

Durdle Door

5 dog friendly beaches in Dorset

You’re unlikely to utter the word “Dorset” without someone bringing up the word “beach” – the two go hand in hand, really. Dorset is home to the Jurassic Coast, an expansive coastline on the English channel, shimmering in the shadows from the geologically impressive cliffs that line the strip. 

  1. Durdle Door
  2. Bowleaze Cove
  3. Mudeford Sandbank
  4. Steamer Point Beach
  5. Highcliffe Castle

Durdle Door

Durdle Door
Image credit: Miles Sabin

When doing a simple Google search of Dorset, you’re likely to immediately be faced with beachy images. The most iconic of the selection, however, is the beach-shot including the Durdle Door itself – a doorway shaped limestone rock formation that looks somewhat like a pathway to blue-watered heaven. It’s something you’ve got to see when visiting the area, which is no limitation for dog-owners because the beach welcomes them. There’s ample room to walk and explore, so look no further if you’re looking to merge a Dorset-experience with a doggy-day-out. 

Bowleaze Cove

Bowleaze Cove
Credit: Andrew Bone

This beach is a perfect example of how special a beach can be even if it’s small. This small sand and shingle beach is a great choice for visitors with dogs, as it ends up being a far calmer, less crowded environment for your pets. Like Durdle Door and many more, Bowleaze Cove sits on the famous Jurassic Coast and brandishes incredible geographic feets. Enjoy casting your eyes over Furzy Cliff while your dog enjoys the room to run. Facilities are readily available, from car park to taps, bathrooms to a hearty source of coffee. It covers all the bases! 

Mudeford Sandbank

Mudeford Sandbank
Credit: Smudge 9000

Bournemouth is a beautiful seaside resort in Dorset, known for its Victorian architecture, nightlife, seven miles of beaches of which the unmissable Mudeford Sandbank is a go-to of note. Given the popularity of the beach, dogs should be kept on their leashes and it is essential that their owners clean up after them. Not to worry, though, as the facilities and resources to ensure that this is a reasonably painless task. Better yet, there is no time limit – dogs are encouraged to enjoy themselves alongside their owners 365 days a year, unlike some places that place restrictions in the summer months. 

Steamer Point Beach

Steamer Point Beach

Think 24 acres of natural hillside nature reserves, and you’re picturing the setting for Steamer Point Beach in Dorset’s Christchurch. Dogs are welcome, and walking them along the expansive promenade is such a great activity for all involved – especially those with paws! This area is dense with beaches, so it can be difficult to choose which to visit. But rest assured that you won’t be disappointed by Steamer Point Beach, because even if you aren’t wholly enthused by the mixture of sand and pebble beach, then the natural gardens and wildlife within the area make for a worthy alternative – plus the opportunity to view some exotic plants! 

Highcliffe Castle

Highcliffe Castle

The Charles Stuart castle in Dorset, which was built between 1831 and 1835, is a Gothic Revival style piece of iconic architecture for the area. The best part about it, arguably, are the sea views and the best part about that is how accommodating this stretch of beach is to dogs, walkers and nature enthusiasts alike. There’s a car park and dog-orientated facilities, yet is so tree-lined and rural that you’ll feel as if you’re in a little piece of paradise rather than a short drive from the town of Highcliffe. 

If you’ve got a dog, enjoy their happiness, and want to enjoy yourself while you’re at it, then Dorset is the neck of the woods for you. Especially once you realise the dog friendly beaches and all they have to offer.