Best Dog Walks in Dorset – Our Guide
The Dorset countryside is absolutely filled with breathtaking routes of exploration for you and your pooch, from staggering seaside vistas to wonderful ancient woodland – there’s plenty to take in. We’ve prepared a list our favourite ones for you below.
Thorncombe Woods to Hardy’s Cottage
This is a quick walk that should take you roughly 20 minutes. Start adjacent to Greenwood Grange. Walk out of the double gates and turn right into the car park. Turn left up the hill and follow the sign posts to Hardys cottage. At the cottage turn left and follow the gravel track back to Greenwood Grange.
Start adjacent to Greenwood Grange. Walk out of the double gates and turn right into the Car Park. At the car park follow the straight path directly in front of you and continue round to the left, you will see a kissing gate on your right, take this turning and head up the hill to Rushy Pond. Along this route you may see the Dartmoor ponies happily roaming free. The route back to Hardys cottage is signposted to the left. Also, to make a longer walk, either continue on the Roman Road or take the 2nd left which will also take you back to Hardys Cottage. Once at the Cottage follow the gravel track to Greenwood Grange. All of the tracks around Thorncombe Woods lead to Hardys Cottage.
Start at Greenwood, head out of the double gates and turn left, turn right onto a gravel track signposted to Hardys Cottage.
Puddletown Forest is an attractive, large and varied woodland with options for short and long circular walks along its network of bridleways. The forest is extremely diverse in its fauna and flora, with trees ranging from oak to elm and a huge range of wildlife. Expect some heathland areas and some lovely extensive views across the countryside.
There are various circular walks in the forest to enjoy. If you’re looking for photos of what to expect, check out Dorset Dogs’ Facebook page.
The River Walk – Lower Bockhamtpon
Leave Greenwood Grange either by foot or car, then proceed down Bockhamtpon Lane to Lower Bockhampton. Turn right at the bridge signposted Stinsford, this river path takes you directly to Stinsford or proceed further along the footpath to the edge of Dorchester.
Kingston Maurward – Via Fields
Leave Greenwood Grange by foot then proceed to the top of the road and turn right. The footpath Signposted on your right to Stinsford takes you down a fairly muddy track and via fields to Kingston Maurward. Take a look around Kingston Maurward house and grounds. You can either return the same way or proceed on the River Path to Lower Bockhampton and back up the road.
Situated on the Jurassic Coastline we have lots of dog friendly beaches. Please check before you leave as there are restrictions on some of the beaches at different times of the year. Here are some of our favourites.
The distinctive rocky arch of Durdle Door is perhaps one of the country’s most recognised geological wonders. You’ll love walking along the sand and pebble beach here and along the adjacent Man ‘O’ War beach with your dog. Access to Durdle Door beach is a bit limited so make sure you wear sturdy footwear walking down the steep path or over the hills from Lulworth Cove.
This gently sloping shingle beach is a popular spot for mackerel fishing and offers wonderful views over to Weymouth and Portland. After a long game of fetch, have a look around the village of Abbotsbury. The Swannery and Sub-Tropical Gardens are great attractions although please note only the Sub-Tropical Gardens allow dogs.
Lulworth cove is a shingle beach which descends steeply, although some parts are reasonably safe for swimming. Dogs are allowed on the beach. The Cove offers a range of places to eat and there is a large carpark. Make sure you visit the Heritage Centre next to the car park for all kinds of information about the area and the Jurassic Coast. There are toilets with disabled and baby changing facilities at the Heritage Centre. Boat trips are available during the summer.
The pebbly 18 mile stretch of Chesil Beach from Portland to West Bay offers an abundance of dog walking space and the opportunity to delve into the world of fossil hunting too.
Things to Remember:
- Remember to respect the tide times at all times as some beaches can be completely cut off at high tide.
- Pay attention to any warning signs on the beaches, and be aware of landslides, mudslides and falling debris from the cliff faces.
- Please check before you leave for your chosen beach, if unsure please ask at Reception for assistance.