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A trip to the beach wouldn’t be complete with man’s best friend. You can enjoy dog-friendly beaches and coves in Dorset in the summer months and offseason too. Continue reading to understand why we are so barking mad about our Dorset beaches.

Our Favourite Dog Friendly Beaches in Dorset:

Bowleaze Cove, Weymouth

When this beach is dog-friendly: All year*

Bowleaze Cove is a sandy, pebbled dog-friendly beach in Weymouth. It is very close to the town centre and is perfect for a paddle, or even a swim on a sunny day (if of course, you can handle that wet dog smell!)

Why not try the scenic walk to Bowleaze Cove from Osmington Mills, along the beautiful South West Coast Path? It is a short walk (approximately 3.5 miles) and both you and your dog will love the adventure of the undulating path.

Check out the South West Coast Path website for more information on this route and other pleasant coastal walks.

Chesil Beach, South Dorset

When this beach is dog-friendly: 1st September – 30th April*

Approximately 18 miles long, Chesil beach is certainly a spectacle to behold. For a large portion, this unique beach is actually separated from the mainland by an area of saline water, known as the Fleet Lagoon.  The unusual beach consists of a pebbled bank that stretches all the way from Portland to West Bay. The waters can be home to some strong currents, making this beach ever popular with watersport enthusiasts.

If you get far enough along, you’ll notice that the pebbles actually get bigger towards Portland. Even though it’s one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Dorset, make sure to keep your dog on a lead where the signs say so.

Mudeford Sandbank Beach, Christchurch

When this beach is dog-friendly: All year*

The access to Mudeford Sandbank beach is easy and comfortable. You can access it on foot, by bike or by land train from Hengistbury Head. In the summer, it is also possible to get there by ferry from Mudeford Quay or Christchurch Quay.

It is a sandy beach with plenty of facilities and activities, such as jet skiing, swimming, kayaking, windsurfing and water skiing.

Another feature of this beach is its fabulous views of Christchurch Harbour and the Isle of Wight.

Church Ope Cove, Isle of Portland

When this beach is dog-friendly: All year*

Church Ope Cove is a small and secluded pebbled beach that makes for a serene, pleasant and calming outing. The name “Church Ope” stems from the fact that there was once a church at the top of the cliff. The church was St Andrews and you still can visit its ruins. What’s more, apparently “Ope” was historically used in local dialect for “an opening in the cliffs down to the water’s edge”.

There is a walk down to the beach and a steep walk back up the stairs. There are two paths to choose from; the main one follows the road past Portland museum, and another one runs through a small area of woodland around the outside of Pennsylvania Castle.

The beach is nestling amongst three cliff tops and is a quiet oasis. In addition, Church Ope Cove beach is home to many popular beach huts which are well sought after and personalized by their owners.


Other beaches in Dorset which allow dogs all year round:

  • Eype beach (near Bridport)
  • Purbeck (Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Worbarrow bay, Kimmeridge bay)
  • Lyme Regis (Cobb, Monmouth beach and Church Cliff)
  • Swanage (Monkey beach)

Other beaches in Dorset which allow dogs out of season:

  • Weymouth beach: 1st November – 18th April
  • Lyme Regis main town beach: 1st November – 31st March
  • West bay East and West beaches: 1st October – 30th April
  • Burton Bradstock: 1st October – 30th April

* Please check the Dorset For You website for up to date information regarding when beaches are dog-friendly.