Dog Friendly Beaches in Dorset

April 15th, 2021

Dorset is the ideal holiday destination for visitors with dogs. Spend your days exploring miles upon miles of unspoilt coastline and countryside with your four-legged friend in tow. We’re extremely fortunate to have a number of dog-friendly beaches within easy reach of our caravan and camping park in Swanage. Many are dog-friendly all year round.

Here we share just some of our favourite dog friendly beaches in Dorset. Take your dog for a paddle or game of fetch on the sand before returning to our dog-friendly caravan park for a well-deserved snooze!

Swanage Beach

Swanage Beach is our closest beach and just 20 minutes’ walk from the park. It has won multiple awards for its water clarity and has plenty of family friendly facilities to keep little ones entertained. Dogs are welcome on central Swanage beach between 1st October – 30th April each year. Outside of this time, visitors with dogs should use nearby ‘Monkey Beach’, which is situated by the Stone Quay next to the pier.

Dog restrictions: Restrictions in place 1st October – 30th April. Monkey Beach dog friendly year round

Facilities: Food kiosks, toilets, beach huts, ice cream, fish and chips

Parking: Pay and display car parks close-by

Durdle Door & Man O’War

dog at durdle door beach

Durdle Door is one of the most iconic natural landmarks in Dorset. Each year thousands of visitors’ flock to this section of the Jurassic Coast to photograph the world-renowned limestone arch. The beach is incredibly picturesque with turquoise water and idyllic views towards the Isle of Portland in the distance.

Both the beaches here are restriction free and welcome dogs year-round. The walk down to the beach from the carpark is steep and has plenty of steps to descend, so it may not be suitable for older dogs. Dogs should be kept on a lead as the path runs parallel to a steep cliff. In the summer this beach gets incredibly busy, which is worth bearing in mind if your dog gets easily overwhelmed.

Dog restrictions: No restrictions – dogs welcome all year

Facilities: No facilities on the beach. There is often a small kiosk at the top of the hill serving drinks

Parking: Pay and display car park at Lulworth Holiday Park or Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove is around half an hour walk from Durdle Door. This horseshoe shaped beach is geologically interesting and popular with families thanks to the wealth of facilities on offer. Like neighbouring beaches, dogs are welcome year-round. The sheltered waters are great for swimming and splashing in the waves.

For the most part, Lulworth is a shingle beach. There are a number of rockpools at the western end that are exposed at low tide.Behind the beach there are plenty of scenic dog walks to enjoy. You can follow the public footpath to Fossil Forest and onto Mupe Bay, or continue along the South West Coast Path.

Dog restrictions: No restrictions – dogs welcome all year

Facilities: Toilets, cafes, pubs & restaurants, visitor centre, gift shops, ice cream shop

Parking: Pay and display car park a short walk from the beach

Ringstead Bay

dog ringstead bay

Ringstead Bay is a shingle beach, that is popular with local families. It’s relatively secluded and accessed via a scenic single-track road which leads to a small car park with a shop and snack hut. From the beach there are spectacular views over Weymouth Bay and along the Jurassic Coastline. It’s a favourite among kayakers, stand up paddleboarders and snorkelers thanks to the crystal-clear waters and gentle waves.

This quiet beach is dog friendly year-round and there are wonderful walks that can be incorporated into your trip. One of our favourites takes you to Osmington Mills where you can stop for a bite to eat and well-earned drink at the Smugglers Inn.

Dog restrictions: No restrictions – dogs welcome all year

Facilities: Toilets, cafe

Parking: Pay and display car park. Free parking for National Trust members in a separate car park, 20 minutes’ walk from the beach

Studland Bay

Walking at studland Beach

Studland is within walking distance of Ulwell Holiday Park, making it a popular choice among our guests. It is dog friendly year-round, however dogs must be kept on a 2m lead between 1st May and 30th September each year. Outside of this time frame dogs can play off lead.

The beach features a wide expanse of golden sand, which is backed by sand dunes and heathland. There are water bowls available at Knoll Beach, Middle Beach and South Beach and dogs are welcome in the outdoor seating area at the National Trusts Knoll Beach Café. From the beach you can walk to Old Harry Rocks.

Dog restrictions: Dogs on lead 1st May – 30th September

Facilities: Toilets, café, watersports hire and lessons

Parking: Pay and display car park. Free parking for National Trust members

Kimmeridge Bay

kimmeridge bay

Kimmeridge is slightly different to the other dog-friendly beaches on this list. It features shelves of rocks and hundreds of rockpools jutting out from the sea. There are toilets and a really interesting visitor centre, which is also dog friendly. Dogs are welcome all year and can be let off the lead.

We think Kimmeridge is one of the best places to go Fossil Hunting along the Jurassic Coast – although please familiarise yourself with best practice before you visit. The water clarity makes it great for snorkelling and there is marked trail to follow. In recent years it has earned a reputation as a good surfing spot.

Dog restrictions: No restrictions – dogs welcome all year

Facilities: Toilets, visitor centre

Parking: Pay to access toll road to the beach

Worbarrow Bay

dog worbarrow bay

Worbarrow Bay is one of our favourite dog-friendly beaches in the Isle of Purbeck. It is situated at the bottom of a 1-mile track, which cuts through ministry of defence training ground. At the start of the walk you will pass through Tyneham Village. This village was abandoned during the Second World War and remains largely untouched and open for visitors to wander round.

The shingle beach is dog friendly year-round. It’s far less busy than other beaches along the Jurassic Coast but equally as beautiful. There are no facilities, so we recommend bringing a picnic and activities to keep everyone entertained.

Dog restrictions: No restrictions – dogs welcome all year

Facilities: Toilets

Parking: Pay and display carpark – donations only

 

When visiting beaches across Dorset we respectfully remind you to pick up after your dog. It’s really important that we work together to protect the natural landscape and ensure it is clean and tidy for everyone to enjoy.

 

Ulwell Holiday Park is a dog friendly camping and caravan park on the outskirts of Swanage. There are a range of dog friendly accommodation options to choose from, including dog friendly holiday homes and camping and touring pitches.

Our onsite restaurant, the Village Inn has a dog-friendly area so you can dine with your canine companion. We also stock a range of doggy essentials in our shop.

What our guests say

  • A gem of a place

    Sandra, Winchester

    What a find. I almost don’t want to tell you about it.

    It’s a family park with lovely, mostly new, fresh, clean spacious caravans – all set out almost in steps on the side of a small hill. The larger hill rises behind you, the sea spreads out in front and the swimming pool beckons behind the bar.

    The people are friendly, the site is clean and welcoming and the scenery unbeatable. It’s a gem of a place.

  • Always my no.1 choice when visiting Swanage

    David

    Always my no.1 choice when visiting Swanage. A truly wonderful location, lying under the stunning Ballard Down and surrounded by beautiful countryside. Being only a 10 min walk from Swanage and the coast means it’s conveniently located for all amenities.

    The staff are always very helpful to sort out any problems and keep the site in fantastic condition. A 5-star park.

  • Friendly, clean & well kept

    Cheshire, UK

    Stayed here as a base to tour Isle of Purbeck and go on to Air show in Bournemouth. Not the cheapest site but definitely the cleanest and well thought out.

    Swimming pool , shop and pub/restaurant all in proximity and well kept/stocked. Bus stop right outside entrance. Grass pitches have plenty of space and well drained with shower blocks water/ drain points really handy.

    Will definitely be using this site again.

  • Lovely weekend

    Tina, London

    We have just returned from a lovely weekend caravanning at Ulwell Cottage Caravan Park.
    Lovely clean site with indoor heated pool. We went in the pool around 5pm and were the only ones in there (apart from life guard) it was lovely and warm and clean.

    We walked to old Harry’s rock and then Down into Swanage itself and had fish and chips and an ice cream.
    Staff on the site were helpful and friendly. Lovely stay.

  • Our second, lovely Christmas at Ulwell

    Jane P, Cheltenham

    After the success of Christmas 2016 at Ulwell, we returned again for Christmas 2017 and had another great time. Lovely warm caravan, peaceful and relaxing on site and a fantastic carvery on Boxing Day at The Village Inn.

    Thanks to all staff who were working and made sure we had such a great break away.

All reviews

4.5

We are currently at an amazing 4.5 score at TripAdvisor, based upon 200+ reviews from verified guests.

Latest reviews

Proudly associated

Over the years the family has developed the park to award-winning standards and in a style which compliments its surroundings.

  • Camping and caravanning
  • AA
  • British Holiday & Home Parks assocation
  • Poole Tourism
  • Visit Britain

Finding us

BY ROAD

From Bournemouth via the Sandbanks chain ferry and following the B3351 into Swanage.

From Wareham using the A351 into Swanage, turn left along the seafront towards Studland.

BY BUS

The park is situated on the main bus route from Bournemouth to Swanage.

GPS

1 ° 58’ 16” West, 50° 37’ 34” North

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