Our Top Tips for Camping with your Dog in Dorset

February 17th, 2021

If you’re planning a camping holiday with your dog in Dorset, but don’t know where to start, take a look at our handy camping guide. We’ve compiled a list of top tips to help you plan an unforgettable staycation on the Dorset coast. You’ll enjoy your trip so much you’ll want to return with your canine companion year on year!


Book a dog friendly campsite 

Step one is to research and book pet friendly accommodation for the duration of your stay. Ulwell Holiday Park is one of the best dog friendly campsites in Dorset and the perfect base for a camping holiday with your four-legged friend. Our award-winning camping and caravan site has much to offer, including a spacious recreational field and dog friendly bar and restaurant. There are plenty of scenic walks surrounding the park as well as a wide range of dog friendly beaches nearby.

dog in the village inn at ulwell cottage caravan park in swanage


Practice at home

Camping with your dog for the first time can be daunting, so we recommend having a trial run at home. Pop your tent up in the garden and encourage your dog to spend time under canvas before heading to the campsite. This will give your dog plenty of time to familiarise themselves with new noises and smells. If any problems arise, you’ll be able to implement the necessary training prior to your trip.

dog camping in garden


Pack essentials

Having a dog is like having a child – they come with a lot of stuff! In the days leading up to your holiday make sure make a note of everything your dog uses at home set it to one side. Dedicating a single bag to your dog will help you locate things quickly and easily during your camping holiday. If you do forget something though, there’s no need to worry, we stock a range of dog essentials in our on-site shop.

Things to pack:

  • Collar/harness and lead
  • Toys and treats
  • Bedding and/or crate
  • Food and bowls
  • Medication, flea & worming treatment
  • Blankets and towels
  • Poo bags

dog ice cream in our onsite shop


Plan your arrival on park

Pitching your tent can be stressful, especially if you’re going camping for the first time! Make sure your dog is safe and secure whilst setting up your things. We suggest investing in a cork screw stake to ensure your pup doesn’t wander whilst you’re distracted. Some tasty treats are sure to keep them occupied! Alternatively, task one of your party with taking the dog for walk whilst you set up camp. They can enjoy the beautiful countryside surrounding our park and get to miss out on the hard work!

dog on lead


Establish a sleeping routine

Establishing a good sleeping routine is vital during a camping trip. If your dog won’t settle, none of the family are going to get a good night’s sleep. Some dogs will be happy to sleep in the main compartment, whilst others may prefer to sleep with you in the bedroom pod. Every dog is different, so trial and error will probably be needed to find an optimal regime. If your dog is crate trained and you have the space, you should bring their crate with you. Likewise, bringing your dogs bed from home might make them feel more comfortable. Regardless of where your dog sleeps, make sure you bring lots of blankets for them to lay on. It can get cold even in the summer.

dog friendly camping

Plan for medical emergencies

When holidaying away from home you should always make sure your dog’s microchip details are up to date and that they have an ID tag on their collar. This will give you the best chance of locating your four-legged friend should they get lost at any point during your stay. Make sure your dog has had their flea and tick treatment prior to your trip as you’ll be spending more time outdoors. As an extra precaution it might be a good idea to bring a small first aid kit and research the nearest vets in case of an emergency. If you get caught out our friendly reception team will be more than happy to recommend a vets in Swanage.

dog collar and tag


Pick dog friendly days out

Holidays are about spending quality time with the family and doing things you enjoy. Research dog friendly activities in the area well in advance, so you can be sure there are plenty of things to keep the whole family entertained. We’re fortunate to have a number of dog friendly attractions within easy reach of Ulwell Holiday Park. Some of our favourites include Swanage Railway, Corfe Castle and Swanage Pier.

dog on beach in dorset 


Be mindful of other guests

We encourage dog owners to read our holiday park rules prior to arriving on site. It’s really important to be courteous to other guests so that everyone can enjoy a well-earned break by the coast. We kindly ask dogs are kept on lead at all times on our park. Please dispose of dog poo in the bins provided.

couple and dog walking through the holiday homes for hire

We hope our guide has encouraged you to try a camping holiday in Dorset with your dog. A camping holiday is one of life’s simple pleasures and we guarantee you’ll have a memorable stay at our Swanage holiday park. We do understand that camping might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but don’t let that put you off. If you’d prefer the comfort of a holiday home, we have a selection of dog friendly static caravans available to hire at Ulwell Holiday Park!

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


    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


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


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.


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


1 ° 58’ 16” West, 50° 37’ 34” North

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