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The go-to guide for you and your child

Dog Friendly Days Out Dorset/Hampshire/Wilts

dog friendly days out

  Dog-Friendly Days Out

For those times when you want to take your four-legged family member with you, you’ll find a warm welcome at;

Exbury Gardens at Steam Railway

Dogs are very welcome to visit Exbury Gardens; they simply ask they are always kept on a short lead and leave nothing behind but paw prints. Water bowls can be found at the reception, restaurant and railway and dog bins are all marked on the map of the gardens. There is canine ice cream on sale in Mr Eddy’s restaurant, and they’re even allowed on the steam train!

Moors Valley Country Park and Forest

Everyone loves a day out at Moors Valley, including pooches! In busy areas; around the lakes, on the paths around Go Ape, in the car park, they must stay on a short lead. They can walk around the Shaun the Sheep Glow Trail or Play Trail but can’t climb on the children’s equipment! In other areas, they may be allowed off the lead, but you need to be aware of children, cyclists and horse riders in the area and have them in sight and under control.

Water bowls are provided, they are allowed in the visitor centre but not the main restaurant area.

Highcliffe Castle

Dogs aren’t able to go inside the castle (other than assistance dogs), but they are welcome in the grounds and Castle Kitchen. See if your children can find the hammocks on the grounds and enjoy a ride. They’re able to enjoy a walk through Steamer Point Nature Reserve and on the surrounding beach which you can access all year (no dogs between groynes H4 and H8 1st May-30 September).

Speaking of beaches . . .

You can walk your dog on; Mudeford Sandbank, Gundimore Beach all year round.

From 1st May – 30th September they can walk along the promenade on a lead from Bransome Dene to Alum Chine, Middle Chine to Durley Chine, Fisherman’s Walk to Southbourne and also at Hengisbury Head. Only assistance dogs can enter the Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre, but they love dogs so much there is a special doggy water fountain at the entrance!

West Quay Shopping Centre

Following a successful trial, family dogs (not just assistance dogs) are now allowed in West Quay Shopping Centre. This is fantastic news when you have a dog who isn’t keen on being left at home. Many shops are dog friendly (not all) so look out for the pink dog paw sticker in the window of shops that support the scheme. This may well change but at the time of writing we’ve seen stickers and taken our dog in to Lego store (they even had dog biscuits behind the till), Typo, John Lewis, Flying Tiger, Build-a-Bear, Smiggle and Yogoo.

National Trust

Our local National Trust properties all have their own doggy rules and they do change so it’s worth checking their website before you set off. Dogs always need to be kept on a short lead and you must pick up after them.

Corfe Castle: Enjoy the woodland walk from the car park, down by the stream and the kids can climb over the play trail.
Dogs are allowed in the whole castle so they can enjoy the view over the village too, they’re even allowed inside the tea rooms and not just the garden. Please be aware there are no dog bins inside the castle walls!

Stourhead: Dogs are welcome all year round in the garden and countryside areas including in the grotto. Only assistance dogs can enter the house and restaurant.

Mottisfont: There’s lots of space to explore with your pup at Mottisfont. Most of the gardens and the wider estate is open to families with dogs and they do stock dog friendly ice cream! Only inside spaces (house/cafes), the walled rose garden and formal lawn in front of the house is off limits – oh and no jumping in the river!

Kingston LacyDogs are welcome in the Stables Courtyard, woodland walks and parkland. Maps and advice is available at the entrance hut if you’re unsure. They’re unable to walk the formal gardens behind the house which is a dog free area and inside spaces including the cafe and house.

Have you come across a great attraction for a dog friendly day out? Email Michelle at and we’ll update our list!

For more places to go with you family see our What’s On Guide (not all dog friendly!)


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