Dogs in Swanage and Purbeck

Dorset is a dog loving county and there are many places to take your four legged friend while on holiday. Most of us at Dorset Coastal Cottages have at least one dog to assist us with our exploration of the area here are some of our discoveries from the Swanage and Purbeck area for you to explore:

Agglestone Rock

Here at Dorset’s very own Ayers Rock which is also known as Devil’s Anvil your dog can be allowed to roam free off the lead. To get there walk from Studland Village across the heath for about a mile and you will discover a 400 tonne block of sandstone perched up on a hill. Apparently the Devil threw it from The Isle of Wight and was trying to hit Corfe Castle!

Arne, RSPB Nature Reserve

The 563 Hectare Nature Reserve with fantastic wildlife welcomes dogs on leads. You can wander through Beech woodlands, heathland, butterfly meadows and wetlands to a small beach. You will get the opportunity to see wild sika deer, wading birds, butterflies, squirrels and the possibility of a nightjar and woodlark. A good tip is to check with the Wardens at the Visitor Centre for what to look out for and where.

The Blue Pool

You can take your dog on a lead into the grounds and tearooms here. The pool is set in a clay bowl within 25 acres of heath and woodland, this pretty spot has sandy paths criss crossing. You can see plenty of wildlife, whilst being amazed by the colours of the water caused by the clay particles. Tearoom, shop, museum and Wareham Bears.

Corfe Castle

This castle ruin guards the gateway to Purbeck and has been a fortification possibly since the Roman times. It is on a natural hill and dominates the local landscape. It was defeated by treachery during the English Civil War. Today you can wander round the ruins and often there are special events happening. Plus there is a National Trust shop and Tea Room.  Dogs welcome on a lead.

Corfe Castle Model Village

Dogs are welcome on a lead to see the village of Corfe Castle in miniature and make yourself feel like a giant. Set in an acre of garden with a tearoom and shop in the centre of the “full size” village.

Durlston Country Park

This 280 acre wildlife park situated on the western edge of Swanage welcomes dogs on a lead and kept to specific areas around the park. Most visitors start at the castle which houses a cafe/restaurant and shop. Then wander through the park gazing out across open downland with fantastic wildflowers including wild orchids and out to sea at all the wildlife and turn round at the lighthouse. There is a giant globe for you to get a photograph stood beside. You can also view live webcams of the seabird colony on the cliffs. If you are really lucky you might spot a dolphin from the cliffs.There are 30 different species of butterfly.


Kimmeridge Bay is a marine reserve with Visitor Centre. Dogs are welcome here your dog can be let off the lead. There are also  Snorkelling Trails, a Museum of Jurassic Marine Life and the Clavell Tower all set in near the picturesque village on the coast with a fantastic cafe.

Old Harry Rocks

Dogs can be let off the lead for the 2 mile (approx.) walk from either Studland or Swanage, it is not a very strenuous walk from either direction. The three chalk rock formations mark the most Easterly point on the Jurassic Coast, and is a great spot to watch the sunset of an evening.

St Aldhelms Head

You can let you dog off the lead for the walk from Worth Matravers to the most southerly point on the Purbeck coast at St Aldhelms Head. This provides amazing panoramic views along the coastline. There is an ancient Norman chapel and Coastwatch Lookout Base, where you can often chat to the people manning the station, to gain some local history. Loop back round and finish with a pie or pasty and a pint at the famous Square and Compass public house and its museum.

Swanage Railway

The Steam and Diesel Engines run from Swanage to Corfe Castle along 6 miles of beautiful countryside. They also offer various dining experiences and run special events. you could even drive one on a Driving Experience. You can also take your dog along for the ride (on a lead of course).

Swanage Pier

You can stroll along this Victorian pier (that is being restored), with your dog on a lead. You can take the sea air and enjoy the beautiful scenery – if you happen to be taking a boat trip then it will most likely be starting from here.

Wareham Forest

Take a walk or cycle through the heathland and forests – you can be let your dog off the lead to really enjoy the surroundings – if you take a picnic with you there are picnic benches available for all to use.

Dog friendly beaches 

Dogs are allowed on many beaches in Dorset we’ve put together a few of the dog-friendly beaches for your information.

Browse Cottages in the Swanage & Purbeck Area

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