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 Weymouth and Dorchester area for you to explore:
This wonderful 15th Century Manor House and gardens enables you to wander through the rooms and go back in time. The garden also has well defined “rooms” with the centre piece being The Great Court with its pyramid shaped yew trees. You can truly lose yourself in the wonder of the surroundings. Dogs are welcome on a lead in the gardens.
Otherwise known as the “Rude Man” is an 180 ft tall naked chalk hill figure of a man with a substantial erect penis. In local folklore he was used as an aid to fertility by women spending a night on the giant. You are welcome to walk your dog here on a lead.
Mix of life size models, fossils and skeletons and you are encouraged to have a “hands on experience”! Your dog can come too as long as he is quiet and does not get too excited seeing all these old bones!
Dogs are welcome to visit (with their owners on a lead) the Roman Town House which is situated behind County Hall in Dorchester – nearest parking is Top O’Town Car Park and after visiting the Town House you can take the “Durnovia Walk” which takes you around the old fortified boundary of the town as it was in Roman Times.
Standing on a hilltop over 800 feet above sea level above Dorchester and you can see for miles from the summit of the hill. It was built in 1844, but, not for Thomas Hardy the writer, as many people think. But, in the memory of Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, Flag Captain of HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. He is famous for Nelson saying the immortal words ‘Kiss me Hardy’ as he died in Hardy’s arms at the Battle of Trafalgar. You are now able to climb up the monument – check the National Trust Website for opening times of the monument and the car park. Dogs are welcome to enjoy themselves here.
On the edge of Dorchester and free to enter is Maiden Castle one of the biggest and most complicated Iron Age hillforts in Europe – it is the size of 50 football pitches. Massive ramparts, mainly built in the 1st century BC, defended hundreds of inhabitants. When it was first built, there would have been gleaming white chalk ramparts towering over the surrounding countryside, it still dominates the skyline today, but, no longer gleams. Dogs are welcome here on leads.
The valley was landscaped in the style of Capability Brown in the 18th Century. The gardens are in a horseshoe below Minterne House, with a chain of small lakes, waterfalls and streams. There is a unique collection of Himalayan Rhododendrons and Azaleas; the garden is famous for its Autumn colours. Dogs are welcome on a lead in the grounds.
A Victorian Fort protecting Weymouth Harbour from a promontory position surrounded by beautiful gardens. The fort is a labyrinth of passageways over three floors with displays charting the fort’s history. It is the best viewing point to see Weymouth harbour. The gardens offer areas for all the family running down to the sea, where you can go crabbing and rock pooling.
Covers the people (convicts, smugglers, invaders, army and navy), The maritime history (from vikings, shipwrecks, the navy and the 2012 Olympics), Quarrying (Romans to Sir Christopher and St Paul’s Cathedral), The Fossils (Ammonites and Cycads). Dogs are welcome on leads.
Standing above Portland Harbour built by Henry VIII to protect against the Spanish and French is this coastal fort. You can step back into Tudor times enjoy the stunning views, see how the fort changed over time to combat new threats, enjoy the cafe and gardens. Dogs are welcome on leads in the grounds and in some rooms.
Wetland nature reserves in the centre of town just behind the seafront or harbour. Information centre, cafe and toilets. Dogs welcome on leads.
A sculpture park in a nature reserve in a disused quarry. Dogs welcome on a lead.
Built by Henry VIII to protect Portland Harbour the castle is now a ruin but surrounded by gardens with a cafe, just off The Rodwell Trail.
Dogs are allowed on many beaches in Dorset we’ve put together a few of the dog-friendly beaches for your information.
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