Rupert Brown from Muddy Paws, who provide dog clothing and accessories, gives us a round-up of the best dog walks in Dorset. Whether you're looking for a light, leisurely stroll or a brisk, steep walk, there's something for every dog owner out there, and we have a great range of dog-friendly properties across the county too.
A West Dorset gem, Lulworth Cove combines steep hills with flat beaches, making for a good, brisk stroll with your dog. With Durdle Door and Man of War nearby, you can see all three in one walk, or just settle for one if you want to set a slower pace. The views are impressive, and there's a pub, café and toilets all near the National Trust car park. Definitely worth a visit if you're staying in Dorset.
Although famous for its naturist beach, Studland stretches for 3 miles and is a popular spot for families in the summer (the naturist beach is only in the centre section of the beach). You can also walk from Studland to Swanage, past Old Harry Rocks. Studland can be reached either by the chain ferry from Sandbanks in Poole, or you can approach it via Corfe Castle/Swanage. There is a café and Car Park at Knoll. Great for a gentle beach stroll.
Old Harry Rocks
Old Harry Rocks can be reached either from Swanage or Studland. The chalky headlands are owned by the National Trust, and they lie directly east of Studland, 1.5 miles northeast of Swanage and 3 miles from Poole. It's quite a challenging walk and takes a couple of hours each way, but is very scenic as you can look out across the whole of Poole and Bournemouth, and also across to the Purbecks.
Set your own pace in Thorncombe Woods, and make it as easy or challenging as you like. Great for dogs who want to run about in the leaves and through the trails. Thorncombe Woods spans 26 hectares and is adjacent to Hardy's Cottage, the birthplace of the Dorset novelist Thomas Hardy. There's free parking and it's only 3 miles from Dorchester.
The North Dorset Trailway
A great all-around walking destination and great for dogs! Located near Blandford in Dorset, the Trailway has numerous access points, a firm surface and no stiles. The North Dorset Trailway runs from Sturminster Newton to Spetisbury and is perfect for a leisurely walk.
Set in the Isle of Purbeck, Corfe Castle is famed for its ruined castle and beautiful surrounding countryside that makes for some challenging walking. There are a number of trails starting from Corfe Castle. For the adventurous dog walkers, there is a 12-mile walk to Swanage where you can get the steam train back to Corfe. It's a challenging walk but perfect for those who enjoy a spot of history along the way. Dinosaur footprints have been found here, and there have even been sightings of dolphins! If you're looking for something a little gentler, a stroll around the Castle itself is well worth a look and much more leisurely! There's a National Trust car park nearby.
Kimmeridge is made of a series of rocky ledges and forms part of the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve. There are a number of fairly easy walks from Kimmeridge along flat headland (with some hills!) or along the rocky ledges on the beach. Your dog will love jumping in the water and exploring. The ‘Nodding Donkey' also lives here, a BP oil pump, as the area is famous for its oil production.
There's some excellent woodland walking to be had in Wareham forest, with several acres of different routes for you and your dog to explore. The forest is made up of heathland, pine woodland and trails, so there's lots of variety. It's approximately 7 miles from Wareham itself.
A lovely little village with walks stretching down to the famous Dancing Ledge (not a ledge you'll want your dog to jump on!) but lovely to admire. The Dancing Ledge is one of the quarries sticking out of the cliffs along the Jurassic Coast. There is a pub and on-street parking in the village. Choose from numerous routes from the village, depending on how far you want to walk!
With a combination of pebbly beaches, steep hills and grassy headland, Burton Bradstock makes for an excellent walk with your dog. Located just outside Bridport, there is parking, toilets and a café. It's a popular spot in the summer, and you can choose a walk that is as short or long as you choose!
Muddy Paws supplies a range of dog accessories such as beds, coats, collars, leads and toys. To find out more visit their website: http://www.muddypaws.co.uk