Dog-Friendly attractions in Dorset


We’re a nation of dog lovers and our beloved pups aren’t just friends, they’re family. More of us than ever are choosing to holiday with our pets and there are so many benefits to taking them along on your trips.

As any dog owner knows, come rain or shine those four paws are ready and waiting to run through fields and splash in the surf, so you’ll usually find you’re much more active on holiday with a pup in tow. There’ll still be plenty of time for holiday reads and afternoon naps, but nothing beats a few active hours with the family before cosying up.

Silverlake offers dog-friendly accommodation in Dorset set in the perfect location for four-legged fun in the great outdoors. The estate has its very own nature reserve and heathlands, the trails around them providing lots of perfect places for dog walks. There’s even a secret island hideaway to discover if they put that amazing sense of smell to the test!

With so many pubs, restaurants and even shops welcoming dogs these days, the whole family can get involved in exploring their new surroundings. All of that sensory stimulation will leave furry friends feeling fulfilled and spending so much quality time together will make for a bond that’s stronger than ever when you get home.

With so many benefits to holidaying with your pet, the money you’d usually spend on kennels or dog sitters can be spent on lovely things like extra ice creams, days out with the kids or well-deserved spa treatments instead.

We welcome furry friends to Silverlake with open arms, giving them the perfect base from which they can explore Dorset’s prettiest coast paths, parks and country pubs. There are so many dog-friendly attractions set within a 45-minute drive of our private lakeside Estate; here are some of our favourites.

Onsite – on your doorstep!

Our newly opened Knighton Reserve makes for the perfect starting point for your next holiday to Dorset, with Pooch’s Place offering the perfect playground for your dogs. There is a dedicated swimming area in the corner of the lake for your dogs to paddle around in, or a splash pond for those who just want to dip their paws in. 

The area is also surrounded by stunning nature trails, where you can all walk together and enjoy.

Dorchester – 6 miles from Silverlake

Whether you have two legs or four, the mile-long gardens at Minterne House are a beautiful place to stretch them. Dogs are very welcome, you’ll just need to make sure they’re on a lead when you’re wandering. The pathways are lined with cherry trees and maples, and May is an extra special month to visit, with the Estate’s famous rhododendrons blooming.

The Walled Garden in Moreton is another dog-friendly attraction that promises to appeal to the green fingered. Enjoy the five-acre landscaped garden and then take up the Lawrence of Arabia trail from the village and out over the River Frome. The walking route gets its name from Moreton resident, T. H. Lawrence, who fell in love with the village and made Cloud Hill cottage his home there.

Dog friendly days out in Dorchester don’t come much more exciting than the roarsome Dinosaur Museum. Sitting just a few miles from the Jurassic Coast, the attraction is dedicated to the prehistoric beasts that once roamed its beaches. Dogs on leads are welcome and they’ll walk among life-size reconstructions of Triceratops, Stegosaurus and a gargantuan T-Rex. The kids will love it too!

Weymouth – 10 miles from Silverlake

Dorset boasts around a hundred miles of beach and plenty of stretches are dog-friendly all year round. Chesil Beach spans 17 miles, plenty of which welcomes pups for sandy runs and sea swims.

Another dog-friendly Dorset favourite is Tout Quarry. This once abandoned stone quarry has been transformed into a sculpture park and you’ll often spot artists working on their next project during the day.

Sea dogs can even experience Weymouth from the water. Weymouth to Portland Boat Trips welcome well-behaved pups for free on its pretty hour-long cruise along the Jurassic coast.

Bridport – 20 miles from Silverlake

Charmouth Beach promises fossil hunting for the kids and miles of freedom for the dog all year on its west stretch. There’s even a stream for cooling off in the summer.

a dog and person walking together on a beach in Dorset

There are more historic artefacts to be found at Maiden Castle. Dating all the way back to the 1st century BC, the Iron Age hill fort is one of the largest in Europe. You can uncover its history with your pooch in tow.

Another highlight is Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens. Blooming with a mix of exotic flora and English country garden – with a great coffee shop, too – it’s one of our favourite dog-friendly attractions in Dorset.

Poole – 21 miles from Silverlake

We.Are.Coast is the coolest dog-friendly café in Dorset. This surf-inspired spot welcomes pooches and their well-behaved owners with a delicious brunch menu and stonebaked weekend pizzas. Enjoy a stroll afterwards at nearby Poole Park, where a central lake is surrounded by acres of open green space.

If you’re travelling to Poole with children they’ll love Pinecliff play sculptures. The giant wooden wildlife has been created especially for little arms and legs to clamber over, in between exploring gorgeous woodland walks and tucking in at picnic spots.

The Poole Cockle Trail is a great way to get a feel for Poole at your own pace with the pup. Pick up a coffee and follow the cockles set into the ground around the old town on this self-guided tour telling a tale of pirate smugglers, D-Day, merchant vessels and a lively fishing trade.

Lyme Regis – 31 miles from Silverlake

The Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium takes you beneath the waves and face-to-face with mullet, starfish, lobster and crab. Getting the kids closer to the local sea life is a great way to get them interested in protecting our seas too. It’s open February to October and dogs are welcome on a lead.

Golden Cap is the highest point on the south coast of England and at 191 metres above sea level it delivers some spectacular views. Put the effort in to summit the landmark and you’ll see as far as Start Point in South Devon on a clear day. The National Trust attraction is crisscrossed by walking trails, including the South West Coast Path.

Dog friendly days out in Lyme Regis mix things up with some tasty culinary offerings too. Lilac is a restaurant and wine bar celebrated for its focus on sustainability; it’s delicious and dogs are welcome to dine with you.

If you want to bring your furry friends with you on your next trip, search for your booking next dog-friendly holiday in Dorset today!

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