17/06/2024

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Dog friendly cottages in Dorset England

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Dog friendly cottages in Dorset England

If you are looking for a dog friendly holiday in southern England, check out the lush countryside, stunning coastline and cute cottages of Dorset. We cover the best dog friendly cottages in Dorset as well as the walks, beaches, gardens and heritage attractions that you can enjoy together. Our special guest, Bertie the dachshund came along to sniff out the most pet friendly spots!

Dog friendly cottages in Dorset - Seymour Barn Classic Cottages Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Heather and Bertie staying at Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages

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Where to stay in Dorset with your dog

While there’s a wide range of dog friendly accommodation in Dorset, we recommend a cottage stay to get that quintessentially English countryside experience. We stayed with Classic Cottages, who have a wide range of dog friendly cottages in Dorset, from cosy 1 bedroom places to larger holiday homes that would be perfect for a family gathering.

Our top suggestions for cottage locations in Dorset include:

  • Lyme Regis – if you want to be close to the beach and seaside atmosphere.
  • Bridport – an authentic market town that’s just 10 minutes drive from some lovely beaches (where we stayed).
  • Dorchester – enjoy Dorset’s rolling countryside while being centrally located for many attractions.

For ideas on what to do in Dorset check out our article – 25 Best things to do in Dorset

Abbotsbury Sub tropical gardens Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Heather and Bertie enjoy the Dorset views

Our dog friendly Cottage in Dorset – Seymour Barn

We loved our stay at Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages, which had been converted from an old stone barn, adjoining the owners’ thatched house. Surrounded by green fields and located on the edge of Bridport, our cottage made an ideal base to explore Dorset, together with our special guest, Bertie the dachshund.

Dog friendly cottages in Dorset -  Barn Classic Cottages Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Contemporary meets vintage at Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages

Living area at Seymour Barn

The barn was elegantly practical with natural stone and wood floors, as well as a stylish mix of contemporary and antique furnishings, drawn from the local area.

Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages in Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Sitting room at Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages in Dorset

Downstairs we found a spacious new kitchen with china arranged on the pretty dresser and a good size dining table. A couple of wing chairs were arranged in a cosy seating area, as an alternative space to the main sitting room.

Next door the comfy sofa and chairs were set out for conversation, reading or watching TV, with doors leading out to the terrace where we could dine al fresco.

Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages in Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Welcome local goodies at Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages in Dorset

We were thrilled to find a wonderful welcome basket waiting for us, including local biscuits, home made jam and a cake using apples from the orchard. It was clear that the owners had put a lot of love and thought into the cottage, with fresh garden flowers and house plants providing a homely touch.

Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages in Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Kitchen at Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages in Dorset

Bedrooms at Seymour Barn

Upstairs were two stylish bedrooms, one with a comfy king size and the other with twin beds. They had been thoughtfully furnished with wardrobe space, vintage furniture and artwork from local craft makers.

Seymour Barn Classic Cottages Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
King size bedroom at Seymour Barn Classic Cottages

Both rooms were flooded with light from the overhead velux windows and we enjoyed the views over the fields and orchard that surrounded the barn.

Seymour Barn Classic Cottages Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Twin bedroom at Seymour Barn Classic Cottages

Bathrooms at Seymour Barn

Each of the bedrooms had its own modern shower room, with well designed fittings and a walk in shower. Like the other areas, much thought had gone into creating a pleasant and well functioning space, softened by wooden shelves and trailing pot plants.

Seymour Barn Classic Cottages Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
2 modern shower rooms at Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages

Dog friendly features of Seymour Barn

Best of all Seymour Barn was dog-friendly, which pleased our special guest for the weekend. Bertie the Dachshund quickly made himself at home on the cosy dog blanket and basket that had been left for him.

Dog friendly cottages in Dorset -  Barn Classic Cottages Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Special Guest Bertie at Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages

A welcome basket awaited him with a towel, feeding bowl, spare poop bags and some doggie treats that Bertie soon had his eye on.

Dog friendly cottages in Dorset -  Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages in Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Doggie welcome basket at Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages in Dorset

There was a list of dog friendly walks from the front door, and an outside hose spray that we could use to clean dirty paws after a walk on the beach. Seymour Barn is classified as “Dogs Welcome” which means that the garden may not be fully enclosed, so we did have to keep an eye on naughty Bertie while on the terrace.

Dog friendly cottages in Dorset -  Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages in Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Cleaning for sandy paws at Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages in Dorset

We can highly recommend a cottage stay if you are travelling with your dog, as it’s so much more relaxing and less restrictive than some other types of accommodation. Use the filter on the Classic Cottages website to find their holiday cottages that take dogs.

Classic Cottages Seymour Barn

Seymour Barn – book to stay in this 2 bedroom dog friendly converted barn in the countryside near Bridport

Eco-friendly features at Seymour Barn

We like to travel as sustainably as possible, so were pleased to find plenty of eco-friendly features at Seymour Barn.

  • Electric vehicle charging point in the parking area.
  • Air source heat pump and solar panels provided under-floor heating and hot water. Even in winter the barn is energy self sufficient and spare power is used by the owners or fed back into the grid.
  • High levels of insulation were used in the walls, floor and roof, since the stone barn was rebuilt to new building standards.
  • Natural materials of stone and wood are used throughout the cottage.
  • Many of the furnishings have been locally made or sourced, with a mixture of modern, vintage and local artist finds.
  • We found detailed information and bins for waste recycling.
  • Washingpool Farm shop and cafe is within walking distance offering a wide range of local produce, including meat from the farm.
  • We found plenty of information about public transport and local walks from the cottage, to get out and enjoy the countryside and coastline on foot.
Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages in Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Seymour Barn is heated with solar panels and air source heat pump

Sustainable travel with Classic Cottages

We also noticed that Classic Cottage promotes eco-friendly practices in its own business operations, as well as to the owners of each cottage and the guests who stay there. Seymour Barn is just one of an increasing number of eco-friendly cottages available through Classic Cottages – check out other eco-friendly cottages here.

Some of the sustainable practices we observed:

  • Classic Cottage works with cottage owners on the best way to make their cottages eco-friendly through their Owner guide. The advice is comprehensive, covering everything, from how to install an electric vehicle charger, to eco-friendly cleaning products.
  • The company also provides helpful tips for guests in each cottage, such as how to save energy and water, recycling waste and buying local.
  • Since 2020 Classic Cottages has operated from a purpose built eco-friendly office in Cornwall. The company supports environmental charities and implements car share and cycle to work schemes.
Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages in Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Ideas for local walks at Seymour Barn with Classic Cottages in Dorset

Things to do around Seymour Barn and Bridport

The Markets at Bridport

This authentic Dorset town is well known for the busy street markets held every Wednesday and Saturday. There are plenty of independent shops and the town has a foodie reputation.

Bridport is home to Moore’s Dorset knob biscuits and Palmer’s cask ales, as well as hosting an annual food festival. Lovers of antiques and collectibles will also find an eclectic range of stalls to browse at St Michael’s Trading Estate.

Bridport in Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
The old Town Hall and visitor centre at Bridport in Dorset

Discover West Bay

Just down the road from Bridport, the seaside town of West Bay was the town’s seaport. West Bay has a gorgeous sandy beach backed with attractive old houses and heritage buildings. Between the harbour and the river are kiosks selling ice creams or fish & chips, although you need to watch out for dive-bombing seagulls!

West Bay was used for many of the film locations of the award winning TV drama ‘Broadchurch’, so if you are a fan you’ll spot many places used in filming.

West Bay Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
The cliffs of West Bay Beach in Dorset

Washingpool Farm Shop

Just up the road from our cottage was the Washingpool Farm shop, an amazing emporium of local produce and foodie gifts with meat and veg from the farm. It was great to buy local beef, wine and cider that we could enjoy back at the cottage, and there’s also a small cafe overlooking the countryside.

Washingpool Farm Shop Bridport Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Washingpool Farm Shop Bridport Dorset

Symondsbury Village

A short drive or walk across the fields from our cottage was the pretty village of Symondsbury. The Symondsbury Estate has a number of independent shops around the Manor Yard, with a home and fashion boutique, plant nursery, contemporary art gallery, farm shop and bike hire on weekends. There’s also a pretty cafe with outdoor terrace or call in at the Ilchester Arms pub in the village.

Symondsbury Village Dorset Photo Jessica Spengler
Symondsbury Village Dorset Photo Jessica Spengler

Local walks near Bridport and West Bay

Allington Hill

Just a short distance from our cottage we found the path leading up to Allington Hill. The low wooded hill has a number of trails, offering shade in summer and views of the surrounding countryside, making it an ideal dog walk from the door of Seymour Barn.

Symondsbury and Colmers Hill

Continuing from Allington Hill it was possible to follow a farm trail to Symondsbury Village, or you can drive and park in the village itself.

From the Symondsbury Estate car park, a steep path will take you in 45 minutes to the top of Colmers Hill. The conical hill with a stand of pine trees on the top, makes an iconic sight and gives fantastic views for miles around. Dogs on leads are welcome.

Colmer's Hill Dorset Photo Graham Duerden on Flickr
Colmer’s Hill Dorset Photo Graham Duerden on Flickr

Another interesting walk on the Symondsbury Estate is through the sunken lanes or “Holloways” that were worn down over the centuries by farm carts and livestock. Some of the lanes like Shute’s Lane have “Magical markings” cut into the rock and you can get directions to find them at the Estate Visitor Centre.

South West Coastal Path – West Bay to Burton Bradstock

It’s easy to get onto the South West Coastal Path if you leave your car at West Bay. Heading east, you’ll climb up onto the iconic cliffs of West Bay and reach Burton Bradstock and Hive Beach in under an hour.

Hive beach is a beautiful sandy beach that’s run by the National Trust with the dog-friendly Hive Cafe, specialising in seafood. Although dogs are not allowed in summer in front of the cafe, they have the run of the rest of the beach year round.

Tip: Note that parts of the South West Coastal Path may be closed due to rock falls, so it’s worth checking locally before you set off.

West Bay looking towards Eype Photo Visit Dorset
West Bay looking towards Eype Photo Visit Dorset

South West Coastal Path – West Bay to Seatown and Golden Cap

If you follow the coastal path eastwards from West Bay, you’ll first arrive at Eype Beach, where dogs are welcome all year round. The path then continues to Seatown, a pretty hamlet where you can seek refreshment at the Anchor Inn, right on the beach.

View from Golden Cap Dorset Photo Michael Day on Flickr
View from Golden Cap Dorset Photo Michael Day on Flickr

From here, make the challenging walk up to Golden Cap, the highest point of the coastal path, where you’ll be rewarded with amazing views from the 191 metre summit.

More dog friendly cottages in Dorset with a hot tub

Classic Cottages Park Farm Byre

Park Farm Byre – a 3 bedroom dog friendly converted barn near Dorchester with hot tub

Classic Cottages Toby's Hut

Toby’s Hut – a colourful dog friendly shepherd’s hut for 2 people with hot tub

Things to do in Dorset with Dogs

With our special guest Bertie the dachshund in tow, we made a point of visiting as many dog friendly places in Dorset as possible. For more ideas on what to do in Dorset check out our article – 25 Best things to do in Dorset

Here are some of the dog-friendly things in Dorset that Bertie enjoyed:

Abbotsbury Sub tropical gardens Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Bertie explores Abbotsbury Sub tropical gardens Dorset – it’s dog friendly

Take a walk in the Dorset countryside

The green and gently rolling countryside of Dorset offers numerous country walks for your dog. Most cottages like the one we stayed with Classic Cottages will have information about the best local walks near to where you’re staying. Check out the dog-friendly walks near Bridport that I’ve already mentioned.

If you want an alternative to the coastal path, there are the views from Eggardon Hill Fort, the rolling Purbeck Hills and the heathland of Wareham Forest to explore.

Cerne Abbas Giant Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Viewing point for the Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset

Head to a dog friendly beach in Dorset

There’s an endless choice of beaches to visit in Dorset although you may find restrictions in summer between 1 April and 30 September. Almost all beaches have an area to exercise your dog even in summer and on the wilder beaches you can let your dog off the lead year round.

Charmouth Beach Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Heather and Bertie walk along Charmouth Beach in Dorset – a rockfall in the distance

The most dog friendly beaches in Dorset that we found were:

  • Eype Beach – sandy beach that’s unrestricted for dogs all year, although the narrow lanes to reach it were slightly hair-raising!
  • Lyme Regis Monmouth Beach – a pebble and sand beach that’s good for finding fossils.
  • Charmouth Beach – dogs are allowed in summer on the eastern end past beyond the stream.
  • Durdle Door and Man O’War beach – dogs can be off lead all year and there’s clear water for swimming.
  • Burton Bradstock / Hive Beach – a dog friendly cafe and unrestricted for dogs on the eastern part of this sandy beach.
  • Cogden Beach – a sand and pebble beach that’s unrestricted for dogs year round.
  • Kimmeridge Bay – a rock and pebble beach with unrestricted access for dogs year round.
  • Abbotsbury / Chesil beach – a pebble beach that’s unrestricted for dogs year round.
  • Worbarrow Bay near Lyme Regis – a sandy bay that’s unrestricted for dogs year round.
Weymouth in Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
The long sandy beach at Weymouth in Dorset

Coastal cottages in Dorset that are dog friendly

Classic Cottages Cobb Cottage

Cobb Cottage – a 3 bedroom dog friendly coastguard’s cottage near the beach in Lyme Regis

Classic Cottages Badgers Cottage

Badgers Cottage – a 1 bedroom dog friendly cottage on a farm estate near the Jurassic Coast

Walk on the South West Coastal path in Dorset

The South West Coastal Path runs around the coasts of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. There are beautiful stretches of coastal path in Dorset, although its advisable to keep your dog on a lead since the cliff is unfenced.

Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door – It’s an easy 45 minute walk from Lulworth Cove Car Park along the cliff path to Durdle Door, where your dog can play on Durdle Door Beach or Man O’War Beach.

Durdle Door Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Heather and Bertie on the cliff overlooking Man O’War beach at Durdle Door in Dorset

West Bay to Burton Bradstock – Climb up onto the iconic cliffs of West Bay to reach Burton Bradstock and Hive Beach in under an hour. Park in West Bay Road Car Park.

West Bay to Golden Cap – Follow the coastal path eastwards from West Bay to arrive at Eype Beach. The path then continues to Seatown, with refreshment by the beach at the Anchor Inn. From here, take the steep walk up to Golden Cap for amazing views. If the walk from West Bay is too long, you can also park at Eype Beach Car Park and Seatown Car Park.

Old Harry Rocks in Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Old Harry Rocks in Dorset

Studland to Harry Rocks and Swanage – From Studland South Beach take the well marked path to Harry Rocks for views of the famous chalk sea stacks. Continue to Swanage Bay or return by the same path. Park at Studland South Beach Car Park.

Visit a dog friendly garden in Dorset

Bertie loved visiting the dog friendly Abbotsbury Subtropical gardens, with its shady paths and welcoming cafe. We found that the gardens that don’t have a house to visit, tend to be more dog-friendly. Dorset gardens where your dog is welcome on a lead include:

  • Abbotsbury Subtropical gardens – a shady subtropical garden with a stream and views of Chesil Beach.
  • Compton Acres – ornamental gardens for all seasons with Heather gardens, Japanese gardens and a wooded valley near Poole.
  • Cranborne Manor Gardens – traditional English garden surrounding an ancient Manor House near Cranborne.
  • Minterne Gardens – tranquil Himalayan gardens, known for the azaleas and rhododendrons planted around streams and waterfalls, near Dorchester.
  • The Walled Garden at Moreton – a garden with different borders and areas for all year interest, with plant shop and cafe.
Abbotsbury Sub tropical gardens Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Bertie goes for a walk at the Abbotsbury Sub tropical gardens in Dorset

Explore Corfe Castle

While most stately homes only allow dogs in their parklands Bertie enjoyed our visit to Corfe Castle. He was allowed in the grounds of this ruined castle which offers views over the Purbeck Hills.

Down in the village, Bertie found that Corfe Model Village was just the right size for him to sniff around and we enjoyed the pretty gardens and tea room.

Corfe Castle Model Village Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Bertie explores Corfe Castle Model Village in Dorset – it’s dog friendly!

Ride on a steam train at Swanage Railway

The Swanage Railway is a lovingly preserved heritage railway, where dogs are welcome to travel with their owners for a small extra charge. While the line runs from Swanage to Norton, there’s a stop at Corfe Castle station. From here we travelled one stop up the line to Norton and back again.

Even if you don’t take a train on the Swanage Railway, it’s worth taking a look around the station with its original waiting rooms and knowledgeable volunteers. There’s also a small railway museum on the platform (free but donations appreciated), with information and memorabilia about the railway.

Swanage Railway Corfe Castle Station Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Heather and Bertie take the Swanage Railway at Corfe Castle Station Dorset – dogs can go too!

Go fossil hunting in Dorset

The rich waters of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast were home to marine creatures who millions of years ago became preserved as fossils in the mud. Dorset is one of the unique places to find fossils and it’s an activity that you can enjoy with your dog.

The best places to find fossils in Dorset are at the Ammonite Pavement at the end of Lyme Regis Monmouth Beach, on Charmouth Beach and on Kimmeridge Beach. All of these beaches are dog friendly too.

Unfortunately some of the museums that display fossils do not allow dogs. Those that do allow dogs are the Dinosaurland Fossil Museum in Lyme Regis and the Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester.

Ammonite pavement at Lyme Regis Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Fossil hunting on the Ammonite pavement at Lyme Regis

Dorset dog friendly pubs and restaurants:

Almost all the pubs we came across in Dorset welcome dogs, especially those near a beach or in the countryside. Many country restaurants and beach cafes also welcome dogs, but it’s best to check online before you visit in case they are only allowed in certain parts of the restaurant such as outdoor seating.

If your dog enjoys a doggie ice cream, there are plenty of places that sell it, so your pet can have a treat at the same time as you.

Weymouth in Dorset Photo Heatheronhertravels.com
Bertie surveys Weymouth Beach in Dorset

Dog friendly cottages in Dorset

Discover lots more dog friendly holidays in Dorset with Classic Cottages, including Seymour Barn where we stayed.

Classic Cottages Seymour Barn

Seymour Barn – book to stay in this 2 bedroom dog friendly converted barn in the countryside near Bridport

Classic Cottages St Peter's Cottage
Classic Cottages Periwinkle Cottage

Read Next

Ready to plan your trip? Read about the best things to do in Dorset

Things to do in Dorset by Heatheronhertravels.com

More articles to read about Dorset

Visiting Thomas Hardy Country in Dorset – explore Dorchester, the houses where Thomas Hardy lived and Minterne Gardens nearby.

Cycling in Dorset on the Jurassic Coast – read about our one day cycling trip from Dorchester to Wareham and all the things we enjoyed en route.

Pet Policies at Classic Cottages

Is there an extra charge for bringing my dog?

There is a charge of £38 per dog when you bring them per week or short break. This helps to cover the extra effort cottage owners may go to with cleaning or providing extras for your dog.

How many dogs are allowed in each cottage?

In general up to two dogs are allowed per cottage, but please check on each cottage’s description as it may vary. You’ll need to add the dogs to your form when you book. If you have additional requirements it’s best to contact Classic Cottages, but ultimately dog stays are at the owner’s discretion.

Where are dogs allowed in the cottage?

Dogs are allowed in the living areas of the cottage, but not in the bedrooms or on the furniture. You dog should not be left unaccompanied in the cottage in case they become distressed or damage the furniture. Your dog should be exercised outdoors rather than inside the cottage.

Will there be an enclosed garden at my cottage ?

In the cottage’s description it will indicate whether there is an enclosed garden. You can also use the filters for gardens to check the box for ‘enclosed’ and find cottages with an enclosed garden. Sometimes the garden will not be fully enclosed but still suitable for a dog so long as you keep an eye on them.

As we all know, no garden can be completely secure, so if your dog is an escape artist you need to still keep and eye on them. Also many country cottages may have livestock or animals in nearby fields or gardens.

Map of best places to visit in Dorset

To find the places mentioned in the article on a map you can click on the link for our map of places to visit in Dorset or click on the map below.

Map of things to do in Dorset by Heatheronhertravels.com
Dorset Photo Album

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